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Tool Talk => Swiss Army Knights Forum => Topic started by: Spoonrobot on July 12, 2008, 03:17:18 AM

Title: The Extremely Long Swiss Champ XLT Review!
Post by: Spoonrobot on July 12, 2008, 03:17:18 AM
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v14/redmodels/SwissChamp%20XLT/P1010003d112.jpg)

The Victorinox SwissChamp XLT; lets start with the numbers.

91mm long (3.5 inches).

42.5mm wide (1 and 7/8 inches).

28mm thick (1 and 1/8 inches).

255 grams (9 ounces).

30 implements.
     5 removeable implements.
     9 screwdrivers.
     4 blades.

And a wide variety of other implements that add up to 50 listed functions and multitudes more field expedient uses that are limited only by your ingenuity. At first glance this Swiss Army Knife (heretofore known as a SAK) appears to be a parody of a useful pocket tool. It's wide, bulbous and hefty. Too thick to be comfortably carried in the pocket and conspicuously wide on the belt in it's sheath it leaves one wondering what exactly they are to do with it.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v14/redmodels/SwissChamp%20XLT/P1010003d110.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v14/redmodels/SwissChamp%20XLT/P1010003d111.jpg)

Functionally; the tool is surprisingly ergonomic and rarely does the overall size affect it's utility. Instead; the width actually aids in the use of the drivers, allowing more leverage in the hand and producing less fatigue when interacting with stubborn fasteners or lengthy use.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v14/redmodels/SwissChamp%20XLT/P1010003d127.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v14/redmodels/SwissChamp%20XLT/P1010003d129.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v14/redmodels/SwissChamp%20XLT/P1010003d17.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v14/redmodels/SwissChamp%20XLT/P1010003d11.jpg)

To review this SAK would be an easy task. All, save for one, of the implements appear on many different SAKs of varying size and they have been scrutinized by the hobbyist community to a great degree. Instead, when looking at this specific SAK the question is not "How do the implements work?" but instead it is, "How does the tool work as whole?" That is; is the great breadth and scope of the individual tools and their interaction within the chassis as a whole successful?

The implements are pulled, twisted and slid out of the chassis. None of the tools are difficult to extract and each tool is easy to access without interacting with the other tools (except the fine screwdriver and pin). The backsprings are strong and produce an audible *click* on each open and close cycle, one of the attractions of this tool; Quality italicized and capitalized.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v14/redmodels/SwissChamp%20XLT/P1010003d128.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v14/redmodels/SwissChamp%20XLT/P1010003d1.jpg)
The Electrician's blade has a very interesting grind pattern. As labeled above; the first section is similar to a sheepsfoot profile with a V-Grind, the second section has a circular chisel grind for stripping wire. This circular section is typically used to skim along the coating of a wire, making a U-shaped cut down the insulation that can be twisted off the wire and then snipped off. It also works well for cutting into clampacks.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v14/redmodels/SwissChamp%20XLT/P1010003d113.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v14/redmodels/SwissChamp%20XLT/P1010003d114.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v14/redmodels/SwissChamp%20XLT/P1010003d115.jpg)
The Spatula. This is the gag implement on the tool. Most everyone who sees it either refers to it as a "coke spoon" (the illicit drug kind) or laughs at it's absurdity. I actually think it's a neat implement. It doesn't belong there at all, so you look at it a few times and think "What the hell am I supposed to do with this? Ice a teeny-tiny cake?" But oddly enough it comes in handy. It's long enough to serve as a probe, poking and prodding things you don't want to touch. The high polish and flared head make it useful as an angle mirror or even just for checking the teeth after lunch.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v14/redmodels/SwissChamp%20XLT/P1010003d116.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v14/redmodels/SwissChamp%20XLT/P1010003d117.jpg)
I love the implementation of the bit driver. You get four bits total in a compact on-board package that features a 90 degree stop for more torque and a location close to the centerline for ergonomics during use.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v14/redmodels/SwissChamp%20XLT/P1010003d126-1.jpg)
The tab on the bit holder is designed to keep the bits from falling out when the tool is closed.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v14/redmodels/SwissChamp%20XLT/P1010003d122.jpg)
The bits feature the typical industry coating that begins flaking off almost immediately during use. When this picture was taken the phillips bit had only been used once and it was already pretty shiny. Now the rest of the bits look the same with minimal use. Not really a bad thing, just of note.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v14/redmodels/SwissChamp%20XLT/P1010003d119.jpg)
Small pliers and a smaller wire-cutting section. This is one of the few disappointments for me on this SAK. I knew the pliers were small but I didn't expect them to be so small and relatively useless. They can only handle very small bolts and are not up to anything other than light duty work due to the short handles and ergonomic arrangement. However, I will say that the jaws have the finest fit and finish I have ever seen. The jaw cutouts are so dang sharp they can almost cut you, the tips come together so evenly that they work better than the tweezers for pulling splinters.

I did find it interesting that the plier pivot is backwards in relation to the current SwissTools, maybe Victorinox figured light duty implements wouldn't benefit from the reversal.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v14/redmodels/SwissChamp%20XLT/P1010003d118.jpg)
And the wire cutters are small, like really small. My caliper gives an opening width of 2.5mm and a opening depth of 2mm. I could not actually find any wire around my house to cut with them so I'm not sure how well they work for their intended purpose but I did cut some zip-ties and they handled those just fine.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v14/redmodels/SwissChamp%20XLT/P1010003d12.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v14/redmodels/SwissChamp%20XLT/P1010003d18.jpg)
The awl. It's sharp, it has a sewing eye and it doesn't lock. But that's okay, it's positioned in such a way that it's really hard to get in the way and cut yourself should it accidentally close. The problem with this location is that it requires clearance for the entire width of tool if you want to use it.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v14/redmodels/SwissChamp%20XLT/P1010003d120.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v14/redmodels/SwissChamp%20XLT/P1010003d121.jpg)
The Pin!

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v14/redmodels/SwissChamp%20XLT/P1010003d124.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v14/redmodels/SwissChamp%20XLT/P1010003d123.jpg)
The pen, another fun addition that takes no space and adds exponential functionality. I wouldn't want to have to take notes in class all day with this tiny guy but for jotting down quick items (say: a hottie's number at the bar) it works fine. Of course, my condolences if you should ever have to suffer the humiliation of producing an excessively large Swiss Army Knife in public and removing a comically short pen with which to write.

On the Victorinox official site the "Pen" function has a subset that says "also to set DIP-switches."

Now, being the curious sort I set about finding out what that meant. Lo and behold I found out that the DIP switches were actually something I'd worked with before, we just called them "jumpers." Here's the Wiki for a better explanation of what they are. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DIP_switch)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v14/redmodels/SwissChamp%20XLT/P1010003d13.jpg)
Interestingly enough I have found out that the tiny magnifying glass works excellently as an aspheric lens for LED flashlights. Also, burning things. Maybe reading the fine print, but probably not; see the "Pen Issue" above.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v14/redmodels/SwissChamp%20XLT/P1010003d14.jpg)
The phillips driver also locks at the 90 degree mark. It's location on the outer edge of the tool also aids in producing torque when dealing with difficult fasteners.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v14/redmodels/SwissChamp%20XLT/P1010003d15.jpg)
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v14/redmodels/SwissChamp%20XLT/P1010003d16.jpg)
So, how do you carry this shiny, red, brick? In an ingenious manner, is how I'd answer. It's too wide for side pockets, too heavy for cargo pockets and the sheath costs an extra $15. Which is how I ended up with it inside my pants, using the bit driver as a de facto waist clip. It works surprisingly well when carried like this. Comfortable and easy to get to. The problem is that it is horribly insecure, the back of the bit driver is highly polished and the tool tends to slip up off the pants due to the force of the driver wanting to close all the way. This could be mitigated by adding a small strip of friction tape to the bit driver but I like to live dangerously (and I have a sheath on order.) It's only fallen out once in the two weeks I've been carrying it so it's not that bad, just be aware if you plan to do this.

Other than that the sheath this is really the only option for carry on one's person. I'd say it's best carried in one's bag or by a crazy person in their pants.

Overall?

As my first large SAK I am very impressed. It has the right blend of Gadgetness and Functionality that make it a fun SAK and the awesome fit and finish that make it a joy to use. The unusual variety of implements that one would not normally have access to on a multitool are a nice change of pace. It's a very refreshing item.

Is it any less capable that a full-size multi-tool?

It doesn't really compare, but this is multitool.org so here are the thoughts on that item. No, but it is capable in a different way. The pliers are well-beneath the typical multitool functionality but the wide variety of unusual functions and form factor allow it to be more useful in different circumstances. Overall it makes a good option to a full-size multitool dependent on the user's needs and preferences. It really needs some sort of clip option on the back of the tool though.



Now a story: So the day I get the tool I run home from the mailbox, tear open the shipping carton and start checking it out. No sooner have I begun to really get into it and there is a knock at the door and the sound of keys in the lock as my friend lets herself in. I groan and start to formulate an excuse that allows me to kick her out in a very nice way when she sees the carton and rolls her eyes. "You got another one?" I deftly dodge her question; "Nope, this is a SAK."

She walks past me shaking her head and mutters "God, you're weird."

"I'll only be here a second." She says as she makes noises in the kitchen for a little bit before letting out a loud sigh and asking "Where's your corkscrew?"

I grin and fly into the kitchen; XLT in hand and corkscrew already out of the handle. I explain, trying to sound serious. "This is the only one I have, I'm not that big of a wine guy."

She sighs again and asks "Can I use it?"

What a wonderful question; "Of course you can, but you need to take a picture of me in a minute."

She agrees and goes about opening the wine. I assume while she is doing this she is stifling all manner of compliments on how awesome the SAK is. Which leads to this picture.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v14/redmodels/SwissChamp%20XLT/P1010003d125.jpg)

Which leads to this picture:

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v14/redmodels/SwissChamp%20XLT/P1010003d19.jpg)
All second-hand tools (which this one is) get a nice vigorous scrub down that leaves them all shiny and beautiful.
Title: Re: The Extremely Long Swiss Champ XLT Review!
Post by: Spoonrobot on July 12, 2008, 03:21:08 AM
Here are the only useful links I found while doing research before purchasing if anyone wants some additional information.

The Victorinox Page. (http://www.swissarmy.com/MultiTools/Pages/Product.aspx?category=everyday&product=53504&)

SmartKnives' Page. (http://www.smartknives.com/Victorinox-Knives/Victorinox-SwissChamp-XLT.htm)

A post on an Indian Jone BBS with some good pictures. (http://raven.theraider.net/showthread.php?t=10318)

Youtube Video showing some of the functions. (http://youtube.com/watch?v=i_Wpzmcw1fg)

Title: Re: The Extremely Long Swiss Champ XLT Review!
Post by: matt on July 12, 2008, 03:26:39 AM
That is an excellent review with great pictures.The xlt is not in my price range but if it was I would buy one in an second.I carry a champion and it really looks sad compared to the xlt.thanks for a great review.
Title: Re: The Extremely Long Swiss Champ XLT Review!
Post by: Spoonrobot on July 12, 2008, 03:49:19 AM
It's really not in my price range either. The best street price I found was @$160 which was more than I could afford. I got a screaming deal second-hand though, that's the only reason it's actually in my collection.

I wasn't entirely sure it was worth the price until I actually had it in hand and was able to see the tools and fit/finish. If I had too I would buy it again, it's really a nice piece.
Title: Re: The Extremely Long Swiss Champ XLT Review!
Post by: Leatherman123 on July 12, 2008, 05:31:39 AM
Well worth the wait, Spoon!! :cheers:

I think I may have to buy another one to use now!!! Have you thought about adding an WorkChamp XL to your collection? I started to use it a little and I really like it.. I only wish it had pliers similar to those on the new Wenger Ranger series..
Title: Re: The Extremely Long Swiss Champ XLT Review!
Post by: max6166 on July 12, 2008, 05:42:14 AM
Wow! What a great review! And you really answered my big question which is how does it handle as a whole.  :cheers:

Some of those pictures are simply amazing! That picture of the scissors and scale scraper looks like it is out of a high end magazine ad!

Do you have to know a lot about photography and have an expensive camera, or is this something an ordinary schmuck like me could do?  :P
Title: Re: The Extremely Long Swiss Champ XLT Review!
Post by: ultimaonliner on July 12, 2008, 06:54:40 AM
I already own an XLT and yet after reading your review, I want to go out and buy another!!

Excellent review as usual for you!

Btw, was anybody else more curious about spoon's female friend??

She drops by and opens a bottle of wine?

Title: Re: The Extremely Long Swiss Champ XLT Review!
Post by: Mike, Lord of the Spammers! on July 12, 2008, 09:56:44 AM
Bloody fine review sir :salute:

Great pictures too, I saw Neils XLT at the meet, and there really not as big as you think there gona be :)
Title: Re: The Extremely Long Swiss Champ XLT Review!
Post by: J-sews on July 12, 2008, 01:34:13 PM
Another fine write-up Spoon! If I haven't said so before I really do enjoy these reviews of yours. :)


To me the most interesting feature is the bit driver / bit carrier. This seems like it would be an incredibly useful layer. (I've never seen or handled a SAK so equipped) I hadn't realized that the bits were double ended, and that they have detent balls. Typical Victorinox; maximum quality, maximum usefulness. :)
Title: Re: The Extremely Long Swiss Champ XLT Review!
Post by: Benner on July 12, 2008, 02:18:38 PM
Superb review as always Spoon.  :)

They really are a great SAK.
Title: Re: The Extremely Long Swiss Champ XLT Review!
Post by: Poncho65 on July 12, 2008, 03:07:10 PM
Vey nice review Spoon  :salute: As always you never cease to amaze me with your reviews :D I would love to have 1 of those of well :drool: Probably have to go 2nd hand like you did to get one though :-[ Someday maybe :)
Title: Re: The Extremely Long Swiss Champ XLT Review!
Post by: Anthony on July 12, 2008, 03:20:49 PM
Spoon great review :salute: I got a Swisschamp yesterday (the XLTs little brother for those who don't know) and am already thinking about how I can incorporate it into my current fololproof EDC setup.

One thing I did notice though, and this might be the same on your XLT, is that the chisel on the back is placed all wrong.  It should have been in the space where the awl is.  If I needed to chisel/scrape something I woulden't be able to get a nice shallow angle due to the thickness of the tool.

What kind of sheath did you order, and from where?
Title: Re: The Extremely Long Swiss Champ XLT Review!
Post by: Leatherman123 on July 12, 2008, 03:23:52 PM
I've got a really nice leather sheath for my SwissChamp. It's for 5-8 layer SAKs too. But, I cannot find a link!  ???
Title: Re: The Extremely Long Swiss Champ XLT Review!
Post by: Spoonrobot on July 12, 2008, 07:06:29 PM
Thanks for the kind words guys; this one took quite a bit of work to get done but some polite prompting ( :pok:) helped me finish it.  :cheers:

Have you thought about adding an WorkChamp XL to your collection?

I've been thinking about that one. I like the idea but will probably just go with the regular WorkChamp since it's more practical. Although I'm actually looking at getting the Wenger ToolChest Plus next, see how it compares to the Vic offering.

Quote
Do you have to know a lot about photography and have an expensive camera, or is this something an ordinary schmuck like me could do?

I don't know much, my camera is a mid-range point/shoot and it is definitely something an ordinary joe could do. My light-box set-up is a wine case with the sides and top cut-out, sheets over the holes and a 100 Watt bulb hanging over the top hole. You can see it in the background of this picture:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v14/redmodels/SOG%20Sheath/P1010020.jpg
I use a cheap Wal-Mart tripod and the automatic settings on the camera; I don't really do any research just kind of read the tips/tricks people post here and have at it until I get something good.

Quote
Btw, was anybody else more curious about spoon's female friend??

She drops by and opens a bottle of wine?

We'll do one of these to be coy:  ;). She's a wine salesperson who has very poor planning skills. It was kind of odd to have someone pop in on the way to work to open a bottle of booze. I didn't even get to try it.  :(

Quote
One thing I did notice though, and this might be the same on your XLT, is that the chisel on the back is placed all wrong.  It should have been in the space where the awl is.  If I needed to chisel/scrape something I woulden't be able to get a nice shallow angle due to the thickness of the tool.

What kind of sheath did you order, and from where?

I noticed that too. it's workable but not nearly as functional as it should have been. I'd actually like to see the chisel and the hook extended and moved to the front, seems much more useful when you don't have to muscle around the entire tool to use those two implemements. I got the sheath from an eBay seller, but Amazon has it too. It's taking a while to get her but I'll update when it arrives.


Title: Re: The Extremely Long Swiss Champ XLT Review!
Post by: kent ct on July 13, 2008, 02:05:55 AM
Another really fine revue with great pictures. You cover all the bases.

Richard
Title: Re: The Extremely Long Swiss Champ XLT Review!
Post by: Abstraction on July 13, 2008, 11:38:14 AM
Nice review! It almost persuaded me i needeed one, but then i saw the price  :o  A normal swisschamp is £25, the XLT is £125! I think it may have to wait till i do another order from Tim! 
Title: Re: The Extremely Long Swiss Champ XLT Review!
Post by: Benner on July 13, 2008, 02:26:19 PM
Nice review! It almost persuaded me i needeed one, but then i saw the price  :o  A normal swisschamp is £25, the XLT is £125! I think it may have to wait till i do another order from Tim! 

Wow  :o that's some price difference.  :-\
Title: Re: The Extremely Long Swiss Champ XLT Review!
Post by: Abstraction on July 13, 2008, 02:46:24 PM
Nice review! It almost persuaded me i needeed one, but then i saw the price  :o  A normal swisschamp is £25, the XLT is £125! I think it may have to wait till i do another order from Tim! 

Wow  :o that's some price difference.  :-\

I imagine they're seen as a collectable or something, and the normal swisschamp is on offer as well (£50 reduced to £25) - i *may* have just ordered one on that basis  :P
Title: Re: The Extremely Long Swiss Champ XLT Review!
Post by: Benner on July 13, 2008, 03:14:56 PM
I edc the Swisschamp.  It is a superb SAK.  :)  I'm sure you will be real pleased with it.
Title: Re: The Extremely Long Swiss Champ XLT Review!
Post by: Abstraction on July 13, 2008, 05:01:27 PM
I've been wanting one for a while so £25 sounded a bargain compared to the £40+ i'd seen them before.  I'm now trying to resist getting a wenger ranger....
Title: Re: The Extremely Long Swiss Champ XLT Review!
Post by: AndyTiedye on July 13, 2008, 09:29:47 PM
£125 for an XLT?   Highway robbery!   More like 125 of our rapidly-declining DOLLARS here.

Title: Re: The Extremely Long Swiss Champ XLT Review!
Post by: Abstraction on July 13, 2008, 10:37:59 PM
Yeah, i'll put an order in from felinevet again soon i think!  Having bought a skeletool and a swisschamp already this month though i think i'll leave that till next month  ;) 
Title: Re: The Extremely Long Swiss Champ XLT Review!
Post by: Mike, Lord of the Spammers! on July 13, 2008, 10:40:20 PM
I had a play with an XLT at the meet (cheers Neil) and one is definetly on the wish list :drool:
Title: Re: The Extremely Long Swiss Champ XLT Review!
Post by: Neil on July 14, 2008, 12:39:07 AM
Very nice review.  I own an XLT but I don't carry it.  So it was nice to get an idea as to how well it functions as a tool rather than a collection piece. 

They are a scary price though, I don't think I could justify buying one the normal route. I was lucky enough to get mine via a SOSAK auction last year, it was a good cause and all that, so I just had to  :angel:

Neil

Title: Re: The Extremely Long Swiss Champ XLT Review!
Post by: kkokkolis on December 24, 2012, 12:06:13 PM
This is somewhat old but, since I read it many times it would be appropriate to congratulate the author. I'll also get the opportunity to add my thoughts, since I EDC the knife.
I still believe that, moneywise and maybe ergonomically, the regular Swisschamp is the perfect SAK for most people. But if you are a SAK fan, then you deserve to have the XLT. You earn the feeling of owning something special, you overcome the dilemma "Swisschamp or Cybertool 41" by combining both, plus more, in one package, and you get some additional functionality also.
After 25 years of use my palm receives a very positive sensory input from the Swisschamp but salutes the Swisschamp XLT with pleasure. If your hands are small this may not be the case but for me the size isn't a problem at all. In the seath both SAKs look the same (my Swisschamp seath has the same width). About the weight, well, I carry a lot of weight that is much less useful, so I don't complain. The width is a minor problem for some tools that are way offset at the edges, such as the main blade. It doesn't compromise the utility though, as long as one understands that this is a slipjoint general use blade and not a tactical knife. The most used tools, such as scissors and pliers can be used with the same efficacy a Swisschamp or ST41 has.
I don't carry it in my belt (I used to do this with the Swisschamps a lot but now I always have my cellphone there) but when I use it I temporalily put it in my pocket easily. I can also hang it from my beltloops or from my wrist with an attached lanyard that sports a carabiner. I carry it  in it's leather case and in my bag, together with an OD Victorinox SI case that contains the bit adapter and 6mm bits, Victorinox oil, Victorinox honning stone, Victorinox dual sharpener, a small sewing kit and band aids. Only when I won't carry a bag and wear a suit I'll leave it behind and keep my Harvester and a Minichamp attached to my car's keys. So, most of the time, the XLT is there, ready to serve.
Overall the knife is much more functional, with more and better and more useful tools than the Wenger ToolChest Plus that has similar width.
About the additional tools;
Everybody understands how useful the cybertool driver is. One should have the option for additional bits from Victorinox herself. But there are ways to add some more 4mm bits (or an adapter for 6mm bits that fits the Philips driver of the XLT or any other SAK, as I did).
The Prunner is the sharpest blade known to me. This is my everyday cutting blade now and I liked it so much that I bought a Harvester in order to get a main blade and a prunner in a knife that fits a pocket and has all the tools closer to the centerline.
I don't use the Electrician's blade a lot but, since it is the least sharp blade of all and, perhaps, the most robust,  it is very useful to save the other blades when cutting harder materials. I use it as an X-Acto blade for plastic sheets for example.
The Spatula? I find it very useful. Usually this is my coffee and tea stirrer and I keep it always clean. I'd never want an EDC SAK with electronics because I wash it under running water with soap for dishes and/or add some alcohol or other antibacterial agent. Sometimes I use it for avoiding touching things with my hands. I am an MD and we use a pill crusher at work, so I also have used it as a Pharmaceutical Spatula, although there are dedicated tools for that job.
My XLT has the newer short Philips driver and one piece magnifying lens of lower magnification (greater focal length). I like the driver and find that I use the lens much more that the older grey framed, because it has greater field of view (and I now have some presbyopia I didn't have before). It looks more fragile but nothing is usually fragile on Victorinox SAK's. I expect it to last but we'll see.
The newer metal saw/file seems harder, although I used the Swisschamp's older type to cut effectively a metal tube for a bath curtain, because I hesitated to use my all new XLT. The next task belongs to it though. This is a user, not a display item.
Is something missing? Ofcourse. Nothing is perfect.
I would like to have a nail file. The new file is great for metal but very hard for fingernails. The older file had a fine side that was perfect for fingernails. The Toolchest has a dedicated nailfile, similar to the one the Cadets use and it is perfect (one can find other uses for that, like striking matches, removing paper clips etc, a very functional tool overall). Since I don't see adding another layer as an option, the use of the filed back hook would be welcomed. That file is always accessible and that's a big plus.
There are just a few other tools available with Victorinox SAKs that the XLT doesn't offer. I like the 93mm's awl and sacking needle but I can't see how they could be implemented. Maybe one of the two instead of the pen blade? Having one big and two specialised blades makes the pen blade less needed. Unless they ofer again the clip point small blade, good for piercing stuff.
I'd like a locking main blade, like the one Wengers offer. It will upgrade the knife very much.
Since there is the Bit driver with a flat bit similar to the one on the can opener, one could replace the bottle opener with the combo bottle/can opener and the can opener with another tool. One might skip the Philips and back fine driver (never ever used this) and have 2 places for 2 short tools. That makes a total of 4 different short tools options (instead of pen blade, philips driver, can opener and fine driver). A nailfile would easily get one of the places and maybe a small fine drivers tool (such as on a Leatherman Wave) could get another one. I also always crave for a tool capable of using X-Acto blades. Sharp, cheap and with lots of different geometries, these blades would boost any SAK a lot. A removable fire steel would be a killer also.
Finally, since serrations are useful for some people, one could sacrifice the fish scaler for a rescue blade, or might add a short hunting gutting blade (found in 111mm SAKs) to one of the aforementioned places.
Ofcourse, these suggestions don't mean that the tool isn't excellent. Everybody has the right to dream about his "Perfect SAK" and I just express myself making use of that right. And it is easy to get a centered, one hand opening, locking blade with full or half serrations and selection of clip point or other geometry. Others would get a Spyderco or some other similar knife, I use an Opinel Outdoor #8 that adds a whistle and shackle opener, for 22 euros and I'm OK with that.
Some history: I was finally ready to buy a Champion during 1985, gathering with difficulty around $100 (I was a teenager then and dollar was very expensive for us). I had a Greek- American cousin that served at US Army who could buy it cheaper from the military shop. At the last moment I was thrilled to see a newer and better model, the Swisschamp. I waited a little and had that Swisscamp finally in my hands. When I lost it, the successor had some welcomed improvements, such as the pin and hook. When that was stolen I was teased to buy that XLT for some more improvements (as I was used to do with my computers, cellphones and palmtops) but I retreated because of the more than double price and fears that it would be cumbersome and unusable. Victorinox labeled it as a collector's item and I wanted it for EDC. Finally now I'm very happy that I eventually have it and use it everyday and concluded that it is a highly functional SAK (maybe not for everybody) and a joy to own and play with. Since the XAVT flagship has electronics and is larger than my palm, with doubling of some tools, I'm not tempted to "upgrade" any further and the added functionality permitted me to put my Swisschamp in the drawer without any repentance.
I love it so much, I engraved my sweethert's name on it and I foresee to keep me company for years to come.
Unless Victorinox implements some of my above mentioned ideas for an upgraded XLT. Well, a man can never be as faithful as a Victorinox Swiss Army Knife is. I suppose that I might cheat first, but only for a newer and better Swiss beauty, because my experience is that Victorinox knives will never let me down and will continue to serve for decades, maybe for a lifetime.

PS: Excuse me for all that verbosity, but it is the "The Extremely Long Swiss Champ XLT Review!" after all, isn't it? :climber:
Title: Re: The Extremely Long Swiss Champ XLT Review!
Post by: nuphoria on December 24, 2012, 01:39:18 PM
Bloody excellent post - thanks for that :salute:

It is a shame that the nail file isn't offered on the larger knives, I would certainly like one.
Title: Re: The Extremely Long Swiss Champ XLT Review!
Post by: Mr. Whippy on December 24, 2012, 02:01:55 PM
Thank you for the review, doctor!  :hatsoff:

I too like the XLT.  I generally carry my CT41, because it really has most everything I use.  I do wish it had a ruler on it somewhere though. (like the fish scaler). 
Title: Re: The Extremely Long Swiss Champ XLT Review!
Post by: Mesbefok on December 24, 2012, 03:44:22 PM
I EDC CT41. It has most of the tools that XLT have. I miss the ruler and magnifying glass. But victorinox has a sheath designed with a plastic ruler that includes the magnifying glass as well as a compass and temperature/fahrenheit indicator. This ruler is thin, light and unobtrusive and fits into a separate compartment in the leather sheath which houses my CT41 perfectly.

1. I'm interested to know if the XLT is significantly heavier than the CT41.

2. Is the thickness/width of XLT significantly more than the CT41.

3. How many out there actually use the XLT as an EDC?

4. How many out there would prefer XLT above CT41?

Below a photo of my SAK CT41, pouch and ruler.
Title: Re: The Extremely Long Swiss Champ XLT Review!
Post by: kkokkolis on December 24, 2012, 04:32:32 PM
I can compare with Swisschamp, Cybertool 34 and Toolchest Plus. I don't own a CT41.
As I said, I EDC it and prefer it over any other 4+ layer tool. If you're going to have it big, choose the biggest one you can use. And get something 2-3 layered for your pocket.
I like that compass. It costs 18 euros here and you get bigger compasses for less, not to mentiion the Smartphones with ruler/ compass, spirit level and full weather capabilities. The iOS tool I use, AppBox Pro, has a Sappfire Translucent SAK for an icon (with the letter A instead of the Cross).
But I'm going to get one just for the awesomeness it has and because it pairs with the SAK. I think I can stick one in my SI seath. But I like your seath too.  Can you give me the model number?
Title: Re: The Extremely Long Swiss Champ XLT Review!
Post by: sawman on December 24, 2012, 04:46:06 PM
After reading this most excellent review, I want one!  Whilst it is a little wide for carry, sheaths are available for it.  I like the addition of the pruner tool and electrical tool.
Title: Re: The Extremely Long Swiss Champ XLT Review!
Post by: Mesbefok on December 24, 2012, 07:01:33 PM
Unfortunately I do not have the model no of the seath. I'll try and find it if I visit the knife dealer soon and let u know. Regards.
Title: Re: The Extremely Long Swiss Champ XLT Review!
Post by: kkokkolis on May 07, 2013, 01:20:45 PM
I still EDC it if you'd like to know. Not only that, but I EDC a Surge also, complete with 2 bit kits, extension and seath. This beast made my XLT to look as a small and lightweight option.
Do I use the tools that Cybertool 41 or Swisschamp lack? Yes, a lot. I even use the spatula to stir my drinks (I always clean it with dish soap afterwards).
Could I stick with a Swisschamp or Cybertool 41? Yes I could (even with a Climber or Mountaineer) but I would have less blades to play and, with my age and work schedule, playing chances are restricted.
I think I'll EDC it forever. I might put the Surge on call but the XLT not.
Title: Re: The Extremely Long Swiss Champ XLT Review!
Post by: djw on February 02, 2015, 10:19:56 PM
I EDC CT41. It has most of the tools that XLT have. I miss the ruler and magnifying glass. But victorinox has a sheath designed with a plastic ruler that includes the magnifying glass as well as a compass and temperature/fahrenheit indicator. This ruler is thin, light and unobtrusive and fits into a separate compartment in the leather sheath which houses my CT41 perfectly.

It's an old thread, I know - but the information might still be useful for anyone deciding between XLT and CT41.

I believe the sheath is 4.0565.03. The ruler/compass/thermometer/magnifying glass is 4.0568.44.
Title: Re: The Extremely Long Swiss Champ XLT Review!
Post by: Huntsman on February 02, 2015, 11:36:59 PM
Great post friends and thanks for all your comments   :)
Particularly of course to Spoonrobot and kkokkolis - especially good to hear about your use of the tool  :salute: - so thanks for taking the time to make the  posts  :tu:

It's funny even when you think you know about something (ie the XLT, although I do not own one) posts like this are still fascinating and you still learn stuff.

I have carried a SAK for probably 40 years or so (ouch) but always dismissed the Swisschamp as silly - ie too big.
However since starting collecting SAKs last year - and subsequently joining MTo - of course, now I do own a Swisschamp - and have even enjoyed carrying and using it - one of my collection rules is I have to carry/use the tool. :)
So my categorisation of 'silly' moved 'up' to anything bigger than the SC ;)

Of course - this post has now got me thinking about getting an XLT  :facepalm:
Title: Re: The Extremely Long Swiss Champ XLT Review!
Post by: kkokkolis on February 03, 2015, 12:19:55 AM
Funny, just after EDCing the XLT for over 2 years, people here persuaded me I shouldn't EDC 2kgrs of tools everyday and at the same time I received as a gift an Alox with scissors, so I carry that with a Spirit now. But I miss the XLT, it has so many tools to play with. I miss the small blade (used very frequently for removing paper from my VG bottles for example), the file's tip (prying on delicate stuff), the hook (yes), the Cybertool (I love the use of it), the magnifying glass (I use a triplet in its place at least), the spatula (I have to use the blade as a tea stirrer, we don't have those nice plastic stirrers they use in the US here) and the pruner blade (there is the Warncliff on my Minichamp, thank Swiss god!). But I still have it by my bedside and I can play with it at home.
Wide as it is, it still fits nicely in a palm and the drivers can be used, providing less speed but more torque as it is. And then, it is an "I've got bigger genitalia" thing, in a symbolic sense of course. Always in fashion with Eurasian populations.
Title: Re: The Extremely Long Swiss Champ XLT Review!
Post by: Mextreme on February 03, 2015, 09:19:06 AM
Ohh no. You had to do it.
The one Sak I thought I didn´t need is now officialy on the list of must haves. No item has ever made it out of that list without a purchase. The thoughts of it will intensify until it´s in the mailbox. :mail:
Excellent review and comments, unfortunately....


Title: Re: The Extremely Long Swiss Champ XLT Review!
Post by: Grass on February 03, 2015, 10:07:36 AM
Still kicking around the idea of getting this one; there's got to be somewhere relatively affordable to find one... FelineVet seems to be out of them at the moment :(
Title: Re: The Extremely Long Swiss Champ XLT Review!
Post by: kkokkolis on February 03, 2015, 12:06:49 PM
They are more affordable than the XAVT (which I also couldn't resist to have and I'm not a collector, I have just a dozen after 30 years but I wouldn't skip the most tool loaded).
Title: Re: The Extremely Long Swiss Champ XLT Review!
Post by: djw on February 03, 2015, 03:06:27 PM
I have a SwissChamp XLT, which I use every day for a variety of tasks. I have a CyberTool 34 on order, which will give my the tools I use the most in a lighter and slimmer package for everyday carry, but I find the XLT to be a very practical tool and there are times I'm grateful for the tools it has that smaller knives lack. The spatula is useful for a variety of tasks - I recently used it to stop the suction of a vacuum cleaner spinning a fan when I was vacuuming the dust out of a computer.

I felt the size and usability differences between the SwissChamp XLT and the CyberTool 41 were not enough to have any personal justification for owning both the XLT and CT41, especially as the CT41 was significantly more expensive than the CT34. For those who don't have an XLT or can't get on with the size, I can see the attraction of the CT41.

I have no use for the SwissChamp XAVT - the size and value would make it a pure collector piece for me, though everyone has their own trade off between size, weight and usability.


I carry a MiniChamp with my keys, which gets a lot of use, especially opening letters and packages, peeling oranges and cutting small areas of damage out of apples and similar hard fruit.
Title: Re: The Extremely Long Swiss Champ XLT Review!
Post by: Grass on February 17, 2015, 08:26:50 AM
SwissChamp XLT arrived today. You would not want to try to be doing something in a small space, but otherwise seems quite usable with my relatively large hands. I am staring at it with two thoughts going through my head - (1) this is beautiful; and (2) I'm an addict and need help.
Title: Re: The Extremely Long Swiss Champ XLT Review!
Post by: Zed on February 17, 2015, 08:52:29 AM
I avoid these posts in fear ill want one  :facepalm: my largest sak is my swisschamp,taxidad kindly gave me it ages ago,ive always thought it would be the largest i go sak wise,i also carry a scaled down handyman and even slimmer explorer,but now looking at this post i want a xlt  :ahhh although im sure it would end up in my backpack and too be honest i prefer a plier based mt there  :tu: Great review :tu:
Title: Re: The Extremely Long Swiss Champ XLT Review!
Post by: HarleyXJGuy on February 17, 2015, 09:13:54 AM
Sigh.

 :facepalm:
Title: Re: The Extremely Long Swiss Champ XLT Review!
Post by: Zed on February 17, 2015, 09:17:45 AM
Sigh.

 :facepalm:

big sigh  :D
Title: Re: The Extremely Long Swiss Champ XLT Review!
Post by: matzesu on February 17, 2015, 10:38:06 AM
Just made a new try to fit my XLT in the Knifepocket of my Pant, and if i swiffel it a bit whyle i pull the Knife out, it dosnt get stuck between the bit driver and the Locking Pin from the Pocket...

XLT is my best SAK so far, and the expensived since the Swisstool i got 16 Yeahrs ago..
The Swisstool was about 160 Deutsche Mark Back then, the XLT something about 150 Euro, which should be something like 300 Deutsche Mark bevore whe go the €..
But its whort every Single "Pfennig"..
Title: Re: The Extremely Long Swiss Champ XLT Review!
Post by: samek on February 17, 2015, 01:33:56 PM
I have XLT for a long time. I made a little improvement  - knife has too many philips screwdrivers – I changed a solid phillips screwdriver into a marlin spike  :ahhh

(http://i108.photobucket.com/albums/n10/samek_2006/sl016.jpg) (http://s108.photobucket.com/user/samek_2006/media/sl016.jpg.html)

(http://i108.photobucket.com/albums/n10/samek_2006/sl018.jpg) (http://s108.photobucket.com/user/samek_2006/media/sl018.jpg.html)

(http://i108.photobucket.com/albums/n10/samek_2006/sl017.jpg) (http://s108.photobucket.com/user/samek_2006/media/sl017.jpg.html)
Samek
Title: Re: The Extremely Long Swiss Champ XLT Review!
Post by: matzesu on February 17, 2015, 01:46:20 PM
Naha, i think the Philips from the Bit Driver is for bit smaler Phillips Screews and the one opposide the Mag Glas for bit bigger Phillips Screws..

Somethimes i think the Main Blade isnt that sharp but i dotnt know how sharp sharp is..

Somebody hear who have Problems to carry the  XLT??
Title: Re: The Extremely Long Swiss Champ XLT Review!
Post by: JM_Toolfan on March 19, 2016, 04:49:20 AM
I'd like to thank the author of the Extremely Long Swiss Champ XLT review (kkokolis) - and this still some 5 years after he published it. I wondered whether it might be worth the (considerable) investement and even more than that, whether i would suit my trouser pocket. The review (a state of the art report, my compliments) convinced me to try. In fact, the most serious problem (as to whether or not it fits in a trouser pocket - essential for every day use (EDC)) was in ahead decided to be resolved (the knive being substantially similar to the dimensions of a cigarette box, only a bit narrower). Now, I'm very grateful for this review with so many good photographs. I can assure to anybody: Do NOT bother about the "bulbiness" or "thickness" of this knife. It suits your fist perfectly and nonetheless DOES find place in a trouser pocket (I dislike wearing sheaths on my belt). The only weak point is that it lacks practicable pliers. I resolved this problem like this: In my left trouser pocket, I carry a Leatherman Wave plus Bit Set (see my review on the Leatherman Bit Set on this website). In my right trouser pocket, I wear the XLT plus a Flashlight plus my flat keys (I don't bother that this will scratch the XLT plastic handle shells). So, you may refer to the very first photo of the Extremely long Swiss Champ XLT Review: This is a sort of maximum combination of what you can carry in your trouser pockets. Compliments!!! a state-of-the-art photograph! Cons to the author to compare just the two classical "rivals" of the field. In my mind, it's no contrast but they complement each other (although honestly said all the functions that are double are resolved better on the SAK). One mention about the magnifying lens: I used to have an old Swiss Champ until I lost it. The new magnifying lens has indeed a longer focal length than the old one but the magnification ratio depends on the distance from wich you watch the poit of interest (say, a splinter in the finger). Thanks to the much wider field of view you achieve an even greater versatility. The some Millimeter shortened Philips screwdriver does not resent this. I can say: watch out in Internet for affordable offers and do NOT puzzle about whether a Cybertool might be a (more affordable) alternative. Afterwards you would regret. The XLT is the king because it combines all advantages of a Swiss Champ and a Cybertool. It DOES fit in your trouser pocket!!!
Title: Re: The Extremely Long Swiss Champ XLT Review!
Post by: JM_Toolfan on March 19, 2016, 05:15:19 AM
To matzesu: I possess a recent XLT and I can tell you the small blade IS a bit sharper than the big one (finger test only- not measured). Now, this will be a conscious choice because the sharper the blade the faster it will wear out. Since only few persons ever sharpen their knive with a grindstone, the blade needs to be designed to last for a life - and this works well in the case of Voctorinox. A good observation! Greetings!
Title: Re: The Extremely Long Swiss Champ XLT Review!
Post by: kkokkolis on March 24, 2016, 10:34:44 PM
Actually, Spoonrobot was the original poster of the original Extremely Long Swiss Champ XLT Review. I just added a follow-up review at some point, more than three years ago. Still, the Swisschamp XLT remains one of my most valuable possessions, the one I like to play with a lot. It looks big but it's smaller than it looks.  It's just its personality that's larger than life.
Title: Re: The Extremely Long Swiss Champ XLT Review!
Post by: Xero on April 04, 2016, 02:37:00 AM
i just shelled out the money to buy one myself.

i had the original swisschamp years ago - got stolen from me  along with some other knives in a move long ago (yet they left my wenger toolchest plus which was sitting right next to it....oh well)

the swisschamp xlt and the toolchest plus seem like they're almost the same width - i never minded the width of the TCP so i'm curious what the XLT will be like, really looking forward to the bit driver.

i don't get why victorinox has discontinued all the cool models? the xlt....ct41...etc...i always wanted an xlt and now that i learned it's discontinued i decided to grab a new old stock one while i still can....
Title: Re: The Extremely Long Swiss Champ XLT Review!
Post by: Huntsman on April 04, 2016, 03:01:19 AM
i don't get why victorinox has discontinued all the cool models? the xlt....ct41...etc...i always wanted an xlt and now that i learned it's discontinued i decided to grab a new old stock one while i still can....

Hi Xero
I think these models are still available.
At least they are in the 2015 catalogue - Which is the current one available via their website.

Don't forget:
Title: Re: The Extremely Long Swiss Champ XLT Review!
Post by: Bluermlou on April 04, 2016, 04:48:54 AM
i don't get why victorinox has discontinued all the cool models? the xlt....ct41...etc...i always wanted an xlt and now that i learned it's discontinued i decided to grab a new old stock one while i still can....

Hi Xero
I think these models are still available.
At least they are in the 2015 catalogue - Which is the current one available via their website.

Don't forget:
  • Unfortunately they do not show all their models on their website (more in the catalogue - and much better organised IMHO!!)
  • They renamed the CT41 to be CT L - as in Large!

The XLT is definitely still available as I bought a brand new one from the victorinox store in NYC on Saturday. :)

Title: Re: The Extremely Long Swiss Champ XLT Review!
Post by: Xero on April 04, 2016, 07:49:57 AM
ahh, you learn something new every day! I had no idea they just didn't have them on their website! I need to seriously look at that catalog now. I bet i'm going to find a bunch more stuff I want now, lol.

That actually makes me feel a lot better. I was afraid I was buying up old stock or something. Still, I guess that means the XLT is pretty pricey for what it is. I was thinking the price was just inflated due to it being old stock. Ah well. I must have one. I guess some kinda "duo-giftbox" that comes with the classic SD and xlt...

I guess they even still make the crazy big XAVT! That thing tempts me, but the XLT has everything i ever wanted....superchamp + bit driver + those extra knife blades for electrical work and etc...and it doesn't lose the full size phillips bit, which is the one thing that put me off from the CT41.

If I end up liking the bit driver a lot, I could see myself wanting a CT Lite for computer work...we'll see...I still would probably want an XLT cause I wanted woodsaw+bit driver+dedicated phillips in one unit....would be cool to have woodsaw+bitdriver+flashlight+scissor+pliers but I can't see going to an XAVT just for that, haha!
Title: Re: The Extremely Long Swiss Champ XLT Review!
Post by: Xero on April 07, 2016, 02:05:26 AM
Yayy! It's here! I decided to take pictures of it next to my badly beat up wenger (toolchest plus? non-locking main blade, though, so it's an older one) and my classic SD and nailclippers, which are also new as of today!

(http://xero.cc/xlt_vs_tcp.jpg)
(http://xero.cc/xlt_vs_tcp2.jpg)
(http://xero.cc/xlt_vs_tcp3.jpg)

I've only found one other picture of an XLT with a TCP, so I wanted to really get a notion of size comparison.

For whatever it's worth, the XLT is nearly the same width, it's sooo close, but i think the XLT might just be a tiny tiny hair wider. Length wise, of course, the vic is longer, but we already knew that!

However, in terms of usability, I feel like the tools in the XLT are way more useful as a whole. The compass eats up so much space on the TCP, it's not worth it. I've probably never had a legitimate use for it either. The scissors are completely broken on my TCP, which is a shame, and the pliers were one of the only things I liked, since they were slip joint which was kinda cool, except, the wenger-style backspring is basically useless now since as soon as the tool gets a little dirty, those wenger backsprings are the first thing to stop working right. At the moment that wenger is so dirty you need another tool just to extract any of the tools out of it! It's a nail breaker. Needless to say, it's probably getting retired now that the XLT is here! But I still had to do a comparison!

It's also amazing the price difference. An Evolution S54 (the current version of the Wenger TCP) is something like $70-80. The XLT? Yeah...2x that or more! But...is it worth it? From what I'm seeing now - comparing the vintage TCP to the brand new XLT - the quality difference is pretty big. XLT wins there as well.
Title: Re: The Extremely Long Swiss Champ XLT Review!
Post by: kkokkolis on April 24, 2016, 08:25:03 AM
XLT is THE SAK for me. XAVT and Giant are bigger but XLT is at the sweetspot of usability and remains a great conversational SAK.

Στάλθηκε από το LG-V500 μου χρησιμοποιώντας Tapatalk

Title: Re: The Extremely Long Swiss Champ XLT Review!
Post by: SAK Guy on April 24, 2016, 05:29:22 PM
XLT is THE SAK for me. XAVT and Giant are bigger but XLT is at the sweetspot of usability and remains a great conversational SAK.

Στάλθηκε από το LG-V500 μου χρησιμοποιώντας Tapatalk

 :cheers: :cheers: