Time for another review. This time let us look a little closer at one of Victorinox’s largest knives, the 111mm Workchamp XL.
From left to right: Workchamp XL, Jumpmaster, Rescue Tool, New Soldier.
The purpose behind the Workchamp XL, is to cram as many tools into a knife of this size as possible. As such, I believe they placed every tool that Victorinox produces for their 111mm knives into this package. This thing is a beast. It has 10 layers of folding tools.
You just might be wondering what a 10 layer knife look like…
From left to right: Workchamp XL (10 layers), Jumpmaster (4 layers), Rescue Tool (4 layers), New Soldier (3 layers).
What does this monster look like to a much smaller Victorinox. The Above photos are comparisons between 4 111mm Victorinox knives. The following compare the 111mm Workchamp XL to a 58mm Classic SD, one of the smallest Victorinox knives produced.
Interestingly enough, this knife features a sliding lock. This is the first time that I have encountered this type of locking mechanism. I am more used to the liner locks. After fiddling with it a few times, I have come to a few thoughts on this mechanism. One, I like this more than a liner lock. Two, I found it awfully hard to unlock the blade during use unlike some liner locks I know and have used in the past.
A word of caution, it is very hard to spread out all the folding tools to get a photograph. This is the first knife that got me as I was preparing it. I accidentally cut my inside thumb when the main locking blade decided to come down like a guillotine. The end of the knife just nicked me. It was so sharp I didn’t even feel it until I saw the cut well up with blood. I still don’t feel it…go figure.
The back side of the Workchamp XL showing the sliding locking mechanism. Only the first blade locks on this Swiss Army Knife.
The tool list on this one is rather amazing, and to be honest, a little frightening.
We have from left to right:
1. Large locking blade.
2. Belt cutter.
3. Can opener with small flathead screwdriver.
4. Pliers with wire cutter and wire crimper.
6. Metal saw with metal file/nail file.
8. Hoof Cleaner.
9. Clip point knife blade.
10. Shackle opener with marlin spike.
11. Reamer with sewing eye (on back of knife)
12. Corkscrew with mini screwdriver (on back of knife).
13. Fine flathead screwdriver (on back of knife)
14. Bottle opener with large flathead screwdriver and wire stripper.
15. Bottle opener with medium flathead screwdriver and wire stripper.
16. Medium Phillips screwdriver.
17. Small Phillips screwdriver.
18. Key ring.
The Workchamp XL is a study in contrast. You have everything that Victorinox includes in their line of 111mm knives in one package. Therefore, this is a very useful general purpose knife. There isn’t anything that you will encounter, that this knife won’t help you with. With that said, it is so large and heavy, I cannot imagine too many people actually carrying one of these every day. This knife is very feature packed, but because of its size, it is at best something you may want to keep in a car or boat, etc…
Also, with the increase in layers, the knife isn’t all that ergonomic. Because of its width, using a single tool is downright awkward at times. You are left struggling with how to hold the knife in the best way possible. Generally, you should be prepared for compromises when handling this knife on an ergonomic standpoint.
Thankfully, this knife does not feature a one handed blade opening feature like the Jumpmaster or Rescue Tool. I say this because I am still on the fence with the one handed blade shape. I just can’t seem to hold the knife comfortably with a one hander in the closed position. That metal hump gets in the way. This knife does not have this issue for me.
Victorinox Workchamp XL:
- Victorinox quality.
- Every tool known to a 111mm Victorinox Swiss Army Knife is included.
- Sliding lock mechanism.
- Blades are not one handers, therefore, no metal hump on the blade spine to get in the way when using other tools.
- The perfect shelf queen, or the knife for the person who wants to be prepared for…um…er…everything.
- Heavy and bulky.
- Not very ergonomic.
- Not easy to use unless you memorize all the tools. You may need to hunt and peck for a while.
- The price.
- Only one blade locks.