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Special Runs?

us Offline fuyume

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Special Runs?
on: December 29, 2021, 04:07:11 PM
Hello, I’m new here, but a long-time Victorinox user. I’ve been using Victorinox knives for probably 30 years and more, so long that I can no longer remember which model was my first. It might have been a Huntsman? In the 1990s-2000s, I carried a black SwissChamp, but I think about 10-15 years ago, I settled on the Rambler as my main EDC knife, paired with a vintage Gerber Harsey AirFrame, or in the backcountry, a fixed-blade Gerber Pro-Guide II. For a short time, I carried a Midnite Minichamp II, but realised I didn’t need half the tools on it, and that the Rambler was everything I needed and nothing I didn’t—it  the perfect SAK to stash in a evening clutch if I have a formal event to attend, and Girl Scout that I will always be, I never go anywhere unprepared.

All these years loving Victorinox products, and it was only a few days ago that I discovered that:
1. There is a distinct difference between the “93 mm” soldier models and the “91 mm” officer models,
2. There is a huge community of people disassembling/reassembling SAKs into custom configurations.

So, now I am thinking strongly about going back to a 93 mm Alox model as my larger EDC knife. The Rambler will always stay in some form, but may be replaced by a custom Alox Rambler. I just haven’t fully decided what tools I want. I think I want one geared towards civilisation carry, which would have the scissors, and one geared toward backcountry use, which would have the saw and reamer.

The thing I haven’t figured out is whether I want to carry one knife in the wilderness, or whether I should have the wilderness knife set up to just supplement the civilisation knife, and carry one in town and two in the woods. I have zero need for the can opener, ever—at home I have better can openers, and in the field, I’m not carrying cans, ever, because there are better, lighter options. I have no need for a saw or a reamer in town. But I definitely want the greater robustness of the 93 mm models.

I’d really like the Pioneer X, but to replace the reamer with a small pen blade, and to replace the can opener with an electrician’s blade, although that is slightly redundant. I really like the Farmer X, but I’d want to replace the can opener with the pruning blade. The only use I have for the can opener is its ability to fit a #2 Phillips, something I don’t need in the woods, since nothing I carry has screws.

Best of all for civilisation would be a Pioneer X with a magnifying glass and in-line Phillips, cap lifter, and electrician’s blade, but then I think, that’s really 4-5 layers, making for a chunky knife. It’s the Phillips that I think is more important than the magnifier. It’s a shame I have neither a machine shop nor machining expertise. I love making things, but there are limits to how many pools I can dip my toes in at once.

I’ve been having lots of fun the past couple of days getting reacquainted with the SAK-o-sphere, and I have to say, it absolutely boggles my mind that Victorinox hasn’t taken advantage of this surge/resurgence of interest in their knives and offered customisation. That being said, clearly, Victorinox has produced special runs of apparently as few as 50 pieces on many occasions, as dealer exclusives or club membership items.

So, my question is, what does it take to get a special run made, and how does one go about doing this? Say I wanted to open a retail shop, and wanted to sell unique configurations of Victorinox knives.
冬芽 fuyume (女 she/her/anoko)


00 Offline Simon_Templar

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Re: Special Runs?
Reply #1 on: December 29, 2021, 09:01:38 PM
Don't know about the exact requirements, but it is definitely possible to get Victorinox to make special runs. Famous examples are the Victorinox-made SAKs distributed by SwissBianco as well as by the fan clubs Victorinox Swiss Army Knife Collector's Society (VSAKCS) and SOSAK. Also, the companies Mammut and Garant are known to offer Victorinox-made SAKs which are slightly different from their regular catalogue counterparts.

It also looks as if there exists a special retailer-only catalogue with "standard" models outside of the regular Victorinox range, like the Rancher X, which appear from time to time in special shop editions. I recently got a Rancher X from a German retailer, very nice and comes close to your dream knife (pruner blade instead of can opener, however with the usual inline awl).

The best way to find out would probably be to either get in touch with one of the above-mentioned SAK fan clubs or write to Victorinox directly. If you do, please keep us posted. I would be interested in the answer to this one too.


us Offline Farmer X

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Re: Special Runs?
Reply #2 on: December 29, 2021, 10:06:37 PM
The best way to find out would probably be to either get in touch with one of the above-mentioned SAK fan clubs or write to Victorinox directly. If you do, please keep us posted. I would be interested in the answer to this one too.
Me, too. The minimum quantity would be of particular interest to me.
USN 2000-2006

One to four layers of SAK is (usually) best for me.

If you have absolutely nothing better to do, my YouTube channel is awlways an option:

https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCWA0VjH6v3WS6gvLkPGk9KA/


Offline ComboTool

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Re: Special Runs?
Reply #3 on: December 30, 2021, 09:49:46 AM
While I don't have any insider knowledge from Victorinox, I'm under the impression that the special runs made for other companies are either current models or combinations of current parts. What you're suggesting (integrating the Phillips/magnifier layer in a 93mm knife) is definitely feasible (many modders have done it) but it either requires a specific backspring (if you want to use the current large magnifier/short Phillips) or resuming the production of the old grey magnifier and long Phillips (which work with a regular blade backspring). It seems unlikely, but then as I said I don't have any knowledge of how Victorinox handles special runs.


us Offline nate j

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Re: Special Runs?
Reply #4 on: December 30, 2021, 10:15:55 AM
Hello, I’m new here, but a long-time Victorinox user. I’ve been using Victorinox knives for probably 30 years and more, so long that I can no longer remember which model was my first. It might have been a Huntsman? In the 1990s-2000s, I carried a black SwissChamp, but I think about 10-15 years ago, I settled on the Rambler as my main EDC knife, paired with a vintage Gerber Harsey AirFrame, or in the backcountry, a fixed-blade Gerber Pro-Guide II. For a short time, I carried a Midnite Minichamp II, but realised I didn’t need half the tools on it, and that the Rambler was everything I needed and nothing I didn’t—it  the perfect SAK to stash in a evening clutch if I have a formal event to attend, and Girl Scout that I will always be, I never go anywhere unprepared.

All these years loving Victorinox products, and it was only a few days ago that I discovered that:
1. There is a distinct difference between the “93 mm” soldier models and the “91 mm” officer models,
2. There is a huge community of people disassembling/reassembling SAKs into custom configurations.

So, now I am thinking strongly about going back to a 93 mm Alox model as my larger EDC knife. The Rambler will always stay in some form, but may be replaced by a custom Alox Rambler. I just haven’t fully decided what tools I want. I think I want one geared towards civilisation carry, which would have the scissors, and one geared toward backcountry use, which would have the saw and reamer.

The thing I haven’t figured out is whether I want to carry one knife in the wilderness, or whether I should have the wilderness knife set up to just supplement the civilisation knife, and carry one in town and two in the woods. I have zero need for the can opener, ever—at home I have better can openers, and in the field, I’m not carrying cans, ever, because there are better, lighter options. I have no need for a saw or a reamer in town. But I definitely want the greater robustness of the 93 mm models.

I’d really like the Pioneer X, but to replace the reamer with a small pen blade, and to replace the can opener with an electrician’s blade, although that is slightly redundant. I really like the Farmer X, but I’d want to replace the can opener with the pruning blade. The only use I have for the can opener is its ability to fit a #2 Phillips, something I don’t need in the woods, since nothing I carry has screws.

Best of all for civilisation would be a Pioneer X with a magnifying glass and in-line Phillips, cap lifter, and electrician’s blade, but then I think, that’s really 4-5 layers, making for a chunky knife. It’s the Phillips that I think is more important than the magnifier. It’s a shame I have neither a machine shop nor machining expertise. I love making things, but there are limits to how many pools I can dip my toes in at once.

I’ve been having lots of fun the past couple of days getting reacquainted with the SAK-o-sphere, and I have to say, it absolutely boggles my mind that Victorinox hasn’t taken advantage of this surge/resurgence of interest in their knives and offered customisation. That being said, clearly, Victorinox has produced special runs of apparently as few as 50 pieces on many occasions, as dealer exclusives or club membership items.

So, my question is, what does it take to get a special run made, and how does one go about doing this? Say I wanted to open a retail shop, and wanted to sell unique configurations of Victorinox knives.
I might be missing something here, but it seems to me you would be well-served both in the woods and in civilization with your Rambler (or an alox version) and what is now listed as the Swiss Army 7.

The Rambler covers the scissors, will handle most Philips screws, and gives you a small blade.

The Swiss Army 7 gives you the main blade, pruning blade, saw, reamer (which can also be used as another blade), and large screwdriver.


us Offline fuyume

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Re: Special Runs?
Reply #5 on: December 30, 2021, 07:49:55 PM
Don't know about the exact requirements, but it is definitely possible to get Victorinox to make special runs. Famous examples are the Victorinox-made SAKs distributed by SwissBianco as well as by the fan clubs Victorinox Swiss Army Knife Collector's Society (VSAKCS) and SOSAK. Also, the companies Mammut and Garant are known to offer Victorinox-made SAKs which are slightly different from their regular catalogue counterparts.

It also looks as if there exists a special retailer-only catalogue with "standard" models outside of the regular Victorinox range, like the Rancher X, which appear from time to time in special shop editions. I recently got a Rancher X from a German retailer, very nice and comes close to your dream knife (pruner blade instead of can opener, however with the usual inline awl).

The best way to find out would probably be to either get in touch with one of the above-mentioned SAK fan clubs or write to Victorinox directly. If you do, please keep us posted. I would be interested in the answer to this one too.

I just realised last night that the VSAKCS 2020 Harvester X is like the perfect woods knife for me, except I’d want it in silver, instead of black. There’s Serial #001 on eBay right now, ending soon, but the bidding is already over $150.00. I almost wish I could buy it, but I want a user not a collectible, and I think the whole SAKosphere might gang up against me using 001 of 350 as a beater. :D
冬芽 fuyume (女 she/her/anoko)


nz Offline zoidberg

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Re: Special Runs?
Reply #6 on: December 30, 2021, 09:25:58 PM
I have never liked how collecting price hikes generally puts ideal users out of reach.
Had no issue tearing down a fancy gold first mate to make some daily users.

Welcome to the boards fuyume.   :cheers:


us Offline nate j

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Re: Special Runs?
Reply #7 on: December 30, 2021, 11:09:29 PM
I just realised last night that the VSAKCS 2020 Harvester X is like the perfect woods knife for me, except I’d want it in silver, instead of black. There’s Serial #001 on eBay right now, ending soon, but the bidding is already over $150.00. I almost wish I could buy it, but I want a user not a collectible, and I think the whole SAKosphere might gang up against me using 001 of 350 as a beater. :D
Nah, if you buy it and want to use it, go for it!


us Offline fuyume

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Re: Special Runs?
Reply #8 on: January 01, 2022, 05:28:43 PM
Nah, if you buy it and want to use it, go for it!

The auction just ended. The winning bid was $345.00. For that much money, I could buy three different knives and a drill press. :D
冬芽 fuyume (女 she/her/anoko)


fr Offline Lemonizer

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Re: Special Runs?
Reply #9 on: January 01, 2022, 05:36:01 PM
Jeez, no regrets then !


us Offline fuyume

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Re: Special Runs?
Reply #10 on: January 01, 2022, 07:35:55 PM
Yesterday, I had to go downtown to meet our Executive Director and pick up my paychecks for the month, deposit them, and drop off my rent check at the realty office. My boss surprised me with a small bonus, so I did the sensible thing and immediately went shopping at the two stores in town that I know carry Victorinox Swiss Army knives. Sadly, neither of them had any Alox models in stock. I was hoping I might find a NOS Settler or something.

The more I think about it, the more I realise the easiest, quickest, cheapest way for me to get the knife/knives I want to going to be to get a couple of 93 mm Alox models and drill out the rivets myself. I’m fairly confident I can do this, but I don’t own a drill press, and I would want Torx screws to replace the rivets, like Robert Lessard uses. Robert has two custom models on eBay right now, and both are in the $350 range. At that price, I may as well just buy a drill press.

Sadly, I used to actually own a floor standing drill press, but that was practically in a past life. If only I had a friend with a shop. I don’t really want to invest in shop tools at this stage of my life, I’m trying to be minimalist and portable, rather than a homesteader.
冬芽 fuyume (女 she/her/anoko)


nz Offline zoidberg

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Re: Special Runs?
Reply #11 on: January 01, 2022, 08:16:33 PM
I use a hand held battery drill. Slow and careful gets the job done.


us Offline Explorer

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Re: Special Runs?
Reply #12 on: January 02, 2022, 07:51:23 PM
Agreed a good drill and a steady hand can work just as well as a drill press. Just take it slow.
Sounds like the harvester might be a good fit for you if scissors are not a must. I’ve been thinking of picking one up myself seems like a really useful toolset.

Once you get into modding it’s like opening Pandora’s box- one can never look at a SAK the same again because the thought of switching layers around, getting rid of layers entirely or creating never before seen layer combinations is extremely addicting and fun. Wish you well on your mod journey and welcome to MTO!  :cheers:


us Offline fuyume

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Re: Special Runs?
Reply #13 on: January 02, 2022, 08:01:32 PM
I use a hand held battery drill. Slow and careful gets the job done.

Sadly, all my cordless tools were stolen a few years ago. I was between apartments, and had my tools stored in a friend’s garage. It turns out that her son is a junkie and stole all my power tools—full set of DeWalt 14.4V tools, plus a US-made DeWalt DW706 12” double-bevel miter saw—and fenced them to get heroin.

The only drill I have left is my good Metabo 1/2” corded hammer drill. It’s a bit of a beast, but it’s the only one I’ve got, now.
冬芽 fuyume (女 she/her/anoko)


fr Offline Lemonizer

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Re: Special Runs?
Reply #14 on: January 02, 2022, 08:40:05 PM
Ho damn, that really sucks...

I hope your friend will at least try to replace some of those tools !


 

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