Crap or ok?

Steel criticism

I have been talking and writing on several places over the years about the steel used in Victorinox SAKs. It is fun to follow the view from other people and their take on the subject. Many times the steel get undeserved criticism. This can be because of several reasons with a wide spread knowledge base. It is also so that some of this criticism is justified from time to time. I will explain further my view on this situation. The word crap can have a range of meanings. Some would say it is a crap steel and at the same time say they love the products. It is an understandable way of saying it maybe.

Most understand that the functionality is very important and also know that Victorinox usually do not have a “hard steel philosophy”. The Swiss Army Knives are made with the Company values incorporated into them. If you know the Company you also know that different steels can be found in them.  That said this selection can be narrow and the steel used in the traditional SAKs compared with the Hunter Pro can be too small for most. It can be a jump to the Damasteel perhaps but not for hunting. My view is that Victorinox makes a superb Swiss Army Knife with a beautiful functionality. If you sometimes have doubts I can give you a hint and a take on the mindset I use. It is a pretty simple philosophy and it is that ask yourselves -Doesn’t the knife perform? Is there a situation in which your knife did not make the cut? This is helpful because it would take an extra ordinary situation for the SAKs to fail. It is not so that a steel type that need frequently sharpening and is not hard is a crap steel. Anyway if a person call it so doesn’t mean he or she hate it. It is highly likely they have several Victorinox knifes for EDC or other tasks. Many times it is so that a cost effective production will not allow a better selection of steel for the blades. The price and cost could climb significally. One never knows with Victorinox, it is unpredictable to know for sure. I will have to do some more research to be sure on what the direction is now. Victorinox is a Company that listens to users and demand. The Swiss Army Knife is still a high quality pocket knife with a worldwide interest. There is a saying that says it is what it is and that is a smart thing to have in mind. It performs for what it is intended or made for no matter what. It is for sure something in it when knife people and influencers speak about a better steel selection. Today there are many users that without any problems could handle the requirements harder steel got. Many would be able to sharpen them easy and have a comfort of an edge durability that would last 3 or 4 times longer. I personally would enjoy such an option and there are a long list of steel types that could be interesting, S30V S35VN, Elmax M390 and many more. It would be no problem for Victorinox to do this. It would probably not be as cost effective and it would demand a price point well over double, perhaps 3 times higher. It would be most fair if this limited selection could be made available over the world and not just in a specific area. The question arises if this is necessary? Would it be a demand for it? There is a growing critic from knife people and users that indicates that it could be a smart move for Victorinox to develop this.

Somehow silence is golden and the word crap is sometimes meant in full extent when people compare modern super steels with the typical Victorinox steel. The edge durability can be surpassed 10 times. It gives a perspective on the differences between only double the costs between them.  So a steel that is 3 times as expensive would have even higher than 10 times the durability. It is a tempting thought for many I would say.

The Victorinox traditional steel is by no means crap. It performs and it is a dedicated pocket knife for EDC. Preferred by millions of people and it performs for them. One could also say that perhaps the SAK is the best as it is. Or even better said: it is already the best…………..

There are many aspects and views on steel. Many do the mistake by saying “harder steel is better” Even so it is obvious that it would be stepping up the quality. M390 would probably be incredible.

The SAK is advanced and there are many factors involved when changing it. For example that Sandvik 12c27 can be tuned up to 59HRC with double the edge durability as the traditional Victorinox steel and it could be around the same price. There are many beautiful possibilities. There is a significant difference between the normal person and the experienced knife guy. Another factor that strikes me is that it could make the situation for Victorinox more complex.  12c27 is easy to sharpen and it avoids the too soft sphere and it got incredible abilities on wood. That is an ability Victorinox got for the SAKs. The ability to be a wood carver.

By this article I am once again just touching the aspects of the situation. Victorinox is known for correct hardening, precision, functionality and quality. It is an advanced knife but the simplicity of sharpening is done in seconds compared to what would require electrical wheel, electrical devices or the experienced stone user. I can do it but for sure it was not learned over night to use freehand diamond tools. Once it is trained it is wonderful.

One of the biggest reasons for criticism today around the globe is the huge differences with the wear resistance and edge durability. The difference between M390 and the traditional Victorinox steel is enormous. The wear resistance and durability are also dramatically overdone and too much for most users. It is very easy for a steel to be called crap when the difference is supernatural. In a way the world is going forward slightly off balance. It is not a the correct comparison. Super steels can be unpredictable when the edge is very slim.



Luxury Brand


Victorinox is a global brand and that makes several product categories. The watches are just incredible with a superb quality. Many forget that several pocket knives or SAKs are into the luxury product designation even with the traditional steel that is around 56HRC. It is a relieving feeling to have a product with precision, functionality, design, high quality and correct hardening.. It is a combination of materials that performs. It is a luxury feeling in every sense with such a precision, functionality, design and quality. The 93mm and 84mm Alox models today are just superb! The 91mm is one of the absolute best EDC choices all over the world. Perhaps it is a shock to many that several models are into the luxury sphere? With the traditional steel this could be strange for some. Swiss Army Knives is a perfected EDC solution that is hard or almost impossible to top. Over the world you may learn that the number of people using Victorinox products is into millions, most likely hundreds of millions. I read an estimated number one place before. I could not find it right now. A better steel selection is not necessary but it would settle the dust, dispute or demand. Another thing you will find said across the world is “That Victorinox quality”. By this they mean the satisfaction, safety and performance the products give. With a SAK in the pocket you carry products that been there, done that and will not fail. It means that some knife users get tired of the steel chase and retreats to the safe and traditional solution.


 It is also so with chasing super steels can be a problem. It can be a chase that may lead people to disappointing experiences. That said I am for development in steel and I like some of it.




12.12.2021 watch case openers

Watch case opener functionality can be useful and relieving to have. The Victorinox designs works well for these tasks. The 84mm alox models usually got a large main blade and the watch case opener tool. There are several variations and models in history. They are all quality made and typically found with advertisings on the handle scales. I know for a fact that it is not always the watch case opener function that is used for opening watches but also the main blade with its edge is used too. Metal vs. metal require some precision and sharp eye. 

15.12.2021 WorkChamp

This is my latest 111mm Victorinox SAK for my collection. The WorkChamp 111mm got the heavy functionality which can be used for almost everything.

The construction on the 111mm liner-lock category is superb and I am really glad I finally have this model too. Models like this makes it easy to like Swiss Army Knives!


Everything is perfect on this tool and well oiled from the factory. SAKs got some serious quality.

15:09 This is what 100% precision looks like.

15:12 Really nice SAK

16.12 2021 MT?

The WorkChamp got pliers which is not full size. You got some functions that are very large. Larger than the SwissTool got, for example the very large metal-file/saw and wood saw. For some users this type of 111mm SAKs can be used as a multi-tool. 

09:45 comparison

10:41 I do like slip-joints very much. Locking mechanisms can be extra important for safety.

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26.07 | 23:05

Hi and thank you very much for question. The closest I know is the Master Fisherman 1.4753.72. The. 73 is related to what inlay it got maybe. Best Regards Trond

26.07 | 19:22

Hello Trond,
I received a Mechanic in a red/white Victorinox box. The box is stamped item number 1.47 53.73. Do you know what knife goes in this box? Not Mech

01.07 | 23:13

Hi, sure I would like to see, BR.

01.07 | 16:24

Hello Trond.

Would you be interested in seeing progress pictures
Of my custom Champ with Voyager digital clock scales.
I could email them to you.


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