Victorinox SwissTool Spirit ReviewJune 15, 2013
- Contoured handles
- The amount of tools for the size
- Over-built locking mechanism
- The minimal distance between the soft and hard wire cutters
- Accessing tools with shorter fingernails can be difficult
- Lack of a dedicated plain knife blade
If you don’t mind paying a little bit more for a tool that not only works great, but looks good doing it, this is the multi-tool for you. The SwissTool Spirit is built with Victorinox’s well-established integrity and provides a multitude of useful tools. With proper care and cleaning, this could be the multi-tool you hand off to your children.
The SwissTool Spirit lands on the high end of the cost spectrum, but once you begin to use it you understand why. Most multi-tools are built to perform and lack aerodynamics and styling—the Spirit has all three. It’s visually elegant, with a high polished stainless steel casing and handles angled to meet the contour of your hand.
Construction & Materials
The Spirit lacks a complex internal frame system, but makes up for it in the thickness of its arms and the supports found at its pivot points. It feels solid in your hand when opening and operating the tool. All pivot points use a pressed bolt so the mechanism won’t loosen.
The frame locks on this tool are more than what is needed, but provide you the added audible sense of security that the tool you are using is definitely locked into place. The button for the locks is on the side of the tool and out of the way but are almost too small for the tool. In short, the lock engages beautifully, but struggles to disengage, which could prove to be annoying when trying to use multiple tools.
The Spirit uses 12C27M for the blades and some of the tools. It’s a good, affordable stainless steel which holds up well against water, salt water and saps. I would be weary using it with corrosives, as the finish won’t hold up to them very well. It has a Rockwell of 55-59, which is great for durability and edge retention.
This is a very pretty tool, so the upkeep on something like this might be a little higher than a tool with less of a polished finish. The pivot points are held together with pressed pins, so they cannot be easily removed by the user (so if something were to malfunction on the tool, it would need to be sent back to Victorinox).
Some of the competitors are more worried about the carry weight of their tools. Victorinox doesn’t seem as concerned with weight as much as they are with durability. Thicker steel means stronger tools and stronger tools means more possibilities for use.
Pliers and Wire Cutter
The rounded arms of the pliers allow for you to get a really hearty grip on whatever you’re trying to twist and turn, and they don’t slip under pressure. Discerning between the “soft” and “hard” wire cutters can be a little bit confusing at first, but is not a big deal as both can handle cutting through common house wire.
Design/Ease of Use
This tool was designed to be used and abused. Even after being run through mud and sand, it still opens and operates as if it were a new tool. The one issue I have with it is the overly polished arms. If your hands have any moisture on them, the tool is prone to slip because of the high polish finish. When applying downward force while screwing, the tool itself holds in place, but your hand will slip down it fairly easy.
Having all of the tools, besides the pliers, recessed into the handles and accessible from the outside of the tool is a very nice feature. You may, however, find it difficult to open some of the tools unless you have longer fingernails.
Both the knife and saw blades maintained a good edge in testing and everyday use. This particular model came with a multi-edged blade in place of a standard plain-edged blade. It took a little time getting used to cutting something that was mostly serrated—though not a saw—but it cut through rope and cardboard smoothly. It will be a little difficult to sharpen once that time comes.
Soft Wire Cutter (for wire up to hardness of 40 HRC)
Wire Cover Cutter
Coupling for Corkscrew
Hard Wire Cutter
Closed Length: 4.25”