The SwissTool X is shown on the left. On the right is the SwissTool RS.
The difference between the SwissTool X and the SwissTool RS is that the SwissTool X features the metal file/saw and the SwissTool RS features the curved seatbelt cutter.
Both the SwissTool X and SwissTool RS come standard with a black cordura pouch.
The rear of the pouch features a belt loop for carry on the hip.
Both the SwissTool X and SwissTool RS have the same dimensions and fit into the same pouch.
An alternative to the SwissTool X and SwissTool RS is the SwissTool Spirit. Like the SwissTool X and SwissTool RS, the SwissTool Spirit is a beautifully crafted multitool that has been designed with maximum ergonomics and utility in mind. The SwissTool Spirit is smaller and lighter than the SwissTool X and SwissTool RS, and features a more ergonomic shape to the handles when the pliers are opened. The ruler function on the SwissTool X and RS is lost however.
Individual tools can be opened from the outside of the handle without having to open the pliers.
When one tool is withdrawn, the other tools remain in place and do not splay outside as on competing designs from other makers.
The reason is because the tools are not held stationary with tension as on competing designs. The Spirit features small leaf springs on the handle that hold the other tools down and keep them stationary while you are opening one tool to use it. Note how opening one tool, in this case the bottle opener, does not affect the spring tension on the other tools.
Each and every tool positively locks into place when opened. Spring pressure holds the tools in both the open and closed positions. However, the open tools are positively locked open with a mechanical locking mechanism not unlike that of the Benchmade AXIS Lock.
To close a tool, simply slide the spring-loaded release button and fold the tool away. Again, the tool is spring-loaded and will snap shut.
Within the handle there is a small leaf spring that pushes the lock buttons into engagement.
The largest tool on the Spirit is the plier. The Spirit is shaped so that the plier handles will be ergonomic in shape and comfortable to use. The edges of the handles are rounded and curved, and will not cause discomfort to the user, even when he must exert high amounts of gripping force during use.
The handles are spring-loaded against the plier jaws and remain stationary relative to the plier jaws during use. The handles snap open and snap closed relative to the plier jaws. This is in stark contrast to competing designs where the handles are held to the plier jaws with friction only, and the handles swing relative to the jaws. This is frustrating to say the lease.
The plier jaws are a multipurpose design and feature needlenose tips, flat gripping surfaces, concave gripping surfaces, and wire cutter/wire stripper jaws. As a general-purpose plier, this design is hard to beat.
The wire cutter will handle wires up to 40 HRc in hardness and will, of course, strip the insulation off wires.
The scissors on the Spirit differ from previous Victorinox designs.
The scissors are spring-loaded as with previous designs, but the leaf spring is not a machined part.
The scraper is also different from previous designs, and feature multiple cutting/scraping edges.
The scraper has V and concave scrapers.
The tip of the scraper has both forward and side scrapers.
The serrated blade is a sheepsfoot shape, presumably to prevent one from using it for stabbing.
The edge is serrated.
The metal file features teeth on three sides. The teeth on the thin edge function as a metal saw.
For cutting wood the Spirit comes with a wood saw.
The Spirit is equipped with a Phillips screwdriver,
as well as several different slotted screwdrivers. The tips of both the can opener and bottle opener function as medium and large slotted screwdrivers.
The reamer/awl is useful for making holes in leather and fabric, as well as enlarging preexisting holes in soft materials.
The sides of the handles feature holes that function as both lanyard holes and a receptacle for a detachable corkscrew (sold separately).
The Spirit comes standard with a brown leather sheath.
Victorinox manufactures more than multitools. The Victorinox master cutlers have applied their unique ingenuity and techniques to design a kitchen cutlery line of very high quality. This cutlery is hot drop forged and ice tempered by master forgers in Solingen, Germany. Then the forgings are shipped to Victorinox in Ibach, Switzerland for application of their famous proprietary edge and rigid quality-control finishing. The result is beautifully balanced and perfectly weighted knives with full-tang construction, bolsterless edge, and ergonomic handle design.
All of the Forged Professional blades are constructed from a high-carbon stainless steel (X50CrMo V15) alloy.
The blade, bolster, and tang are hot-forged from a single piece of steel for increased elasticity and maximum strength. The hot forgings are ice-tempered to create a hardened blade that will hold its edge after prolonged use.
A key feature of the Forged Professional Collection is that the knives feature a bolsterless edge. That is, they permit use of the entire edge from front to back. Compare the two knives above. The Henckels at the bottom has the traditional bolster. The very back of the edge is not usable. The Victorinox Forged Professional at the top has a bolster like all good forged knives. However, the bolster does not interfere with the use of the entire edge. The sharpened edge runs the entire length of the blade. The bolsterless edge is a decided advantage. If you think it is not, then it is probably because you are accustomed to using forged cutlery with bolsters and accustomed to working around the bolster's disadvantages. Once you use a bolsterless edge, you will find that the sharpened rear of the blade makes a tremendous difference in utility.
One of the reasons the Santoku design has gained such popularity in recent years is because Santokus typically have a full-length cutting edge while equivalent chef's knives do not. All knives in the Victorinox Forged Professional Collection feature bolsterless edges.
The traditional bolster also interferes with sharpening. Knife-sharpening systems like the Edge Pro can work around the bolster, but most sharpeners cannot.
A second key feature of the Forged Professional Collection is the ergonomic handle design.
The handle material is Poly Oxy Methylene (POM), a soft black plastic that will hold its shape and will not crack or separate from the tang. The POM material feels closer to the pliable plastic used on Pelican Protector Cases instead of the traditional hard black plastic that tends to crack with use and age. The POM slabs are riveted to the tang and then finished flush with the tang.
The Victorinox Forged Professional handles do not follow the traditional handle design. Above are shown Henckels and Victorinox Forged Professional sandwich knives. The Henckels features the traditional bird's head handle, with the spine of the handle being straight. The Forged Professional features the ergonomic shape with upswept spine.
Here are two 8" slicers. On the left is a Henckels and on the right is the Forged Professional. Both handles feature almost identical amounts of "belly" in the handle and are very similar on the bottom of the handles. It is at the top where the handles differ greatly, as the Forged Professional features upsweep on the spine of the handle.
This shot illustrates much better the amount of upsweep in the Forged Professional's spine.
This is how the handles look from the rear.
The belly and upsweep are designed to work in coordination.
Note how the upsweep fills the hollow of the hand. Handles with a straight spine like the traditional Henckels or Wüsthof do not do this.
The fingers close on the handle's belly and immediately to the rear of it.
When the knife is held in this position, it is very secure and may be secured by a light and lively hold. Thus, the knife is less fatiguing to control and use. We really like this handle design and apparently so do the knife manufacturers. More and more, the manufacturers are abandoning the traditional bird's head design and going with similar designs to this one. Already, Henckels has its "Twin Cuisine" line with a similar handle shape. Wüsthof also has its "Grand Prix" and "Culinar" lines as well with very similar handles.
We opine, however, that the Forged Professional handles are better designed and easier to use than the Twin Cuisine, Grand Prix, and Culinar handles. The reason is the Forged Professional handles have retained the flat sides on the handles. The flat sides of the handle are parallel with the cutting edge, and give the user instant and reliable index of how the cutting edge is oriented and will cut. The ovalized handles on the Twin Cuisine, Grand Prix, and Culinar provide much better blade indexing than the terribly designed round handles, but they do not match the blade indexing of the slab-sided designs.
One of the reasons the traditional bird's head handle has held for so long despite its incorrect shape is that it offers excellent blade indexing. When you hold this handle in your hand, you know exactly how the edge is oriented and how it is going to cut when you put the blade into action.
The Forged Professional handle provides better ergonomics than the bird's head handle, and better blade indexing than the Culinar-style handles. This handle is our favorite of the currently available, production kitchen knives.
All knives in the Forged Professional Collection are laser etched with the Victorinox logos and part number.
No single knife can do it all, at least not well, and thus the Forged Professional Collection is made up of several different knives. Each knife is optimized for its particular task, from length, to weight, to handle size, to edge design, to blade surface, to balance, and so on.
Blade shapes are optimized for their intended use. When required or beneficial, grantons or serrations are fitted so that a particular knife can perform its intended task better than a general-purpose piece.
The most versatile knife in the western kitchen is the chef's knife. The chef's may be used for cutting, slicing, chopping, and mincing. The curved edge allows rocking back and forth for fine chopping and mincing. Chef's knives come in blade lengths from 6 to 12 inches. The longer the blade, the more leverage you have and the more slicing power you can generate. However, the longer the blade, the more difficult it will be to control on the finer cuts.
The Forged Professional 10" Chef's is designed for people who prefer a larger chef's knife and for those who prefer to switch to something like a 7" Santoku for their finer cuts instead of using a single 8" Chef's for everything.
The 10" Chef's is a large knife It's about equal in size (but not in weight) to a Cold steel Laredo Bowie, which has a 10.5" blade. The 10" Chef's is large enough and heavy enough and the balance blade-heavy enough to perform most of the cuts and light chops required of a light cleaver.
The 10" Granton Edge Slicer is optimized for slicing cooked poultry, roasts, and hams.
The 10" Granton Edge Slicer gets its name from the grantons ground into the sides of the blade. These grantons permit very thin and delicate slicing because they prevent meat slices from adhering to the sides of the blade.
The 10" Granton Edge Slicer also features a very thin blade, enabling the blade to slice through whereas a thicker knife like a chef's knife would wedge. The balance of the 10" Granton Edge Slider is neutral for control while cutting large pieces of meat.
The 9" Bread is optimized for cutting breads and cakes.
Many breads have a hard crust that will prevent a slicer or chef's knife from biting into and gripping the bread when you start to cut instead of skidding across the hard crust like standard knives.
To bite into the hard crust, the 9" Bread's edge is serrated and the blade is stiff. The balance of the 9" Bread is neutral for control while cutting bread.
Not all breads feature a hard crust. Many breads and soft cakes have soft crusts. A chef's knife used on this soft crust will compress the bread or cake and ruin it. The 9" Bread's serrated edge permits the knife to saw through the soft breads and cakes without compressing them.
The 8" chef's knife is probably the most popular kitchen knife in the Western world.
The Forged Professional 8" Chef's follows the traditional chef's knife design, but with the ergonomic handle shape and the bolsterless edge. The balance of the 8" Chef's is slightly blade-heavy to facilitate heavier cuts.
The 8" Slicer is the same length as the 8" Chef's, but features a lighter weight blade with a thinner cross section to optimize this knife for slicing. The thinner blade makes the 8" Slicer much less likely to wedge on deeper cuts, and the blade has a much more general-purpose shape than specialized tools such as the 10" Granton Edge Slicer.
The 6" sandwich knife lies between the typical the 8" chef's knife and 4" paring knife, both in terms of size and function. The sandwich knife features the same proportions, curves, and angles as the chef's and paring knives and thus switching from one of these knives to the other for different cuts becomes second nature.
The 6" Wide Utility is Victorinox's interpretation of the sandwich knife design. The handle on this knife is slightly larger than typically seen on sandwich knives, making this knife suitable for heavier tasks than is normally seen by sandwich knives. (You can always go down to the paring knife if you want something smaller.) The balance is decidedly handle-heavy for greater blade control while performing finer cuts.
Of course the ergonomic handle shape is there.
And like all of the knives in the Forged Professional Collection, the 6" Wide Utility knife features a bolsterless edge, with the cutting edge going back to the rearmost portion of the blade. The larger handle plus the bolsterless edge make the 6" Wide Utility seem larger than it is.
The paring knife is a must-have kitchen tool, and is optimized for smaller and more delicate cuts such as peeling apples, cutting fruit, butterflying shrimp, and seeding small chilies and peppers. The paring knife has a very small and thin blade that make it easy to maneuver for delicate or complex cuts.
While much smaller, the paring knife features the same proportions, curves, and angles as the chef's and sandwich knives and thus switching from one of these knives to the other for different cuts becomes second nature.
The Forged Professional 3" Parer follows the traditional lines of most paring knives, but features the ergonomic handle shape and bolsterless edge. The balance is decidedly handle-heavy for greater blade control during finer cuts.
The Forged Professional 5" Serrated Steak follows the traditional lines of most steak knives.
But unlike many steak knives, the Forged Professional 5" Steak is serrated along its entire length.
If you are tired of wimpy table knives that cannot cut meat or vegetables well, give the 5" Steak a try.
We prefer serrated for our steak knives because the serrations cut food very well, but the knife does not have to be razor-sharp to do so. Razor-sharp knives on the dining table can be dangerous. Serrated is the solution.
The balance is decidedly handle-heavy for greater blade control during finer cuts.
Like all Victorinox Forged Professional knives, the 5" Serrated Steak features a high-carbon stainless steel blade, hot drop-forged construction, ice tempering, bolsterless edge, full-tang construction, and ergonomic handle design.
The Victorinox Utility Shear is for tasks that are better performed with scissors instead of knives. The handles may be used to open twist-off caps on bottles. The Utility Shear fits into the square slot in the 17 Slot Bamboo Block.
The Utility Shear features a smooth edge on one blade and a micro-serrated edge on the other. During cutting, the micro-serrated edge bites into the object to be cut.
The best way to store knives is in a block. The 17 Slot Bamboo Block holds 17 different knives.
The Bamboo Block is constructed of premium-grade bamboo that is free of artificial stains or dyes. Bamboo is stronger than maple and is more ecologically friendly. Bamboo grows much more quickly than maple is thus much more of a renewable resource than maple or other hardwoods.
The Bamboo Block is sealed with a no-maintenance finish.
The 17 different slots are sized different to house knives of different lengths and blade sizes.
The slots run all the way through the Bamboo Block to let water and debris drain from the bottom of the Bamboo Block. Four feet are screwed into the bottom of the Bamboo Block for air circulation. The four feet raise the bottom of the Bamboo Block from the countertop and let air circulate under the Bamboo Block and through the slots. The feet also prevent the block from damage if the block is rested on a wet countertop inadvertently.
A Victorinox escutcheon is inlaid into the front of the Bamboo Block.
The 17 Slot Bamboo Block is designed specifically for use with the Victorinox Forged Professional line of kitchen cutlery. The eight slots in the front of the Bamboo Block are for steak knives.
The forged bolsters of the Victorinox Forged Professional cutlery will rest against the Bamboo Block's slots. The knives are secured by gravity alone.
The slots for the larger knives are oriented horizontally so that the knives do not rest on their cutting edges.
For transporting your knives for field use, the best device we have found is the Edge-Mag. The Edge-Mag is a revolutionary idea in knife protection and safety.
Basically, the Edge-Mag is two magnetic sheets that are held together along a flexible hinge. The magnets are similar to the common refrigerator magnets in thickness and pliability.
The Edge-Mag is very easy to use. Simply fold open the Edge-Mag and place the blade against one of the sides. Rest the cutting edge against the Edge-Mag's shoulder rather than against the flexible hinge.
The magnet holds the knife firmly in position.
Close the Edge-Mag to encapsulate the blade. The Edge-Mag prevents the knife's cutting edge from cutting anything, and also prevents the knife's tip from puncturing anything.
The Edge-Mags are very thin and take very little space within your knife roll or field kitchen.
When opened, the Edge-Mag can be washed and fully dried before you reinsert your knife.
Do not insert your knife into a wet holder or the blade will corrode. Even stainless steel corrodes. The flat surfaces of the Edge-Mag are very easy to clean and dry.
When several of the Edge-Mags are stacked near each other within a knife roll, the Edge-Mags will stick to one another and prevent the knives from shifting about. The Edge-Mags are manufactured with multi-poled magnets that will not and cannot magnetize your knife blades. The Edge-Mags utilize magnetic fields that alternate every 1/8" so that there is no permanent alignment of the magnetic poles in any magnetically receptive object.
The Edge-Mag Multi-Pack contains four Edge-Mags in lengths of 7", 9", 10.5", and 12.5".
The 7" Edge-Mag will house knives like the 6" Wide Utility or smaller. If you want, you may cut/trim the Edge-Mag so that it is sized perfectly to your particular knife.
The 9" Edge-Mag will house knives like the 8" Slicer.
The 10.5" Edge-Mag will house knives like the 9" Bread.
The 12.5" Edge-Mag will house long knives like the 10" Granton Edge Slicer. Again, you may cut the Edge-Mags to fit exactly your particular knife if you desire. The Edge-Mags are inexpensive, so don't be afraid to experiment a little.
Even in camp, you can secure your knife against accidents by fitting the Edge-Mag when the knife is not in use. The Edge-Mag is so easy to use, there's no reason not to secure your blades as soon as you start serving.
This not a safe way to transport your knives. If you are fortunate, your knife will cut only your knife roll or other utensils. If you are unfortunate, your knife will cut you or somebody else.
Once placed into Edge-Mags, your knives are made safe for transport.
Fine cutlery like the Victorinox Forged Professional knives deserve to be kept sharp. Not only are sharp knives easier to use than dull knives, they are safer to use than dull knives. Dull knives require force to cut, making the likelihood of an accident much greater.
Our favorite tool for sharpening knives is the Edge Pro Knife Sharpening System. The Edge Pro gives your cutlery a precision edge that cannot be achieved using other sharpening methods.
Bevel angles are adjustable from a steep 35° to a razor-thin 10°. The effort to resharpen an Edge Pro'd knife is considerably less than with any other sharpening system, and the amount of material removed to achieve a razor-sharp edge is dramatically reduced compared to conventional sharpening systems.
Edge Pro edges are even, exact, and free of burrs, consistently, quickly, and easily every time.
The Edge Pro's patented knife guide system does not clamp the blade like inferior sharpening systems, so the Edge Pro will easily sharpen any blade length or blade shape at precisely the same angle every time. Knives like the Victorinox Forged Professional Knives are easily sharpened on the Edge Pro. The Edge Pro accommodates all blade heights, lengths, and shapes. Plain edges or granton edges do not matter on the Edge Pro.
Here is what the 7" Granton Edge Santoku's edge looks like from the factory. This is a very good factory edge.
Here is the identical knife after after the Edge Pro. Note how the edge is perfectly even and mirror polished. There is no comparison to the factory edge. The difference in slicing efficiency between the factory edge and Edge Pro edge is more dramatic than the visual difference.
Knives with thin blades often present sharpening issues because their blades easily flex and the consistency of the edge angles can be affected. This is not a problem on the Edge Pro, because the portion of the blade being sharpened rests upon the blade table during sharpening and blade flex is eliminated. Even on very long and thin bread knives, the edge remains consistent from front to back and side to side. Sharpening this Forged Professional 8" Slicer is child's play on the Edge Pro.
After an Edge Pro session, the edge looks like this. The edge is perfectly even and razor-sharp from tip to bolster.
This boning knife features a blade with recurve at the rear and a tip with a very small radius.
The Edge Pro can sharpen this odd blade shape easily. The Edge Pro edge is perfectly even and razor sharp from tip to bolster. No other sharpening method can produce such a result. While the factory edges on the Forged Professional knives are very good, they can be improved upon with the Edge Pro Sharpening System.