The SwissTool was Victorinox's first foray into the plier-type multitool market. It has since set the standard for quality of design and manufacture. The SwissTool employs outside-opening blades, allowing the user to quickly access them without opening the pliers. This arrangement also makes for a more comfortable feel to the hand when using the pliers.
At regular intervals throughout its lifespan, Victorinox has incorporated changes to the SwissTool's plier head. (See Variations below) Most significant was in 2002 when the "hand" of the plier pivot direction was reversed. Please check out the SwissTool Plier Heads page for more details.
SwissTool handles are highly polished stainless steel. One side has a metric scale up to 23mm, the other side has an inch scale up to 9 inches. The Victorinox logo and the full word are stamped onto one side, while a red Victorinox SwissTool banner is screen printed on the other.
Upon closer inspection, SwissTool handles are far more complex than they first appear. Each handle is made up of four complex components, the jewel of which is an exquisitely made set of individually cut backsprings. Each of the blades is therefore tensioned with its own individual backspring, a set of precision steel fingers that also prevents unwanted blade "clumping." No other multitool manufacturer has backsprings that can compare.
- wood saw
- can opener/small screwdriver
- cap lifter/medium screwdriver
- chisel/scraper/wire stripper
- large screwdriver/crate opener
- plain edge spear point knife blade
- file blade
- eyeglass screwdriver
- Phillips screwdriver
- fully serrated spear point knife blade
Other models come equipped with scissors and/or a serrated seat belt cutter blade. See Variations below.
- Folded length = 4-1/2" (114mm)
- Unfolded length = 6-3/4" (171.5mm)
- Thickness = 3/4" (19mm)
- Weight = 9.8 oz (276g)
Note that the "CS" model is not really a different variation, but simply the "X" model packaged with separate bits, wrench, corkscrew, and eyeglass screwdriver.
In addition to these official variations, there have been subtle changes incorporated over the years. Changes to the plier head have been most dramatic, including an upgrade in 2002 from right-hand pivot to left-hand pivot. Please see the SwissTool Plier Heads page for more details. Along with the plier head, there have been a number of slight changes made to some of the blades and tools.
A rare variation is the Charles Elsener autographed model. On this tool, the company owner's signature has been deeply etched into the handle scales.
AutoTool and the SwissTool Spirit. These plier-type multitools share many of the same design principles, including outside opening blades and individual backsprings.
- Victorinox SwissTool owner's manual
- SwissTool Review at Multitool.org
- SwissTool page at SAKWiki
- SwissTool Plier Head evolution
- SwissTool Plier Head evolution discussion at MTO forum