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Choosing the Best Travel Knife - The Swiss Army Knife

Updated on June 12, 2014

My Original Travel Knife

One of 3 Knives I own.
One of 3 Knives I own. | Source

Why do you need a Travel Knife?

Before you head off on your adventure you should ensure that you have the proper equipment to make your trip as enjoyable and unforgettable as possible and the right travel knife will be one of those items.But it's only a travel knife I hear you cry!

Cast your mind forward and think of all the times you will turn to your trusty travel knife. Opening a bottle of the local favourite to enjoy as the sun sets. An al fresco picnic with fresh brie and crusty bread. Opening that cold beer after a long hike in the blazing sun. Even writing out your visa application in a crowded bus station, whilst all around you search for that elusive pen.

Every one of these activities will be well catered for by a properly chosen travel knife. Now the question is which one will suit your needs the best.

Here are my recommendations for the intrepid traveller.

The 'Compact' Swiss Army Knife

Victorinox Swiss Army Compact Pocket Knife, Black
Victorinox Swiss Army Compact Pocket Knife, Black

The Victorinox Compact is the perfect knife to take travelling. It comes complete with almost every accessory you will need, it is small in size and it comes with a lifetime warranty. I have one and couldn't recommend it highly enough.

 

A little over the top...

Even the most timid of travellers wouldn't need all of these!
Even the most timid of travellers wouldn't need all of these! | Source

What to look for in a Travel Knife - And Why!

The minimum requirement for any travel knife is to have the following:

- One decent 2" blade. Perfect for cutting cheese, bread or just a piece of loose string.

- Corkscrew. There is nothing more disastrous than being in the south of France and not being able to open your bottle of Bordeaux. Don't be reduced to screw top bottles and live to regret that for a lifetime!

- Bottle opener. Every traveller needs to open a beer or soda at some stage.

- Tweezers. For removing rouge splinters and jammed SIM cards from your mobile phone.

- Small scissors. Perfect for cutting loose threads, bandages, fingernails and visa photos.

- Can opener. Tinned tuna and baked bean cans are impenetrable without a good portable can opener. Perfect budget travel food!

- Small pen. When travelling there are always forms that need completing or for giving your new friend your email address.

A knife with this combination of implements makes for the perfect travelling companion.

Other options that I have found handy in the past are:

- Small compass. Useful for when your guide book (Lonely Planet I am looking at you!) gives you the helpful direction of ' Head north from the bus station.'

- Leather Punch. When travelling my girth either expands or contracts, depending on the company and enjoyment of the local food and drink. Perfect for punching new holes in your belt.

- Nail file. Travelling can be hell on your nails.

The other useful thing about a good travel knife is that should the worst come to the worst you can use it as a self defence tool, though my recommendation if you are caught in a dark alley, is to hand over whatever the crooks demand, but sometimes that just isn't enough. Your travel knife may prove the difference between life and death in these extreme circumstances.

The Victorinox 'Climber'

Victorinox Original Swiss Army Climber Pocket Knife (Red)
Victorinox Original Swiss Army Climber Pocket Knife (Red)

Another great travel knife from Victorinox. The climber yet again has almost everything the traveller needs. No longer will corks, cans or too small belts be your enemy!

 

I'm not alone in believing the 'Climber' is a Great Knife

What do you take Travelling?

What's in your Backpack?

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The 'Spartan'

Victorinox Swiss Army Knife Spartan (Red)
Victorinox Swiss Army Knife Spartan (Red)

Don't have much money or are just happy with the basic entry point travel knife? Then the Spartan is perfect for you. As its name suggests this is a bare bones knife that covers all the basics. A great everyday knife.

 

A Comparison of Swiss Army Travel Knives

Knives Name
2" Blade
Corkscrew
Bottle Opener
Tweezers
Scissors
Can Opener
Pen
Compass
Leather Punch
Nail File
Compact
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
No
No
X
Spartan
X
X
X
X
No
X
No
No
X
No
Mountaineer
X
X
X
X
X
X
No
No
X
X
Climber
X
X
X
X
X
X
No
No
X
No
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The 4 knives above are all compact, reasonably priced and have the majority of accessories I believe every traveller should have. The lack of a small compass on these knives can easily be fixed with a mini compass and superglue.

Maybe the most Useful Video you will Ever Watch!

What type of Travel Knife do you use?

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    • debarebear profile image

      Dani Forster 4 years ago from Melbourne

      I bought my swiss army knife from THE home of swiss army knives, Switzerland and I have never regretted it! It goes on all my travels!!

    • stephaniedas profile image

      Stephanie Das 3 years ago from Miami, US

      Nice article on an indispensable travel tool. I'm tweeting it!

    • profile image

      Ian Cooper 2 years ago

      I've carried a Swiss Army Knife for over 3 decades. My current everyday carry knife is a Wenger Evolution S17: it's the same width as the Victorinox Mountaineer, but it has a wood saw and a locking main blade, and its scissors spring is less prone to breaking.

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