Victorinox Swisschamp XAVT Swiss Army Knife Review
I was in the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) in Colorado, when I was young, I was dating a curly-haired young lady and I think her name was Carla, who was a little older than me. This was the early me back in those days. It was a very intriguing time in my life. God, I was such a studmuffin.
Carla, or whatever her name was, gave me a Swiss Army knife for my 15th birthday. I kept that thing for more than 30 years and later realized that I had not seen it in a while (Things tend to get lost as I have been added several times and to several military schools for the past decade). I perhaps still have it some place in the garage or in my army gear room. It is typically this model.
When I carried my knife, it was accessible for all sorts of things that I did not even know that I needed something for, which is what I loved about my knife. I was issued my Gerber multi-tool on my visit to Afghanistan (because it’s just mind-blowing). Don’t get me wrong, I do love it, but it doesn’t have the history that the Swiss Army knife does.
Karl Elsener started his cutlery production line in the small village of Ibach, Switzerland, in 1884. He made the Victorinox Original Swiss Army Knife to distribute to the Swiss Soldiers, in 1897. It turned into a legend. His great-grandson Carl now maintains the business.
Victorinox Swisschamp XAVT Swiss Army Knife
I know many people who got them as gifts when they were young or saved up enough money to buy one on their own. Granted, in my situation it could partly be because it was from the first “real” girlfriend I ever had. I had to get one the hard way by wooing her and asking her out as I could never afford one. It was great that I got a knife out of the deal.
To me, a Swiss Army knife is somewhat similar to a Colt 1911, or a P51 Mustang, Guinness, a Harley, or a Ferrari that is instantly recognizable, has a history, and works extremely well. There is just something to be said about tradition.
That is the reason why it really jumped out at me when I came across this knife. It is kind of a full-on compact system of survival and elf workshop tools, all in one, because of which it is actually hard to call it a knife. One day Carla’s dad came home early and thought we were in school, which is when I saw it and curiosity took a hold of me. I was pleasantly surprised, not about the Carla’s dad. The knife had impressed me. However, he was not pleasant that day.
I am always looking for things that can cut down on space or weight in survival gear as well as serve more than one function. I think this knife will work simply great. I will just have to update my Top 7 prepper / survival / camping gifts for preppers article just to include this one. I did not want to simply lump it in there or some of you would miss it.
So which knife is it that I am talking about?
It is the Victorinox Swiss Army SwissChamp XAVT
Just take a look at that thing. It is just chock full of tool and goodness with a wide range of things that I could have used at one point or another throughout the years and did not have with me.
So what is in the XAVT Swiss Army knife?
- Bottle opener with
-large screwdriver 6 mm
- Key ring
- Multi-purpose hook (also parcel carrier)
- Fine screwdriver 2 mm
- Pliers with
-wire crimping tool
- Large blade
- Small blade
- Can opener with
-small screwdriver 3 mm
- Combination tool with cap lifter
- Electrician’s blade with wire scraper
- Pharmaceutical spatula
- Watch opener
- Fine screwdriver 2 mm
- Wood saw
- Fishscaler with
-ruler (cm & inches)
- Nail file with
- Wrench with
-5mm female Hex drive for D-SUB connectors
-4mm female Hex drive for the bits
-Bit Phillips 0 (Pozidrive)
-Bit Phillips 1 (Pozidrive)
-Bit Slotted 4 mm
-Bit Hex 4 mm
-Bit Torx 10
-Bit Torx 8
-Bit Torx 15
-Bit Phillips 2
- Large blade
- LED light, white
- Phillips screwdriver
- Magnifying Glass
- Ball point pen
- -also to set DIP-Switches
- Sewing eye
- Multi-purpose hook with nail file
- Pruning blade
- Digital clock
And why do you require all that stuff really?
Now I don’t know about that highfalutin digital stuff on the side of the knife however I guess it’s alright. Dropping it in water doesn’t hurt the electronics from what I have read, but I don’t know how long you could hold it under water. It ought to be useful for surviving rainstorms or a wet t-shirt contest however so you are great, and it will still cut just fine without it. It doesn’t come with cupholders.
Besides, why do you require all that stuff really?
Additionally, don’t expect that you will be able to start a fire with a magnifying glass that will fit on a knife, which you won’t. I would suggest getting a cheap fresnel lens that is about the size and weight of a piece of paper to start a fire with the sun from something you can carry effortlessly in a bug out bag.
However the rest of this thing is pretty damn awesome! It even has a ball point pen in it.
So are there better knives available out there in the market? Absolutely, depending on what you are exactly looking for. There are greater ones, sharper ones, shinier ones, stronger ones, and so on. I have an incredible SOG SE37-N Seal Team Elite Knife I carried in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Africa that is wonderful as a combat knife or a generic survival knife but it doesn’t fit in my pocket (I actually keep my SOG on my Desert Warrior Harley tank). Besides, it’s just a single blade knife so it won’t open my wine bottle or remove a thorn from a lion’s foot.
If you want to have few quality pieces of helpful toolish gear all in one place, this one is hard to beat. Indeed , I think this is an incredible bug out bag knife.
Look, you still need to have a necessary fixed-blade or quality, large locking blade knife in your kit, probably. However, there will be times that you’ll have to do things that a basic knife just won’t do. The reasons why Switzerland wasn’t invaded in WWII are Swiss Army knives and those dogs with the kegs of brandy on their necks. They are feisty animals with bad habits. The dogs, not the Swiss. The Swiss are pretty cool absolutely. Particularly the ones that make yummy chocolate.
This thing has a lot more things on it than my SOG; it is like having half your survival tool kit all in one convenient place. And almost all of them are useful (don’t know why would you require a timer for in a survival situation, other than for pattern-of-life recon but whatsoever).
Victorinox Swisschamp XAVT – Biggest?
You may think that this XAVT is the biggest Swiss Army knife out there. On the contrary, that would be the Wenger 16999 Swiss Army Knife. It’s a cracking beast! (However, there are some amusing reviews on this)
The XAVT is cool and useful enough, however that simply having it would be great even if I did not keep it in my kit. It is one of those unique things that will start a conversation. The next time you’re having your soiree hoedown, just put it out on your coffee table and see how many people touch it.
Something like this is not just a knife; it is a part of history. I think that is one of the big flaws it has. It is an awesome collector’s item, it’s great for showing off, and it is very useful.
It’s too huge for an EDC kit (unless you have really huge pockets or carry on your shoulder an angry every day, yet desperate little monkey named Clyde who has a tiny backpack and fear of clowns) but it is ideal for a bug out bag or to be placed in your car/truck or in your camping gear.
By the way, the XAVT also has a leather pouch available that you can utilize to carry it on your strap or belt onto the outside of a bag. I like leather.
Other Victorinox Swisschamp XAVT Reviews
But how great is it? I know that Swiss Army knives are super reliable and all that yet I did not know about something that was this is packed full of stuff so I dug into the reviews.
Here are some of the reviews on the manufacturer’s page. Incredible reviews, but there are only a few there, so go ahead and read them. Anyway, I gotta get another beer real quick.
Reviews (other than the cost) are the big profit to buying things on Amazon. I generally check their reviews, even when I don’t buy something there (sometimes I just get that itch and see something in the store and would prefer not to wait a couple of days for it to be delivered to me). The time when I wrote this, there were a few that were only 3 stars but all the rest were higher. There were 48 reviews, and they say this thing is amazing. Here are a couple of the three star reviews to give you an idea:
Collector: This fine product is very handy. If your usual clothing does not have pockets, you can simply hide this in your sock. Anyways, there is a small design flaw, it is not very quiet. When you drop it on your foot it makes a very loud sound.
Shuleelee: Oh wow! Over $300 and it has all that you need to survive except directions LOL. I guess I will keep looking for the perfect Swiss army knife.
S. J. Huse: I discovered this knife while hiking through Europe; it was stuck in a rock. It’s nice yet I found that by pulling it out I became king of Switzerland, which is a little more than I negotiated for.
Victorinox Swisschamp XAVT – Survival Conclusion
Even if you are buying this as a special gift for yourself or a gift for someone special who likes camping or just being prepared set up at all times, you cannot go wrong with this knife. It’s quite wonderful.
Fortunately, they do make Swiss Army knives for mortals. Obviously not everyone has the budget to get the creamy-cream, line-topper knife. And a few people, when they try to eat, want to actually carry their knife with them without having food stolen out of their hands.
So, in case if you are looking for one of those gifts that pretty much anyone who is not an exquisite dependent, you just can’t go wrong with one of these. It’s a no-brainer gift for anyone who tinkers, camps, or walk around opening boxes at will or just likes to fix stuff. It’s one of those gifts that will make even the gravest, hardcore prepper squeal with glee too.
Would you like to get one of these as a gift? Or think they might be keen on reading this? Share this post with someone.