It is nearly the smallest , but no knife has more features. The features present on the Classic are each very useful & functional, despite their tiny stature.
Swiss Army Knives (commonly referred to as SAK’s) have been around a long time functioning as a compact toolkit of sorts. They come in a vast range of sizes containing a variety of tools. Discount Knives has a page on the VICTORINOX line with an extensive selection. An SAK was one of my first knives, and I have had many over the years. The main advantage over other knives is the fact that they are multi-function doing more than just blade work. The disadvantage over other knives is that they are not as good at doing real blade work.
Swiss Army Classic
The Classic is the most common Swiss Army Knife; it is considered the ‘primary’ (or base) 58mm Victorinox knife. The Classic SD has a ScrewDriver tip on the nail-file/cleaner tool and is often simply referred to as a Classic, while technically being a widespread variation.
The Classic is available in an extensive range of colors and handles materials. It is also a viral model to be branded with a company logo.
There are some other 58mm knives with the same blade configuration. However, as a general rule, to be a Classic, the knife must have the Keyring, Toothpick, and Tweezers. There are a few exceptions to this rule; when the scales are metal, these knives do not have the Tweezers or the Toothpick; The Alox Classic SD, the Brushed Stainless Steel Classic, and knives in the Classic SD Sterling Series.
To make the definition just a little more imprecise, the knives with machined stainless steel scales are known as the Broker. There is a particular issue Classic SD series made for Tiffany Co. that have Sterling Silver scales with the toothpick and the tweezers.
Pen Blade 58mm
This is the knife blade found on nearly every 58mm knife. The back and the edge of the blade slope at the same degree to the point (also known as a Spear Point). The Pen Blade is very well suited to smaller tasks. It is only produced in a straight edge, non serrated, version.
The Nail File often replaces a second small blade on 58mm, and 84mm knives to create a new model. The current Nail File is created by a textured finish on one side of the blade, this creates a fine/soft cut. The end of the blade can be a pointed Nail Cleaner or straight Screwdriver tip. The Classic SD models contain the ScrewDriver-tip.
Early versions of the 58mm nail file used a standard crosscut file design, and were only available with the cleaner tip.Same length and width as the knife blade, has the filing area on one side, with a flattened tip that serves as a nail cleaner, but would also serve as a small screwdriver. The width of the flat screwdriver blade is 1/8″ (3 mm). The screwdriver blade is not adapted to use for phillips screw heads.
single spring with a shear capacity of 5/8″ (16 mm) in length. The scissors are very sharp and have cut everything that I have tried to cut with them.
This has been paper, cardboard, leather the thickness of the tongue on my shoes, finger and toe nails, nylon cord, string, and webbing on backpacks. So far the blades have held their edge very well. I have never had to sharpen the blades, and would have difficulty sharpening them if needed due to their small size.
Key Ring –
a 3/8″ (10 mm) diameter split ring that forms the key chain, or for me, used to suspend the knife from my lanyard.
The split ring would only hold 1 or 2 keys at most, and would not hold the newer car keys that have the electronics built into them.
The classic has been produced with a wide variety of scale colors and material. Many of the materials and colors have been discontinued.
The Classic sd available in both the standard scale materials: ABS / Cellidor as well as a few Sterling Silver varieties. In the past, they were made with a wide variety scale materials, including nylon, stainless-steel, mother of pearl, gold plated steel, various woods, and natural horn.
The Classic sd is available with couple of variations in the tools, more numerous are the variations of the scales.
The Classic comes in two main versions: The Classic and the Classic SD. The only difference is that the Classic has a nail cleaner at the tip of the nail file blade, while the ‘SD’ has a small slot head screwdriver at the tip. Beyond this, the Classic is also available with an Emergency Blade instead of the Pen Blade (shown here on the right). The blade variation is more rare than the standard or SD versions.
Classics can be found with a couple of different logos. This is is not the same thing as advertising or branded knives, which are custom production knives that may or may not also have the Victorinox logo.
Victorinox Logo in standard metal inlay and hot stamped styles.
Star of David – A blue classic with a Star of David (6-pointed star).
Shamrock – a green Classic or Classic SD with a Shamrock printed on the scales. The earlier Shamrock Classic has lighter green scales.
125th Anniversary – a Limited Edition 125th Anniversary Classic-SD was part of the Jubilee Series.
Gold Bar Classics
Four Gold Bar ‘Classics’ were introduced in 1996 with a 1g Gold Bar inlaid in the scales. Each knife is accompanied with a certificate of authenticity for 1g pure gold. These models do not include a Toothpick, although sometimes they are reported to, and their model numbers indicate a toothpick is present (n.nn02/03.nn).
0.6202.87 tweezers, black scales with 1g gold bar
0.6203.87 tweezers, keyring, black scales with 1g gold bar
0.6202.89 tweezers, black scales with 1gr Kinebar
0.6203.89 tweezers, keyring, black scales 1g Kinebar
The Classic was first introduced in 1935 without the toothpick or tweezers, which were later added in 1942 to all models.
1394 US SABI: BSA Logo, Red Cellidor
53011 US Model: Classic SD Economy Red Nylon scales
53181 US Model: Classic Red Cellidor scales
56011 US Model: Classic SD Red Cellidor scales
0.6203 Victorinox: Classic
0.6203.5 Victorinox: Classic Pink Cellidor scales
0.6223 Victorinox: Classic SD
This little knife never leaves my pack. I keep it on my lanyard with my compass, whistle and other similar items. I do not use it frequently, but when I have needed the knife, it has never disappointed me. It is very light in weight and is sufficient in length and width to make it easy to use the knife or any of its features, even with my gloves on that I use with my hiking poles. I tried a few other smaller knives before settling on this one, and I am pleased so far with this choice. I have had it exposed to rain, sand, dirt, food and drinks, snow, rocks and other elements and it has held up very well.
The first thing I remarked was how it was a lot petite than I expected. The images online make it seem bigger than it is. The exact measurements are a little over 2 inches in length by about 3/4ths of an inch width. This small size has positives & negatives. On the positive side, it is very portable & good if you want to put it on a keychain without adding a lot of extra bulk or weight. The negative is that the small size can make it more difficult to h&le & less efficient as a tool.
For the packaging, it comes in a plastic encased by cardboard. It is sealed very well & there is no elegant way to open it other than just cutting right through the middle of the package. Upon taking it out, it has a high quality feel as expected from Victorinox knives. Also as expected, the hinges have fresh oil so you may want to get a cloth or paper towel to wipe off the excess oil.
Victorinox brings a long history of well-made blades to the table. The blade is slim & short, & therefore isn’t suitable for extended cutting or rugged tasks. However, for most household & office tasks, it is more than adequate. Upon initial deployment, the blade seems flimsy. However, in years & years of usage, our testing team has yet to see any failures.
The Swiss Army is well known for two things: Swiss men between ages of 19 & 34 are required to be trained & equipped to defend their neutral country, & the government commissions the construction of official Swiss Army knives from two private manufacturers. Victorinox is one of those producers.
Both manufacturers are expected to mark near the base of the main blades of the official knives. The Classic SD model is labeled there with the mere designation “Victorinox Swiss Made Stainless.” This understated description of the blade element belies its complex & reliable construction. The steel is a proprietary blend but works very well. It holds an edge consistently & sharpens smoothly.
The Classic SD knife is intended to optimize compactness & versatility. As such, it is not the most ergonomic knife in our test. You won’t spend hours cutting with the Classic. You won’t choose to saw through thick ropes or dress wild game. However, all tools are easily deployed & can be operated to their expected capacity. Each of the three primary tools (file/screwdriver, blade, & scissors) is equipped with a simple fingernail cut out & pulls out smoothly with minimal pressure.
Even after years & years of pocket-living, the tools fold out quickly & smoothly. Encased in the sides of the Classic SD are a toothpick & pair of tweezers. Each of these pulls out completely, & stow away with just a “friction fit” holding them in. It is a testament to the quality of construction that this friction grip remains tight through the life & use of a tool like this. Careful & close manufacturing tolerances continue the tools when necessary, but give them up when the customer wishes to use them.
The another small knives are similarly compromised in ergonomics. The Gerber STL 2.0 & Old Timer 180T Mighty Mite are equally small & similarly limited for heavy tasks. The Best Buy winning CRKT Squid is a step up in size, but significantly more friendly in h&.
Again, the toy-like specifications belie the durability & quality of this inexpensive knife. Victorinox offers the Classic on an economy of scale. Corners are not cut. Rather, they count on generations developing the love with gifts of Classic knives. The high-quality stainless steel throughout, firmly affixed & colorful side plates, combined with smooth operating hinges, results in a tiny tool that inspires confidence. Aside from misplacing tweezers & toothpicks, our testers have had no difficulty with the integrity of the Classic SD knife.
Again, the real comparison is to the smaller knives. The *Gerber STL 2.0 suffers some fusion in its hinges, while the Old Timer** seems flimsier than the Classic. For the measurement, the Classic is worthwhile.
The Classic Swiss Army Knife yields overall dimensions that are somewhat similar to the Gerber STL 2.0 Fine Edge. However, the Classic packs in far more versatility & a blade that is just as valuable into that package. The Classic comes right out of the box provided with a tiny split ring. Threading the included split ring onto your current key chain leaves the knife free to rotate & nest in amongst your keys while carrying. & then in usage, you have some freedom from the keys also. The scissors open to the end opposite the key chain. This leaves the keys completely out of the way of scissor usage. The blade & nail file open on end, adjacent to the key ring attachment. In application, provided you’re carrying no more than five or six keys, you just grasp the whole bundle (keys, ring, knife h&le) together while using the blade or file.
In our review list, no knife is outfitted with more features than the Classic. His day-to-day use, particularly for those in more metropolitan or business settings, the small suite of tools on the Classic is all one needs. When carried essentially for personal grooming, the Classic is essentially a comprehensive tool in a micro package. The blade, file, & scissors together rival even the most complete manicuring kits. & you can slice an apple with it. & cut your fishing line. & tighten the squeaky screw under the office chair. & tweeze that paper clip from between the keys of your computer keyboard. & trim the corners from your tent repair tape. & the list goes on & on…
Finally, Nice little knife that can be used for light chores, for emergencies or just to carry around on a key chain or lanyard as I do. I was surprised at how much I used the scissors after I first started carrying this knife in my pack. I like 6 of the 7 features, but have just never had much use for a nail file when backpacking. Other than that, it has served me well and I intend to keep using it and will replace it with another one if lost. My Classic knife is holding up well, its stainless blades show no signs of rust or discoloration, the plastic body has no cracks, only the little scratches from being bounced around on my lanyard. I never oil this knife, just a quick rinse after use in water has always been sufficient.
In overall scoring, due mainly to its small stature, the overall score of the Victorinox is nothing unique. As a pocket knife, it is fairly simple. However, for those that don’t think of themselves as “pocket knife people,” the Classic deserves special consideration.
Would have liked another tool besides the nail file (an icepick type tool comes to mind)
If you are searching for a knife to virtually disappear on keychain, but roar to practical life whenever you need to tackle some light-duty task - (this could describe a significant portion of the world's citizens) - look no further than the Victorinox Classic.