One of my favorite EDC tools is a good Swiss Army Knife. I carry one daily, and I cannot think of a day in recent memory when I did not use it at least once. They are incredibly versatile tools and come in several models to suit different lifestyles and needs.
The Best Swiss Army Knives for EDC Are:
- Victorinox SwissChamp (All-Purpose EDC)
- Victorinox Ranger (Bushcraft/Outdoors)
- Victorinox Recruit (Budget EDC)
- Victorinox Explorer (Urban EDC)
- Victorinox Classic (Can Go Almost Anywhere)
I have been collecting and carrying Swiss Army Knives for most of my life. During this time, I’ve learned some models are more suitable for certain environments than others. Here are my top picks for the best Swiss Army Knives for EDC.
Best All-Purpose EDC Swiss Army Knife: Victorinox Swiss Champ
My personal favorite Swiss Army Knife is the Swiss Champ. It features a comprehensive toolset that is useful in all sorts of environments. The large assortment of screwdrivers makes it a great companion in an urban environment. Other tools, such as the wood saw, are favorites of bushcrafters and woodsmen. I spend time in both urban and wooded areas, so the Swiss Champ is a perfect solution to my needs. Carrying it as my EDC allows me to have the tools I need, regardless of the environment that I find myself in.
Related: How to Clean a Swiss Army Knife
The Swisschamp is a plus model, so it includes additional tools such as the mini screwdriver and ballpoint pen. They may be small items, but I use them more often than most of the other tools on the knife.
It is fairly large, so many people prefer to carry it in a belt pouch or in a pack. Although it took a few days to get used to, I do carry mine in my pocket. I just slide it into my pocket vertically next to my wallet, and it usually remains comfortable throughout the day.
The Victorinox SwissChamp contains the following tools:
Large knife blade, small knife blade, metal file, wood saw, fish de-scaler with ruler and hook disgorger, scissors, mini pliers, magnifying glass, in-line Phillips screwdriver, can opener with screwdriver tip, bottle opener/flathead screwdriver/wire stripper, corkscrew, straight pin, mini screwdriver, chisel, small flathead screwdriver, multipurpose hook, awl, tweezers, toothpick, keyring, and ballpoint pen.
Click here to see my detailed review of the Swiss Champ. It includes a more detailed overview of the knife that you may find useful.
Best Swiss Army Knife for Bushcrafting and Outdoors EDC: Victorinox Ranger
The Victorinox Ranger’s toolset makes it an excellent EDC choice for someone who spends a lot of time in the woods. It has a high tool density, meaning it has a lot of tools for its size. Although it has five layers, the tools within those layers are relatively thin. This makes the Ranger about the same thickness as some four-layer Swiss Army Knives.
The Ranger is one of my favorite knives for camping. The wood saw is useful for bushcrafting tasks, and the file and awl work well for equipment maintenance. It also comes with a can opener, which works great for getting into a can of chili back at camp. If you wear glasses, adding a mini screwdriver to the corkscrew would make it nearly perfect.
The Victorinox Ranger contains the following tools:
Large knife blade, small knife blade, metal file, wood saw, scissors, can opener with screwdriver tip, bottle opener/flathead screwdriver/wire stripper, corkscrew, chisel, small flathead screwdriver, multipurpose hook, awl, tweezers, toothpick, and key ring.
Best Swiss Army Knife for EDC on a Budget: Victorinox Recruit
The Victorinox Recruit is a good choice for someone who wants to EDC a Swiss Army Knife with a basic toolset. It is only two layers thick and is slightly shorter than other similar-sized knives. This makes it extremely easy to pocket carry, however, it still packs a ton of functionality into its small frame.
Although I do not EDC my Recruit, it has found a special home in my gun cleaning toolbox. I use the main knife blade to cut bore patches to the correct size. Also, the can opener’s blade works really well to scrape carbon buildup off the back of an AR-15’s bolt. However, I would not recommend doing this with a knife you plan on using for food-related tasks.
The Recruit has a large blade, small blade, can opener with screwdriver tip, and a bottle opener/flathead screwdriver/wire stripper combination tool. It also comes with the toothpick and tweezers that slide into the handles.
Best Swiss Army Knife for Urban EDC: Victorinox Explorer
The Victorinox Explorer is a great option for someone who spends most of their time in an urban environment. I carried one for a couple of years and always found uses for it. My favorite feature of the knife is the inline Phillips screwdriver. The inline Phillips screwdriver combined with the Explorer’s size makes it feel more like an actual screwdriver than any other multitool I have used.
The Victorinox Explorer contains the following tools:
Large knife blade, small knife blade, magnifying glass, inline Phillips screwdriver, scissors, can opener with screwdriver tip, bottle opener/flathead screwdriver/wire stripper, corkscrew, multipurpose hook, awl, toothpick, tweezers, and key ring.
Best Swiss Army Knife to EDC (Almost) Anywhere: Classic SD
The Classic SD is one of Victorinox’s most popular knives. It is their smallest model and can go almost anywhere. Although you can’t take one onto an airplane, they do a really good job blending in on a keychain. It is a knife that is always there when you need it to help open boxes or trim your fingernails.
The Classic SD is also one of the least expensive Swiss Army Knives available. Although it doesn’t cost much, it is still a very high-quality tool. I have one that belonged to my grandfather. He used and abused that little knife, but it still works. The handles are chewed up, but the tools just needed a little cleaning and sharpening to get back into working order.
The Victorinox Classic SD contains the following tools:
Knife blade, scissors, fingernail file with a flathead screwdriver tip, tweezers, and toothpick.
Best EDC That Isn’t a Swiss Army Knife
Although it isn’t a traditional Swiss Army Knife, the Swisstool provides many of the same functions. It is also made by Victorinox, so it’s quality, fit, and finish will be equally as good. Although the Swisstool is too large for pocket carry, it makes up for its size by housing a full-size pair of pliers. The pliers have a blunt needle nose shape and include wire cutters.
One neat aspect of the Swisstool is that it features similar tool designs to those found on Victorinox’s Swiss Army Knives. I have been carrying Victorinox knives for so long that I have become accustomed to how their tools work. Having similar tool designs is a nice piece of consistency that I really appreciate.
I have also written a full review of the Swisstool that you can find here. It has everything you need to know to pick the Swisstool model that is right for you.
Although I have mentioned my top five Swiss Army Knives, there are numerous other models available. One of these knives may suit your needs better than the ones that I have listed. Models such as the Hunstman and Tinker are extremely popular and widely available.
I would encourage you to look at what Swiss Army Knives are available and pick one that will suit your needs. If you are like me, you will probably end up with a few. That’s perfectly fine. Having multiple pocket tools will allow you to rotate your EDC to suit the task at hand. You will also be able to keep some in bug-out bags or vehicles in case of an emergency. You can never have too many high-quality tools.