The Victorinox SwissTool Spirit multi-tool isn’t new, but it’s worth a closer look. I bought one a few years ago, along with a couple of bundled accessories.
This Swiss-made tool doesn’t have fancy features, like the large and centered screwdriver of the Geber Center-Drive, or the “magnetic architecture” of the Leatherman Free-series multi-tools.
However, the Spirit is still an extraordinary multi-tool.
To start, it’s well made. The pliers open quickly, and the handles snap into place with minimal friction or effort, and without slop. The Victorinox Spirit features a thoughtful selection of tools, and they are all accessible from the outside, meaning you don’t have to open up the pliers to access any of the tools folded away in the handles.
Also, all of the tools lock into place, securing them for use.
The Victorinox SwissTool Spirit has 24 tools and functions, some of which overlap.
- Needle nose pliers
- Wire cutter (for up to 40 HRC wire)
- Hard wire cutter
- Phillips screwdriver
- Slotted screwdrivers: 2mm, 3mm, 6mm
- Combination knife blade
- Metal and wood saw
- Metal file
- Bottle Opener
- Can opener
- Strong Crate Opener
- Wire bender
- Wire stripper/scraper
- Round cutter
- Multi-purpose hook
- Coupling for corkscrew (optional add-on)
- Lanyard hole
It measures 4.1″long x 0.7″ wide, and weighs 7.4 oz. The ones I’ve seen are bundled with nylon or leather sheaths.
The SwissTool Spirit proves they can also be extremely elegant. It’s a lighter, more ergonomic, more beautiful multi-tool.
And, it really is. The Spirit has more polish to it, making it look a little classier than other utility-focused multi-tools.
As mentioned, I own a Spirit. Frankly, it’s a great tool, but one I still want to use a little more before formally reviewing. The tools are easy to open, but with nail nicks they can be a little slow to access. The knife blade is undersized compared to those on my Leatherman tools (except maybe for the Rebar?). On this tool, the knife is a combination-edged blade with a blunt tip, with bread knife-like character.
The Spirit is a premium tool, and built to the level of quality I would expect for the money.
Victorinox says the Spirit is the ultimate fusion of functionality, quality, and elegance. The “elegance” doesn’t take away from anything. I can’t say that I wish the knife were a little larger, because really I wish it were completely different. However, for frequent use, I’ll have a utility knife or pocket knife at the ready. For less frequent use, it’s actually kind of perfect.
I’ll never use some of the tools and functions, such as the chisel or wire bender. But, I have nothing but good things to say about the tools and functions I have used.
If I could only own just one multi-tool, this one probably wouldn’t be it. But there’s also not much about it that I wouldn’t or couldn’t recommend. Given my preferences and how I use multi-tools, it just doesn’t perfectly fit my idea of a one-tool-fits-all design. I hope you can now appreciate why I’ve been slow to formally review it. But, if there’s interest, there are only a few things I still need to test out.
The Spirit is a good tool, and is a big selling point is that it’s a quality multi-tool that’s not a Leatherman or a Gerber. It’s its own style.
I might say that the SwissTool Spirit is a better urban-environment multi-tool. A few years ago, one of my colleagues at a research lab went wide-eyed when I used my Leatherman Skeletool instead of walking back to my office for the right tool. The Spirit has “softer” looks.
If you’re shopping around for a new multi-tool, and can justify the budget, the SwissTool Spirit might check off some of your boxes.
Buy Now(Spirit via Amazon)
Buy Now(Spirit via BladeHQ)
See Also(Spirit X via Amazon)
There’s also the Spirit X, which has a plain edge knife blade.
I’ve been eyeing up this multitool for awhile. Like you said, it’s less utility/tactical-looking that other multitools, which appeals to me. Haven’t pulled the trigger because my SOG Powerlock already does everything I need from a multitool – but it has garnered some sideways looks in the office.
Side ways lookers change their minds when they need help.
I wish that were so but they’ll let you close the ticket and still report you to HR.
You’re right when you’re among friends and trusted colleagues, but pulling out the Powerlock around people you don’t know well… Maybe a compact multi-tool would be a little less egregious, but the Powerlock is full-size and a touch aggressive-looking.
SOG seems to add a little extra tacticool spice to every knife and tool in their lineup. I wish they wouldn’t.
Their plier-heads are great – best part of the tool hands-down. Even all the little teeth/serrations line up and mesh in the jaws. Plus a replacement head is cheap and a DIY job – kind of an interesting alternative to the replaceable cutters on Leathermans (or you could send in a worn-out pair for a free replacement).
Their customer service on the otherhand – well, I think Stuart already has a post about that. My experience was no better.
This is what I EDC. Haven’t found anything close so far that can replace it. The Phillips screwdriver is magic. It fits #1 and 2 screw heads perfect and I haven’t cammed any out.
I bought mine quite a few years ago online. It’s the black version with 2 blades instead of scissors. The website was clearancing them out brand new @$40. Should have bought more of them as Victorinox was discontinuing that particular version.
I sent it in to victorinox a few years back to due to the fact that the plier joint was getting some play in it and was wanting to see if they could fix it. Got it back a few weeks later. To my disappointment they couldn’t repair it for one reason or another. Then I noticed they sent another brand new one along with it like this model. I’d say that speaks volumes for their customer service.
I have one of these, and it’s great. Very well-made and extremely useful. I never leave home without it. Also, note that Victorinox offers a lifetime warranty on this tool, while Leatherman’s warranty is 25 years.
That’s a hoot. How would either company know whether it’s the original owner?
Or do they both not care?
Like the once wonderful Sears model?
Asking. Don’t know. Thx.
I also own one and I agree with everything you said. I love it.
Holy guacamole – $90!
I have a Swisstool Spirit X that I picked up on sale for around $45. Never pay retail if you can afford to wait. Mine has served me well on the job, it’s much more comfortable (and easier) to use than the work issued old style Gerber. Probably safer too because the tools lock into place – don’t always have the option of working at a bench.
Kyle R Maher
The question I want to know is, are the scissors the same quality that their pocket knifes are known for? It appears to be a little different in the picture.
Yes, they’re really good scissors. They feel a little sturdier than on mini multi-tools, but I still wouldn’t use them on tough materials.
Like their knives, you end up finding uses for the various tools other than what is stated. You can’t argue with the quality, but it is a little pricey.
As a sailor i’ve used this tool around salt water for 8 years. No rust. A leatherman lasted about 2. The polished stl st is the reason. When a tip of the phillips broke off they sent a new one along with the old one. So I now have two. The shiny finish serves a purpose.
I’m iffy on it. I prefer the more robust, utilitarian style of Leatherman, but I also know, without hesitation, that it’s an extremely high quality tool. It’s a Victorinox, after all. I’d take the worst, of the worst, of the WORST model of Victorinox anything, over a Top-Of-The-Line Gerber.
Disclaimer: I’m a former scout. Victorinox and Swiss Army were standard issue for most of us. So, out of experience and SENTIMENT, Victorinox just has this reputation with me. If you love Gerber, I’m not knocking you for it. Just, by chance, you’re talking to someone who has a Sentiment for Victorinox, and a Preference for Leatherman. This isn’t a competition for who has the most fans, it’s a personal preference thing.
All of that said… It kinda looks like they’re mocking Leatherman with this design. If they had the trademark red plastic rounded handle scales, with embedded toothpick/micro tweezer/whatever slots… I’d feel some serious nostalgic joy for this tool.
Speaking of which… Is there any way we can see an image of the Corkscrew installed? Like I said… Former Scout… My Swiss Army always had said Corkscrew… so I’m curious how it fits in this particular setting.
I’ll see what I can do. Basically, there’s a keyhole-style notch on both sides of the handle, and the corkscrew has a D-shape interface. It’s a very rudimentary connection, but works well, allowing the tool to be used in a T-handle configuration.
I’m sure there is another use, but what beyond a wine bottle or self protection (if no knife is attached) is a cork screw used for? I suppose for a while it was a rooster contest to see how many tools could be put on one tool, but doesn’t seem like a feature anyone is looking for, maybe a Parisian.
That’s why it’s good that the corkscrew is a small attachment that’s not included with the Spirit, and easily ignored if you get it as part of a larger Spirit tool kit.
It’s on Amazon, but higher priced than elsewhere ($3 on average) because shipping fees seem to be baked into the price.
I have a corkscrew, but use it so rarely I can never find it. Had to hunt it down a few weeks ago when I was making beef shortribs.
The Corkscrew IN GENERAL (Not limiting it to the one here) is a survival tool you can use for a bunch of different things as a whole.
You can use it to tap a maple tree for sap, as a carbohydrate supplement.
Create a Hole in dry wood to use as a friction-start fire point.
Use as a Drill in bark to pull easily from a tree, or dried log.
In a pinch, you can use it as an anchor point for string, or rope, to mark either a lanyard hole, or the starting spot for a lashing type.
Make Lanyard Holes in wood.
Remove mushrooms you may not want to touch.
If we get more into engineering you might do in a camp experience:
If you have set up any kind of winch system, where the rope is wrapped around a stick, the corkscrew can be used as a key that you put in the end of said stick to turn it.
Starting point for splicing branches from different trees into eachother. (Arbourists can often create very elaborate structures that result in platforms, anchor points, and any number of construction substitutions that are based on keeping the trees alive while the changes grow in.)
I won’t get into too much detail on this one but… Traps… The Corkscrew comes in handy when setting up, making, and triggering, Traps in the wild.
All of this is why “Be Prepared” as the motto of every Scout pretty much left all of us carrying at least one Swiss Army knife. Wenger, Victorinox, Swiss Army… Whatever the maker, they all made the same knives, and it’s pretty common for scouts to carry them for uses like above.
Plus, that’s why I’m curious about the corkscrew on this. I’ve been taught so many uses for the thing, and there’s some serious nostalgia going on with me right now.
I believe both Swiss Army and Victorinox highlight the differences of USA and Europe and miss the boat with their knives. I realize they are great quality but as most have stated Leatherman is King! Maybe a testosterone thing but making a multi- tool with such a puny blade? I would be embarrassed to open it up with people around! Yes I read it also comes with a knife with a square heard but again…cultural differences are not on the side of Swiss! Won’t be getting rid of my Leatherman anytime soon!
Not to put too fine a point on this (no pun intended), but the Rebar, Style CS, Crunch, and several of the inside-open Leatherman tools, have very small knives compared to the rest of the line. Leatherman is NOT immune to this small-blade niche.
Oh, and, Victorinox and Swiss Army are the same company. LITERALLY. Not one company bought the other, or any kind of wacky patent stuff… Victorinox was always the makers of precision grade tool knives, and are a Swiss company. When the “Swiss Army Knife” was invented, marketed, and yes, used by the Armed Forces in Switzerland, it was all done by Victorinox. The Shield with the cross, and the standard cross on red knife, are the logo of the company. We CALL them Swiss Army Knives due to the original model they released, and Victorinox released their folding tool knives in various countries under the Model and Business name “Swiss Army Knives”… but it has only been in the relatively recent history that Victorinox dropped the pretense, and released everything under their own name worldwide.
You probably knew this, but… I’m a Nerd, and this stuff just itches at my brain until it spews out. I mean no offense or annoyance by it. I’m sorry.
Technically, both Victorinox and Wenger were both Swiss Army knife brands, but Victorinox bought and absorbed Wenger a few years ago.
Before that happened, Victorinox tools were Swiss Army knives, but not all Swiss Army tools and knives were made by Victorinox.
Wegner and Vic alternated years on the Military contract . Wegner got in some financial straights , Vic. bought them .
The Spirit comes in the X model as well ( Spearpoint , as opposed to sheepsfoot blade ) .The Spirit is my main EDC multitool . Implement density , implement quality , and build quality blows everything else out of the water . It doesn’t have an OHO blade , but frankly , multi’s are very unergonomic folders , and many/ most of carry a folder anyway . The pocket clip issue can be solved by the use of the Niteize , or preferably the hipclip , self adhesive clips .
I have this model for the last 10 years. Differente blade shape, the rest is the same. Using it 5 days a week at work as a first thing to use before I grab my other tools. I also have a Leatherman Wave, between these two, Leatherman is much more delicate, so it is a back up tool which sits in a drawer most of the time at home. I’d also add that Vx screwdriver is the best and can take on any screws, pliers are strong and wide open. Blades have no play after 10 years, just pliers have sove movement on one jaw, but hey..
Victorinox is a true workhorse and their warranty is great.
I went through several multitools before deciding on this one for edc. Bc I keep dedicates knives, the blade is a backup, but I do use it without hesitation bc it sharpens very easily. I regularly use most of the tools, especially the pliers, the file and the flat screwdrivers. The large flat is very thick and centered which gives it strength as a pry tool, and it’s also subtly beveled that I can often wedge or pry at things without marring them. I can bear down on the pliers and get better bite than my Gerber center drive, and unlike the center drive, I’m not worried about the blade popping off that outside pivot. The scissors actually don’t open very far for Victorinox bc of the bar spring but I get that it’s more durable. I don’t love the saw for wood, but I actually find it’s pretty good for drywall.
I carried leather man variants for years, but for my use the outside deployment of the SwissTool is faster for me than anything else.
I also still keep a wave, rebar, Skeletool cx, classic leatherman from ~25 years ago, Gerber centerdrive, and a half dozen smaller variants.
I do a lot of art install and light carpentry. Some fabrication and set-work. Sometimes I’m on job sites, but a lot of what I do is considered finish work in client spaces and needs to be super clean. I use the spirit pretty hard, but I never throw or toss my tools.
Stuart, can you measure the blade for me? I am looking for a new multi tool with a small blade. My employer requires blades to be 2″ or less.
I happen to be sitting next to mine. The blade on both versions is 2 and 7/16″
I’ve owned and EDC a Victorinox Spirit X for about 5 years, I definitely prefer it to my Leatherman, and it never really attracts unwanted attention, only admiring glances, when I have pulled it out to do a quick fix.
My Wave lives in the car, my Spirit X will stay in my bag. Definitely a much better suited tool for an urban environment.