The Swiss army knife has managed to do something that combat trousers have failed to do spectacularly, make functionality look cool.
From the massive 33-piece 'Champ' set that includes attachments for scaling fish and filing metal, right down to the simpler classic pocket knife designed mainly for nail maintenance, a Swiss army knife has long been an essential tool for any tenter.
The question remains, however, should a Swiss Army Knife be an essential tool for a campervaner. To find out we got into summer holiday mode and put the Adventurer model to the test to see if it’s the ultimate small multi-tool.
In England and Wales, it is an offence under the Criminal Justice Act 1988 (Section 139) to carry in public without good reason (i) any knife with a locking mechanism, or (ii) a folding knife with a blade length of more than 3 inches/7.62 cm. Contravention can lead to a fine and/or imprisonment.
This knife features both a locking mechanism and a blade of over 3 inches/7.62 cm (it's 8cm long) so carrying one in public without good reason could lead to a conviction. For more information on this click the link here.
The Victonix Adventurer Pocket Knife
One of the larger pocket knives that Victorinox offer, the Adventurer offers the following functions:
1. Large blade
2. Bottle opener
3. Wire stripper
4. Screwdriver 7.5 mm
5. Can opener
6. Screwdriver 3 mm
7. Reamer, punch
8. Phillips screwdriver
11. Key ring
We chose this one to test because it offered all the tools a campervanner should realistically need, including tools for the kitchen and general maintenance. It's also small and light enough to not get in the way, even in the smallest campervan.
Is it good for campers?
A top consideration for any campervanner is making the most of space. Most British campervans don't come with an excess of spare room and intelligent packaging is crucial. In this aspect this knife is perfect, the 111 x 16 x 30 mm dimensions mean it won't take up any unnecessary room.
Quality is great as you'd expect from a Swiss army knife. The tough outer case and stainless steel tools have a real quality feel to them and should survive for years.
But to find out if it's genuinely useful is to set some challenges to see how effective these functions are for the average campervanner.
In the kitchen:
I set myself a challenge of seeing how much of a dinner I could prepare using nothing more than the Victorinox and a stovetop (mimicking a real campervanning situation). The dinner would consist of nothing more than pasta and fresh vegetables, something that the pocket knife should be able to do with ease.
The knife was sharp enough for the food packaging, vegetables and even a lemon for some fancy garnish. The locking mechanism meant the knife was easy and safe to use. Although I didn't prepare any meat, the blade would be sharp enough (just remember to clean it).
The can opener isn't the easiest thing to use if you're unfamiliar with it but a quick YouTube tutorial had me opening tins with ease. It may take a bit of time but is an incredibly effective tool once you understand how to use it.
The most important feature however this knife offers is a bottle opener, perfect for a celebratory beer once you've prepared your dinner.
In short, this pocket knife is an invaluable tool as a kitchen utensil for plenty of kitchen duties. It's a must-have tool, especially if you're limited for space and a great thing to have just for the can and bottle opener (something you're bound to forget).
The next thing a happy camper needs is the ability to mend things on the go, after all a tool kit will eat up a sizable amount of storage so this tool could prove invaluable.
With nothing that needed repairing around my home, I decided to test the screwdriver capabilities by disassembling some furniture before reassembling it. The logic being, if it could do this, it could easily repair something in a campervan (like a loose-fitting fixture).
So with my IKEA coffee table a noble sacrifice, I set about dismantling it using nothing more than the attachments provided. And I am happy to report that the three screwdrivers provided were incredibly effective at reducing the table to spares. The pocket knife proved equally good at reassembling the furniture too.
In short, if you're needing some basic tools then a pocket knife like this one is a great option.
The final functions to test were a small pair of tweezers and a plastic toothpick.
I was testing a press demonstrator model so I didn't risk trying the toothpick for obvious hygiene reasons. It did look like a solid toothpick option that slotted away easily and was made from robust plastic.
The tweezers also slotted away but were made from metal. They weren't the biggest but would be welcomed in the event of a nasty splinter.
In the short time I've been using the Victorinox Adventurer it has quickly become a staple in my home. From opening packages and cans to tightening screws it's become a go-to tool. And there's no reason why this wouldn't be equally useful in a campervan. The small size and excellent quality only serves to cement how good this tool would be in a campervan.
|• Great quality||• Larger models offer more tools|
|• Excellent tool selection|
|Dimensions||111 x 16 x 30 mm|
|Functions||Blade, bottle opener, wire stripper, screwdriver (7.5 mm and 3 mm), can opener, reamer, Phillips screwdriver, tweezers, toothpick and key ring|
How we tested it
As a former boy scout, I was well equipped for some mild-outdoorsmanship with a pocket knife. However, owing to the legislation I decided to test the knife exclusively indoors. The challenges I set myself would be completed as much as possible with nothing more than the knife.