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Gear talk: Victorinox Mini Tools

Having a hinge screw come loose, or fall out, on glasses can be a right pain. Particularly if nothing is to hand that will tighten it up. Victorinox have our back, at last!

2021 release of set of four Mini Tools by Victorinox
2021 release of four Mini Tools by Victorinox

“These compact Mini Tools provide on-the-go precision, additional pocket knife functions and everyday solutions for small tasks and quick repairs”

Victorinox press release– 17th January 2021
Mini Victorinox flat screwdriver
Mini Victorinox flat screwdriver

Victorinox included a corkscrew on the original Victorinox Officer’s Knife in 1897. However it was not until 1983 that they introduced an ingenious ‘mini’ screwdriver with a twisted thread on its small plastic handle that enabled it to be screwed on to any Victorinox or Wenger knife with a corkscrew. Being so small they can easily be lost. Fortunately spares can be purchased as a stand-alone item. The small 1.5mm flat tip screwdriver is ideal for tightening small slot-head screws, especially those found on some glasses and sunglasses. .

Alternative mini screwdrivers found in glasses repair kits can be considerably heavier and larger than the Victorinox offering
Alternative mini screwdrivers found in glasses repair kits can be considerably heavier and larger than the Victorinox offerings

There has been a constant stream of requests to Victorinox over the years asking that other tools be developed that can be wound on to the corkscrew found on some knives. In January 2021 Victorinox answered the call with the release of their Mini Tools. At least intially, the little tools are only available as an over-priced four-piece set- Item No. 2.1201.4.

Mini Tools on Victorinox Compact, Camper and Picknicker
Mini Tools on Victorinox Compact, Camper and Picknicker

The four tool set comprises:

  • Mini flat tip screwdriver
  • Phillips screwdriver 000
  • Torx screwdriver T4
  • SIM card ejector pin

If wound onto the corkscrew on a knife, only one of the four tools can be included. Any of the four mini-tools will fit any Victorinox knife with a corkscrew in their 84mm, 85mm, 91mm, 108mm and 111mm ranges. None of the small knives from Victorinox, such as their 58mm, 65mm and 74mm ranges, come with corkscrews so the Mini Tools do not fit any of these.

To be honest, this is not a good set. The mini flat tip is exactly the same as what has been available since 1983. The T4 Torx could be useful on some electronic devices so could suit urban carry, and a paper clip works perfectly well for ejecting SIM cards. The Phillips screwdriver is a useful addition.

Old and new versions of the mini flat tip screwdriver from Victorinox. The new tools now include the Victorinox logo
Old and new versions of the mini flat tip screwdriver from Victorinox. The new tools now include the Victorinox logo

While the Torx screwdriver fits the small screws on some mobile phones, I cannot see why anyone would want to remove the back of a phone while backpacking. This leaves just one of the four tools as an appreciated addition- the mini Phillips head screwdriver.

It may be that even if I am carrying my favoured Leatherman Squirt S4 on longer, multi-day, hikes, I might consider adding the little 0.6g Phillips screwdriver to my ditty bag, if I am wearing glasses that have cross head instead of slot head screws.

It may be that your glasses require a flat tip screwdriver, in which case fine, continue using the old standard, and cheaply available, flat tip mini-screwdriver. But increasingly, many glasses come with tiny Phillips screws so this new release from Victorinox is timely.

Mini screwdriver with Phillips tip is a useful release from Victorinox
Mini screwdriver with Phillips tip is a useful release from Victorinox
My prescription sunglasses require a flat mini-screwdriver tip to tighten their hinges
My prescription sunglasses require a flat mini-screwdriver tip to tighten their hinges

Mini Tool handles are a hard durable plastic and the tool shanks are stainless steel. Each tool is 25mm long. About the only other thing to note with this set is their respective colour.

Up to now the mini flat tip screwdriver has only been available with a grey plastic handle, other than a white version that came with the limited edition Victorinox ‘White Christmas’ Sportsman knife in 2018. The flat tip screwdriver in the new set of four Mini Tools is still grey, however the new Phillips is green, the Torx blue and the SIM pin is red.

Set of Mini Tools from Victorinox
Set of Mini Tools from Victorinox

This four piece set is an expensive way to add a limited additional capability. It is a bit of a rip-off by Victorinox really. These Swiss-made tools need to be available as stand-alone, individually available, products- pronto.

Three Points of the Compass has looked at quite a few knives and multi-tools that may, or may not, be suitable for backpacking, day treks or Every Day Carry. Links to these can be found here.

Victorinox Mini Tools
Victorinox Mini Tools on Wenger Evowood 14, Victorinox Waiter, Tourist and German Army Knife

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