Victorinox have changed their model line-up hundreds of times over the decades. It has been reported that knives discontinued in 2023 include some smaller models suited to lightweight backpacking. If one of these has your perfect toolset, buy now to avoid disappointment!
New knives are occasionally added to the Victorinox catalogue while poor selling knives are infrequently discontinued. It is the nature of business as popularity for some features waxes and wanes. This is particularly the case for a knife maker with a lengthy history, that has encompassed both technological innovation and financial pressure.
As I post this, Victorinox have yet to officially confirm the removal of the models first revealed by Marcos on his VictorinoxSpain YouTube channel. I won’t cover the entire list of knives discontinued by Victorinox, as there is plenty of heated discussion on various knife forums. There are a few surprises, that may also be pointers at a dim future for further models spared the axe this time round. I pull out just a few of the knives on the leaked list, concentrating on the smaller knives that may be of most interest to lightweight backpackers, campers, hikers and for Every Day Carry. I have reviewed many of these models previously, and links are provided should you want further information on individual toolsets.
The Victorinox Classic and Classic SD are easily the most popular small knives carried by long distance lightweight backpackers, and for good reason too, as the trinity of a decent small blade, decent small scissors and nailfile take some beating. Note that it is the Classic, not the Classic SD that is being discontinued. Even then, this is a bit of a surprise as it is one of the knives that forged the Victorinox reputation. There is only the one tool that differs between Classic and Classic SD. The nailfile has a nail cleaner tip on the discontinued Classic or a more useful small flat screwdriver tip to the nailfile in the Classic SD. The nail cleaner tip on the discontinued knife is useful with small Phillips heads, the type often found on small electronic goods.
The Signature is a variant on the Classic that introduces a more useful scale tool. Three Points of the Compass isn’t the greatest fan of the standard scale tools found on Victorinox knives. I think the tweezers lack much grip and are limited in practical use, and have always loathed the plastic toothpick, as the slot harbours bacteria and I do not want that plastic pick in my mouth. I do prefer just about any alternative scale tool such as the little third-party Firefly ferrocerium rod that can be exchanged for either the tweezers or nailfile. The Victorinox Signature exchanges the toothpick for a far more useful pen. The little pressurised pen can, for now, also be easily exchanged when exhausted as they are sold individually by Victorinox. A similar knife, the Signature Lite also has the pen and additionally changes the other scale tool for a tiny LED light. This remains on sale and is the better choice I think.
Another 58mm that features a pen scale with retractable pressurised pen discontinued. Looks like a message is being sent out here. How much longer will other, still catalogued, 58mm models with a pen scale be available? Time will tell, but it may be wise to stock up with a couple of the replacement pens if you use these models. One of these little replacement pressurised pen refills is a handy little thing to tuck away in a ditty bag for the odd note taking anyway. In the meantime, the Midnite Manager is the better version of this little knife and is still sold. In fact, Three Points of the Compass selected the Midnite Manger as the number one choice of 58mm Victorinox.
Victorinox 58mm Midnite MiniChamp
This is a superbly equipped knife with an astonishing array of tools in a tiny 58mm frame length. No mention of the MiniChamp Alox, that appears to remain on sale. But these are expensive purchases and I suspect sales are quite low. You can find tools on the these remarkable knives not found elsewhere and economics of machine tooling probably mean that their production life is limited.
Victorinox 65mm Executive 81 and 65mm Executive 81 EvoWood
Two great little knives. Despite the lack of any scale tools, the walnut wood scales are always aesthetically pleasing, and the loss of the EvoWood knife is to be lamented. I also prefer the little self sharpening serrated scissors on these two knives over the equally as tiny scissors on the Classic and its brothers. It looks like all of the Delémont offerings from the old Wenger facility are to leave us over the next few years. All the 85mm knives are believed to head the demise at the end of 2023, what next?
This tool only has a nail clipper and the standard tweezers and toothpick scale tools. The loss of one of the Nailclip knives from Victorinox is no real loss as they have a decent range of nail clipper options and there are better choices than the Nailclip 582 amongst them.
For the fans of the blade/scissors/nailfile toolset found on the 58mm Classic, the exact same tools, but just a little larger, are found on the 74mm Ambassador and capable of just a little more utility. These address the complaints of those who feel the smaller tools on the 58mm knives simply too small. Not any longer though…
The exact same tools on the Ambassador are present on the Executive, plus a couple of extras, one of which is a real oddity. The ‘Orange Peeler’ blade is peculiarly shaped and ideal for its stated purpose, while being far less suited to most other tasks you might have in mind for it, though it is pretty good used as a small scraper. This knife is another sad loss, if only for the oddball factor. AND you get three blades in a small tool here!
Victorinox 74mm Moneyclip Alox
I have always liked the Moneyclip, but am not a fan of the clip itself as I don’t like clipping it into a pocket, and never carried folded money in a clip either. Sans clip, it is effectively an Alox version of the Ambassador, so look for one of those on the second hand market. This is the last of the 74mm knife options that were still being sold by Victorinox, so the whole range will have gone. If there is one of these three that appealed to you, time to snap one up, if only as a record of this length.
That’s it for the small size knives being consigned to history, that include many that lightweight backpackers might consider including in their gear list. Anything larger really has to be providing exactly what you want as we move away from keychain sized tools and get ever more bulky and heavier. For Every Day Carry however, some of those removed from the catalogue will disappoint many.
This is a sad loss from the catalogue, especially for those Bushcrafters and campers that like to feed a little twig stove. The Walker is in the 84mm length range and is the shortest Vic that incorporates a saw. And a good saw at that. It is a little strange that Victorinox have given up on this knife so soon, as it hasn’t been sold for many years. As a result, it will probably become a bit hard to find in the future, even second hand.
The Victorinox 84mm Tourist is a smaller version of the Spartan, which is a direct ancestor of the knife that built the Victorinox name, and continues to be a very popular choice for many. However there are those that, while liking the toolset, feel the Spartan is just a little large for them. The Tourist was made for them. Which again, makes it a little odd that this almost perfect selection of tools is removed from the shopping basket.
Victorinox 84mm Sportsman without keyring
The Victorinox Sportsman remains on sale, it is the Sportsman variant lacking a keyring/key hanger tab that is discontinued. So no real worry here. I only have a Sportsman with key hanger so show that knife here. It is too large a tool to be hung with keys anyway.
The timing of the (supposed) discontinued notice from Victorinox has thrown my blog schedule slightly awry as I have a companion piece on four of the Tinkers in the pipework. I shall still be posting that as all of the Tinker range of knives are worth a glance, it is just the smaller of the Tinkers that is now going, and possibly the best to, as it is a compact tool that packs in a lot of utility. But no doubt there are still plenty to be found in dealers’ stocks. For now!
Victorinox 84mm Excelsior and 84mm Excelsior One Blade
Another two sad losses here. These are simple slim knives that slip easily into a pocket and present little bulk but provide a usable blade for those times when all you want to do is cut a piece of cordage or peel a piece of fruit The two blade option is by far the best of the two as you can keep the second little pen blade clean and dedicated for food prep or similar. This is another inexpensive knife to snap up while you can. There doesn’t seem to be any mention of discontinuing the Excelsior (two blade) Alox, which is the best option of the three. I am willing to bet that if the two Cellidor versions are going, the Alox variant will follow.
These are most of the smaller knives discontinued by Victorinox. The loss of the 65mm and 74mm knives in particular is to be regretted. Quite a few larger models were also included that I shall not mention here as they are pretty large and heavy, with many featuring toolsets beyond the interest or needs of a lightweight backpacker or camper. However there are just a couple of 91mm models that I shall mention as they remain favourites for many on trail.
Victorinox 91mm Camper, with ‘Camping’ logo
There is no need to get too het up about the loss of both this knife and the next, as it is only the variants that have a ‘Camping’ logo on one of the scales that are being discontinued. The standard scaled versions without the Camping logo remain in the catalogue. There will always be those fans or collectors who prefer the Victorinox knives that have an additional inlay (hot-stamped or printed these days), camping, fishing and equestrian logos being the most common. But the toolset remains the same on these knives regardless of whether they have an additional logo/inlay on a scale. The Camper knife itself is effectively a Spartan with a woodsaw.
Victorinox 91mm Ranger, with ‘Camping’ logo
Again, no real loss here, as the Ranger without ‘Camping’ logo remains on sale. Despite being the thinnest Victorinox 91mm knife you can buy that has scissors, metal saw with file, and wood saw, this is still quite a chunky piece of kit in the hand. Which is hardly surprising considering how many tools it packs into its five layer frame. There are five tools on the back alone, though these do include the daft parcel hook.
There is no need to panic. The Victorinox catalogue remains stacked out with a bewildering choice of knife models. Some may lament that Victorinox has done away with a particular favourite, but it is their business after all! If sales of a particular model simply do not justify an expensive production run, then it is inevitable that a catalogue will reflect this. The additional reported loss of all 85mm Delémont models at the end of 2023 is another blow as Three Points of the Compass feels that some of the tools on those reinvented Wenger models are better than the standard Victorinox offerings. If you feel the same way, it is almost certainly too late to get Victorinox to reinstate models, but the time to buy is NOW! Some global Victorinox sites are still showing some of these models, but not all of them and it looks as though stock is now simply being run down.
Reported as being discontinued in 2023:
- Classic (not Classic SD)
- Midnite MiniChamp
- Executive 81
- Executive 81 EvoWood
- Nailclip 582
- Money clip Alox
- Sportsman, without keyring
- Tinker Small
- Excelsior One Blade
- Camper, with Camping logo
- Ranger, with Camping logo
- Hiker, Wood
- SwissChamp XLT
- Cybertool S
- Cybertool Lite
- Sentinel M
- Alpineer MW Grip
- Trailmaster MW Grip, Desert only
- Locksmith M
- Ranger 52 Grip
- Ranger 63 M Grip
- Ranger 68 Grip
- Ranger 61 M, Green only
- Ranger 178 partially serrated blade
- Ranger 179 partially serrated blade
- Ranger Gardener Grip
- Ranger 74
- Hunter Pro Alox, Red only
- All 85mm Delémont
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.
I’m a bit surprised to see remarks like “the daft parcel hook”, when so many people find it useful for such purposes as pulling stubborn tent pegs and tensioning lines… or the inferrence that a split ring is intended only for hanging on keys, when it’s obviously just as good (if not better) as a lanyard ring.
Most Swiss Army tools have a plethora of uses beyond that of just their catalogue description. There are books and YouTube channels all about the different ways to use them, and we even had a popular fictional TV show where it was how the main character usually saved the day.
I wonder if such limited thinking is why Victorinox are now dropping so many models…
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Thanks for commenting Tasky. Yep, I think the parcel hook is daft. I am well aware of the many uses people have found for it, none of which suit me, so it has always been a superfluous tool- for me. That is the whole point of the fantastic range of tools that Victorinox have fitted into their various models. There is always something that may suit the individual. I’m an individual- I don’t need magnifying glasses, metal files, thumb drives, watches… or parcel hooks! So I don’t necessarily buy or use those tools that have such things fitted. Others might.
I shall get on with my Limited Thinking…
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There are a fair few tools I’d never use either, but I’d still never call them daft or infer they only have one purpose. Victorinox even changed the name of it to Multi-Purpose Hook, to get people out of that latter mindset.
I find the whole point of these and other pocket tools is that a person just hasn’t found their own particular use for it… yet.
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Jules, do you have any advise on knife sharpening, particular for Victorinox, tools agreed techniques? Also what you may use on the trail Vs at home.
I’ve been thinking about doing a blog on sharpeners, I may get round to it. As to sharpening knives on trail, never done it