Product Type: Victorinox gadgets
Newest Review: ... this one being a Draper. This one may have less functions than my draper but all of the functions on the spartan actually work. I was esp... more
Member Name: cheffrey
Advantages: Lightweight, compact, robust, good selection of tools, unimaginably useful
Disadvantages: None that I can think of
Upon my eleventh birthday, which coincided with leaving primary school and taking a big step closer to becoming A Grown Up, I received this rather splendid Victorinox Spartan Swiss army knife from my parents. Being entrusted with a tool that is razor sharp when new, and reputedly capable of cutting a tree down, this was all rather exciting. Unfortunately, I've had to order a new one, as the one that had served me so well for the last seventeen years has been lost (probably falling out of my pocket on a recent foraging trip to the woods).
Victorinox' reputation precedes them, and deservedly so. The Spartan is an exceptionally well-built little knife. It is light on the tools front, which makes it slim and compact. This is a plus in my view, as the blades and tools are never shifted too far away from the centre of the handle, allowing for greater control and leverage.
It comes with six main tools, some of which have multiple functions. There are two blades of differing lengths, both of which are excellent for cutting all manner of materials. The bottle opener and can opener double as screwdrivers of different sizes, and the former comes with a handy wire bending/stripping notch on it. On the opposite side of the handle are the corkscrew (potentially the most used tool, depending on how middle-class your camping trips are), and the leather needle/awl, which is useful for puncturing really tough materials like tarpaulin. And of course, it comes with the two most easily misplaced tools of all, the removable toothpick and the tweezers. There's a handy keyring attachment too, so you can hook it onto your keys or belt and always be prepared, just like you were told in Scouts.
The Spartan has served me well on numerous camping trips, DIY jobs, dinner parties, craft session and so on. Its uses are manifold, and it is a great little knife. The selection of tools are pretty much what I would choose from a penknife, although the awl is probably the least used of them and could be replaced with something like a Phillips screwdriver, but it has proved its worth on occasion.
The knife comes in a variety of colours, though I'm a bit of a traditionalist and like the deep burgundy of the Swiss Army knives. It feels just right in the hand, and is of superb quality. The steel is incredibly tough, and having given it some punishment, not one of the blades has felt like it was going to snap.
At twelve pounds, this is a bargain. It has come in so useful on so many occasions, and been with me on so many trips and adventures I was gutted to have lost it. Thankfully, they are still making the same model all these years later, which is surely testament to its utility through popularity.
A great knife and all-in-one toolkit. A must for any boy on his way to growing up (or anyone else for that matter).
Summary: A superb compact Swiss Army knife