Sunday, January 5, 2014

Back to Basics with the Victorinox Tinker

I once read an article in a knife book about a long time knife collector that had an epiphany while hunting. He all of a sudden realized that the custom knife he had in this occasion was worth more than twice the amount of his rifle and scope put together, and it wasn’t exactly a cheap rifle or scope that he was carrying. After that this older gentlemen went back to using a simple victorinox as his daily pocket knife instead of the fancy custom pieces he had grown used to. He soon noticed the pleasure of using a simple, time proven tool that just work.

The Tinker is very similar to the Victorinox Spartan, a staple Swiss Army knife that has large and small blade, can opener/small screwdriver, cap lifter/large screwdriver/wire stripper, corkscrew and reamer with sewing eye. Inserted on the handles are the plastic toothpick and tweezers. The Spartan is my oldest Victorinox and I have used it for decades. The blade now well worn, tools still snap firmly into place and it is as serviceable as it ever was.

The Tinker is similar to the Spartan except for the corkscrew which is replaced for a large Phillips screwdriver.  No doubt, the screwdriver is more useful, even if it is a bit too large at times. Some people have used the corkscrew to untangle knots, I’ve done so on numerous occasions, but I still rather have the screwdriver instead.


 The Tinker is a great pocket knife. The large Victorinox blade is the most time proven pocket knife design currently available in the market. Its not the biggest or toughest but it just works well. The stainless steel means it wont rust that easily and the mirror polish allows for quick cleaning of the blade. This is especially important for a knife you will end up using cutting fruit or for preparing other kind of foods.  I am very fond of the small, scalpel-like blade. It comes in handy for delicate tasks where a very sharp blade is needed for detailed work. The large blade is used for general tasks while the small one is kept sharp for those specific jobs.

If you want a compact and light weight, no-frills pocket tool, you cant go wrong with a basic Victorinox such as the Tinker. 



Anonymous said...

I've got a few Tinkers myself, scattered about my luggage. Pretty good knife.

I don't care for the corkscrew either, but it is useful for snugging up cordage tight and be used similarly like the hook to carry packages. I also tried to find a spark rod that fit the cavity (3/32"?), but couldn't at the time. The eyeglass screwdriver that fits the corkscrew has value for spec wearers and makes a pretty good sewing 'awl' substitute for stitching leather. The real awl is too big - the screwdriver just punches straight through.

Wow - that corkscrew IS kind of handy, isn't it.

Anonymous said...

Just gave my 11 year old daughter HER 1st knife, a SAK Classic. She loves the small scissors and the size of the entire blade - I told her NOT to take it to school, problems could occur easily!