Friday, 7 October 2011

Victorinox Swiss Army Trailmaster (Trekker) And Swiss Card

Almost everybody who has ever been involved with camping, hiking or the boy scouts etc. has at some point owned a Swiss Army knife, made by Victorinox. And with the huge selection of tools available, along with the build quality, it is no surprise that Victorinox have been going strong for so many years.

For me it all started back in 1983, when I was on a weeks scout camp in Scotland. We had stopped off in Fort William for a short break, but rather than grab a drink and a sandwich, I wandered off to the local camping shop.

With pocket money in hand, I slowly cast my eyes over the different knives in the shop window, occasionally looking back in my hand to see if I had enough money. Eventually I spotted a knife, that seemed to have more blades and tools than I knew what to do with, but the shiny red handle and white cross & shield logo had drawn me in further.

I entered the shop and asked the shop keeper if I could buy the knife. This was at a time when more or less anybody, of any age could get away with buying a knife. He asked me how old I was and whether I had owned a knife before. I said I had, but I'm sure that wasn't really the case. I also mentioned that I was in the Scouts (Which he had probably already noticed, as I was wearing my uniform) hoping this would sway his decision.

Eventually he agreed to sell me the knife, I handed over my money and walked out with the knife, excited about showing the rest of my troop what I had just bought. On the way back to the camp we all sat in the van mesmerized by the number of blades, screwdrivers, bottle openers etc. that the knife seemed to magically produce. For the journey home, I was the King of the moment, as everybody else sat around me, wanting to hold the knife. I don't think you ever forget your first pen knife as a youngster and the fact that it was a Victorinox Swiss Army knife, just added to the moment.
I'm 41 now and still have the knife (See Photo above), albeit with a few battle scars, but it is still a favourite of mine and gets used once in a while. I have a son now, who's only 4, but one day he will be ready for his first knife and who knows, he may even inherit this one.

About 8 years ago I received another Victorinox product for Christmas from my wife. Something that at the time I liked, but underestimated how often I would come to use it. I know keep it in my wallet, as my every day carry (EDC) and use it at least once a week. The item I use the most is the scissors for cutting my nails, occasionally smoothing them off with the small file. The pin, now extremely bent, I also use on a regular basis for removing splinters. A very handy tool...

There are a number of items in this card that get used very rarely, but when you are stuck and do need them, they are right there in my pocket. You can see a more in depth review of the Victorinox Swiss Card, by watching the video below...

More recently I have got more involved in bushcraft and have purchased many different tools for when out on the trail. One of which is a folding saw, for use when making shelters or bushcraft chairs. But this is a bulky item that needs to be carried in my rucksack and I wanted to be able to have a smaller, more compact saw available to me whenever I was out on short trips or outings.

After a lot of research, I ended back with Victorinox and the Trailmaster (Or Trekker as it is known in other countries). There are 2 different versions of this particular knife. The standard model, which I purchased (as it was on offer) and the one hand operation version.

As expected, the knife is excellent quality and the saw, which was the reason I bought it works brilliantly too. I hope to do a video review showing me using the knife out in the field. But for now you can watch a small review of the knife when I first received it (See Below)

I must stress, that carrying this particular knife in public, in the UK is not recommended and should be used responsibly in the appropriate situations and carried safely at all times. Read a fantastic review on UK Knife Law HERE from Backyard Bushcraft


  1. One-handed version doesn't really add much. The blade is tricky to open with one hand, and what you get in advance is a place that's hard to keep clean. I always somehow manage to smear jam or butter (or onion juice or spruce resin...) inside the opening hole. I love the saw they've put there - it's really aggressive, and it stays sharp forever.

    The saw never closed on my hand while using it, so I think the lock is not a must. Dunno why they've put the lock on the big screwdriver though.

    In the end, I see the Trekker to be more versatile and robust, than regular Mora knives. Less romantic, less sturdy, but more useful. Having both a Mora and this fellow, I usually take the Trekker with me. It's scissors away from my ideal knife.


  2. Big fan of the Trailmaster for every day carry. On hikes I toss in a lightweight fixed blade, but for everyday, this is perfect. You cannot beat Victorinox/Wenger/Swiss Army for quality and durability!!

    Scott Priestley
    Editor, EDC Knife Reviews