Cheap Swiss Army Knives: Affordable Quality and Versatility

Updated March 17, 2024

Cheap Swiss Army Knives

This post contains affiliate links

Let’s be real, who doesn’t love a Swiss Army Knife (SAK)? Imagine having a gadget that can cut, twist, and open things up, all while fitting snugly in your pocket.

Now, if the price tag makes you wince, worry not.

There are affordable options out there that won’t make your wallet cry. Yes, you can have your knife and use it too, without breaking the bank.

By the way, the knife in the image above is not real. It’s an AI-generated image. So don’t even think of getting that one (even if it had been real, it wouldn’t be cheap 🙂).

Finding a budget-friendly Swiss Army Knife is about knowing:

  • Which models to look for
  • Where to look for these models to buy

Remember, affordable doesn’t mean you’re getting shortchanged on quality! That will never be the case with a genuine SAK made by Victorinox.

And guess what? You don’t have to spend a fortune to own one.

What Makes a Swiss Army Knife Cheap?

What makes one Swiss Army Knife cheaper than another? 

Well, it boils down to three main factors: 

  1. The size of the SAK (small, medium, large)
  2. The number of tools in the SAK
  3. Materials used in the Scales

Why Size Matters

The smaller the SAK, the cheaper it is!

Well, that is not always the case. But mostly it goes like this: a normal small SAK is usually cheaper than a normal medium SAK, which is cheaper than a normal large SAK.

Note that I used the word ‘normal’. That would mean entry-level SAK.

The Number Of Tools In The SAK Is Directly Proportional To Its Cost

Think of it like ordering a pizza; the more toppings you add, the pricier it gets. A knife with a gazillion tools might be cool, but if you’re only going to use the blade, and maybe the screwdriver, why pay for all the extras?

Remember, even a minimalist SAK is hugely more functional than any other pocket knife that is not a SAK!

SAKs With Alox/Wood Scales Cost More

All the tools in a Swiss Army Knife are made of stainless steel. So no compromises there. But what bumps up the price is the scale material. Aluminium/Alox scales or wood scales are what you should avoid, because…well, they are considered exotic!

That also means you should stay away from those special ‘Limited Edition’ Swiss Army Knives as well.

Don’t get me wrong, the ones with plastic/Cellidor scales are still tough cookies, but they’re easier on your wallet. It’s all about finding that sweet spot between quality and cost.

Top Cheap Swiss Army Knife Models

So, which cheap Swiss Army Knife offers the best bang for your buck? 

I have researched the extensive catalog of Victorinox Swiss Army Knives and found three models of three different sizes that are as cheap as they can get. I don’t think Victorinox can sell a SAK any cheaper than these. 

Take your pick. Select one of them and start your Swiss Army Knife journey.

Victorinox Escort ($10-$15)

The Victorinox Escort is the little knife that could, with just the right amount of tools, tackle those daily surprises without weighing you down. 

Why would you pick the Victorinox Escort, you ask?

Well, imagine you’re at a party, and you need to fix a loose screw, trim a stray thread from your shirt,  or file your nail maybe? The Escort is your go-to buddy.

It’s the 58mm Swiss Army Knife that’s so compact, you’ll forget it’s in your keychain until you need it.

With a blade, and a nail file with a screwdriver tip, it’s got your back without bulking up your pocket. And don’t forget the toothpick and the tweezers.

Victorinox Escort
Victorinox Escort – as cheap as it gets | Image source: Victorinox

And let’s be real, there’s something cool about whipping out a Swiss Army Knife to save the day, even if it’s just opening a letter or tightening a screw. The Escort makes these tasks feel like mini-adventures, proving that you don’t need a tool chest in your pocket to be prepared.

The price of Victorinox Escort usually fluctuates between $10 to $15.

Check the latest price on Amazon. The Escort is the cheapest SAK you can get unless you are okay with a second-hand SAK. But that is a different discussion altogether.

Need a better alternative? I would recommend the Victorinox Classic SD, which is slightly dearer than the Escort but justifies its price.

But if a keychain SAK is not what you were looking for, then check out the Victorinox Bantam, our next super-affordable option.

Victorinox Bantam ($15-$20)

The Victorinox Bantam is your cheapest entry into the world of medium-sized Swiss Army Knives! 

It’s the cheapest Swiss Army Knife that strikes the perfect balance between functionality, portability, and above all – price. 

With a larger blade, it is already more functional than the Escort. But what is interesting is the presence of the combo tool in the Bantam.

The combo tool is very rarely found in SAKs. I have seen this only in the Victorinox Compact – a very costly SAK in its own right.

The combo tool acts as a bottle opener, can opener, screwdriver, and wire stripper. Yes, just one tool can do all these.

Add to this the tweezers and the toothpick, and the Bantam is capable of 8 distinct functions.

Victorinox Bantam
Victorinox Bantam – the cheapest medium-sized Swiss Army Knife | Image source: Victorinox

It is available on Amazon for around $15 to $20. The price keeps fluctuating of course. But at that price, it is quite a bargain.

In the world of Swiss Army Knives, the Bantam is a standout choice for those who want a bit more without paying a lot more.

A little more budget may get you the Victorinox Spartan, one of the iconic SAKs of all time. But the Bantam is not very far behind in terms of utility.

The only reason you will ignore the Bantam at this cheap price is if you need a bigger and locking knife blade! If that is so, you have to look towards 111mm SAK models.

In that case, the cheapest option I could find is the Victorinox Sentinel.

Victorinox Sentinel ($30-$35)

The Victorinox Sentinel is for those who like their knives straightforward and to the point. 

This 111mm Swiss Army Knife is the epitome of “less is more. it’s ready for the tougher tasks that its smaller cousins might avoid.

It’s like the quiet, dependable type that doesn’t boast about its capabilities but proves them when the time comes.

What makes the Sentinel a great choice is its focus on essential functionality. You get a robust, reliable, easy-to-handle locking blade, perfect for those who need a bit more cutting power on the go.

Whether you’re outdoors, working on a DIY project, or just need a solid knife, the Sentinel won’t disappoint. 

Victorinox Sentinel
Victorinox Sentinel – with a full-size locking blade | Image source: Victorinox

It’s affordable, durable, and uncomplicated—the trifecta of a great tool.

Being a large model, the Sentinel is not as cheap as the ones discussed above, but it is the cheapest that I have seen in the 111mm category. It usually retails around $30 to $35 on Amazon.

The next upgrade in the 111mm category will be the pricier but super-functional Victorinox Soldier, which has a rich history behind it.

Picking the Sentinel is for those who value practicality over frills. It’s for the person who says, “Give me a good knife, and I’m set.” If that sounds like you, then the Sentinel is your kind of Swiss Army Knife.

So, which one to get?

By now, I think you already know the answer!

Each of these models will serve you well. Each offers something unique, but they all share the same Swiss quality and affordability. Whether you’re a minimalist or someone who likes a few extra options, there’s a budget-friendly Swiss Army Knife for you.

Where to Buy Cheap Swiss Army Knives: Tips for Scoring the Best Deals

Ready to add a Swiss Army Knife to your toolkit without emptying your wallet? Here’s the scoop on snagging the best deals. 

Online Retailers: Online retailers are a treasure trove of discounts and offers on Swiss Army Knives. You can compare prices across sites, read reviews, and often find exclusive online deals. 

Just be sure to check the seller’s reputation to avoid knock-offs. It’s like online dating; do your homework to avoid surprises.

Outdoor Equipment Stores: Don’t overlook local outdoor equipment stores. Buying in person means you can handle the knife, get a feel for it, and sometimes haggle a bit. Plus, supporting local businesses is always a bonus. 

It’s like making a new friend who can give you great advice on knives and maybe even throw in a discount or two.

Timing is everything.

Look out for seasonal sales, clearance events, and special promotions. Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and post-holiday sales can be goldmines for discounts on Swiss Army Knives. 

It’s like waiting for the perfect wave; with a little patience, you can score big.

Lastly, where you buy your Swiss Army Knife can affect the price. Online deals can be tempting, but sometimes seeing the knife in person at a local store can save you from buyer’s remorse. Plus, you might snag a discount or find a sale. 

It’s like treasure hunting; with a bit of patience and some savvy shopping, you can uncover a great deal on a quality knife.

Considering Second-hand Swiss Army Knives

On a tight budget? Second-hand Swiss Army Knives can be a fantastic option. 

I haven’t bought a second-hand SAK yet. But I must admit, it is a viable option. 

The reason?

Swiss Army Knives have impeccable build quality and usually last for decades. So you may get a high-quality model at a fraction of the price.

It’s like finding a hidden gem at a garage sale—a little bit of searching can lead to a great find.

But, buyer beware!

Check for wear and tear, ensure the tools open smoothly, and confirm the knife’s authenticity. It’s a bit like adopting a pet; you want to make sure they’re healthy and the right fit for your home. 

Trusted online marketplaces, outdoor enthusiasts’ forums, and reputable second-hand stores are good places to start your hunt. 

Search on eBay, maybe the best deal is already there. Open an account at multitool.org and bladeforums.com and participate in the discussions on Swiss Army knives. You will find a lot of enthusiasts willing to trade or sell their SAKs at a discount.

The pros? You get a high-quality knife for less. 

The cons? It might come with some wear or need a bit of ‘tender loving care’. But think of it as a project; with a little care, your second-hand Swiss Army Knife can be as good as new.

It’s an affordable way to own a piece of craftsmanship without spending a lot.

What to Check Before Buying a Used SAK

When you’re hunting for a used Swiss Army Knife, it’s like being a detective. Here are some tips:

  • Check the blades for any signs of rust or damage. A little wear is okay, but you don’t want something that looks like it’s been through a blender. 
  • Open and close each tool to make sure it snaps into place nicely. If it’s more like a limp handshake, that’s a red flag. 
  • Give the knife a good sniff. Yes, you read that right. Musty or odd smells can indicate the knife has been stored in poor conditions, which might affect its longevity.
  • Consider the price. If it’s suspiciously low, ask yourself why. A genuine Swiss Army Knife at a throwaway price might mean it’s either stolen or a clever fake.

Remember, the handle tells a story too. Look for cracks or significant wear. If you’re buying online, don’t be shy to ask the seller for close-up photos or even a video demonstrating the knife’s condition.

Trust me, it’s better to ask lots of questions now than to regret your purchase later.

Do your homework, compare prices, and don’t let a too-good-to-be-true deal blind you to potential issues. Remember, a great deal is only great if the Swiss Army Knife is in good condition and functions well.

Quality and Durability of Cheap Swiss Army Knives

Let’s get one thing straight: “Cheap” doesn’t mean low quality when it comes to Swiss Army Knives. 

These pocket-sized pals are crafted from strong stainless steel, which means they resist rust and last ages. Even the affordable models boast this durable material, so you’re getting a tool that’s tough as nails.

The pricier ones might come with extra features or special scales that add to their durability.

When comparing the durability of cheap versus expensive Swiss Army Knives, think of it like comparing a sturdy, reliable car to a luxury vehicle. Both will get you where you’re going, but the luxury model has bells and whistles that add to the cost.

 Your wallet-friendly Swiss Army Knife might not have a laser pointer or a USB drive, but for slicing, dicing, and surviving everyday adventures, it’s your reliable sidekick.

Plus, it won’t sting as much if you lose it during one of your escapades 🙂.

Note

Don’t let the price tag fool you. Swiss Army Knives are built to last, with many users proudly sharing stories of their Swiss Army Knives that have been passed down through generations.

I have a few models that are more than 20 years old and still going strong!

So, whether you’re tightening screws, opening bottles, or just preparing for life’s unexpected moments, a budget-friendly Swiss Army Knife won’t let you down. 

And if it ever does, Victorinox’s warranty and repair services are commendable, ensuring your trusty tool is always in top-notch condition.

Best Uses for Cheap Swiss Army Knives

Do you know the best thing about owning a cheap Swiss Army Knife?

You won’t sweat over using it for all sorts of odd jobs! Plus, if you misplace it, replacing it won’t break the bank.

I always find myself using one of the cheaper models that I own much more than the expensive ones.

Now, let’s talk gifts. Finding a present that’s both practical and thoughtful can be a headache. But guess what? A Swiss Army Knife hits the sweet spot. 

It’s a gift that says, “I care about your everyday adventures and mishaps.” Whether it’s for a birthday, graduation, or just because, a Swiss Army Knife is a versatile, useful gift that won’t end up gathering dust. 

And when it’s easy on the wallet, you can spread the joy without stretching your budget.

So, whether you’re keeping it for yourself or giving it away, a budget-friendly Swiss Army Knife is a win-win. So go ahead, make it part of your daily life or someone else’s, and enjoy the practicality it brings.

Conclusion: The Joy of Ownership Within Budget

Wrapping up, it’s clear that owning a Swiss Army Knife doesn’t have to drain your wallet to be a worthwhile investment. 

From the satisfaction of snagging a great deal on a used model to the assurance of quality and durability in even the most affordable options, these multitools prove themselves time and again.

And in case you are ok to spend a little more, I have also curated the list of the best Swiss Army Knives for you.

Remember, these cheaper options are not just about saving a few bucks; they’re about experiencing the reliability and versatility that comes with carrying a Swiss Army Knife.

Victorinox Rambler Matheran

Whether you’re using it as part of your everyday carry, gifting it to someone special, or simply adding it to your collection, a budget-friendly Swiss Army Knife offers the joy of ownership without the hefty price tag.

 It’s a small addition to your life that makes a big difference, proving that the best things don’t always come with a high price! 

About Me
ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Deb is passionate about pocket tools, bags, and accessories, especially any type of everyday-use gear (or not so everyday-use gear) that makes life efficient, comfortable, and more enjoyable.

Recent Posts