“A little bit of Switzerland with you forever” – That is what Carl Elsener Jr. said once. As I think about those words, he was absolutely right about that for people like me. After all, I have been carrying a Swiss Army Knife (SAK) attached to my keychain for more than a decade!
Victorinox produces almost 30 models which they call ‘Small Pocket Knives‘ that are primarily meant to be attached to your keychain or keyring.
If you are out looking for a keychain SAK, I bet you are as confused as I was with the overwhelming number of options available.
However, I have narrowed it down to the best three models that might suit you, no matter what your needs are. I have also mentioned some of the alternatives of these models in case you need to stand out from the rest with your choice of a keychain Swiss Army Knife.
Victorinox Classic SD
For many, the Classic SD is their first experience of a Swiss Army Knife. This is probably the most well-known keychain SAK, if not the most popular. There are a few reasons for this.
- The Classic SD is one of the tiniest SAKs that have all the necessary tools
- It is the most widely available SAK in the market. Victorinox produces so many every year that this model seldom goes out of stock
- It is very affordable, the price varies from around $10-$12
- It is available in many designer patterns. Victorinox comes out with new patterns for this model every year
But what makes the Classic SD such a great keychain tool is the effectiveness of its implementation. The blade is as sharp as it gets for something so small.
The scissors, as usual for any Victorinox Swiss Army Knife, are a joy to work with.
The nail file works, and so does the flathead screwdriver at the tip of it. Add a pair of small tweezers and a toothpick, and you suddenly have a small toolbox dangling from your keychain.
You may like to have a look at the full review of the Classic SD model, where I explain the tools in more detail.
The fourth point is especially what makes the Classic SD a great gift item. You can get 10 of these models for 10 different people and each can look different from the other.
These models are referred to as Victorinox Classic Limited Edition, as Victorinox produces a limited number of each such model.
One particularly interesting model is the Classic SD Stayglow, with fluorescent scales!
The Classic SD is particularly popular among women. It is also a great collector’s item, as there is always a new one with a fresh scale pattern to add to the collection.
In case you don’t like plastic scales, Victorinox got another option for you.
There is a variant of the Classic SD with Aluminium scales, called Victorinox Classic Alox.
The Alox model is thinner and looks cooler. However, it is a bit pricier, and also you don’t get the tweezers and the toothpick. In case you don’t need these scale tools, the Classic Alox can prove to be an awesome keychain SAK for you!
The Victorinox Rambler retains all the tools of the Classic SD and adds just one additional tool. I call this the combo tool, as it is in fact, 3 tools in one – a Philips screwdriver, a bottle opener, and a wire stripper.
The amazing thing is, the Rambler is just slightly thicker and heavier than the Classic SD, unnoticeable in your keychain or your pocket.
Since I got my hands on the Rambler, it has always been with me. It is now my default keychain SAK.
I have written a complete hands-on review of the Rambler where I explained the tool in detail and why it was replaced by a previous long-time favorite, the Classic SD.
The only bad thing about the Rambler is the price and availability. It’s not as cheap as the Classic SD and is almost always out of stock. You will be kind of lucky to get hold of one.
The Rambler has an interesting variation. It is actually a different model, called the Victorinox Manager.
This one adds a ballpoint pen to the SAK but removes either the tweezers or the toothpick.
That is right, you can select one of the scale tools, the toothpick or the tweezers for one of the scale slots. The other slot in the scales is occupied by a retractable pressurized ballpoint pen.
I have explained everything about the pressurized ballpoint pen that Victorinox adds in some models of their Swiss Army knife, don’t miss this article.
Victorinox Mini Champ
If you have reached this far, then you probably need something with a more complete feature set than either the Classic SD or the Rambler can provide. The Mini Champ is the ultimate keychain Swiss Army Knife that Victorinox has ever produced.
It has everything the Rambler has, and a lot more. I haven’t yet seen a more complete keychain multi-tool, especially in terms of size and functionality.
It is astonishing how many tools Victorinox has managed to pack in such a small package.
Of course, it is not as slim and light as the Classic or the Rambler. I would say, it is about twice as thick as the Rambler. As such, it may create a small bulge in your pocket, especially if you wear tight trousers. But it is quite manageable, considering how useful it can be to have it always with you.
In fact, I have carried the Mini Champ for a few months in my keychain. Nowadays, I carry it occasionally when I think that the extra tools might come in handy.
It will need a separate post to discuss the Mini Champ in-depth, and that is exactly what I have done in the review.
The Mini Champ is also available with Aluminium scales, the Mini Champ Alox model.
Of course, you will not get the tweezers and the toothpick in this one (similar to the Classic Alox). But the beauty and compactness of the Alox model might make you ignore the scale tools.
Below you will find the details of the Amazon listing of the respective Keychain Swiss Army Knife models.
If you are interested in something a bit for substantial, a mid-size EDC SAK, or something bigger that can also serve in a survival situation, do have a look at the following posts:
- 3 Awesome Swiss Army Knives for EDC
- Best Swiss Army Knives for the Outdoors
- Can a Swiss Army Knife be Used as a Survival Knife?
There you are, from the myriad of small SAKs that Victorinox has designed with varying functionalities, we have filtered out the most useful ones which will satisfy most people’s requirements.
If you are still confused, just pick any one of these 3 models. You won’t be disappointed, especially considering the value that you get for the price you pay.
I have used all these models myself, but more or less have settled on the Victorinox Rambler nowadays. But I also carry the Mini Champ sometimes. Even on occasions when I don’t get to use all of its tools, I like to flaunt it in front of friends 🙂