World’s Largest Swiss Army Knife: The Wenger Giant Is An Engineering Marvel

Updated September 23, 2023

Wenger Giant

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A lot of superlatives can be used to describe the Wenger Giant. After all, which knife company can even think of creating something like this?

But Wenger, known to be the more innovative of the two Swiss Army Knife manufacturers (the other being Victorinox), created this unique Swiss Knife Army that is still considered a marvel of modern Engineering.

The Wenger Giant, also known as the Wenger 16999, is the largest Swiss Army Knife ever made. The Giant comprises 87 tools that can perform 141 different functions. It is the only SAK that has the most tools, as it has every tool that Wenger has ever produced for their 85mm Swiss Army Knives.

If you are interested in how and who thought of creating this unusual and extraordinary SAK, keep reading.

Wenger Giant Holds A Guinness Record

Talking of superlatives, the Wenger Giant did feature in the Guinness World Records. Specifically, the Guinness Book Of World Records awarded it the distinction of being the ‘most multifunctional penknife‘. 

This is what Guinness says about the Wenger Giant:

The most multifunctional penknife is the Swiss Army Giant Knife 2007, manufactured by Wenger S.A. in Delemont, Switzerland, which contains 87 tools and offers 141 different functions

If you buy the Giant, you will get a copy of the Certificate of the Guinness World Records in the box that the Wenger ships in.

Along with this, you will also get a certificate of ownership which also has a list of 87 tools, comprising 141 functions.

Wenger 16999, the largest Swiss Army Knife
The Wenger Giant comes in a box consisting of the knife itself and two certificates!

The Giant was also a finalist for the Outstanding Technology of the Year Award for 2006, from the International Academy of Sciences.

Specifications, Tools, Functions, and Price

The Giant is a member of the 85mm Wenger Swiss Army Knives. Yes, this is not the largest series of SAKs that Wenger used to make.

Wenger’s largest SAK series is the 130mm. But Wenger put in so many layers in the Giant that its thickness is greater than its length. In all, the Giant has 49 layers.

Dimensions and Weight
  • Length: 85mm
  • Width: 26mm
  • Weight: over 3 lbs
  • Thickness: 244mm

This knife is more than 9 inches thick. Funny how the Guinness Book calls it a penknife! This monster certainly is not something you can call a pocket knife or a holstered knife.

As this Wenger 16999 is not produced anymore, there is no official list of all the tools published anywhere. SAKWiki maintains a list of tools available in the Wenger Giant, and so does Amazon.

Do You Know?

The initial model of the Wenger Giant had a laser pointer with a 300ft range. This tool was later removed from the model because of regulatory laws in certain countries.

Wenger has included every tool they have designed over a century-long history of making Swiss Army Knives. There have been tool variations in the Wenger Giant over the years since its first inception.

This is because Wenger used to produce a newer model of the Giant each year to include all the newer implements that they had designed for their SAKs in that specific year.

Note

The Giant ended up having 14 blades, three types of pliers, countless screwdrivers, saws, wrenches, and a lot of other tools.

Here is a list of the tools and functions in the Wenger Giant, compiled from the two sources mentioned before. It comes only in standard red-colored scales.

The Wenger Giant is not only the largest Swiss Army Knife but also one of the most expensive Swiss Army Knives ever made. After all, the level of engineering effort that went into the design and production does deserve premium pricing.

Wenger made the Giant available for purchase by the common people around 2007, the year it won the Guinness Record.

Do You Know?

Wenger used to release very limited numbers of the Giant each year. It is said that in the year 2000, it only produced about 25 pieces.

The production is discontinued now and as of today, there is no listed price for the Wenger Giant. However, this has made the Giant a very valuable collector’s item. 

The model went out of stock on Amazon a long time back. However, you will probably find the Wenger Giant being sold by retailers and individuals over many marketplaces including eBay. The price varies between $8000 – $12000. 

Why Was The Wenger Giant Made?

Have you ever regretted that your Swiss Army Knife doesn’t have a specific tool that you would love to have? But the other SAK that has that tool is missing another tool that your current SAK has.

Well, that was NOT the reason why Wenger created the Giant. A SAK is designed to be a functional multi-tool and hence there has to be a limit to the number of tools a specific model can have.

But what if we can have all the tools in one single model? This is exactly the idea that Michel Champion, who used to work in the assembly department of Wenger’s Delemont factory in Switzerland, came up with.

Michel Champion is known as the father of the Wenger Giant. After he saw some big knives in the Guinness Book, he had this idea about creating one knife by assembling all the tools that Wenger makes in a single model. He presented the idea of creating this big SAK to Wenger’s management.

The idea was accepted by Wenger’s management, and the rest is history. 

Michel says that the aim was not to win a world record certificate but to ensure that Wenger was capable of achieving such a feat.

Do You Know?

It took ten weeks of development for Wenger to come up with the prototype of the Giant. Mr. Champion engineered the manufacturing process and created the first Wenger Giant in the year 2000.

The model is officially known as the ‘Wenger 16999’. But of course, it became well known as the ‘Wenger Giant’ because of its size.

We wanted to show what a Swiss Army knife could look like with all the tools in one product… to show this handy toolbox in its most extreme form.

Peter Hug (Wenger’s chief executive)

How was the Wenger Giant made?

The Wenger Giant is assembled by hand. The assembling and riveting process are manual, as Michel Champion mentioned that it is impossible for a machine to assemble a knife like the Giant.

Initially, Michel Champion alone was responsible for putting the knife together as he knew exactly where each tool should go.

Do You Know?

In the beginning, Michel Champion could assemble only two units of the Giant a day. As he gained experience, he was capable of assembling eight such units in a day. 

He once mentioned that only the assembling process of the Wenger Giant took about one hour. 

Mr. Champion later trained his colleague Mr. Leuenberger to assemble the Giant. The two of them were the only technicians in Wenger trained to assemble this monster SAK.

Wenger assembled the first 25 units of the Giant in 2000. These were used for exhibitions in various trade shows.

How Practical is the Wenger Giant?

The Giant is an enormous SAK. Though impressive by design and craftsmanship, the model is so large that it is impractical for any type of actual use. It is not something you can carry with you anywhere, be it in your pocket or your bag.

However, Wenger has made it pretty clear that the largest Swiss Army Knife was not designed to be a practical knife. It was explicitly used for promotional purposes by Wenger, mainly to attract the attention of dealers at trade shows.

Wenger Giant Featured
The Giant – dare to put this in your pocket?

It was something to be displayed in a showcase, rather than used for practical tasks.

Do You Know?

In the initial models of the Giant, the knife blades were as sharp as they come. However, in the later models, Wenger stopped sharpening the blades to prevent accidents as it was already a difficult task to hold the SAK in the hand when the tools were in the open position.

People have often referred to the Wenger Giant as the most impractical knife in the world, and rightly so. The uselessness of this SAK model for any practical tasks led to many sarcastic jokes.

Especially, some of the reviews on Amazon on the Wenger Giant are hilarious. Do go through them if you want to have a good laugh ????

Which is Victorinox’s Largest Knife?

What the Giant is to Wenger, the Swiss Champ XAVT is to Victorinox. Just like the Giant, the XAVT is also a collectors’ knife. The XAVT is, of course, much smaller compared to the Wenger Giant. But it is still big enough to be extremely unwieldy for most people for any practical tasks.

I have written a detailed post on the Swiss Champ XAVT including how it compares to the Wenger Giant.

You may also read this post to know more about the differences between Victorinox and Wenger, especially in the tools, design ethos, and more.

In case you are looking for a Swiss Army Knife with a lot of functions that you can actually carry with you and also work comfortably with, Then the Giant is not the one you are looking for. I have compiled a list of the best large but practical Swiss Army Knives in this post.

The Wenger Giant As A Collector Item

It is said that Wenger made the Giant to celebrate its 100th anniversary, and showcase its engineering prowess.

It was used for brand building and marketing to attract the attention of dealers at trade shows.

The exhibition of the Giant at trade shows made the collectors and enthusiasts aware of the existence of such a unique SAK.

Wenger Giant
The Wenger Giant on display | Image Source: Wikimedia

As much as the users of the Swiss Army Knives may criticize the Giant, the collectors love it. Quantity-wise, Wenger sold far more units than they expected. 

The Wenger Giant is retired now, as are many other popular SAK models made by Wenger. This has further increased its value as a collector’s item.

Tools And Functions In The Wenger 16999

Tools And Functions in The Wenger 16999
  • 2.5-inch 60% serrated locking blade
  • Nail file
  • Nail cleaner
  • Corkscrew
  • Adjustable pliers with wire crimper and cutter
  • Removable screwdriver bit adapter
  • 2.5-inch blade for Official World Scout Knife
  • Spring-loaded, locking needle-nose pliers with wire cutter
  • Removable screwdriver bit holder
  • Phillips head screwdriver bit 0 Phillips head screwdriver bit 1
  • Phillips head screwdriver bit 2
  • Flat head screwdriver bit 0.5mm x 3.5mm
  • Flat head screwdriver bit 0.6mm x 4.0mm
  • Flat head screwdriver bit 1.0mm x 6.5mm
  • Magnetized recessed bit holder
  • Double-cut wood saw with ruler
  • Chain rivet setter
  • Removable 5mm
  • Allen wrench
  • Screwdriver for slotted and Phillips head screws
  • Removable tool for adjusting spokes
  • 10mm Hexagonal key for nuts
  • Removable 4mm curved Allen wrench with Phillips head screwdriver
  • Patented locking screwdriver
  • Universal wrench
  • 2.4-inch springless scissors with serrated self-sharpening design
  • 1.65-inch clip-point utility blade
  • Phillips head screwdriver
  • 2.5-inch clip-point blade
  • Club face cleaner
  • 2.4-inch round tip blade
  • Patented locking screwdriver
  • Cap lifter
  • Can opener
  • Shoe spike wrench
  • Divot repair tool
  • 4mm Allen wrench
  • 2.5-inch blade
  • Fine metal file with precision screwdriver
  • Double-cut wood saw with ruler
  • Cupped cigar cutter with double-honed edges
  • 12/20-gauge choke tube tool
  • Watch case back opening tool
  • Snap shackle
  • Mineral crystal magnifier
  • Compass
  • Telescopic pointer
  • Fish scaler
  • Hook dis-gorger
  • Line guide
  • Shortix laboratory key
  • Micro tool holder
  • Micro tool adapter
  • Micro scraper, straight
  • Micro scraper, curved
  • Laser pointer with a 300-foot range
  • Metal file
  • Metal saw
  • Flashlight
  • Micro tool holder
  • Phillips head screwdriver 1.5mm
  • Screwdriver 1.2mm
  • Screwdriver .8mm
  • Fine fork for watch spring bars
  • Reamer
  • Pin punch 1.2mm
  • Pin pinch .8mm
  • Round needle file
  • Removable tool holder with an expandable receptacle
  • Removable tool holder
  • Special self-centering screwdriver for gunsights
  • Flat Phillips head screwdriver
  • Chisel-point reamer
  • Mineral crystal magnifier
  • Small ruler
  • Extension tool
  • Spring-loaded, locking flat-nose needle-nose pliers
  • Removable screwdriver bit holder
  • Phillips head screwdriver bit 0
  • Phillips head screwdriver bit 1
  • Phillips head screwdriver bit 2
  • Flat head screwdriver bit 0.5mm x 3.5mm
  • Flat head screwdriver bit 0.6mm x 4.0mm
  • Flat head screwdriver bit 1.0mm x 6.5mm
  • Magnetized recessed bit holder
  • Tire tread gauge
  • Fiber optic tool holder
  • Can opener
  • Patented locking screwdriver
  • Cap lifter
  • Wire stripper
  • Reamer
  • Awl
  • Toothpick
  • Tweezers
  • Keyring
  • Straight edge, ruler (in./cm)

Wrapping Up

A Swiss Army Knife turns a toolbox full of hardware into something pocketable that can be carried along with you. However, the largest Swiss Army Knife – the Wenger Giant, is a different beast altogether.

It was made to showcase Wenger’s capability of designing a SAK in its most extreme form. Wenger made a name for itself by assembling the largest Swiss Army Knife of all time with the Giant.

To know more about Wenger’s history as a manufacturer of knives and the only other company allowed to use the ‘Swiss Army Knife’ brand, read this post.

The pocket knife division of Wenger no longer exists (as it has been merged with Victorinox) and the model is also retired now. But the Wenger 16999 will always be remembered as a unique piece of engineering and craftsmanship, especially by collectors and SAK enthusiasts.

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.

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