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GO Outdoors Swiss Army Knives Buying Guide

A Swiss Army Knife can be a real investment, and a classic tool for a lifetime, and also makes a fantastic gift.


From an on-the-go fish de-scaler for a meal at the riverside, to a stone remover so your horse can canter on, or simply scissors for when there’s a tag on your new walking boots that needs cutting off, there are such a wide range of tools with each Swiss Army Knife, the only hard part is choosing which one you need. 


The History Behind Swiss Army Knives


Swiss Army Knives have roots as early as the iron age, and were first designed with small blades and bone handles. Through time, the knives have adapted and evolved, and now have folding blades as well as other tools. The tool combination comes from the Swiss Army knives used by militia back in the 1800s. With multiple functions and low weights, their appeal soon spread to the general populous.

Many come with guarantees of over 25 years, and blades can withstand great forces in this time period without needing to be resharpened or adapted in any way.


  • The market leaders with Swiss Army Knives are Victorinox, Wenger and Leatherman, who are all proudly represented by GO Outdoors.

  • In 2005 Victorinox acquired Wenger as a company, however they still function as two separate entities with varying products.

  • Prices between these main brands vary, from £30 to over £100. For the more expensive models, you will get extra benefits, from bits compatible with the inner screwdriver, for example, included sheaths to keep it safe, as well as aluminium and stainless steel.

    • Size vary for each knife. As a general guide in terms of length, you will be needing to accommodate 9 cm or pocket space for a 48 function style.
    • Smaller knives with 7 functions come in at around 6cm.
      • Colours of swiss army knives are generally classic, pillar box red, navy blue, bottle green, sleek black and similar.
      • However, pink knives are now being introduced into many ranges, making them an ideal gift for a female who wants a more feminine design.
      • Stainless steel is also a popular design.
    • Weights vary with each style. For a large functioned swiss army knife look to add in around 185 g of weight (Based on a Victorinox model.)
    • The weight will also be added to if you choose to combine it with a pouch so remember this before you buy.
    • Some other models can come in as low as 50g of weight or as high as 200g, so check your needs before you buy.


    Legal Details


    • Remember that in the UK knife carrying laws are complex. It is not legal to carry knives in public in without "good reason"- which includes a requirement based in the areas of either employment or a hobby.

      Folding knives can be carried, and a blade of 3 inches (or less) may be carried so long as it is not a ‘locked’ or ‘fixed’ blade with weapon potential.

      See here for additional information:-


    The classic pocket knife can vary widely in the amounts of accessories within. From a simple style with 7 tools, to a larger variety with  up to 50 functions

    A simple design will carry the main essentials, generally classed as:

    • Blade – ideal for cutting anything from wire, food, cotton threads and cans..
    • Nailfile - as well as filing you nails this can smooth rough edges from wood or metals.
    • Scissors – Ideal for specific cutting needs and ideal for fishers.
    • Key Ring - Keeps this locked on to your keys for easy access.
    •  Tweezers - Great for picking out splinters and retrieveing hard to reach items (threads, pins)

    Other varieties contain the above essentials, as well as other features such as:

    • Large blade 
    • Small blade
    • Corkscrew 
    • Can opener
    • Small screwdriver
    • Cap lifter
    • Wire stripper
    • Reamer, punch
    • Multi-purpose hook
    • Wood saw
    • Fish scaler
    • Hook disgorger
    • Ruler (cm + inches)
    • Nailfile