Victorinox Swiss Army Manager Pocket Knife

The Manager Swiss Army Knife has been in my pocket for nearly 2 years. This compact tool has all the useful stuff you expect from the line of Swiss Army knives: blade, scissors, tweezers, file, bottle opener, and separate flat-head & Phillips-head screwdrivers.

What makes it a must-have is the retractable ballpoint pen. It’s smooth writing and hasn’t dried out on me in the past 2 years. I’ve taken meeting notes, written checks, and signed receipts. Just extend the combination Philips-head / bottle opener tool for a more comfortable grip during extended composition sessions.

The Manager comes to the rescue time after time for occasional writing needs and tiny DIY tasks because it’s always in your pocket. (I just changed the batteries in a Nerf gun with the Phillips-head screwdriver.) It’s more comfortable to carry in the pocket than a normal pen and more useful, too. -- Sean Singh

Victorinox Swiss Army Manager Pocket Knife $25


    1. i’ve stopped buying them because of the TSA.  i wonder how much in sales victorinox has lost because of them.  victorinox has now resorted to pushing badly designed backpacks and casual wear.  once again, the terrorists have won.

  1. Never understood the appeal of Swiss Army Knives. Most of them are terribly bulky, and I’ve always found the blades to be dodgy. 

  2. The Victorinox Cybertool has the pen, but also has a screwdriver/hex driver with 8 interchangeable bits, and a nearly-viable tiny pair of pliers.  No comparison. 

    1. I have two pretty easy comparisons – a) this unit looks to be about 20% of the price of the Cybertool and b) it’s much smaller, which will lead to me actually carrying it in my pocket with all of my other crap.  A fully decked Cybertool looks to be almost the size of a small Leatherman, in which case I’d probably just go to my bag and pull out my Leatherman.

      1. I’ve
        been carrying around the same Cybertool for a bit more than ten years
        now. With that kind of life span, I’m not terribly concerned about the
        difference in price.
        I do agree that size is a very valid concern. It’s why I opted for
        the smallest of the Cybertool line. I’ve occasionally found myself
        wishing I had a saw or some such, but it’s the only one that seems like
        it would fit comfortably in a pocket. On the other hand, I use the screw
        driver and it’s various bits all the time.

  3. I carry a SOG X-Ray Vision and it’s the best utility knife I’ve ever owned.  It can take a *very* sharp edge, and it’s VG-10 steel, so it keeps it’s edge for a considerable amount of time.  It’s partially serrated, and has a pointed tanto tip which is good for prying, picking, scraping, and can be used to turn screws to a degree.  I also can use it as a bottle opener.

    I never really cared for Swiss Army Knives.  They’re too bulky, and don’t feel very nice in my pocket.  Also you must have usable fingernails to deploy the tools, and being a nail biter I don’t have sufficient nails for that.  SAK blades also tend to either be flimsy, or dull quickly or both.

    I guess I’m more comfortable keeping it stupid simple with just one blade.  I’m sure it’s super nifty for some people to have a miniscule pair of tweezers, or a nail file, but I’ve never had use for them in a Swiss Army knife.  And I’m baffled by the nearly useless scissors.  Why include them at all when you already have a knife blade?

    The pen in this one is pretty neat though.  Outperforms a regular bic by a mile.

      1. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with opening a beer with the spine of a largish robust well made knife. One of the first tricks I learned working in a pro-kitchen. But yeah the blade and tip should only be used for cutting. 

        If you want to pry and drive screws buy a divers knife, they’re specifically made with blunt/flat tips and thick cross sections to be used for prying. A “tanto” tip is designed to stab through bullet proof vests and is exactly the sort of “tactical” feature that indicates a crappy knife. 

        1. As to opening beers, sure, there’s nothing wrong with it if you know how to do it and do it all the time. A decent knife (or a cheap lighter) is fine as a substitute tool if you’re experienced using them and keep in practice. I don’t think that it’s a good idea if you’re not, however, especially if you don’t know your blade well. It’s been a while since I just had a knife pop open on me but it does happen, much better to have something designed to do what you’re trying to do (in my opinion).

          I also think that it’s not a good idea to use any knife to pry if you don’t have to – divers don’t normally have pockets that they can keep other tools in, which is why divers’ knives are like that.  If you have a keychain you shouldn’t have to have a knife that can do that.

          1. I don’t think I’d ever use a folding knife to open a beer by the way. The blade is far too narrow, and often too short and thin in the cross section as well. Too much chance to cut your self. I only tend to do it with larger kitchen knives of moderate to low value. Got to have a few good inches between your hand and the cutting edge, and enough bulk on the spine to prevent slipping/bending. 

            But then spring tongs work better anyway.

          2. Oh, I didn’t mean blade, I meant using the reverse end of the handle a la the lighter method.  Only really works with non-metal pocket knife scales (G10, wood, etc.).  Since most people don’t pocket carry chef’s knives I don’t know how useful the other method would be as a “secondary” to not carrying a bottle opener.  Hell, I used to regularly carry chef’s knives on me (back in the day when I worked in a kitchen) and I wouldn’t have used mine as bottle openers.  Speaking of which, if you ever come over, keep your hands off my Wusthofs, the bottle opener is on the fridge…

  4. Pedantry disclaimer! The possessive form of “it” doesn’t take an apostrophe!


    If you don’t need all the whiz-bang of a Swiss Army Knife, you can get an Opinel No8 carbon steel folder from Amazon for $12.50 or a stainless one for $14. I prefer the carbon, but you have to take care of it. These don’t pass the TSA’s muster, though, because of the locking mechanism (even the shorter-bladed No5 or No4 wouldn’t fly for the same reason).

    Carbon Steel:


  5. I think what is lost on some people is that the utility of this is that it’s small and has screwdrivers and a pen, not that it’s the greatest knife for the size (or the price). I used to carry the slightly smaller version of this without the pen (the Classic SD) and I used the tiny scissors, flathead screwdriver, and knife blade all the time. Always less than ideal tools for the situation, but at the same time, the best tools – because they were the ones I had with me.

    I culled my keychain to the bare minimum (single house key and car key), and I lost all of the tiny Swiss Army knives I had anyway, and so I miss having one pretty frequently. I do have a cool and small Opinel that I use around home for small tasks, but the round handle makes it far bulkier than the flat-ish Swiss Army ones as far as pocket-ability goes.

    Now, granted, the Manager model is larger than the Classic SD, but the flatness would still make it quite pocketable – at least for people who wear pants who aren’t quite so tight as mine ;) And that’s the key, here, because it doesn’t feel like you’re carrying a knife like the EDC crowd likes to do.

  6. I prefer the Midnight Manager, which sports a flashlight, along with tool lineup of the Manager.

  7. I have one of these, and the pen was the biggest disappointment – I owned two of these knives now (lost one in the sea) and in both cases it dried out very quick!

    Also, the USB stick on mine got loose connections. So overall, not so keen on the “swiss quality” they achieved there. Then again, I still  carry it… it isn’t bulky at all, it is pretty tiny.

  8. The two official makers of Swiss Army knives, Victorinox and Wenger, are now under the same ownership. The products are similar, but the scissors on the Wengers are a much better design.

  9. I have the ultralight version, called the plastic bic pen.  They are so cheap that I just keep them everywhere I go, so I don’t even have to carry them in my pocket. 

    In this day and age of knowledge work, I don’t understand the need to carry a knife on one’s person.    Like most people I have dozens of better tools for cutting things than a pocket knife, all stored where I use them so I don’t have to carry them.

    1. Where I work, tools are quickly assimilated into other people’s collections, and then I have no tools.  If I’m fixing a desktop in situ, I don’t want to badger half a dozen doctors or nurses just to borrow a pair of scissors or a razor blade.  I’ve got my good, high quality knife, so I can scrape tape residue off the screen and trim the cable ties and open boxes quickly and easily.

      A good knife is a wonderful tool, and though you may not need it every day, it’s nice to know you have one that can hold its own, doing many tasks when your tools walk off the job.  Or when you don’t feel like spending 15 minutes getting to the other side of the campus to get the tools, or interrupting other people’s work because you’re in an untenable position.

      Such is temp work at a hospital.  I always feel so bad bugging anyone there, I feel sheepish, they’re jobs are to try to make people’s lives better, what I do is support them, so asking to borrow their tools is backwards.

    2.  Like you, I have lots of tools for cutting things where I normally cut them. The knife in my pocket is for where I don’t normally cut them.

  10. The model mentioned is roughly a bit more then 2 inches (6cm) in length and 1/2 inch(1.5cm) in thickness when the blade or tools aren’t folded out.  Hardly bulky in your pocket.

    SAK for me is always the 2nd best tool to have around.  It’s not the best tool for the job, but the one handy enough in my pocket to get the job done.  That’s the only advantage for me.

    To each, his own.

    I own one of this and agree it’s pretty cool and handy.  Yea, there’s midnight manager, but the battery is not sealed to keep water out so not that great if you’re in a situation where it could be soaked in water.  Also the trade off is the tweezers.  Tweezers I find handy for removing thorns and other small things.

    Actually I don’t carry this knife every day and prefer another a bigger knife when I’m actually camping.  My every day is the tinker deluxe.  I’m use to the size in my pocket. This model, is more my travel knife.  It’s usually in my luggage, but I’ve managed to go through security checks without either the security guy knowing or me remembering it’s somewhere in my person.  I’ve never had TSA take this from me yet because I usually remember to put it in my luggage.

    Oh and the most used tool for me on the SAK line?  The bottle opener.  Then the scissors.

    1. I’m wondering, what can the scissors be used for that a good, sharpened blade can’t be?  I’m honestly curious.  Off the top of my head I can’t think of anything, as long as I have a flat surface to act as an anvil.

      1. Anything that needs a bit more precise cutting without making a mess.  Trimming those little nicks near your finger nails for example.  Less risk on cutting yourself deeper and bleeding even more.  Nose hair trimming–yea that SAK knife the first aid/toiletry kit, you can’t borrow that and you might not want to.

        Temporary plyers, tweezers, gripping things,etc,.

        I prefer to snip open small packing like chip bags or candy bars.  I don’t know, my first thought of opening a small package is scissors not the knife.  Not that I’m not capable of using just the knife, I’ve done that alot during camping because I usually carry a single blade then.

      2. Those little scissors are better for:
        – cleaning up stray threads on shirts and trousers – good when you’re trying to make an impression.- clipping those little bits of skin that stick up between your finger and fingernail (pulling them just ends in blood, and no knife can do the job).- emergency paper snowflake making.
        – clipping your fingernails – try that with a knife.
        – actually, any sort of cutting on skin is better with the tiny scissors than trying to use a knife.
        Surely there are other things. Having both the blade and the scissors gives excellent flexibility.

        1. actually, any sort of cutting on skin is better with the tiny scissors than trying to use a knife.

          I’d much rather use a sharp X-acto for taking off little bits of callous. It leaves a cleaner edge than scissors.

      3.  What the cservant and oasisob1 said. The point is that you don’t always have an anvil handy, or it may not be one you want to cut on (concrete steps, the coffee table). Scissors will cut a thread or string one-handed without the need to apply tension, and are safer to use around things you don’t want to cut.  Try removing a stray thread or a hospital bracelet from a squirming three-year-old.

        In larger sizes than we are discussing here, there are all sorts of uses for scissors. Get a pair of EMT shears and your favourite knife, then compare cutting a tin can lid neatly, or a popsicle stick at 90 degrees to the grain.

        1. Makes sense on the larger scale.

          I’m a bad nail biter, so the hand grooming aspect of scissors aren’t helpful, in that the single best way to make them look good is to stop biting my nails. It’s a habit I have tried to break since I was a little kid, unsuccessfully.

  11. I carry the Rambler model; identical except no ball-point pen (which seems a little silly to me, but I keep a mini-Sharpie in the car/jacket for that duty). I keep it on  a quick-release on my keychain as a counterweight (hanging the knife outside the pocket, the keys inside), besides its more usual duties.

    I’ve had two Ramblers in 22 years, by the way; after about 15, the casing which held the long-lost toothpick & tweezers finally cracked.  I only sharpened the main blade once in that 15 years.

    Oh, and I always mailed it to myself during the TSA Dark Ages (2001-2013).

  12. I have one of these in my pocket almost all the time. I’d have it all the time if I actually attached it to my keyring, but having a bunch of keys attached to it makes it less easy to use. As a result I occasionally lose it.

    The main things I use it for are:

    * a small screwdriver
    * opening blister packs
    * cutting bits of paper
    * cutting my nails
    * writing

    The main thing I like about it is that it’s so small I carry it everywhere. Even though none of the parts are great (it’s neither a great knife, screwdriver, pen or pair of scissors), all those parts are good enough that it’s useful to have them on you at all times.

    Also, I should say that the scissors work very well as nail cutters because they work equally well in either hand.

    1. Also, I should say that the scissors work very well as nail cutters because they work equally well in either hand.

      The secret to a good (and non-injurious) manicure is as follows. When the tool is in your dominant hand, you move that hand while your non-dominant hand stays still. When the tool is in your non-dominant hand, you hold the tool still and move your dominant hand against it.

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