Victorinox Soldier’s Knife 08
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- Last updated: 22/05/2018
It was providing pocket knives for Swiss army soldiers that made Victorinox famous and the tradition continues.
Since 1891, the company has delivered knives to the Swiss army; the latest model is called the 08, or Soldatenmesser 08 to the Swiss. They ordered 75,000 knives, although it only began to be issued in 2009. The Soldier’s knife 08 features a 110mm very long ergonomic handle with polymer non-slip inlays incorporated in the nylon grip shells. It is a locking knife; it has to be for army use. The locking system is a double liner locking system; meaning that the end of the liner lock is shaped to fit into a cut out on the rear of the main blade, this makes for a very strong lock and it is defiantly not the normal run of the mill single point liner lock system.
The main blade is 86 mm long and can be opened with one hand due to the large oval hole on the spine. The blade is partly serrated drop point blade, again, soldiers may need to cut things in a hurry, the serrations will take care of most difficult tasks.
The next biggest blade is a toothed wood saw, this you pull out from the tip at the end of the knife. It is also non-locking, which is not really an issue for a saw. Apart from the saw and main blade, the top section of the knife also houses two other fold out tools, the essential beer bottle cap opener, with 7mm flat blade screw driver tip and wire stripper on the back. This has the other liner lock system on it, useful when using the screwdriver. Also, as it folds out of the knife, it has a stop position at 90-degrees to the body of the handle, this allows the user to gain added purchase and a mechanical advantage to turn the screw driver on stubborn screws etc. – clever.
The final tool on that side is the can opener, this also has a 3mm flat blade screw driver tip and it is non-locking. Flipping the 08 over there are two more tools, a PH2 Philips screw driver folds out to position the tip of the screw driver mid-point in the handle, again to give the user added grip and mechanical advantage. The final tool is a reamer, which again folds out to place it in the mid position on the body of the knife. That’s a lot of useful tools for the money.
The side scales on the 08 are green with black softer inserts, this softer material is also around the circumference of the scales; when I say soft, it’s not susceptible to damage, just gives a better grip to the scales. Also, on the scales is the Swiss coat of arms symbol, a simple cross within a shield, this is for the Swiss army and is not the usual Victorinox more ornate shield design. I have to mention the steel on these knives, the high quality stainless steel they use always comes with a high lustre, low maintenance finish. The review model had 17 stamped on the base of the blade, signifying that it was manufactured in 2017.
The 15x11mm oval opening on the spine of the main blade allows one-hand opening and the part serrated blade locks out with a satisfying snap, this of course makes it illegal to carry every day in the UK, both due to blade length, 86mm and the fact it locks. However, as a camp or DIY knife, it is superb. The last bit of usefulness is the steel 10mm key ring loop at the rear of the handle, ideal for fitting paracord lanyards or carbineer clips. You cannot go wrong with a Victorinox and the Soldier 08 knife is a well-made, well designed and very useful knife.
Many thanks again to Bruce and Richard at HH.
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