-Price Paid: N/A
-Used for Every Day Carry
-Owned for Greater than 1 year
This knife might be the best all around Swiss Army Knives made in my opinion. Every tool is useful and appropriate for common everyday and not so everyday tasks, while keeping the knife at a manageable size. As cool as they are, Swiss Army Knives can often be accused of being gimmicky and laden with seldom-used features that are awkward and unwieldy in such small proportions in all but the most desperate of times; for example a fish scaler or a saw blade. With its selection of the high-demand features and tools, the Explorer is just about the best equipped Swiss Army Knife for general applications.
The Explorer model has all the Swiss Army standards like large and small blades, can and bottle openers, large and small flat screwdrivers, leather/sewing awl, etc, as well as a few of the specialized tools that really extend its usefulness.
The magnifying glass is a great loupe for examining splinters, details, coins, cracks in tools, drill bit tips, and other surfaces, although the earlier releases had a slightly higher quality housing for the glass. I've used the scissors for everything from stray threads, making impromptu valentine cards, removing stitches in animals, and even for errant nose hairs. There is a well-placed Phillip's head screwdriver, which I think is in a much better working position than opening from the bottom like the corkscrew the way it often appears on other models.
The hook, as unsexy as it seems, is extremely useful pulling wiring, catching recessed strings, cables, rods, springs, etc. For something that seems so inane, I find myself pulling pulling out the hook almost as often as the main blade. And of course the corkscrew, that Swiss Army perennial, finds itself employed about every other night, and has the potential to make its owner a hero at parties and get-togethers.
So the reason I feel strongly about this one is that I rotate through every tool on it at least once a week, even the weird ones like the wire stripper. I'm a fairly busy person with a lot of interests including guns, electronics, leather work, cameras, musical instruments, and photography and this model knife has found a place in all of that and more.
The only thing that keeps this knife from being perfect is the lack of the pliers found on some of the other knives.