Reviewed 12/17/2013 by BradGad
-Price Paid: $28.00
-Used for Every Day Carry
-Owned for Greater than 1 year
I was interested to see TheBoss call this the Honda Accord of pocket knives. On a knife forum I frequent, someone called it the Fender Stratocaster of pocket knives. And both comparisons do capture something about the knife. It's extremely capable, it's an excellent value, certainly gets the job done... but it's just not all that sexy. Fr'instance, the Huntsman has much less cachet among SAK aficionados than, say, the Farmer or the Compact.
Build quality -- as with all Victorinox knives -- is top notch (though either I'm getting rougher on knives or the Victorinox handles are getting a little more fragile than in days of yore). The tool designs have stood the test of time, and all work well... especially the saw, which is amazingly capable for a tool its size. As with all SAKs, the blade steel takes an edge very well and is extremely corrosion resistant, but doesn't hold the edge as well as that of many high-end folders and slipjoints.
The Huntsman is also available in a Plus version, which adds a ballpoint pen, micro-screwdriver, and straight pin with no additional bulk. (NB: the much maligned parcel hook tool comes into its own on Plus models: the pen can be inserted into its grove, then the hook closed over the pen, to make the skinny, slick Vic pen actually quite comfortable to write with.)
The Huntsman is the slimmest SAK that has all the tools I really want... but, that being said, it ain't thin. At four layers, it's a bit too thick for easy pocket carry. A belt sheath -- such as Victorinox's Zermatt pouch -- can be used, but to me this works against the whole idea of Swiss Army Knives: you really appreciate their elegance and usefulness only if you carry one all the time, and most people simple can't wear a knife pouch on their belt all the time. An alternative is to set up a rig where the knife hangs vertically in your pocket, rather than resting across the bottom of the pocket. This can be done with a clip such as the TEK P-7 suspension clip, or with a weighted lanyard that hangs outside the pocket.
I use this latter method and it works very well. A lanyard made from four feet of paracord, holding a firesteel and a Photon Freedom Micro-Light, hangs just outside my pocket; the firesteel (useful for itself, of course) gives the lanyard enough weight that the knife hangs vertically, just inside my pocket. With this set up, A) the knife is quite comfortable to carry, B) I can easily pull it out my pocket when sitting or driving, and C) I have a powerful flashlight literally at my fingertips all the time... something that's turned out to be just about as handy as always having a SAK!
I have a number of 91 mm Swiss Army Knives, and carry the Huntsman the most often. If the scissors or saw aren't crucial to you, the Climber or Camper may well a better choice. If you really want both these tools, the Huntsman will serve you well.