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Review: Victorinox Pioneer (slightly pic heavy)

Discussion in 'Gear Reviews' started by sungame, Dec 4, 2012.

  1. Vesp
    • In Omnia Paratus

    Vesp Loaded Pockets

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    ^Love that Pioneer Buzzbait!
    I think I went that whole sircle in a year.. From SAK to high end knives, back to a Pioneer.
    Just needed to be honest with myself. A Pioneer is really all I need for most EDC tasks.
    If I know I'm going to need some more, I take a OHO or a fixed blade with me.
     
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  2. watchcollector1968

    watchcollector1968 Loaded Pockets

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    Well after reading your review I had to pop over and order one. Nicely done.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  3. sungame

    sungame Loaded Pockets

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    That's a beautiful knife you've got there. I've always liked the old red alox models, especially after some wear.

    That seems to happen a lot, at least if I am to judge by this forum. Personally, I wouldn't exactly say that I've come full circle, as I still don't see the point in the fat plastic SAKs with dozens of all but useless tools in a very awkward package. However, I have discovered that a SAK can be something different than that. The slim alox models are both works of art and infinitely more useful in real life than the more McGyverish models, IMHO.

    I think a lot of the knife nuts who hate Victorinox' blade steel don't get the purpose of this kind of knife in the first place. On a bigger, heavy duty knife, a better steel would definitely be in place. That's why I would love to see some 154CM or similar on Vic's 111mm knives. However, for a smallish EDC knife like the Pioneer, I find the proprietary Vic steel just about perfect. Well, the perfect compromise between edge holding, price and ease of sharpening, that is.

    Personally, I think that every folding knife would be better with a lock. However, once again, it is all about the best possible compromise, and a lock would probably add to much bulk and heft to this slim little classic. Also, I quite agree that on a knife of this size and for realistic everyday tasks, you don't really need a lock.

    In the words of Vesp the Wise:
     
  4. Freddo4J

    Freddo4J Loaded Pockets

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    Great review sungame - thanks! I have a few SAK's (styles and shapes but don't know the model names). Thanks for the pointer to the SAKWiki site so I can learn more. Now that I started carrying an EDC knife there's no turning back.
     
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  5. ramjet

    ramjet Loaded Pockets

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    Like I stated in Alox Pox, I also "gifted" myself for Christmas a silver Pioneer. Already using it daily. Mine is EDC'd in a Maxped organizer with other essentials. My older Vic is in my GHB and gets used occasionally. I agree on the slimness.
     
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  6. Freddo4J

    Freddo4J Loaded Pockets

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    I got so excited about being able to "name" my SAK models (yep - you know you're an EDCF'er when...) by researching them in SAKWiki:

    Money Clip Red Alox scales
    Classic SD Red scales
    Classic SD Blue scales
    Super Tinker Blue scales ("L.L.Bean" is on one of the scales toting the Victorinox logo)

    Thanks again sungame - I may need to grow my collection; loving the Alox look!
     
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  7. Guardian Angel 1983

    Guardian Angel 1983 Loaded Pockets

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    Excellent review, I would love to have a Victorinox Pioneer, but I already have the Farmer. It's the same SAK plus a saw blade. But it's still on my list of should have items.
     
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  8. sungame

    sungame Loaded Pockets

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    Thank you!

    I love Victorinox' saw blades, and am very happy to have one on my Swiss Tool and my 111mm Rucksack. For the size, they are amazingly efficient little wood saws, and invaluable in the back country. However, IMHO, on an EDC tool, a saw blade is just a waste of valuable pocket real estate.

    As stated in the review, the Pioneer isn't perfect, but it might very well be the best possible compromise for every day carry.
     
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  9. Guardian Angel 1983

    Guardian Angel 1983 Loaded Pockets

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    I see where you're coming from on the saw and I respect that, but the Farmer is the only thing I carry in my left pocket so the extra bulk isn't really that big of an issue to me. I used to run my Victorinox Trekker instead, but after a week I decided to down size to the Farmer. I have considered the Pioneer, Cadet, and Recruit also but I just figured since I already have the Farmer I might as well use it.
     
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  10. powerring
    • In Omnia Paratus

    powerring Loaded Pockets

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    Great review and I liked this part the best! I love the Solo and the Bantam, which are the least feature packed of the alox lineup. Besides the irony of being SAKs with almost no extras, they're both impossibly thin and solid. The Bantam is one of two knives that always live (in rotation) in my coin pocket. I bought several extras of both models as they were discontinued by Victorinox at bargain prices.
     
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  11. sungame

    sungame Loaded Pockets

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    I like that line of thinking! I, too, try to appreciate and work with what I've got instead of buying new stuff all the time. There is always something better somewhere out there, but the best EDC gear is what you've actually got on person, not what you might buy sometime.
     
  12. sungame

    sungame Loaded Pockets

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    I never actually liked the Solo all that much. When I carried it, it was mostly for sentimental reasons. I have to agree that it is a well built and solid little knife, and it is very slim and pocket friendly. However, if I were to carry a single purpose, blade only folder, I would prefer something with a blade lock, like a small Buck Vantage or Nobleman. Or a small Sebenza...

    The Bantam, on the other hand, is a nice little tool. It's got the most important tools in an almost impossibly slim package. However, I prefer the larger blade of the 93mm knives, and I like the driver/can opener tool to much to let it go.
     
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  13. powerring
    • In Omnia Paratus

    powerring Loaded Pockets

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    I like the Solo when I need a very thin, or somewhat dressier knife (and the Bantam is perfect for this role too). The Victorinox cross is well known and knives bearing them are generally regarded as benign by almost everyone, no matter the size. I do prefer a locking blade as well and the Buck Vantage (small) is my favorite by far in that size range.

    I alternate between the Bantam and a Ladybug 3 in H1 for coin pocket carry.
     
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  14. Guardian Angel 1983

    Guardian Angel 1983 Loaded Pockets

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    That's exactly how I see it. No matter how many guns, knives, multitools or SAKs I want they are not as affective as the items I have with me. :)
     
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  15. batteur
    • GITD Manix 2XL Owner
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    batteur Loaded Pockets

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    I don’t really use a bottle opener or can opener, but a pioneer with blade, awl and scissors would be very useful and still thin enough.
     
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  16. sungame

    sungame Loaded Pockets

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    I don't really use the actual openers all that much either, but I use the screw drivers quite a lot. Besides, you never know when you'll need to open a bottle or two, and I don't carry a lighter...
     
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  17. Gossimer82

    Gossimer82 Loaded Pockets

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    I've owned my Pioneer for 2 days... I've opened 2 beer bottles, and used the awl to re-punch the air vent in my "not quite fully punched" coffee lid. Defintely worth having those 2 tools in the mix!

    (ok, I could have used anything to punch the hole... but the thing is only 2 days old. Any excuse is a good excuse at this point!)
     
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  18. this_is_nascar

    this_is_nascar Loaded Pockets

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    It's obvious that the blade is crooked while in the close position, but I haven't been able to tell what it looks like opened. So, when the Pioneer blade is deployed is it still crooked and slanted?
     
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  19. sungame

    sungame Loaded Pockets

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    I wouldn't call it "crooked", but, yes, it is still slightly bent when it is deployed. However, it isn't really all that obvious when it is open, and it has absolutely no impact on how the blade works.
     
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  20. this_is_nascar

    this_is_nascar Loaded Pockets

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    Thanks. Was all set to get a Pioneer over a Cadat, but saw the slightly bent blade and it's got me all freaked out. Looks like hell when closed. I know, I shouldn't worry about how it look, but I do.
     
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