First Look: Victorinox Skipper Navy Camouflage

Discussion in 'Reviews' started by Marc-Alexander Nagel, Nov 18, 2018.

  1. Marc-Alexander Nagel

    Marc-Alexander Nagel Tracker

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    When one is discussing Victorinox, the first distinctive feature is size. The smallest being the Classic line, measuring 58 mm, the Classic in itself one of the most sold tools made by Victorinox.

    The big boys on the other hand come in a whopping 111 mm frame, that´s the size of a reasonable folder and fits one hand pretty well.
    So, today we take a look at the new Skipper in Navy Camouflage.

    In it´s natural habitat:
    [​IMG]

    The Skipper model isn´t that new per se, but the colour pattern is. The scales come in Navy Camouflage, modeled after the current US Navy camouflage. It would be great news to me, if the Swiss themselves had a Navy... :)

    The Skipper is a four-layer tool, meaning it´s nearly square in diameter.
    [​IMG]

    On the far right we have the Herkules, next is the Skipper. Some Forrester variations (love this one), the (older) German GAK and on the far left a Sentinel. That´s a different as the 111 mm range can be.

    One 111 mm does not equal all 111 mm. As you can see, the blades alone are quite different:
    [​IMG]

    Both two-handed operation, but different as can be:
    [​IMG]

    There´s difference in width, the old Herkules still having the side lock, which was pahsed out, if I´m not mistaken. The Skipper comes with the newish liner lock, which needs the base of the blade to be a little wider than usual.

    The Skipper combines the two-handed operation, known from the older models and the more modern serrations. Locking is done by liner lock, wich has to be pushed to the right to disengage. Unusual in the knife world, standard for Victorinox.

    I always wondered, if I choose to chisel grind my blades, why in gods name would I do so on the wrong side?
    Think about all the Emerson knives, you know what I mean.
    Form follows function!

    The good folks at Victorinox show, that you can get it done right. The grind is on the right side, pun intended.
    [​IMG]

    Serrations up front, plain edge at the back. Perfect for cutting rope or other fibrous material. If you like you still can do feathersticks. Or sharpen a pencil.
    Do you know another two-handed Victorinox, which has a serratetd blade?
    Nicely done:
    [​IMG]

    The blade markings:
    [​IMG]

    The liner which engages the blade does the same thing on the large and ultra robust screwdriver:
    [​IMG]

    Just for comparison, the older 111 mm screwdriver, quite a difference, won´t you say?
    [​IMG]

    The can opener is the same, from 91 mm to 111 mm. Trivia: All Cadet models have a slightly smaller can opener built in, just so you know.
    That´s how differently a Swiss Cross can be done:
    [​IMG]

    Burnt, molded, printed, everything is possible.

    Does anybody notice anything special?
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Exactly, the pliers nail nick is on the "wrong" side!
    Why is that?
    The reason is the liner lock. Design-wise it simply has to be between the opener layer and the large blade.
    [​IMG]

    That´s why the blade is on the right, or left side from the pliers, depending on locking mechanism.
    Otherwise the pliers are the same version, which is used in the 91 mm as well. It´s a proven design, so why change it?
    [​IMG]

    If you need a beefier set of pliers, go with a plier based tool, like the Boatsman, Spirit or the all-time-classic, the Swisstool.

    If you don´t pay close attention, you could easily miss the phillips screwdriver. It´s hidden beneath the pliers, saving some space.
    [​IMG]

    Bottom middle in this picture. The shortest phillips driver is build into the Evolution Grip S54 (a former Wenger model), the Swisstool comes with the longest one, being a full scale multitool. No surprises here, right?

    By the way:
    You see the two phillips drivers on top from the Explorers? The longer one is from the old version, the slightly shorter from the current one.

    I really do like the fact that tweezers and toothpick are on board the Skipper, well done!
    [​IMG]

    Neither the dual density scales nor the wood scales have them. With the olive German GAK the cannels for the tweezers and toothpick are sealed, Grunt-proof, so to speak.
    But you can open them, as I have done...

    And now for the cabinet of oddities:
    You all surely have a tool, that you always missed on a Victorinox, or which is at least extremely rare, right?
    Like the orange peeler on the Executive...

    Let´s see...:
    [​IMG]

    The Skipper comes with a marlin spike and a shackle opener, just in line with the maritime theme.
    But the marlin spike is a rarety. As rare as the included lanyard. Nearly all Victorinox tools come with a keyring, but the cordage isn´t usually supplied.

    The small eye is for sewing, the larger one to open shackles. The tip works as a mini phillips screwdriver as well, if you know what you´re doing, that is. The whole tool in itself is the marlin spike, to splice up rope, doing artfull knots and the like.

    Looks good on land as well:
    [​IMG]

    I really do like the new camouflage pattern and the tool selection the Skipper comes with.
    But I have to admit, the serrations just had kitchen duty, as we where on vacation. But I can tell you, they easily outperformed any knife I found in the kitchen in our cabin, that´s for sure. :)

    It´s sunday, so time to rest:
    [​IMG]
    As always, thanks for bearing with me.

    If you have any questions, shoot!
     
    Swampdog, stillman, mjh and 18 others like this.
  2. JasonJ

    JasonJ Guide

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    Nice first look, this is a very well thought out tool!
     
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  3. LazyPK

    LazyPK Supporter Supporter

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    Nice write up! :dblthumb:
     
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  4. PiterM

    PiterM Tracker

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    Nice writeup! Skipper us really very valuable knife in Victorinox line, and REALLY underestated one. I’ve been using mine for years, and recently I got Skipper Pro in my hands. Well, it's totally (and I mean TOTALLY) different knife made for different purpose than regular Skipper. So...

    What about a quick comparison of regular Skipper vs Skipper Pro from my humble perspective as a certified sea sailor, lake sailor with family and even sailing instructor for a couple of seasons back in the days.


    [​IMG]

    Regular Skipper: I'd say that for lake sailing or for a small family-sized sea sailboat for crusing along the coast (so say up to 40 ft) the standard Skipper makes more sense! You have pliers (great for small safety pins and smallest shackles), there is a shackle key suitable for 95% of shackles used on such yachts, and the flat marlin spike is actually great for ropes up to 8-9mm in diameter and usable for up to 12mm diameter. Also the tip-loop on a spike is nice feature if you want to finish a thick line with a nice braid made with thin houseline. One handed blade is not really necessary when sailing on a lake for pleasure, there is rarely a heavy storm which you need to go through with nearest marina days away. On most lakes (except biggest lakes in Canada I guess) you can get safely to either marina or just wild bank within 2-3 hours max, usually well below 1 hour. Same for crusing on a sea along the coast. So with a weather alarm in your phone or barometer - it's easy to escape from a storm. If you get caught - it's usually your fault of not paying attention to instruments and (AND, not OR) clouds and weather around. If you're 2-3 days from a solid ground... well, things are different.

    [​IMG]

    Skipper Pro: imagine a 50ft crusing yacht, or a 80ft long 2-mast sailing ship. Or something even bigger. Well, there is not much use for small pliers as safety pins are usually massive. On a 100ft boat that 'regular' shackle key is useless on most shackles except the one on a ship's bell, as most have bolts 10mm or more in diameter, so the flat part is not gonna fit your tiny shackle key anyway. You need a proper adjustable wrench or full-size pliers. And finally ropes... they start at 10mm and can go up to 1" in diameter easily, so you need a SERIOUS MASSIVE marline spike, locking one. Just like on the Pro.

    [​IMG]

    And finally one hand opening... YES, on a sea it's quite common that you NEED to operate with one hand in heavy weather (the other is JUST for your safety, even if you're roped to the deck, which is in such a case mandatory). And it can last for days. Been there done that. My longest stay on deck in storm was about 30 hrs on a 60ft yawl. So it happens.

    On both knives I really like cap lifter (especially useful when spending free time in marina, lol!), flat screwdriver (bigger and locking on Pro) and small screwdriver on can opener, which works great for philips screws. I ABSOLUTELY love the in-line Philips on regular Skipper... why oh why they didn't put one on the Pro? There is enough space opposite/below the massive marlin spike (IMO).

    [​IMG]

    Cork-screw... useless (as a concept) except that it holds mini-screwdriver, which can be handy if you wear glasses (like me) and nearest eyeglass repair shop is separated from you with miles of water. Sometimes 1000 miles, haha! Anyway, it could be handy, but I can easily do without. Awl - great, useful. They skipped the thread slot on Pro but I guess it's stronger that way and PRO is made to be stronger as you have little chance to ship it for repair. Tweezers, toothpick... I don't care for that, always carry my Classic SD in a dopp kit.

    To sum up - both are great tools for what they were designed. If you're lake sailor or crusing with family in Greece from island to island - get regular and enjoy all the tools and lower weight & slimmer profile. If you sail on a bigger sailboat of if you work on a ship (sail or machine) the Skipper Pro is obviously a more appropriate choice and will be much more useful on deck. And last but not least... if you enjoy sailing and collecting knifes at the same time - get both of course! Just like me :D

    But... there is only one Pro!

    [​IMG]
     
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  5. Skruffy

    Skruffy Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Great first look & comparison! Thanks for the time and effort to pass along this info. :dblthumb:
     
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  6. Marc-Alexander Nagel

    Marc-Alexander Nagel Tracker

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    Thanks @PiterM for joining in!
    Great insights as well!

    Thumbs up!
     

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