OR Ether Jacket : A Jacket for All Seasons
When you need to carry a lot of gear, but don't want a large pack, the Osprey Switch 18 is the right bag for the job... more...

Victorinox Swiss Tool Spirit : The Perfect Marriage of a Multi-tool and Pocket Knife

I've always collected pocket knives—a habit that began during my Cub Scout days. Somewhere along the line, I graduated to multi-tool models for more functionality. I like to have a smorgasbord of tools at my fingertips. Unfortunately, most of the multi-tools that I’ve used have lacked a simple, but very important feature -- a locking blade device.

Leave it to Victorinox, makers of the legendary Swiss Army Knife, to combine the safety features of a locking blade with the versatility of a multi-tool. The model I tested, the Swisstool “Spirit,” came packed with a mind-boggling 23 features (27, if you count the nylon carrying pouch, lanyard hole, tool springs, and lock release buttons).

The Spirit is all about high quality construction, which was immediately apparent when I first took it out of its box; it's a stable, sturdy tool. With solid construction and two dozen features, the Spirit is not a featherweight tool (it weighs just a hair over seven ounces), but unless you’re trekking the entire length of the Pacific Crest Trail and need to cut the handle off your toothbrush to save weight (a task the Spirit could do impressively), this multi-tool should work for you. Some of the tools on the Spirit might not overwhelm you—for example, you’re not going to be felling any old growth timber with the wood saw. But when you need a small saw to cut through a small branch or wooden pole, you’re in luck.

In the course of one weekend trip, it was almost uncanny how often I recruited the assistance of the Spirit. The scissors came in handy when I needed to cut some thread; I used both regular and Phillips head screwdrivers to make adjustments on my bicycle; my traveling companion used the pliers for some basic wiring repairs; and I lost count of the number of times that I used the multi-functional cutting blade for everything from slicing cheese to shaving some tinder to start a small fire.

On a subsequent trip the following weekend, the minute I needed the Spirit for an emergency repair to my truck, I stood dumfounded, cursing the fact that I had left the tool back at home—the perfect example of how much I have come to rely on the thing.

As a bonus, my not-so-nimble-fingers are now much safer from the potential perils of a knife slip-up, thanks to the Spirit and its locking blade. I guess that my best piano playing days are still ahead of me—or at least I can make repairs to the piano using the tool.

Bottom Line: In search of a new multi-tool? Don’t look any further than Victorinox’s Swisstool Spirit (or Spirit “Plus” if you need the added features of screwdriver and hex-head tools), which features quality construction, a wide variety of useful tools, and the security of a locking blade.
--G. P. (June ‘05)

Price: $75

Manufacturer's Site: www.swissarmy.com

BUY ONLINE : , Banner 10000085

The seven highest peaks of the seven continents include:

1) Mount Everest (Asia)-29,035 ft/8850 m

2) Aconcagua (South America)-22, 841ft/6962m

3) Mount McKinley (North America)-20,320ft/6194m

4) Mount Kilimanjaro (Africa)-19,563ft/5963m;

5) Mount Elbrus (Europe)-18,481ft/5633m

6) Puncak Jaya (Australia/Oceania)-16,502ft/5030m

7) Vinson Massif (Antarctica)-16,066/4897m

Source: Peakware World Mountain Encyclopedia