Gear Review: The Biggest, Baddest Swiss Army Knife Ever


It’s 8.75 inches long, weighs two pounds, and includes 87 implements to perform 141 functions. It’s appeared on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno and in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s largest Swiss Army knife. It now has 101 reviews on Amazon.com, where some creative writers have found a sounding board (in the spirit of other Amazon products like The Mountain Three Wolf Moon Short Sleeve Tee and Tuscan Whole Milk).

Frankly, gear reviewers everywhere should be ashamed at having been smoked by citizen journos. Here’s a sampling of the best of their reviews:

Found this…
…stuck into a stone while on vacation. I’m impressed with it, generally. Unfortunately, it turns out that removing it made me the new king of Switzerland, which is a lot of responsibility.
-MechYeti, January 22, 2011

The hair dryer runs the battery down
This review is actually based on a Chinese knock-off I bought from a guy in an alley. It’s basically the same thing, just $75 cheaper. The main problem is that the battery life is too short for those long hikes. Like everybody else, I like to be well-groomed when I get close to nature. The toothpick and nail file are both great, but the hair dryer attachment runs the battery down after only 20 minutes of use. The built-in solar panels take 24 hours to fully charge it, and the cigarette lighter cord is only six feet long. Useless for those of us who like to “rough it” without looking like the rest of those who like to “rough it.”

My advice: Wait for the Wenger 17000.
-Brian Boswell, Dec. 18, 2011

limited connectivity
I was very disappointed. The wifi supports only 802.11b which was not disclosed in the description — seriously, this is like 2005 technology and slows down my whole network. Plus you’d think for the money it would include Bluetooth and/or HDMI output. I give it two stars for durability but I wouldn’t buy it again.
-Diana E. Carroll “dbang-mom,” Dec. 6, 2011

Almost perfect…just almost
The online PDF handbook is a good idea, but at 6.6 gigs a tad big maybe. Plus, I found no reference in the manual to the flame thrower (which is actually kind of hidden, it is a sub function of Tool #212, the cold fusion device), oversight or intentional?? I only say one word: Barbecue!

I am getting a strange buzzing sound when I use the plasma scanner device (Tool #462) while running the anti-matter chamber (Tool #479, let me just say: bring some shaving cream and your girlfriend/wife in there with you and have some fun!), anyone else experience this?

The refrigerator (it’s actually an accessory) is well worth shelling out the extra money for, they added a freezer compartment, something we had all been waiting for, right??
-rosmsp, January 21, 2010

MISLEADING TITLE
I just found out the Swiss Army doesn’t even use this knife. A survey of most Swiss soldiers found they even prefer a standalone corkscrew. Don’t waste your time on this if you’re trying to defend a “neutral” country.
-G. Rivas, June 9, 2011

Headpiece
Extremely useful tool, I’ve used it on almost every trip I have been on. however, the best thing about this is that when you put it on a 5ft staff, it precisely shows you the location of the Ark of the Covenant.
-Indiana Jones, June 2, 2012

No flash!
Seriously Wenger? This is never going to replace my laptop! Plus there is no full sized USB port. I don’t want to deal with adapters to hook up my flash drive.
-M. Quinn, April 4, 2012

Not so good for fixing the TARDIS
The Wenger 16999 is an excellent device, but it is missing the sonic screwdriver, which causes some issues if you plan to carry it while traveling though time and space.
-TimeLord, Oct. 26, 2012

Ordered and returned.
Heard alot of good things about this knife and seriously considered it as the perfect gift for the men in my life. Ordered one to check it out for myself, but after careful examination and consideration I returned it. Maybe it’s just me, but I felt having a nail file AND a nail cleaner on the same tool was just overkill.
-Scots-Irish Lass (terri), May 5, 2011

Faulty Wormhole Generator
Tried to create Einstein-Rosen bridge to Eta Carinae (~7500 light years). Included wormhole generator only got me as far as Betelgeuse (~640 light years). Would not purchase again.
- NotQuiteLateNight, Oct. 1, 2012

Sexist
There is nothing to make it more appealing to the more feminine population. A little bling? A sewing kit? Mirror? Shoe repair? Personal intimate massage feature? Wenger, just think, you are missing 50% of the consumers. I give 2 stars, great for a guy, but we ladies are waiting for our version.
-Tamara Hutchison, Nov. 22, 2011

Pleasant surprise
Bought this because was in need of a toothpick and Phillips head screwdriver. This had both and to my surprise, just a few more tools. A tad expensive for what I wanted, but overall a smart purchase.
-Randy Ng, Nov. 1, 2012

May lead to incarceration
… Proudly I presented my Wenger 16999 Giant Swiss Army Knife to my woodsy comrades, Beardie Johnson, One-Eyed Roger, Bear-Molester Moe and the Rawhide brothers, Buck, Chuck, Puck and F…Fred.

Faces fell and I was met with a wall of stoney, cold looks. “Only 560 Knives?’” asked Moe as my wolf-urine-drenched comrades snickered. I blanched, looking round to realise that none of my companions was armed with less than 605 knives, nor would they literally be seen dead with less than that number on their persons. As our manly day progressed the slating of my knife continued. I was shamed beyond belief upon discovering that my knife had NO CHAINSAW ATTACHMENT (meaning I was unable to take part in our weekly chainsaw juggling ritual!) and the built in barbecue was not sufficient to grill an entire elk at one time. … My reputation was ruined: I lacked even the basic equipment to field-dress a moose! In turn, the ginormous pink handbag I had taken to wearing in order to accommodate a handy pocket knife so big that I could not fit it in my pocket did not help matters.
-Rico, Dec. 9, 2011

We are very happy together
After months of petitioning, the Costa Rican government has recognized this knife as a sentient being. We married in a private ceremony the very next day. We love each other very much. She appreciates my tenderness and stability, and I appreciate that her edges are as sharp as the day we met. That and she has a bottle opener for me to open my beers on.
-Mr. and Mrs. Wenger, Sept. 6, 2012

Restriction on time travel
This is an excellent tool, but you need to be aware that the time jump utility (tool #713, first control panel on the right when leaving the French restaurant on level 3 through the rear exit) is somewhat limited. I spoke with the telephone support, and they told me that recent models are unable to travel back in time past their manufacturing date. Apparently, they overlooked one aspect of the time travel equations in the early models, and some owners are now stuck in previous ages, unable to return because their knives cannot generate enough power to overcome the energy gradient to the present. If you’re looking to buy one of these knives for its time travel capability, you may be better off considering a different model.
-Steve B, April 24, 2011

Not enough cupholders
This tool is great, we are an active family and are out and about somewhere every weekend. With this knife we never have to worry about not having the right tool at hand when need presents itself. I almost gave it 5 stars. However, we are a family of 5, and the knife has only 4 cup holders. The constant fighting over the cup holders is pretty unnerving. Hence only 4 stars.
-Sonnenblume, Oct. 14, 2011

A Little Secret…
If you open up all the attachments in the right order and align them at the proper angles, you can actually hold it up to your eye and view the elusive Higgs boson particle.

I did it once.
- John F. Kennedy, Dec. 14, 2011

Chuck Norris Slayer
It’s rumored that the Wenger 16999 has the only weapon that can kill Chuck Norris… The only problem is that Chuck Norris is the only one powerful enough to release the weapon from the Wenger.
-A Guy, Dec. 17, 2010

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