Concept: 3 out of 5
Execution: 3 out of 5
Yeah, but: The knife other knives build on.
The Long Version: The Victorinox Tinker, August's SAK of the Month, barely needs an introduction. Its tool mix is pretty much the core Swiss Army set, making for a useful two-layer knife: large blade, small blade, can opener, cap lifter, awl, Philips screwdriver, toothpick, tweezers. It's the Mechanic without pliers, it's the Hiker without the saw, it's the Spartan with a Philips driver: it's the 91mm version of the smaller 84mm Tinker with the exact same tools. Pretty fundamental stuff.
The Tinker has a couple of notable omissions from the staple Swiss Army Knife tool mix: no scissors or nail file. This makes the Tinker into a task-oriented knife for people who are likely to be doing mechanical things, like fixing vacuum cleaners or trimming hoses, rather than a knife that would be carried for no particular purpose.
I was fortunate enough to be carrying my Tinker on the day when I had to frame and hang fourteen photos at work, which meant driving drywall screws into chipboard instead of hammering nails. The knife, cap lifter, awl and screwdriver all came in very handy, and there was nothing else I needed. Well, a tape measure would have been useful, but that's life.
I carry my Tinker when I'm feeling a little more industrious than my Compact, but when I'm not expecting to need the additional elaborateness of my Mechanic or Explorer. It's a solid, practical choice for a no-nonsense two-layer Swiss Army Knife. It doesn't stand out from the crowd, but that's not really what it's there for.
last updated 4 aug 2013