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Victorinox Swiss Army Comparison: Electrician vs. Pioneer vs. Farmer

Victorinox Swiss Army's 93mm medium pocket knives with Alox aluminum scales have become a popular everyday carry (EDC) option due to their size, durability, usefulness and affordability. With very similar price points, it's important to find the tool that best meets your needs.
Victorinox Swiss Army Electrician vs. Pioneer vs. Farmer

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Victorinox Swiss Army Electrician, Pioneer, and Farmer
The three multitool models we’ll be comparing are the Electrician, Pioneer, and Farmer.

We’ve put together some key differences, as well as what is identical, between the different models to have you better understand their differences.


ElectricianPioneerFarmer
Width1″ (W)1″ (W)1″ (W)
Length93mm/3.66″ (L)93mm/3.66″ (L)93mm/3.66″ (L)
Height11.56mm/0.5″ (H)11.85mm/0.5″ (H)14.21mm/0.6″ (H)
Weight1.75 oz2.5 oz3.03 oz
Large bladexxx
Reamerxxx
Wood sawx
Electricians bladex
Can opener
xx
3mm screwdriver tipxx
5mm screwdriver tipxxx
Bottle openerxxx
Wire stripperxxx
Keyringxx
Colors availableSilverSilver, BlackSilver
Victorinox Swiss Army Electrician, Pioneer, and Farmer

Similarities

Alox scales
When most folks think of a Swiss Army Knife (SAK), they think of red cellidor (plastic) scales bearing the iconic logo that is known worldwide. Toss that thought aside when looking at the  Farmer, Electrician, and Pioneer, which sport the shiny, textured aluminum Alox.

These types of scales are known for their resistance to general wear, tear, and scratching. They also allow for great purchase in the hand while maintaining a level of comfort.

Victorinox Swiss Army Alox scales
Silver (shown) and anodized color variations are available, such as the black Pioneer.

Primary blade
All three of the Farmer, Electrician, and Pioneer boast the same primary blade. Made from DIN-1.4110 stainless steel, hardened to 57-58 RC (DIN stands for “Deutsche Industrie Norme” or “German Production Standard”).

It holds an edge pretty good and is very easy to sharpen. It’s a great blade for beginner sharpeners, very tough and is exceptionally corrosion-resistant.

primary blade on the Electrician.
Example primary blade on the Electrician.

Reamer
The reamer is on the front-side of the knife and shares the layer with the main blade and key ring (on the Pioneer and Farmer, which both have key rings–on the Electrician, the reamer is shared just with the main blade layer).

As you can see in the pictures throughout this post, the Alox scaled knives don’t have backside-tools–all are in the front.

With a fairly pronounced taper, there is a right angle bend at the top edge that forms the spine of the blade. This bend not only helps in the reaming of some materials but also serves as a catch to open the tool, rather than the typical nail-nick on the side of the blade. With a sharpened edge of 27mm/1.1″, it’s an efficient reamer for most daily tasks.

reamer on the Electrician.
Example of a reamer on the Electrician.

Bottle opener with 5mm screwdriver tip, wire stripper

What started out as just a screwdriver tip on the original Swiss Army “Soldier Knife,” additional tools were added, including a bottle opener and wire stripper. Available on all three of the Farmer, Electrician and Pioneer models, the bottle opener stops at both 90 and 180 degrees, with the friction lock slightly stronger when fully extended (180 degrees).

Use the 90-degree open position, in addition to your primary blade, to cut the wire, Then, use the 180-degree position to strip the wire. The 180-degree position is also used to open a bottle or use the screwdriver tip.

bottle opener on the Electrician at 180 degrees open
Example of a bottle opener on the Electrician at 180 degrees open

Differences

Thickness/Height
All three have the same length (93mm) and width (1″) but have slight differences in the height. As you can see in the image below, the Farmer is a three-layer knife versus two-layers, which adds an extra 0.1″.

Some feel the extra height of the Farmer makes it more comfortable to hold compared to 2 layer models ( Pioneer and Electrician), but there is a nominal difference between them.

Farmer with three layers, Pioneer and Electrician with two
Left to right: Farmer with three layers, Pioneer and Electrician with two

Keyring

Both the Pioneer and Farmer have key rings, while the Electrician does not. Although a personal preference, some say that the 91mm SAK’s are too large to fit on a key ring and should not include it as a tool option, while others use this tool to attach a lanyard for easy carry in the pocket or around their neck.

Also, some are not bothered by the keyring, while others say it can interfere with the grip, especially when using it for a longer period of time.

A hypothesis as to the Electrician not having this tool is to not be able to attach a lanyard and carry it around your neck while doing electrical work. Regardless of the reason, working through how you intend to use your SAK will help figure out if you prefer the keyring tool or not.

Pioneer, Farmer, and Electrician
Left to right: Pioneer, Farmer, and Electrician

Can opener with 3mm screwdriver tip
Appearing first on a Swiss Army Knife in 1817, the can opener has gone through five design changes over the years. Included in both the Farmer and Pioneer, but excluded on the Electrician, this small simple tool can easily cut through the lid of a can. It can also be used to pry open small things such as a watch back or preform other small blade tasks. It has a hardness of RC 52.

Added in 1951 is the small slotted Philips screwdriver on top of the can opener. It is roughly 3mm in length.

can opener on the Farmer.
Example of a can opener on the Farmer.

Electricians Blade
What really sets the Electrician apart from the other two models is the addition of the small Sheepsfoot blade, which includes a special insulation cutting/wire scrapper edge near the tang. (This replaces the can opener, found only on the Farmer and Pioneer.)

This small, stout blade is 1.15mm thick and 13mm wide and is a great option for detail work when you need more control from a shorter blade.

electrician blade

Wood Saw
Although you won’t be sawing down large trees with the Farmer, the only model that features the wood saw, this handy 72mm/2.8″ saw can easily handle small branches. The saw is reported to have a hardness rating of RC 53, instead of a nail nick to open, the tooltip extends slightly past the layer joint allowing for easy opening.

wood saw on victorinox swiss army farmer
The only model which boasts a wood saw is the Farmer.

The casual observer may think the Victorinox Pioneer Alox, Victorinox Electrician Alox, and Victorinox Farmer Alox are one in the same. However, if you take the time to understand their differences can help point you toward the model that will be best for your everyday carry (EDC) needs.

Let us know below which model you prefer and why.

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