Saturday, 18 February 2012

Victorinox Farmer Alox Review

Key Info
  • Great tool selection for outdoors
  • Alox scales
  • Lanyard ring
  • Thicker Alox blade
  • No toothpick or tweezers

The Victorinox Alox Farmer is a UK legal carry penknife with a great balance of practicality, looks and strength. Its aluminium handle scales give it a comfortable and secure feeling in the hand, and its size and weight is perfect for an every day carry. It feels and looks quality and has the Victorinox pedigree, which assures a excellent, long lasting product.

Tech Spec
The steel used is of a good quality and hardness, with the cutting blades rated at 56HRC, the Wood saw, Scissors and Nail Files rated at 53HRC, Tin Opener and Awl 52HRC, Corkscrew and Springs at 49HRC. I believe the blade steel is something similar to Sandvik 12c27. The handles are thick, anodised aluminium and an array of colours are available. 

Although the Farmer is useful for things we all come across in everyday life - tightening the odd screw, opening packages, sharpening pencils, making a small pilot hole for a screw etc, the Farmer really excels outdoors. It has a great combination of tools and is excellent for woodworking - including a strong (extra-thick) blade, a razor-sharp saw and an equally sharp awl

The saw is strong enough for tackling 1 to 2 inch branches. The blade, more than capable of paring and slicing food for a campfire feast or whittling, gutting fish etc. The bottle opener needs no explanation but can also make a fairly strong lever. A particularly useful item is the Reamer/Awl. This is useful for boring holes through wood, perhaps for a lanyard, and for wheedling things out of holes. It can also be used as a kind of punch for sewing. The tin opener can be useful, but in my opinion always one of the least-used blades on a SAK. You may disagree, but if not, it is worth noting that a very similar knife to the Farmer exists, called the Harvester, which has the same tools except for the tin opener, which has been substituted for a small pruning blade, which is very handy for cutting string, stripping away small branches when making a stick etc. Basically, it takes away all the little cutting tasks, leaving your main blade sharp for more important things (see photos for comparison). Unfortunately, however, the Harvester seems virtually impossible to source in the UK, although Amazon do have some from time to time. 

The Victorinox Farmer is a great all rounder with a very well-balanced tool set. It's great for everyday tasks and particularly excels as a day sack knife for the tasks you may encounter on the trail. The Harvester is also great if you're not a frequent tin opener user, but if you can't find one, don't hesitate to get the Farmer instead. It really is an excellent little knife. 

The Farmer (and if you're lucky, the Harvester) is available on


  1. In the UK Pioneer Gardner = Harvester ?

    1. Not quite!....the Gardener is a single-bladed SAK with a pruning blade and plastic scales. It would seem though that there is someone selling the Harvester here under the name of "Gardner", but it's a mistake.


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