Thursday, February 3, 2011

Alox Victorinox Rambler Review



The alox victorinox rambler is swiss army knife (SAK) that has the follow features:

-Small blade
-Nail file with screwdriver tip
-Bottle opener with magnetic Phillips screwdriver tip & wire stripper
-Key ring attachment

Length:  58 mm
Width:  19.5 mm
Height:  6.5mm

The traditional rambler from victorinox has plastic 'cellidor' scales.  This alox rambler has aluminium oxide (or alox) metal scales.  These alox scales are thinner and more resistant to chemicals, than the cellidor scales.  However, the alox rambler forgoes the tweezers and toothpick that the traditional cellidor version includes.

The alox rambler is a limited edition SAK assembled for Swiss Bianco, a knife maker who seems to have special connections with victorinox.  Victorinox themselves do not offer the alox rambler, though they do produce and sell an alox version of their 'classic' SAK.


There's not much to say about the small blade in the rambler; is pretty much what you would expect from a small SAK.  The working edge of the knife is approximately 34mm in length.  I sharpened it up a little bit, and it slices through paper and cardboard with ease.

The scissor are acceptable, they are small but they do a decent job of cutting.  I feel the scissors on something like the leatherman squirt are a little larger and easier to use, but the trade off would be increased size and weight.

This is a personal thing, but given a choice I would prefer to have something else in place of the scissors.  I feel the knife can cut most things that the scissor would cut.  YMMV (your mileage may vary), I suppose its easier to cut circular shapes with the scissors instead of the knife.

The bottle opener, phillips screwdriver and wire stripper are all combined in the same pull-out tool.  I have yet to use the wire stripper, I can not comment on how it performs.

I find the bottle opener works better than some of the other tools I have reviewed (e.g. the Swisstech Utilikey and True Utility Keytool).  You are able to get decent leverage with the handle, and there are no sharp edges that will cut your hand.  I usually find you do have to pry open the bottle at two points to lift up the cap.

I feel one of the best thing about this tool is the phillips screwdriver.  Surprisingly it can fit into quite a wide range of phillips screws, from small ones that are found in electronics, to the larger ones that are just generally used.  I find the tip of the phillips screwdriver can be a little too large for the extra small screws found in some eye glasses.  Do note, the tip of the phillips screwdriver is magnetic.  This can be useful for picking up smaller screws.

Included in the victorinox rambler is a nail file with a flat head screwdriver at the tip.  The flat head screwdriver will also fit in some phillips screws as well.  The nail file does its job, but I feel it would be more efficient if the texture were more coarse.


On the whole, the victorinox rambler is handy SAK to have.  It has currently replaced my Swisstech Utilikey + Spyderco Bug combo, which I usually have on my keychain.  It is a little heavier than the utilikey and spyderco bug, however I do feel offers better functionality.  The tools in the rambler are more accessible and easier to use.

Swisstech Utilikey, Orange Alox Rambler, Silver Alox Rambler, Spyderco Bug

Personally, I prefer the look and feel of the alox scales over the traditional 'cellidor' rambler.  If you require the tooth pick or tweezers, perhaps the traditional rambler is for you (it is also easier to buy).  For my uses, the loss of these two items is not a big deal.

Note the alox scales are thinner than the usual cellidor scales found on the rambler.  There is no room for the toothpick and tweezers though.
 This run of alox ramblers is currently over.  If you want to acquire one, you may need to look at the second hand market.  I have heard rumours that Swiss Bianco plans on doing another run of the alox ramblers, in red and silver colours.  I would recommend signing up to his newsletter, as this is where he usual announces these special runs.

Other SAKs to consider:

If you don't mind slight added thickness, available in the traditional victorinox range; there is the manager (has a pen) and midnite manager (has a pen and small red LED light) . These are basically the same as the rambler, but have different tools contained in the cellidor scales.

Swissbianco website:
Victorinox website with traditional rambler:





  1. i recently picked up the orange alox's a really cool, little's light, small and offers a lot of functionality for its size & the alox is beautiful.

  2. thanks for the nice review and post in bladeforums.

    and yes, we make more of them.

    best regards


  3. @swissbianco

    Good to hear you will be making more of them. Its a great little SAK!

  4. we have now more plus alox minichamp ;-)


  5. Great SAK. If it were a regular production knife and available in my country, I'd buy one immediately.

  6. Thank you for the really large, clear photos of these. Looks really great. Must get my hands on one of these, or the Minichamp version.

  7. " I would prefer to have something else in place of the scissors. I feel the knife can cut most things that the scissor would cut" - You can use the scissors to cut your nails, its surprisingly good...

  8. Thanks for your tip! I just tried using the scissors to cut my finger nails. It does a decent job, though it helps to smooth off the edges with the included nail file. I'd still prefer to using a dedicated nail clipper where one is available, but in a pinch these victorinox scissors also do the job!

  9. latest run is in blue and olive green...


  10. Victorinox Tomo, designed by Abitax has great design too!

  11. Where can I purchase an orange Alox Rambler version?

  12. The alox ramblers seem to be done on different batches of various colours. I'd try contact a swiss bianco dealer and see what they have in stock.

  13. You say "I feel the knife can cut most things that the scissor would cut.". I use them regularly for fingernails and wouldn't trust the small blade for that.
    I use the Vagabond
    but I'd probably go for a Rambler next time although the 2nd blade makes a better letter opener.