I've been using the Victorinox Swiss knife for a long time now. One thing that has baffled me is the saw blade on most of their multi-tools. The saw is around 2-3 inches long (depending on the model). I've tried multiple times to saw a piece of wood (or even a thick piece of stick), and I've failed to use this for any meaningful sawing.

enter image description here

I can understand the other tools - the small knife (for cutting an apple), the big knife (for cutting another apple?), the reamer (for punching holes), the scissors, the bottle openers et al. However, the saw seems an overkill which is not even usable in the outdoors.

Has anyone used the saw on the swiss knife for anything? Or is it for some other use altogether?

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    It works, you'd be surprised how thick a piece of wood young, determined scouts saw through with them. I agree though, it's not very effective and one of the tools I like to avoid in mine to safe weight. The other thing I never understood is the small and big knife blade - I can do everything with the bigger one, what's the point of having both? Thankfully, there is tons of combinations to suit your needs :)
    – imsodin
    Apr 20, 2018 at 8:32
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    I have also slipped and sawed though my finger in the past....
    – user2766
    Apr 20, 2018 at 8:34
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    @Liam seems like a valid usage :P Apr 20, 2018 at 9:37
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    @imsodin keeping the little knife blade very sharp for fine tasks is worthwhile especially on the big locking models where you might be more tempted to hack away with the big blade. I just wish the little blade had a straight tip instead of the same curve as the big blade.
    – Chris H
    Apr 20, 2018 at 15:40
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    This question inspired me to ask the following related question, despite my argument that the saw on a multi-tool is useful. outdoors.stackexchange.com/q/20155/12799
    – Loduwijk
    Aug 7, 2018 at 20:25

4 Answers 4


Its for sawing though small branches. Video here of someone doing it:

enter image description here

Has anyone used the saw on the swiss knife for anything?

Yes, I've used it to saw though small branches :)

  • I find the knife more effective for this. The saw scares me almost :D Apr 20, 2018 at 9:31
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    I have used the saw also. Building shelters, walking sticks, etc. Apr 20, 2018 at 11:49
  • @JamesJenkins But is it not really difficult to use given that it's super small and super sharp at the same time? Apr 20, 2018 at 18:05
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    It works pretty well. Much better then trying to whittle your way through with the knife blade. Apr 20, 2018 at 18:28
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    One thing I don't like about the video is the grip: for hard work with a penknife blade I avoid wrapping my fingers right round over the slot for the blade: a slip can easily close the blade onto your fingers (e.g. if he'd pulled the knife too far towards himself, then pushed back against the tree)
    – Chris H
    Apr 20, 2018 at 20:36

My brother used to work as decorator, (which included placing new glass in windows) and his Swiss knife saw blade has helped him several times while working on scaffolding. No need to go down and get a proper saw to cut the wood to hold the new glass.

And he has used it for many small jobs, just because it was the tool at hand and he remembered that it was there.
Most people seem to forget that they have the saw as part of their knife and go to get a saw.


Whenever I get a multi-tool knife now, I skip over the ones which do not have the saw. I do not understand why you can get one with screw-drivers, hole-punchers, and even corkscrews, that would then not also have a saw.

I have used the tiny saw on my multi-tools, including the Victorinox Swiss type you have, many times. They get through saplings and small branches way better than trying to whittle through it with the knife.

I have whittled through them with knives as well when no saw was on hand. That can be done, but it takes longer, is less efficient, and does not leave as nice an end on the wood.

The appropriate size range is small, yes. Wood too small, you could just snap it off, or small/green you can bend it and make a simple knife cut through the weakened part. Too large, then the saw will not get through.

We need to remember what these multi-tools are for. They are not for fully replacing our larger tools of the same type. They are for quick use to avoid getting the larger tool out (or going to fetch the larger tool), or for emergency use when you do not have any larger tools.

If I either don't have a proper saw or don't want to keep getting it out and re-packing it dozens of times, then I am going to try to void using any tools at all, breaking sticks with my hands or feet. Not even a knife is completely necessary here. If I have a knife, that slightly increases the reasonable size I can process. The tiny multi-tool saw does the same thing again; it slightly increases the size of wood I can process.

If you have tons of wood of the size you can process easily with your hands and a knife, then the tiny saw is not necessary for you. If you have less wood options and would like to slightly increase the size of wood in your "easy to process" range, then the saw does that.

So it's not way super useful, but it's a "Why not?" I would much rather have that saw than a corkscrew or leather hole punch.

That said, if you can find a multi-tool that includes a knife and saw both larger than the normal multi-tool, say double the size, then that would be awesome. The saw would be much more useful. Let us know if you find such a thing. But even if not, the tiny saws on our conventional multi-tools are still better than no saw.

  • 1
    For the one I keep in my desk in work, a saw isn't much use, but assorted screwdrivers and even a tin opener are useful. For the one I keep in the camper van, a corkscrew is useful, but I've never used its saw. When hiking I might choose a lighter knife rather than a full featured one (actually for day hikes I just take my daily carry mini victorinox)
    – Chris H
    Aug 8, 2018 at 6:50

I find those mini saw blades very useful when trying to make repairs to gear or improvise with found objects (not necessarily tree branches)— for cutting notches in a piece of wood to hold cord or wire, for hacking through a plastic drum or car bumper or motorcycle fender, for (slowly) making a long cut in a panel too tough for a knife. You can also notch around the perimeter of a fairly thick dry branch as a means of breaking a piece at a certain length by bending.

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