Review: Victorinox Pioneer Nespresso Swiss Army Knife
You’d be hard pressed to find a more iconic or more loved outdoor tool than the Swiss Army Knife. In fact, you probably have one sitting in your glove box right now, right? Victorinox is the lead dog (technically, they are the only dog since they acquired Wenger in 2005) when it comes to Swiss Army Knives. They created the tool after all. Despite the popularity of the classic Swiss Army Knife, Victorinox continues to find innovative ways to improve the design. Well, the Swiss company is at it again and this time they’re focusing on sustainability efforts.
Ever heard of Nespresso? The premium, single serve coffee brand from Switzerland that uses those little aluminum capsules? Of course you have. Nespresso and Victorinox have teamed up to create a SAK using recycled Nespresso pods. The result is the Pioneer Nespresso Livanto.
The Pioneer Nespresso is a moderately featured model when it comes to tools and size. It retails for $55 and is exclusively available at Nespresso and Victorinox stores and Victorinox.com. The following are my thoughts of the SAK. By the way, this is coming from a guy whose first ever pocket knife was a classic Victorinox Camper at the age of 10. Therefore, I know what I’m talking about so listen up.
The Pioneer Nespresso features seven different functions including a main blade, the ever-useful bottle opener/large screwdriver combo tool, a can opener/small screwdriver combo tool and an awl. The two-layer design is great because it keeps the knife relatively thin and easier to EDC. The drawback to this design is that the main blade is bent inwards in order to fit the blade and awl together on one later. While I would prefer a straight blade, the bent one doesn’t bother me too much and definitely beats the added bulk a third layer would bring. The alox texture on the handle provides grip as well as comfort in the hand. In the end, it’s a pretty standard multi-tool SAK that’s comfortable to use, slim enough to EDC, and functions as well as you would expect.
When most people think of a Swiss Army Knife, they might think of something fat and heavy with red plastic sides. The Pioneer Nespresso doesn’t have that problem. As with the standard Pioneer SAK that’s been around the block a few times, the Nespresso features a two-layer design with Victorinox’s famous alox handle scales. It’s considerably thinner than your traditional SAK due to the compact stacking of the tools, a welcome feature in my book. The livanto color is a rich golden orange which makes for a striking appearance, especially when paired with the attractive texture of the alox scales. Overall, it’s a handsome and elegantly crafted SAK.
From a durability standpoint, the Pioneer Nespresso feels very solidly crafted. The blade is razor sharp but doesn’t hold an edge particularly well. However, it’s a breeze to sharpen which is important for a basic knife like this. The sides are made from the aluminum Nespresso pods. While this cuts down the weight of the SAK, I would expect nicks and dents to gradually appear after extended use.
The Pioneer Nespresso has a base MSRP of $55. That’s $20 more than the standard Pioneer Alox. The value of the Nespresso will depend on the individual. The extra $20 gets you a limited edition, eco-friendly SAK that doesn’t disappoint from a functional level. There’s also the coolness factor as you can tell all your friends that their used Nespresso pods went in to making your SAK.
Own a piece of gear that you're dying to review? Read our submissions page and let's get it up on the interwebz!