Swiss Army Fieldmaster Knife and Why You Should Never Give a Knife


The Swiss Army Fieldmaster knife offers the classic Swiss Army knife functionality, without loading up the knife, and your pocket, with tools you don’t need.

Everyone who has used a Swiss Army Knife is impressed by the sheer cleverness of the seemingly countless tools.

BUT, which outdoor experience – camping, fishing, hiking — or indoor home and shop applications, which combination of tools makes the perfect Swiss Army knife is a matter of debate. 

But before we begin:


A tip on giving knives: Don’t give anyone a knife.

According to the Irish, or the English — actually it was someone who told me who has a lot of Irish in them — it’s BAD LUCK to give someone a knife.

Instead you should always sell a gift knife for a penny.

This ensures that the person buying the knife will not cut themselves.

Well, that’s the legend, anyway.

At least they won’t cut themselves on your account.

The friend or loved one who receives a Swiss Army knife from you may still cut themselves, of course. Sharp knives do that.

But it’s their knife. They bought it from you. For a penny. So never give anyone a knife, sell it to them. And may they have the luck of the Irish.

The combination of tools in the Swiss Army Fieldmaster knife includes several classic tools. BUT,

The main reason to get the Swiss Army Fieldmaster knife is the saw.

Swiss Army Fieldmaster knife

A bit of History:  The Swiss Army knife saw was the precursor to the modern pruning saw. Aggressive teeth, pointed backwards so that you pull through the cut not push, defined the modern pruning saw decades before they became available.

The modern pull-action pruning saw really is a marvel of manufacturing. Anyone remember the old one-handed bow saw? The first time I tried the pull action of a modern, shark-toothed saw, I could not believe the cutting power. The Swiss Army knife was the first to offer an aggressive pull action saw, although I hear tell that Asian saws have pulled backward for centuries.

Here’s a modern pruning saw. Buy this, do not accept as a gift. See above for Irish reasoning on the subject.

Although it has the saw, CAVEAT, the Fieldmaster Swiss Army knife, although the father of the modern pruning saw, can no longer compete with an actual pruning saw.

Still, the Fieldmaster is a pocket knife. It can compete due to lack of competition, unless you happened bring a modern pruning saw on your fishing or hiking trip.

Hikers, especially hiker campers, are obsessive about weight, as they must be.

The Fieldmaster may not be for these payload freaks because it has some luxury tools that would be better exchanged for other payload. Like food!

Still, with the proper skills in the right terrain, a Fieldmaster’s tiny but effective saw could turn a light Space Blanket into a shelter made of leaning saplings.

Yes, you can cut down a tree with the Fieldmaster Swiss Army knife saw. I’ve done it. Another tree quickly took its place.

My opinion is that the Fieldmaster is an awesome set of tools for the wilderness and that includes the ocean. Take a look at the awl for sewing, and the hook, which I still have to figure out all the uses.

Now you might argue with this claim and say, “Wilderness? What’s with the three kinds of screwdrivers? I’m sure I will find lots of screws on a tree! The Fieldmaster is a city knife.”

Agreed. You would have a good point. There are no screws in nature.


  • Most of us who venture out into nature take some gear. And some of that gear DOES have screws, of all sizes, and including Phillips head.
  • Hikers do move through populated areas and may also need to deal with civilization.
  • But touche’, the Fieldmaster has to sell you on the other tools that come with the saw.

This is going to sound like I’m abandoning you.

But the real case for the Fieldmaster is made by those who have tried one. Check out the reviews below and see where you come down on the great Swiss Army Knife debate.

Author: AstroGremlin

Came to Earth recently.

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