Tuesday, June 17, 2014

HOW TO: How to spot a Fake Victorinox Swiss Army Knife Rescue Tool

Red Flags
1. One of the biggest red flag is price.  If you're eyeing a brand new swiss knife, do your assignment and research about the prices.  Use the ebay search function and get some pricing data from outside online stores as well.
2. What if it's used or second hand? Photos are the surest way to check.  If a seller is selling a used swiss knife and posted a stock/new photo, request for an actual photo before you buy or bid.  If the seller can't provide you with an actual photo --- walk away.

Recent Case

There are several listings floating in ebay Australia about a "Victorinox Swiss Army Knife 111MM escape and rescue tool". Sold listings average around AU$18 (AU$11 to $AU30).
Being a Swiss Knife enthusiasts and being an owner as well of a Rescue Tool I was interested to see what the sellers from China are offering.  

After a few weeks (typically 2-3 weeks) waiting time, I finally received mine in a Victorinox box and packaged well.  I was happy until I saw what's inside the box.

The quality of authentic nylon sheath on the right is way better compared to the one purchased from China on the left.  The china sheath is thin, small and flimsy.  The authentic one even has a leather lining inside the sheath. 

* Victorinox - Australia - means original Victorinox bought in Australia

Main Blade
The difference can be clearly seen - the main blade thumb opening on the authentic rescue tool on the right is more circular than the fake one on the left which is more like a flat oblong.  The blade teeth on the authentic blade is less pointy and evenly spaced and distributed compared to the fake one.

There is also a "VICTORINOX SWISS MADE" stamp on the main blade for the authentic one while the fake one has the stamp on the base of the blade.

Seatbelt Knife
The seatbelt knife/blade on the authentic rescue tool is thicker than the fake one.  Also the curve is a bit different as well.

The saw on the authentic rescue tool has a patterned design (see photo on the left with the red arrows) that is absent on the fake tool.

Glass Breaker
The point on the glass breaker for the authentic tool is well defined and at the center of the "point triangle".  The fake one is not well defined and the "point triangle" is a bit acute.

The authentic scales are more neon yellowish than the fake one which is a bit yellow-green.  I have not tested if the fake one glows if it is dark though.

Other comparisons
I did not see any significant difference in the screw driver and bottle opener. I'll let you decide

The price difference between the authentic one (AU$99 cheapest) and the fake one (AU$11) is pretty significant.  I have not tested if the physical differences will have an effect on real life performance when you're using the tool in a life and death rescue situation.

What did I do?  When I verified that what I received is fake, I filed a complaint in Paypal and messaged the seller.  His response was his employee made a mistake in sending a "bad" one.  To be fair, he refunded me the full amount of purchase as it is illegal to sell fake/counterfeit items using Paypal as payment option.

Originally published: 13 May 2014 


  1. I do believe that Victorinox makes the best quality knives and multitools and other Swiss army knife which would be perfect for any applications. But you are right, these days some china made Victorinox tool have ruined things a lot. That why I get these Victorinox from reputed stores like

  2. The early authentic Rescue Tools had the same shape opening hole as the fake. To replace this "difference", here is another giveaway - on the fake the Bottle Opener is not locking.

  3. Yes i got one of the early ones and the opening hole is the same as the fake one. But the rest is the same. The botle opener on mine is locking

  4. Thanks for the article, I just caught out a fake on Gumtree.