The Outside Blog

Adventure

Gear: Ueli Steck Swiss Army Knife

 

By his own admission, Ueli Steck is one of the most Swiss climbers out there. He's well-prepared, precise, and functions reliably--"like a Swiss watch," as Steck himself has said.

So it makes sense on some level that Steck would get his own Swiss Army knife. The ubiquitous red multitools are up there with watches as Switzerland's most famous products, and Steck's sponsor Wenger makes both. 

Wenger's new titanium-bodied Ueli Steck Special Edition isn't the first knife aimed at climbers. Instead, the company's new tool attempts to strike a balance between blade-only climbing knives (Trango's Piranha and Barracuda) and feature-laden backpacker models (the Climber--Road Tour made by Wenger's parent company, Victorinox). 

The most striking feature of the Steck is its beefy, oblong blade, which is 50% thicker than a typical Swiss Army knife and wide enough to be opened with gloved hands. The blade is partially serrated to make it easier to cut through worn slings and cord at belays (a task that's frustrating to impossible to do with a straight blade--I've tried).

Punched into the blade are three hexagonal keys, designed for making in-the-field adjustments to ice tools. While the keys are sized with Petzl axe heads in mind, testers from Climbing found that they also worked for tightening 3/8-inch Rawls--the same bolts used on many sport climbs. Other tools include can and bottle openers and a file for sharpening crampons and axes. A bit adaptor in the handle takes standard screwdriver bits (a flat head and Philips are included).

The big downside of the Ueli Steck Special Edition knife is its price. The tool retails for $200, although cheaper, less featured versions are available under the names Titanium 1 and Titanium 2. The knife is also a bit heavy: at 3.5 ounces, it weighs about a half-ounce more than most other full-featured Swiss Army knives. While the difference likely won't matter to most users, it may irk ultra-light, drill-holes-in-the-toothbrush-handle climbers and hikers.

The Ueli Steck Special Edition Swiss Army knife is due for release this month. You can follow the adventures of the real-life Ueli Steck at Outside.

--Adam Roy



Subscribe
to Outside
Save Over
70%

Magazine Cover

iPad Outside+ App Access Now Included!

Categories

Advertisement

$ad.smallDesc

$ad.smallDesc

$ad.smallDesc

Previous Posts

2014

2013

2012

Blog Roll

Current Issue Outside Magazine

Subscribe and get a great deal! Two free Buyer's Guides plus a free GoLite Sport Bottle. Monthly delivery of Outside—your ultimate resource for today's active lifestyle. All that and big savings!

Free Newsletters

Dispatch This week's featured articles, reviews, and videos. Sent twice weekly.
News From the Field The most important breaking news from around the Web. Sent daily.
Gear of the Day The latest products, reviews, and editors' picks. Coming soon.
Outside Partners Outside-approved deals and special offers from select partners. Sent occasionally.

Ask a Question

Our gear experts await your outdoor-gear-related questions. Go ahead, ask them anything.

* We might edit your question for length or clarity. If it's not about gear, we'll just ignore it.