Victorinox Farmer vs Hiker. SAK Survival Showdown!

Woods Walker

The Wood is cut, The Bacon is cooked, Now it’s tim
Jun 8, 2008
New England woods.
Wild edible warning. DO NOT EAT ANY WILD EDIBLE UNLESS 100% CERTAIN. Seeing me do something on the internet does not count as 100% of anything. We will attempt to answer the age old question which has confounded bushcrafters and survivalists alike. Which knife, the Farmer or the Hiker is better for survival? Which has the edge, pun intended in a survival situation? To put these two fantastic pocket knives to the test we will scrounge up a bush meal using these tools for all the required steps. We will also do some direct comparisons for a few tests but my overall intent is to use these tools for actual jobs which are required rather than pure demonstrations.

Time to forage and gather resources.

Up first we will employ the saws from each knife.

Near as I can tell they both are identical and made short work of the cedar branch. Also used the saw from the hiker later on to cut a green cooking stick. There is not much red heart wood in this cedar branch which is just fine for my intended application.

Done. Just this piece is enough for now.

Wild onion grass or scallions. These will do nicely.

Both the hollow green scallion stalks and white onion bulbs are edible.

Blue violets. I eat the flowers, leaves and a bit of the stems but totally avoid the roots. DO NOT EAT THE ROOTS. THEY WILL MAKE YOU SICK.

Tulip Poplar bark. Not as good as cedar bark but still nice tinder.

Yellow Birch bark. They hydrocarbons within will make for a great accelerate and tinder combo.

Spring has sprung.

The outer hanging bark can be harvested without doing harm to the tree.

Right past the faster moving water at the head of this pool......

we got a trout!

I used the short blade from the hiker to kill it. The short blade did a good job as it was the right length for the task. Having two blades is a pro of the Hiker.

Cleaning the trout using the Farmer blade.

As expected it did just fine. Going to leave the head on.

All done.

Danger. DO NOT EAT SKUNK CABBAGE. It's BAD and will make you sick! I picked some of the large leaves for another purpose.

Some Hemlock needles. DO NOT EAT HEMLOCK THE WEED. THOSE WILL KILL YOU. That said the conifer tree needles such as these makes good tea.

So how is our forage going? Kinda good actually!

Decided to make a cedar fireboard for future use. Though I have multiple modern methods of fire starting if my back was against the wall would try to build another means before it's actually needed. Gear sometimes vanishes. Both knives did a good job shaving the board and cutting a V groove etc etc. Not looking to spend too much time rather an activity of opportunity and convenience for potential use only if the unlikely should happen.

The blade on the Farmer appears to my eyes as both larger and thicker than the primary blade of the Hiker.

Some SAK firecraft practice.

Up first was the Hiker. The Awl in the Hiker IMHO isn't a good striker so will use the smaller blade. The knife has two blades so this won't overly reduce it's field effectiveness. Also the small blade was still workable after the firecraft and easy to resharpen later. Made a fancy jute, tulip poplar and birch bark tinder bundle for later use.

The magnesium bar test. The short blade was able to properly work the bar resulting in ignition of magnesium and then in turn the Tulip poplar bark. Action shots taken from the video at moment of flare up of the magnesium shavings.

The short blade did ok.

Now for the Birch bark and large ferro rod using the Hiker. Again action shots from the video.

The short blade again did the job but in all honesty it dug into the ferro rod in an annoying way. Maybe I am out of practice using an actual blade to strike a spark as most often use a dedicated striker or knife spine.

Now for the Farmer. The awl (really reamer) of the Farmer is different than the Hiker's awl.

The magnesium bar/ferro rod combo worked just fine using the Framer's reamer. Better IMHO than the Hiker's small blade.

Large ferro rod and birch bark test using the Farmer.

The birch bark easily ignited. The Framer's reamer is a really good striker.

The firecraft edge (pun intended) goes to the Farmer.

Waited till dinner time to start the real fire to cook our bush meal using the twig fire methodology. This job will given to the firecraft winner the farmer and large ferro rod.

The hydrocarbons within the birch bark are no joke. To take full advantage of their energy I tossed a large handful of sticks upon ignition. Hydrocarbons are a BIG power and like all power it comes with an equally big responsibility. Or so says Stan Lee. LOL!

Me being a goober with the Farmer and ferro rod. That reamer is a nice striker.

I used both knives to process a green cooking stick. Stuffed the trout with scallions. Already ate the violets for snack after lighting the fire.

Used the knives to scrape away the dirt off the onion appetizers. An easy job which both did just fine at.

The meal is cooking! The trout hanging over the fire, water warming off to the side and onion appetizers baking on a rock.

The tea is ready!

The trout was fantastic. Remember DO NOT EAT THE SKUNK CABBAGE. It's just being used to keep the dirt off my food. Kinda risky mixing not edible things (this will make you sick) with great eats like the trout. Yea gotta watch what goes into your mouth. Later during the year will replace the skunk cabbage with larger green leaves for this purpose.


Both knives are great but in a survival situation which would I pick? The Farmer. The reamer is a fantastic tool plus the knife blade seems thicker and longer than the Hiker. I would miss certain aspects of the Hiker like the tweezers, small blade etc etc. Both are really great pocket knives but gotta pick one so the Farmer is it.

Here is a video. Thanks for looking.


Woods Walker

The Wood is cut, The Bacon is cooked, Now it’s tim
Jun 8, 2008
New England woods.
I enjoyed the video after a vigorous hike in the rain with Capo!

Three suggestions:

1. Do not eat skunk cabbage

2. Do not eat Violet Roots.

3. Buy a new pair of pants! :poke:

p.s. Here is a thread about Victorinox knives on BLF. A lot of beautiful collections displayed.
Yes not eating skunk cabbage was mentioned... along with not eating with violet roots. As for the pants I will get around to it. LOL


Flashlight Enthusiast
Apr 30, 2015
Thanks for the review. SAKs are great!



Newly Enlightened
Sep 19, 2017
Victorinox Farmer vs Hiker SAK Survival Showdown

Ok this is what I would grabÂ*1. Gerber Multi-Tool2. Gerber Machete3. Bear Grylls Ultimate Survival Knife4. Bear Grylls Ultimate Survival Drop Point Knife

TinderBox (UK)

Flashlight Enthusiast
Jan 14, 2006
England, United Kingdom
Re: Victorinox Farmer vs Hiker SAK Survival Showdown

I have been trying to make a choice between the Alox Farmer or the Alox Pioneer, the only difference is the Farmer has the saw, Being in the UK, I have to keep the blade length under 3" is the knife and the saw on the Farmer under 3" ???