Saturday, September 7, 2013

Victorinox AutoTool

The Autotool was a nice, useful idea, but the tool size was a bit clumsy. A few of the plastic tools got easily damaged and this shows once more that plastic is Victorinox's Achilles heel... It was introduced in 2000 and discontinued about a year later. This happened due to low sales and a few design flaws. The battery of the tire pressure gauge couldn't be replaced, the ice scraper broke fairly easy due to a "hidden" liner lock and the classic lightbulb made this a huge mistake for a company that offers a lifetime warranty... The pliers head is the same as the one found on the Swisstool, but the handle is twice the size as the head. This makes the tool extremely difficult to handle. The outer shell (handles) is sand-blasted grey. Why they didn't go for the shiny surface like the Swisstool stays a mystery to me. It contains a few Swisstool tools with the same release lock (philips head screwdriver, can opener, cap-lifter and a large serrated blade. I'm not a fan of the serrated blade because of the limited uses, but for some reason, Victorinox placed this blade on the Autotool and the Sportratchet. The flashlight was a big surprise... For a tool, released in 2000, you would expect a LED, but no, they went for the classic lightbulb. Don't get me wrong, I love Victorinox and sometimes it's allowed to make a few mistakes... In a career of over 125 years, a few mistakes are forgivable... The ice scraper was well designed, but thanks to the "hidden" release, often broken by misuse. Overall a great tool to add to your collection, but I would never use it... One positive thing about this tools is that Victorinox knows when to cut their losses. Some people would have problems with admitting that they made a mistake, but not Victorinox, since they stopped production after a year.

Below : Notice the size difference between pliers head and handles.

Below :  removable Fuse puller 

Below : Digital tire pressure gauge

Below : Flashlight with lightbulb

Next you can see how the ice scraper should be deployed and closed. Please notice the liner lock!!!


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