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Reviews > Cook Gear > Cooking Accessories > Swiss Advance Kitchen Accessories > Test Report by Marina Batzke

SWISS ADVANCE KITCHEN COOKING ACCESSORY
TEST SERIES BY MARINA BATZKE
LONG-TERM REPORT
March 10, 2018

CLICK HERE TO SKIP TO THE FIELD REPORT
CLICK HERE TO SKIP TO THE LONG-TERM REPORT

TESTER INFORMATION

NAME: Marina Batzke
EMAIL: mbbp2013 (at) yahoo (dot) com
AGE: 58
LOCATION: Los Angeles County, California, USA
GENDER: F
HEIGHT: 5' 5" (1.65 m)
WEIGHT: 132 lb (60.00 kg)

I converted from day hiking and car camping to backpacking in 2013. My backpacking trips are one or two weekend excursions per month in Southern California. The locations range from Joshua Tree National Park desert areas in the cooler months to mountainous elevations in the summer months. I always hike with a group and like the gear talk in camp. While I am looking for ways to lighten my pack, I am not an ultra-lighter: I like sleeping in a tent with a sleeping bag on a comfortable pad. In January 2017, I added snowshoeing to my winter activities.


INITIAL REPORT

PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS

Manufacturer: Think Industry Ltd., Switzerland
Year of Manufacture: 2017
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.swiss-advance.com/
Pocket Knife Crono 38G
MSRP: US$48.00
Listed Weight: 1.35 oz (38 g)
Measured Weight: 1.35 oz (38 g) plus 0.1 oz (4 g) for pouch
Listed Dimensions: 3.74 x 0.63 x 0.24 in (95 x 16 x 6 mm)
Measured Dimensions: 3.74 x 0.63 x 0.24 in (95 x 16 x 6 mm)

Hippus Picnic Knife + Fork Set 26G
MSRP: US$14.01
Listed Weight Knife: 0.49 oz (14 g)
Measured Weight Knife: 0.46 oz (13 g)
Listed Weight Fork: 0.42 oz (12 g)
Measured Weight Fork: 0.39 oz (11 g)
Listed Handle Dimensions: 3.74 x 0.71 x 0.24 in (95 x 18 x 6 mm)
Measured Handle Dimensions: 3.74 x 0.71 x 0.24 in (95 x 18 x 6 mm)
IMAGE 1
Crono Pocket Knife
IMAGE 2
Hippus Knife and Fork

INITIAL IMPRESSIONS

The Swiss Advance Crono Pocket Knife (Model 38G), as well as the Hippus Picnic Knife/Fork Set of 2 arrived attached by cable tie to a 3.94 x 7.87 in (10 cm x 20 cm) cardboard. An advertising hang-tag with promotional info on the pocket knife was attached to that cardboard with a red-white fabric string. Additionally a black fabric pouch with a black fabric string was attached. On the front, each cardboard has Swiss Advance Made in Switzerland imprinted plus the product name in German and English. On the back side, each cardboard has a product image and a detailed product description both in German and English.

The Swiss Advance Hippus Picnic Knife/Fork Set of 2 (Model 26G) also arrived attached by cable tie to a 3.94 x 7.87 in (10 cm x 20 cm) cardboard.

READING THE INSTRUCTIONS

The Crono pocket knife is made of stainless cutlery and chromium steel. On the manufacturer's website, I find cleaning instructions. I shall wipe up spills promptly and clean the pocket knife with a damp cloth, then wipe it dry. To renew its shine, I may polish it with lemon oil or orange oil. The manufacturer recommends using a multi-surface cleaner or stainless steel cleaner to remove any spots.

The Hippus picnic and travel cutlery fork + knife each have a PCTG copolyester body with stainless steel fork tines and knife blade. The knife shall be used with CAUTION, as its blade is very sharp, the manufacturer alerts. The manufacturer recommends to simply retract the fork or blade into the plastic body after use and later on at home put the set in its closed position into the dishwasher. This retracted position will prevent the knife blade from getting blunt.

TRYING IT OUT

The Crono pocket knife is described as light and flat, making it ideal to be carried along always. It is indeed a very lightweight and compact pocket knife with a ton of features. I can easily fan out its five arms without having to use my fingernails; with the Crono I simply push out the arms with two fingers. The spread-out tool shows me more features than I ever dreamed of needing or knowing of: screwdriver, bottle opener, fish scaler, fork, 2 squares, 3 hexagon openings, bradawl + sewing, knife blade, nail drawer, cm scale, screw wrench. I can insert the pocket knife into its black fabric pouch (1.1 x 3.35 in / 28 x 85 mm) with an 8.66 in (22 cm) long cord.
IMAGE 3
The Hippus fork and knife set is extremely lightweight and very small in its retracted position. The Hippus fork has a transparent plastic body, while the Hippus knife has a red plastic body. I like that these two items have different colors, as it makes it easy to grab for example the bright red knife if I want to cut something without confusing it with the identically sized fork. To open the fork or the knife, I press on a white button and slide the button 2.25 in (57 mm) along its track until it ends in the most entended position. I thereby project the metal fork or metal knife blade out of the plastic body and I make the fork and the knife 6 in (15.2 cm) long. That is the use position. The knife blade is 2.25 in (57 mm) exposed length and has a round knife point. The exposed fork metal is also 2.25 in (57 mm) long of which 0.75 in (19 mm) is the length of the three tines.

SUMMARY

The Swiss Advance Crono Pocket Knife and the Hippus Picnic Knife + Fork set are all very lightweight, small and therefore easy items to carry on outdoor adventures.


FIELD REPORT

FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

Valley Forge Campground, Angeles National Forest, California, USA
December 2017
2 day/ 1 night backpack 4.6 mi (7.4 km)
Elevation: 3500 ft (1070 m)
Temperatures: 54 - 70 F (12 - 21 C)

Red Rock Canyon State Park, Southern California, USA
December 2017
3 day/ 2 night car camp 10 miles (16 km)
Elevation: 2000 - 3000 ft (600 - 900 m)
Temperature: 36 - 69 F (2 - 21 C)

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

CRONO Pocket Knife:
I always carry a pocket knife as one of my Ten Essentials (survival items recommended for safe travel in the backcountry) and currently that is the CRONO. Yet I have not had any true need for the various knife features. So I tried out the screwdriver around home on a couple of different screw sizes: yes, it worked. I have used the knife blade on the same kind of crusty multi-grain bread and it worked in the same sawing motion as the HIPPUS knife.

HIPPUS Picnic Knife:
I have successfully used the knife for cutting apples, bananas, persimmon and chicken sausages, plus swiss cheese and sliced meats for my sandwiches. It has been easy to peel and slice fresh ginger for my tea. It has been a bit harder to cut through the kind of multi-grain bread with its hard crust that I prefer: I have had to move the knife back-and-forth in a sawing motion several times to get the HIPPUS knife to penetrate the firm bread crust.

HIPPUS Picnic Fork:
I have used the fork to pick up and eat the cut pieces of fruit, cheese and sausage that I had cut with the knife and the fork has worked fine. At the car camp, we had a potluck with several different salads and I compared eating with a common plastic fork to eating with the HIPPUS fork. A common plastic fork allows me to scoop up the food and I prefer the feel of a formed, shaped fork in my mouth over the flat, thin metal fork tines of the HIPPUS. A common plastic fork weighs in at 0.21 oz (6 g) compared to the HIPPUS fork at 0.39 oz (11 g). I prefer a plastic fork with its four tines and 1.5 in (38 mm) tine length over the HIPPUS fork with its three thin, 0.75 in (19 mm) short metal tines.

SUMMARY

PROS:
Lightweight
Small and easy to carry along
Both HIPPUS knife and CRONO pocket knife have sharp blades

CON:
HIPPUS fork tines a little too thin and short for my liking


LONG-TERM REPORT

LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

Mt. Pinos, Los Padres National Forest, California, USA
1 day Off-trail Navigation: 5 miles/ 8 km
Elevation: 8850 ft (2700 m)
Temperature: 45 F (7 C)

Joshua Tree National Park, Southern California, USA
2 day/ 1 night backpack: 14 miles/ 22.5 km
Elevation: 4000 ft (1200 m)
Temperature: 35 - 70 F (2 - 21 C)

Mount Waterman, San Gabriel Mountains, Southern California, USA
2 day/ 1 night backpack: 6 miles/ 10 km
Elevation: 8000 ft (2348 m)
Temperature: 40 - 69 F (4 - 20 C)

Namibia, Africa
12 day vacation with day hikes
Elevation: 3300 ft (1000 m)
Temperature: 68 - 86 F (20 - 30 C)

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

I continue to carry the CRONO pocket knife as one of my Ten Essentials. There were no safety incidents throughout the test period that 'forced' me to use the CRONO. I like carrying it because with its mere 1.35 oz (38 g) plus 0.1 oz (4 g) for the handy pouch, the CRONO is more lightweight than my 3.8 oz (108 g) standard pocket knife. I like that I can attach the handy fabric pouch to my pack and I know where the CRONO is stored.
IMAGE 1
I am uncertain about several features

One aspect that I wish were addressed on the CRONO packaging is an explanation of its features: what is this 'arm' used for? Does the long slot in the knife 'arm' have a use? Is the short narrow slot in the bradawl 'arm' there for a reason? Which one is the fish scaler?
IMAGE 2
Joshua Tree National Park
IMAGE 3
Happy Hour in JTNP

On the Joshua Tree National Park backpacking trip, our group used the HIPPUS knife to prepare the Happy Hour food items, including slicing the hard cheese and spreading hummus on pita bread. The knife worked well.

For my recent two weeks in beautiful Namibia/ Africa, I packed the CRONO pocket knife and the HIPPUS fork + knife set in my checked duffel bag, seeing that knives would not make it past airport security in my carry-on bag. I used the HIPPUS fork and knife for the daily lunches, including eating a delicious seafood salad one day and preparing cheese and bread for me and my travel buddy on another occasion. The HIPPUS fork + knife set was great for the lunches throughout this trip.
IMAGE 4
Eating salad with HIPPUS fork and knife
IMAGE 5
Handy HIPPUS travel utensils

SUMMARY

My likes and dislike remain as before. The CRONO pocket knife will stay in my pack as one of my Ten Essentials. Additionally, I plan on using the CRONO knife 'arm' along with a common plastic fork as my eating utensils.
IMAGE 6
CRONO as knife

The HIPPUS fork + knife set is lightweight, small and easy to carry.

Thank you to Think Industry Ltd. and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test these innovative and compact utensils for the last several months.

This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1. Copyright 2018. All rights reserved.

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