Modder Elevates Popular Swiss Army Knife Platform


Robert Lessard, better known as SAKModder, is continuing to ramp up his aftermarket Swiss Army knife (SAK) modification service. Lessard takes the basic chassis provided in off-the-shelf Victorinox models and turns them into unique, customized pocket tools.

Swiss Army Knife users sometimes dream of a perfect combination of implements for them, but usually, that specific SAK doesn’t exist. As a highly skilled modder, Lessard can mix and match tools to your preference during the customization process. “Customers get no tools they don’t need,” he tells us.

Lessard can also add some options you won’t find straight from Victorinox. “I make custom titanium and brass tools that are not available on the stock platform, like forks and combs.”

Lessard used to make custom aluminum scales for the SAKs he worked on. But since acquiring a CNC machine, he has upgraded to titanium. Everyone likes the look of this high-end material, but advantages go beyond style. It can support a pocket clip and doesn’t require separate liners like the standard SAK Cellidor plastic, slimming the entire product down. “It gets thinner by approximately 0.125”, about the thickness of a tool layer,” Lessard explains. “This in effect gives you a 3-layer SAK in a package size of a typical 2-layer.”


But whether you’re looking at the plastic or thinner alox SAKs, they all come riveted together. Lessard removes the rivets and modifies the entire chassis to accommodate hardened steel Torx screws. In combination with the titanium this turns a $40 SAK into a tool that can be maintained by the user with standard equipment. “By removing all plastic parts and rebuilding with titanium scales we now have a tool that will likely outlast the human race,” Lessard notes.

Lessard just celebrated his sixth year as SAKModder in January. He says he got his start adding scissors to alox models before the release of the Pioneer X. “That was the first widespread custom I produced.” Since then Lessard has taken on more than 1000 mod jobs, ranging from minor tweaks to Victorinox Spartans all the way up to monstrosities with eight separate tool layers. Cosmetic mods like special engravings or inlays are also a possibility.

Will SAKModder ever make the leap into modding regular folding knives? “I do own some modern folders from Benchmade and Spyderco, and it’s crossed my mind to make some scales for those,” Lessard says. “If I ever did create scales for something like a Griptilian, it would have to add more than just looks. Like a secret fold-out drawer with hidden tweezers or a ferro rod or something interesting.”

A custom SAK from Lessard ranges in price from $150 to $400. His books are open, with turnaround times currently estimated at 2 – 4 weeks.

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