Are Swiss Army Knives Waterproof? (What to Do if it Gets Wet)

Swiss army knives are excellent preparedness and survival tools that are useful in almost every situation. If you have one, you probably keep it on hand for everyday use or exciting outdoor adventures, but you might wonder how waterproof these knives are.

On average, Swiss Army Knives are constructed using stainless steel. While this doesn’t guarantee that all knife components are waterproof, stainless steel provides the knife with enhanced strength and corrosion resistance.

Whether you’re knee-deep in the water while fishing or spending your days at the beach, you should be able to rely on your Swiss Army knife if the situation arises. Below we will go over how your knife will hold up in the water and share tips on keeping it in top shape for a lifetime of use.

Can My Swiss Army Knife Get Wet?

In short, a Swiss Army knife can get wet. However, it is best not to let it sit in water for long periods, and make sure you clean and dry it off after you are done using it. Also, remember that how to waterproof your knife depends on your style.

Are the Electronic Components Waterproof?

Victorinox Swiss Army knives come in a variety of sizes and styles, with some of those including electronic components. These components are NOT waterproof. If you have a model (such as the Midnite Manager) with a USB stick or LED light, getting your knife wet or submerging it in water could damage these components.

If liquid gets into the LED light’s housing, remove the batteries from the knife and let it dry completely. The contacts for the light have a protective coating, so they will not be damaged. However, the USB is not protected, so you should avoid getting it wet.

Swiss Army Knives

Synthetic vs. Natural Materials in Swiss Army Knives

The materials your knife is made from can also impact how waterproof it is. While Victorinox uses stainless steel for the blades, the outer handle material is usually made from natural wood or synthetic materials.

While each material has pros and cons, it is recommended that you stick with synthetic if you plan on using your knife frequently or expect it to be exposed to extreme conditions. Synthetic materials tend to be more resilient and will last longer than wood.

Do Swiss Army Knives Rust?

If you frequently put your Swiss Army knife to use, you will eventually see some typical wear and tear, which sometimes includes rust. But how did the rust get there if the knife is stainless steel?

Victorinox guarantees that all Swiss Army knives are made from high alloyed steel. This is a rust-resistant but not rust-proof metal, meaning corrosion and rust can occur over time if not correctly cared for.

Stainless steel, like all steel, contains iron. When iron mixes with water and air, rust eventually forms. The good news is that these knives are built to last. There are countless stories of users accidentally leaving their knife in water overnight or putting it to use in salty ocean water without problems.

Plus, if any rust does accumulate, it can easily be removed from the knife with everyday household items, and you can prevent it from forming with consistent proper care.

How to Maintain a Swiss Army Knife

Swiss Army knives are a staple for anyone and everyone, survivalists and just regular people alike. This is mainly because of their versatility and incredible durability. You can make your knife last for generations with proper care and maintenance.

While a Swiss Army Knife is a fairly tough tool, dust and corrosion get into the hinges over time, and general use can dull the blade. If left alone, this can reduce the life expectancy of the knife and make it not as effective as it used to be.

Cleaning Your Swiss Army Knife

Before getting started, remove the battery and USB stick, if you have a model with electronic components, you’ll also want to remove any removable pieces, such as the needle, tweezers, or toothpick.

Next, submerge the knife in warm water and carefully open and close the blades until they move easily. This should loosen up any dust or dirt caught on the hinges. If your knife is messy, you can use a rag or toothpick to scrape off any stubborn grime.

Once you are done, wipe it down with a dry washcloth, then let it sit in a warm place for any leftover moisture to evaporate.

Can I Wash My Swiss Army Knife in the Dishwasher?

Washing your Swiss Army Knife in the dishwasher is not a good idea. The temperatures and detergents used in the dishwasher are aggressive and can cause damage to the knife components and casing. If you expect to have your knife in use for a long time, it’s best to avoid the dishwasher.

Should I Oil My Swiss Army Knife?

Once your knife is dry, applying oil is an excellent idea to ensure everything moves smoothly and protects it from rust.

With the blade shut, apply several drops to where each tool connects to the knife’s body and between the blades. Then, open and close each tool and blade a few times to drive the oil into the hinges. After that, let the knife sit for about thirty minutes before wiping it down with a rag.

If you’re wondering what oil to use, Victorinox makes its own, which is an excellent place to start.


Swiss Army knives are made from stainless steel, resistant to rust and corrosion but not completely waterproof. It is best to avoid submerging the knife in water or letting it sit in water for long periods, and make sure to clean and dry it off after use. Some models of Swiss Army knives have electronic components that are not waterproof and can be damaged if exposed to water.

The knife handle may be made from synthetic or natural materials, with synthetic materials being more resilient and able to withstand extreme conditions better. It is essential to properly maintain and care for your Swiss Army knife to keep it in good condition and extend its lifespan. This includes cleaning it regularly, lubricating the hinges and blades, and sharpening the blade as needed.

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