For years the Camper was the "BEST" model for me, as it was all I had. It also saw more work than any of my other SAKs will see.
There is really two important distinctions to make here- there is the all around best SAK and the best SAK for an intended purpose, and this really all depends on the user. Some folks feel the best SAK is the one they were given years ago because it has served them well over the years. Others think the best SAK is the next one. Somewhere in the middle you will find many of the collector/users that make up the majority of SOSAK members whether they have two knives or two thousand.
This is where the best for a given circumstance comes in. Recently a member (who I hope won’t mind me mentioning him) was getting ready for a fishing trip and wondered what SAK would be best for that particular circumstance. Of course, as usual, everyone chimed in with what they would take, but the bottom line is that this member either had enough SAKs to choose a particular model from, or was willing to pick up an extra to be properly outfitted. He needed the right tool for the right job!
The "BEST" SAK for kayaking is this StayGlo scaled OHT since it would be easier to find if dropped
Of course most of the time you won’t know what you will encounter in the course of a day. You may work in an office, and so simply carry a small SAK like and Executive or Secretary, which of course suits your expected needs. The unforseen is another matter entirely and this is what I see being the true success of Swiss Army Knives.
The "BEST" tool for loosening tough nuts on a computer case is the Wenger Universal Wrench
The SAK excels at providing options that you wouldn’t otherwise have. Multibladed pocket knives, box cutters, or no knife at all really are of no benefit whatsoever when you need scissors, a saw, file, pliers or even a corkscrew. Of course, since not all of us carry models with those particular implements, we have all learned to make do with what we do have, and with a SAK handy, even a small, minimalist model, the SOSAK member is generally better prepared for the unforseen.
So what’s the best SAK to keep in the car, take fishing, go camping/hiking/SCUBA diving with? The one you have with you. The real high quality tool is the one between your ears. The rest is just details.