What is a Swiss Army Knife?
A Swiss Army Knife is a highly-recognized type of pocket knife known for its multi-tool design which is manufactured exclusively by two big companies—Victorinox and Wenger. A Swiss Army knife usually has a blade as its main attachment, along with other tools such as screwdrivers, can or bottle openers and etc. These attachments are stored inside a single tool or knife and are accessible through a pivot mechanism. The Swiss Army Knife is now commonly referred as simply Swiss Knife omitting the ‘army’ word due to its flexibility and usage by different kinds of people. Historically speaking, the Swiss Knife was made solely for military purposes of Switzerland. Due to its wide-ranging scope of uses, it became open to the world and has been a significant tool in daily basis.
- Origins and History
In late 1880s, a new type of invention sprung when the Swiss Army decided to buy a new type of pocket knife that will be suitable in opening foods in cans and aiding the soldiers in disassembling their rifles which essentially used a screwdriver. The knife made had a blade, can opener, screwdriver and reamer which was named as Modell 1890. The knives were initially produced by the Wester& Co. from Germany until Karl Elsener, an owner of a surgical equipment company, replaced the former corporation in manufacturing Model 1890. Using the concept of spring mechanism, Elsener developed and made innovations to the knife to allow it to hold more tools and features. As an outer design, Elsener used the cross and shield, a prominent symbol of Switzerland to identify his knives. In 1909, Elsener named his company “Victorinox”. Years after, the Wenger joined the market in producing Swiss Army Knives and became one of the two distinguished manufacturers until Wenger’s acquisition by Victorinox in 2005.
- The 7 most common tools attached
- A large blade (usually accompanied with a smaller second blade)
- Can or bottle opener
- Key ring
Uses of Swiss Army Knife
- Slicing and cutting
The Swiss Army Knife is useful in cutting or slicing any type of things such as papers or any kind of equipment. With the blade and scissors attached, there is convenience in slicing food ingredients, cutting a strand of rope or a piece of duct tape, and getting rid of weeds and grass while having a camp activity or outdoor adventure. The blade is said to maintain its sharpness for a long time and is the most useful tool in a Swiss Army Knife since it can also act as a can opener, scissor and sometimes a screwdriver.
- Opening things
It is easier to specifically open lids of cans and bottles with the help of the can-opener. The corkscrew is also used in opening wine bottles, or for hooking and hanging purposes. In opening some other things, the knife blades and screwdrivers are practically used to pry open a myriad of containers when the can-opener attachment is not available. The awl, another common tool of the Swiss Army Knife is a long, pointed spike, usually for ice packs and sometimes used in opening other stuffs too.
- Screw driving purposes
During an unexpected breakage of things, especially those fastened with screws, the screwdriver attached in the Swiss Army Knife can be very useful. There are a lot of available kinds of screwdrivers added to the knife, two of which are the flathead and Phillips. These types of screwdrivers are best suited for industrial and universal use. May it be as simple as fixing a light switch or as hard as fixing a TV and radio, the screwdriver is a very essential tool.
In the field of electronics, the Swiss Army Knife can greatly help in fixing damaged appliances which greatly involves wire tapping or wire manipulation. Some advanced Swiss Army Knives contain separate wire strippers for cutting and splicing wires, however the blades, pliers, or scissor can also strip wirings and cut it into desired lengths and then connect the wires back again using the crimping tool.
- Outdoor activities
The Swiss Army Knife is widely and primarily designed to be used for all outdoor activities such as backpacking, hiking, camping or fishing. Its handy size is a big advantage when limiting the weight of the bags to be brought. Rather than bringing a whole set of important tools, everything needed is compacted into a single piece of equipment. The saw attached is a good tool in cutting woods, same with the other attachments—can openers, pliers, awl, blade, etc—which always work well and are durable enough for a long usage. The knife provides a full-service gear for nearly every situation that could happen while trekking or when simply having a whole day out.
- Personal uses
A lot of tools in the Swiss Army Knives can be attributed to a lot of personal uses. In self-defense, although the usual 3-inch blade won’t be ideal and practical for protection, it has always been considered a good option for response to possible threats and attacks. The ballpoint pen attachment can also be a good tool for quick taking down of notes. From nail cutting to nail filing, a Swiss Army Knife is able to provide these tools intended both for personal grooming and other related uses.
With the recent and ongoing technological advancement, the Swiss Army Knife can now hold features like built-in USB flash drives, digital clock, LED light, laser pointer and even going far as MP3 player and Bluetooth. When out for an escapade, the Swiss Knife has made it more convenient and expedient for a perfect adventure experience. This improvised and enhanced high functionality of the Swiss Army Knife have made a lot of people feel secured and protected, offering alongside its portable and handy feature. This gives travelers and users the option to carry important data and information with the rest of other important tools, all stored in a little pocket device.
Best 3 Swiss Army Knives to Have
#1. Classic SD
The Classic is the perfect pocket-size model, with seven functions, including tweezers and toothpick. 2-1/4 Inches in Length Built to last. Don’t leave home without yours!
#2. Champion Plus
The Victorinox Champion features a main blade, scissors, metal saw, wood saw, magnifying glass, and much more – truly a value item.Scissors..Magnifying glass..Small, medium, and large Phillips head screwdrivers..Corkscrew..Chisel and reamer..Hook..Punch with sewing eye..Tweezers and toothpick..Ink pen..Key ring..Engraving panel 74 mm/2.91 inches..Life time warranty..Size: 3.5 in..Weight: 5.6 oz..
#3. One Hand Trekker
The world’s most popular knife, the Classic SD, is combined with the 111mm One-Hand Trekker that offers 6 implements and 12 features, which include large locking blade, corkscrew, can opener, small screwdriver, bottle opener, large locking screwdriver, wire stripper, reamer, key ring, tweezers, toothpick and woodsaw. The knife’s black handle is shaped to fit securely in your hand. The Classic SD is equipped with blade, nail file, screwdriver, scissors, key ring, tweezers and toothpick. This Swiss Army knife combination handles all needs.