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Swiss Army Knife:Your Ultimate Survival Tool

Updated on February 9, 2014
A swiss army knife with some of the tools
A swiss army knife with some of the tools

Have you ever seen a Swiss Army Knife? Have you ever heard about it? A Swiss Army Knife (SAK) is a brand of multi-functional and multi-tool knife with various tools like screwdrivers and can openers stowed inside the handle of the knife through a pivot point mechanism.

It is the ultimate survival tool perfectly suitable for holiday makers, campers, soldiers, boy scouts or even for simple home repairs. But how did a small knife become such a very useful tool and become a worldwide phenomenon?


It all began in the late 1800’s when the Swiss Army issued its soldiers with a gun which required a special screwdriver to dismantle and clean it. It was also a time when tinned food was becoming common in army rations. Swiss Generals decided to issue each soldier with a standard knife.

In 1891 Karl Elsner discovered, to his dismay, that the pocket knives supplied to the Swiss Army were made in Germany, so he started work on a design of a knife for use by the Swiss Army. He was very successful in his quest and he began to supply his own specially designed pocket knives to the Swiss Army. In 1908 the Swiss Government split the contract with half of the order going to Elsner’s company Victorinox in the German-speaking part, and the other half going to a rival company Wenger, in the French-speaking part.

This decision was partly in the interest of national harmony and partly to keep the price of the Swiss Army Knife down through competition

The Swiss Army Knife got international fame after the Second World War when American soldiers returning home brought back red multi-tool pocket knives they had taken from German Prisoners of War who themselves had bought them privately from Switzerland. Americans called it “The Swiss Officers Knife”.

Today, over 34,000 of these knives with the distinctive Swiss Cross are produced every day in Switzerland for export to every corner of the earth. It has successfully proven to be a survival tool on countless Arctic expeditions, on Mount Everest, in tropical rain forests like the Amazon and the Congo, camping trips in all weathers and climates, or just as a basic all in one toolbox at home, in the workshop or practically anywhere. It is even part of the standard equipment of the United States Space Shuttle crew.

The Swiss Army Knife has been so useful that the term “SWISS ARMY KNIFE” is sometimes used metaphorically to describe usefulness.


Various models are available online: from a basic two-blade version to an eight ounce, 29-tool octopus that will let you do everything from rebuilding an Edsel to picking your teeth.

A 314 blade Swiss Army Knife is the world’s biggest penknife.
Below is a list of some tools you can find in a Swiss Army Knife:

  • Tweezers

  • Toothpick , Scissors

  • Corkscrew, Saw File

  • Can Opener, Hook

  • Bottle Opener, Magnifying Glass

  • Phillips Head Screwdriver

  • Ball Point Pen , Fish Scaler

  • Pliers, Key Chain

  • Torch Light, Chisel

  • Saw , Ruler

  • Digital Clock, LED Light

  • USB Flash drives

  • Digital Altimeter

  • Laser Pointer.

Some things to note on usage

  • Make sure you buy original Victorinox or Wenger knife
  • Make sure that it’s in good condition when the box arrives. If it is damaged , send it back and you will get a replacement.
  • Pick out the function of the knife you want based on the jobs you need it for.
  • The knives can take on almost any problem, but if it gets wet during usage, dry-off every tool then let it sit to dry for about 30 minutes.

How to Get an Original Swiss Army Knife Online

Many other companies make similar but lesser quality multi-functioning folding knives but the color red, the Cross-and-Shield emblem and the word SWISS ARMY are registered trademarks of the original Swiss manufacturer VICTORINOX and its subsidiary WENGER where each individual knife undergoes seamless quality controls before being released and its blades possess a hardness that is suitable for practical use and easy resharpening.

You can order for original Swiss Army Knives on Amazon but it is important that you buy the real and original knives. Here are some ways to know if a knife is the original:

  • Handle features a Cross and a Shield emblem (the Coat of Arms of Switzerland).
  • Manufacturer’s name (VICTORINOX or WENGER) is stamped on one of the blades.

You can easily get the original Swiss Army Knife online at Amazon if you click the links. It is very easy and fast.


  • The blades may swing back to close very fast, so always watch out.
  • Never leave a tool open in your pocket.
  • Be careful when opening the tools/knives.
  • They are relatively small, always check to make sure you haven’t lost them.
    So,go and get yourself an original Swiss Army Knife,you never know when you might need it.


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    • Gift Experts profile image

      Gift Experts 7 years ago

      Hey, these even come in yellow and THAT rocks!