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Switzerland TravelSwitzerland guide / Swiss army knives

Swiss army knives

Whether you are going camping, picnicking, or to a gourmet luncheon, never leave home without your Swiss army knife
Whether you are going camping, picnicking, or to a gourmet luncheon, never leave home without your Swiss army knife.

The knives and screwdrivers, even a saw blade are invaluable aides in the woods; the tiny tweezer handily pulls the thorn you got tramping barefooted on the picnic. And where would you be on that gourmet luncheon without a corkscrew to open your bottle of wine, and toothpick to discreetly clean your teeth? While you’re at it, there’s a nail file to file your nails before you pour the wine.

In short, Swiss army knives are of the utmost utility.

These knives have a history, too. The precursor of today’s multifunction knife was a dependable knife developed for the Swiss Armed Forces in 1897, in Ibach, Schwyz, or Switzerland. It is now sold under two major manufacturers: Wenger and Victorinox. Styles range from a single blade to a multipurpose knife with several attachments. These attachments are stowed inside the handle of the knife through a pivot point mechanism. The red handle features a Victorinox or Wenger "cross" logo.

Sizes vary according to the number of attachments: The standard Victorinox Swiss Army knife is approximately 91 mm long and 20 mm wide. Their smaller models are typically about 58 mm long and 15 mm wide.

The Victorinox Pocket-Multi-Tools with are typically about 111 mm long and 30 mm wide. Wenger Swiss Army knives typically use 65 mm, 85 mm and 130 mm lengths.

With a stainless steel corrosion-resistant blade, your Swiss army knife might outlive the life span of the owner. I was aghast when I stood helplessly by watching my knife disappear down a sink that had no drain trap, but was relieved when I found it sitting on the ground near the outside pipe that delivered the knife, unscathed in its undignified journey.

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