There are not tons of places that can say they have been in business over 100 years, much less 125 years.
Not sure why I’m sneaking this in a post about pocket knives but there is a Hot Dog joint in a nearby town to me (Bill’s Hot Dogs in Washington, NC) that has been open since 1928. Okay, not quite 100 years but you’re still doing something right if you can sell the same hot dogs and super secret chili sauce for almost 100 years.
And so it goes with the Swiss Army knife. They are doing something right. It is so engrained in our culture that the very words “Swiss Army Knife” are synonymous with anything multi-purpose. Actually the company stretches back until about 1884 but the Swiss Officer’s and Sports knife was patented in 1897. To commemorate this anniversary a replica knife was released .
And here is what I like about it. Not much has really changed with the pocket knife. Oh sure, metallurgy has come a long way, and the tools are a bit more refined and specialized but essentially it remains nearly the same. The can opener was an odd duck compared to the openers of today, but make no mistake, you can still open a can with it.
Let’s discuss the 1897 Replica a bit more in detail.
Even though I am a Swiss Army knife guy through and through I have just started dabbling in multitools. During my employment career it was necessary to have a pocket carry EDC knife and most 91mm Swiss Army knives fit that bill perfectly. Now that I telework (thank you COVID) and am about to retire I probably won’t be getting out and about as much and having a few multitools laying around strategically will be fairly practical, I believe.
I decided to try a tool from the major manufacturers and got the following:
- Victorinox Swiss Tool Spirit X
- Gerber Suspension NXT
- Leatherman Surge
After reading dozens of reviews and talking to a few people I also decided to get a Leatherman Wave +.
Leatherman Wave +
I think out of all of them I may like the Wave + the best although it is a tossup between that and the Swiss Tool Spirit X.
I love Swiss Army knives. But recently I have decided to try out some of the larger multi-tools. Yeah, I’m a few years late to the game……..but here goes.
Before I ever talk about these tools know that I think they are used best on a conditional basis. When I am at home or in the truck or camper know that I keep a proper set of tools around to take care of business. The right tool for the job, as they say.
However, having a good multi-tool within reach most of the time does come in mighty handy. And on the surface this statement might seem odd ……….. If the proverbial fecal matter were to hit the electrical rotary device………being stuck in the middle of an emergency situation with a suite of tools in your pocket would be a blessing, no?
So multi-tool choices are abundant and there are review videos galore on these tools. The selection of a good multi-tool is going to be a very personal choice and no way am I ever going to imply that I found the BEST TOOL and that you should get one.
Wow! What a loaded subject line. Especially since I easily have about 75 Swiss Army knives. And I love them all. However some stand out, and particularly one stands out.
First of all lets stroll down memory lane, shall we? The Swiss Army knife was first made in 1891 with roots back to about 1884. That is quite a lineage.
Victorinox 1891 Soldier
Oddly enough it doesn’t look that much different than what we carry today. Isn’t it amazing that the origins of a useful pocket took have remained true to form for so long?
I like pocketknives. A lot. I’m actually one of those guys with a giant fear of getting cut and I have zero desire to ever use a knife as a weapon. For me, the act of carrying a knife is more about being the instant savior to a situation with my fancy multi-tool. And I like knowing I’m prepared and ready for whatever may happen to me.
NOTE: 99% of my knife usage is opening Amazon boxes that contain knives.
My pocketknife of choice is, and always has been Victorinox Swiss Army knives. As a young boy I remember the excitement of the first Cub Scout knife. Wow. What a responsibility. It was taught as such and that message was received as such. God I love my generation.
So I am a knife collector of sorts. Swiss Army, Benchmade, Spyderco and other EDC items like flashlights and pens that actually work in the weather.
Even though the Swiza knives have been around for a while I decided to pick one up and try it out. Allow me to answer the question in my subject line.
Sorry about the misleading Subject Line. I am NOT a man of tactics. And while I work and deploy with the USMC as a DOD Civilian I haven’t learned a damn thing from them. I’m not tactical. I could not sneak up on you with a cup of coffee.
If you wake up in an awful place like Iraq or Afghanistan it is very comforting to know that most of the people inside your base are US Marines. I’ve had no desire to be a wannabe tactical guy. Always been happy to let the paid pros take care of the tactics.
But I do like to hike, and I do like to camp and living in an area known to catch a few hurricanes it is only smart to have a certain level of preparedness. Much of being prepared involves having equipment that is tried and tested in the field by people WHO HAVE TRIED AND TESTED IT IN THE FIELD.
And I guess that’s how the term “tactical” gets tossed around. No matter. Contrary to the fact that I didn’t want to learn anything while buying all this cool gear I ended up learning LOTS of things. One term that keeps creeping up is Every Day Carry (EDC). EDC is also about being ready for things, or it is about having the tools at your disposal, on your person, that you would use in your day to day tasks.
About a year ago I became familiar with a term called “EDC”. Every Day Carry. What that is are the things that you carry with you on a regular basis to be ready for “Stuff”. It’s a very different and individual thing. Not only is it different individually but for the same person it can even be different situationally. Your EDC may be different in the boat or camper compared to a night out at a fancy restaurant.
My EDC literally changes almost daily, but most days it is this:
From left to right,
- Fisher Space Pen
- OLight i3T Copper Flashlight
- Swiss Army Knife Cadet Alox
Most days this is all a fella needs. This fella anyway. The fancy pouch is from a company called Hitch and Timber. And keeps everything from getting banged up and slides easily into my pocket.
The funny thing is that EDC must evolve and get better with time. And that’s kind of where this blog leads me.
I have a thing for Swiss Army knives and I’m a somewhat sporadic collector and sometimes modifier of them, and by that I mean changing the appearance of the scales.
The Swiss Army Knife has been around for quite some time and when a company has been making a product with robust sales for over 100 years you have to figure they are doing something right. Over all those years there are some knives that are a bit more collectible than others.