Victorinox Swiss Army Knives


In 1884, Karl Elsener started a cutlery shop in Ibach-Schwyz, Switzerland, after finishing his knife maker apprenticeship in Zug. By starting the company, Mr. Elsener created work for people, and he was able to offset the migration of the area's citizens because of unemployment. To create multiple jobs, Karl Elsener shifted his production from handcrafted products to industrial manufacturing, which was a challenging prospect at the time.

Victorinox Swiss Army Champion Plus Knife/Open View

The Swiss Army Knife came into existence because of two events. The first event was Mr. Elsener going into business while the second involved the Swiss Army. During the late 1800s, the military organization began giving its soldiers a gun and a screwdriver. The soldiers needed the screwdriver to disassemble the gun for cleaning. At the time, the army was also feeding its soldiers food stored in tinned containers. To gain access to their food, Swiss soldiers needed a knife, so the Swiss Generals began issuing soldiers a standard knife at the start of their military service.

During the late 1800s, the Swiss Army custom ordered a new multipurpose pocketknife for its soldiers. The organization wanted its military personnel to be able to open canned food and dismantle a Schmidt-Rubin M1889, which was the military organization's official service rifle, with the same tool. In 1891, the Swiss Army received the Modell 1890 from the German knife maker Wester & Company. The knife model came with a main blade, can opener, screwdriver, reamer and grips. The Swiss Army could not order the knife from a Swiss manufacturer because none of the country's knife makers owned production equipment that was large enough to handle the military organization's sizable order.

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When Karl Elsener discovered that a German knife manufacturer was developing practical knives for the Swiss Army, he decided to invent his own version. It was called the Officer Knife, and it featured a main blade, can opener, punch and screwdriver. The Swiss Army did not order Mr. Elsener's first multipurpose knife, but the tool was successful because a number of military personnel bought it on their own. In 1896, the knife maker registered his Officer's and Sports Knife. In 1908, he officially began making knives for the Swiss Army. Later, during 1909, Elsener added the Swiss Cross logo to the knife model's red handle. He also renamed his company Victoria to honor his mother after her death. In 1921, he modified the company name to Victorinox as he wanted to merge inox with his mother's name. Inox is an abbreviated word for rust-resistant steel in French.

About the Red Handle

The first Swiss Army knives did not feature the tool's iconic red handle. According to reports, the company added the feature in 1908 to make the tool easier to find if the owner dropped it in the snow. The first red handles were made from a dark red fiber material.

Popular Swiss Army Knife Models

The Classic SD Swiss Army Knife is the company's most common model. To be considered a Classic edition, the tool must have tweezers, a toothpick and a key ring. The Classic SD model also features a blade, scissors and a nail file that includes a screwdriver.

When consumers purchase the Climber II Swiss Army Knife, they'll receive an item that features more than 10 handy tools. It is a compact product that comes with a nylon handle and stainless steel components for durability. Its tools include two standard screwdrivers, a bottle opener and a can opener along with a wire stripper, key ring, reamer and a parcel hook.

The Champion Plus Swiss Army Knife is one of the company's most popular tools. It is a seven-layer knife model that includes four tools in its scales. Screwdrivers, files, hooks and saws are just a few of the tools incorporated into the knife model. The Champion Plus Swiss Army Knife measures 3-1/2 inches long, and it is constructed in Switzerland.

With theArmy Huntsman Swiss Army Knife, consumers gain access to 13 tools. The product can be used at home or during outdoor excursions. The Army Huntsman comes with several blades, screwdrivers and scissors. The company includes stainless steel components for added durability, and consumers can select a red, black or sapphire handle.

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The company's popular knife models differ in the tool offerings that they provide. For instance, the Classic model provides a few convenient tools while the Climber, Champion and Army Huntsman feature numerous tools that are helpful in multiple situations.

The Popularity of Swiss Army Knives

Swiss Army Knives became popular because their usefulness exceeded similarly sized knives made by other manufacturers. The knife model's reputation was further enhanced by the product's superior construction, which made the knife durable. The knife model is well designed, and it frequently surpasses a user's expectations.

Interesting Swiss Army Knife Facts

Local residents referred to the multipurpose tool as the Schweizer Offizer Messer, which means Swiss Officer's Knife. After World War II ended, a number of American soldiers remained in Europe, and they invented the term "Swiss Army Knife" because they had trouble pronouncing the knife's local name. Today, the knife maker develops an estimated 3.6 million cutting tools each month.

The largest Swiss Army Knife weighs 11 pounds, and it is called The Giant. The knife model features 87 tools, and it can perform more than 140 different operations. Another huge offering is the SwissChamp XAVT , less than half the size of the Giant, it's still a lot of Victorinox! Both these tools are well built and designed as working tools, however, they are most often purchased as novelty gifts for "hard to buy for" people or collectors. They are both very cool though and would make a fantastic gift for the right person!

The television show MacGyver featured a Swiss Army Knife that the main character used to get himself out of tricky situations. He used the knife to make complex devices from everyday items.

Final Considerations

A Swiss Army Knife is the handiest pocketknife that a consumer can buy. The company manufactures a variety of models to give knife enthusiasts plenty of tool options. As a result, consumers can buy a Swiss Army Knife with the components to handle almost any situation that requires mechanical assistance.