What is a Swiss Army Knife?

Defining the popular pocket-sized multi-tool

Flickr/James Case

A Swiss Army knife is a well-known brand of pocket knife or multi-tool. It usually has a variety of tools built into the base including a sharp blade, can opener, scissors, screwdrivers, and more.

The official origin of this knife started during the late 1880s, when the Swiss Army decided to purchase special type of knife for opening canned food and disassembling the Swiss service rifle. According to the Victorinox website, it was 1884 when Karl Elsener opened his cutlery workshop in Ibach-Schwyz, Switzerland. Seven years later, Elsener and his colleagues delivered the knives to soldiers in the Swiss Army.

Related: 12 Pocket Multi-Tools to Tackle Any Task

From that point on, the popularity of the knives grew to such a high level, that we tend to associate all types of multi-tools with this specific brand. The company, called Victorinox, continues to produce original Swiss Army knives in different styles for different uses. Today, in our more technological age, there are even Swiss Army knives that include data storage. Or there are bigger multi-tools that can still fit in your pocket, but can do it all with 80 different implements.

Swiss Army knives are a great tool to have on hand, especially when venturing outdoors. There are many different uses for a Swiss Army knife, and it comes in handy for making tasks much easier. Use the sharp knife to cut a rope, or create tinder from twigs and logs. Use it to open your cans of food, and then use the toothpick to clean out your teeth when finished. If you keep the metal polished, you can easily use it as a reflector mirror to signal for help. Or simply use it for self-defense, protecting yourself from bears and other wildlife.

With multiple tools and multiple options, Swiss Army knives are the perfect pocket-sized helper to keep on your person at all times. 


No votes yet

Let's Be Friends. Follow The Active Times on Facebook!