15 May 2024

Coming Soon: the Bladeless Swiss Army Knife

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Swiss Army Knife Champ.

The Guardian reports that, in response to the ever-shrinking range of personal liberty in European countries, Victorinox has plans underway for a new line of neutered, i.e. knifeless, pocket knives.

For more than a century, the Swiss army knife has been an essential piece of kit for everyone from picnickers and equestrians, to golfers and astronauts.

But now the maker of the pocket-knife, with its red or blue shell and multiple tools, has bowed to what an English judge last week called the “plague of knife crime” by designing a new range without blades.

In response to an increasing number of countries imposing bans or restrictions on carrying knives, Victorinox, the Swiss firm that produces the pocket tools, is in the early stages of developing the first range of bladeless products designed specifically for activities where a blade would not be required.

“We’re concerned about the increasing regulation of knives due to the violence in the world,” said Carl Elsener, the fourth-generation CEO of the family-run company.

“In some markets, the blade creates an image of a weapon. I have in mind creating a tool that would be useful for cyclists. Cyclists have a need for specific tools but not necessarily a blade,” he said. “We already have a tool specifically for golfers.”

Last week, Mr Justice Saini blamed the “plague of knife crime” in Bristol and surrounding areas for the murder of 16-year-old Mikey Roynon, a talented teenage rapper stabbed in the neck at a house party in Bath.

The same week, a 15-year-old boy who stabbed another teenager in the heart in full view of pupils leaving a primary school in Leeds, was found guilty of murder. …

Under UK law, a person can only carry a knife in public if it has a folding blade that is less than 3in (7.62cm) long.

For all other knives, it is illegal to carry them in public without a good reason, which can include needing the knife for work, wearing it as part of a national costume or for religious reasons, such as the curved kirpan knife carried by some Sikhs.

Elsener said Victorinox was responding to the tightening of regulations by developing blade-less tools for specific outdoor activities or sports.

Victorinox produces about 10m of the pocket tools each year. There are about 400 different types to choose from, including one that boasts 73 functions. They have even been carried into space by Nasa astronauts.

However, until now they have always had at least one blade.

The company has already had to adapt its products to tightened restrictions on carrying knives and in the aftermath of 9/11 the company’s sales fell by 30%.

Even in Switzerland, the home of the brand, there has been discussion about what people are permitted to carry. In 2016, there was a parliamentary debate about banning blades longer than 5cm. One MP even asked: “Will the famous Swiss army knife be forbidden?” The proposed amendment was dropped.


4 Feedbacks on "Coming Soon: the Bladeless Swiss Army Knife"


I’ve been carrying a pocket knife since I was about 6 years old. Now the most common question I am asked is “do you have your pocket knife?” Usually asked by my grandchildren.


Yes I have carried a pocket knife for about 75 years now. The first thing I remember doing with it was to cut myself; lesson learned, haven’t cut myself with it since. In 1975 I was flying from Texas to Alaska in the military and in uniform. A pre TSA checkpoint had me empty my pockets and a buck Wrangler was there. The lady picked it up and opened the larger blade and laid it across her palm and at close to 4 inches it stuck out past her palm. She looked at me, looked back at the knife and then folded it and gave it back to me, no problem. In 1991 I was flying from California to Seattle and in the airport I walked past the boarding area and saw a small trash bin with a few knives and other assorted banned items in it and realized I had my favorite pocket knife with me. I stepped outside the terminal and at a row of hedge I dug a small hole and put my knife in it and board my plane. A week later I got back to California and found my knife untouched and in perfect condition. I have lost knives over the years, some of my favorites. Never lost one from blue jeans but dressier pants seem to shed them from the pockets if you make the mistake of reaching into your pocket for something while seated. So I recently lost a favorite knife. Which forced me to look through my dresser and I found my very first knife from 1949 and that is the one I am carrying today. It was interesting to pick it up again and think about the fish I have cleaned and the food I had cut with it not to mention carving and throwing. Man’s very first most useful tool.

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Fusil Darne

The only “tool” I need on a pocket knife, is, well, the knife.
Like others, I’ve had a variety of them since I was a child, and feel naked without it. It would be next to impossible to live my tradesman/outdoorsman life without a sharp example in my pocket.
I think less of men who don’t have one.


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