Hang On To That Swiss Army Knife
A Gift for a Lifetime
I got my first Swiss Army knife when I was about 8 years old, a gift from a friend of my mother’s. (A boyfriend? We’ll never know!) I don’t think I’ve been without one in my pocket since.
When I say without “one” I should really be saying “without several” since there are so many different models, each with some special feature, that you want to own one of each! (Well, maybe not every one. Read on . . .)
Real Swiss Army knives, brand name Victorinox, last nearly forever if you don’t lose them.
If a part breaks or goes missing, you can fix it!
Here’s what got me started on this Advisory. I had to . . .
Replace the broken scissors spring
in one of my favorite small knives.
I use these scissors a LOT, for cutting everything from paper to fingernails to packaging tape.
(Once I even used the scissors to give myself a quick haircut when a posh restaurant thought my hair was too long to let me in.)
Where to find the spring
In years past I have found the scissors spring at hardware or sporting goods stores, but for the last three years I’ve had no luck. (Maybe people prefer to sell a whole new knife rather than a $2 set of springs!) I( knew I could get them from Victorinox, but that involved more shipping that I wanted to fool with.)
This time, I went to Amazon to get what I needed. Here’s the link to the purchase, for a grand total of $2.95. Victorinox Scissor Spring, Small
How to replace the spring
Replacing the spring takes four things: a new spring (image 1 shows the package), some sort of round file or punch (image 2) , a pair of needle-nose pliers (3) and a little dexterity.
And here are the steps to replacement.
- Open the knife so that the scissors extend at a 90% angle.
- See the round hole near the base of the scissors? One side of the hole has sharp edges; on the other side, the edges have been rounded.
- Use the pliers or a punch to push/pull the old spring out so it comes out the rounded side of the hole. I found that the tip of a small round file worked perfectly for me.
- Use the pliers to press the new spring into place from the rounded side of the hole.
- Be patient and persistent. You may need to flex the spring slightly to get it into the hole.
Knife like new, back in my pocket for another day!
What about other models of the Swiss Army knife?
Victorinox (and competitor, now partner Wenger) has produced many different models since the company started in the late 1800s. All have a main blade plus various auxiliary tools – as many as 30 in various combinations! Most also have the familiar red handle with white cross logo.
Most practical multi-tool
While it’s great to have different tools all in one, the largest Swiss Army Knife that I find practical is the Swiss Champ. It costs $73.49, and its holster adds another $8.34. (Yes, I own both.)
Victorinox Swiss Army Swiss Champ Pocket Knife (Red)
If you want more tools, of course, you can get more. In 2006 Guinness World Records recognized a knife (made by Wenger) that had 87 tools and 141 different functions and that cost upwards of $1,000!
Best for everyday use
And for everyday use, I carry the “Midnight MiniChamp” version with built-in ball point pen and flashlight . . .
(This picture shows the knife in blue, but of course, it comes in red, too.)
If you’re shopping for yourself or for a gift, take the time to review all the different models to get the exact knife you need. Again, a small convenient pocket knife is one thing, and a versatile multi-tool for your survival kit and/or emergency kit for the car serves a completely different purpose.
Either way you can rest assured that this will be something to treasure.
And one final note, just for fun. It turns out that the name “Victorinox” is a combination of the original owner’s mother’s name – Victoria – and the French word for stainless steel, “inoxydable“, shortened to Inox. (Stainless steel was invented by an Englishman in 1913.) Oh, and the clever family that named the company still owns it, four generations later.
Your Emergency Plan Guide Team
P.S. I’ll bet you have a favorite Swiss Army knife. Which one and why? Your comments may help others decide which one(s) to get!
"Yes, I want more free info!"
Sign up below to get preparedness tips and warnings via our Advisories, free every week.
Thank you for subscribing.