Posts Tagged ‘Swiss Army knife’


Hang On To That Swiss Army Knife

Monday, January 11th, 2016
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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!

Replace scissors spring on Swiss Army Knife

Replace scissors spring on Swiss Army knife

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 . . .

Victorinox Swiss Army Midnite Minichamp, Sapphire

(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.

Joe Krueger
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!

 

Stocking Stuffers for the Whole Family

Sunday, November 23rd, 2014
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Traffic was CRAAZY today, and it’s not even Thanksgiving! Everywhere the news is about early shopping (plus some football games, of course).

If you’re ramping up for some holiday shopping of your own, I’d like to suggest the following . . .

Emergency survival kit items

“Makin’ a list . . .”

Small, very cool, dual-purpose gifts

By which I mean, gifts that are fun to receive and even to play with, but which have a much more lasting value because they become important items for a survival kit!

Here are seven such treasures, each under $25

If you need a shopping list, just print out this page!  If you want to shop (which I recommend!), click on the links below each item description.

Clicking the links will take you to Amazon, where you can compare and combine items for the best possible pricing plus free shipping. Just so you know, if you buy from Amazon, we may receive a small commission.  It doesn’t change the price you pay.

 *  Headlamp – Of course you have a flashlight in every car and hopefully one in every room of the house. And, we hope, with at least 200 lumens. Now, consider how handy a HEADLAMP will be when both arms are full of blankets, children, toys, or other supplies!

LE LED Headlamp, 18 White LED and 2 Red LED, 4 Brightness Level Choice, LED Headlamps, 3 AAA Batteries Included

*  Magnesium lighter – Hold a fire-lighting contest for all your teens on Christmas Day. This 3-pack of magnesium lighters gives you the chance to compete – and learn an essential skill!

The Friendly Swede Magnesium Emergency Fire Starter Blocks (3 Pack), Black

*  Paracord bracelet – Totally cool, totally comfortable, and very handy in an emergency, these bracelets contain 17 ft. of strong cord and come in just about any color you – or family members – could want! This link is to a braid-it-yourself kit, which would be a great holiday activity. Or pick out an already-made one.

Paracord Planet 550lb Type III Paracord Combo Crafting Kits with Buckles (ZOMBIE)

*  Tin of hard candies – Chocolate melts, caramels ooze and stick, mints crumble. But hard candies withstand all sorts of weather and when you need a pick-me-up in an emergency – or on the long drive home after the holidays! – this will do the trick. Top quality, top flavor.

Cavendish And Harvey Candy (3 Pack) Fruit Hard Candy Tin 5.3 Ounces Imported German Candy (Orange Drops)

*  Swiss Army Knife, the classic – We all love our Swiss Army knives. Whether you get this simple, efficient one or a giant, every-tool-in-the-toolbox version, it will be a welcome gift. And a great addition to a survival kit.

Victorinox Swiss Army Camper II Folding Camping Knives, Red, 91mm

*  Walkie-Talkies — Favorites of children, parents and CERT members, these handy radios work for fun games around the house, at the mall for keeping track of the family, and in an emergency when all other phones are out!  (We have several pairs, with pre-arranged channels in case we are separated.) (As you shop, consider the range figures as approximations only, achieved under “optimal conditions!”)

Midland LXT118 22-Channel GMRS with 18-Mile Range, E Vox, and Channel Scan (Pair)

*  Water Bottle with Built-In Filter This may not fit in your traditional Christmas stocking, so add it after everything else has been opened. We know water is essential, but bottled water gets old, and is really heavy. What you CAN pack so it will always be ready is a reusable water bottle with built-in filter.

LifeStraw Go Water Bottle with Integrated 1000-Liter LifeStraw Filter

Now, if you’re VERY detail oriented . . .

. . . you will have compared this list with the photo and you will have discovered two discrepancies. First, the list contains a water filter bottle that isn’t shown. (Too big to fit in the sock, and too big to fit in the picture!) and Second, the image shows a radio that’s not listed.  This happens to be one of our favorites, so I included it because I do as often as I can.  Find out more here on our radio review page.

Do you have recommendations we can add to our list of “Favorite Survival Kit Goodies Under $25?”  Send them along!

 

Virginia
Your Emergency Plan Guide team

 

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