Carrying a Swiss army knife for EDC

Discussion in 'Multi-tools & Multi-purpose Knives' started by mg357, Apr 22, 2019.

  1. drail


    Feb 23, 2008
    I have been carrying a Vic Tinker since 1970 something. I may leave the house without my keys but I guarantee you that knife is in my pocket. Always. It has gotten me out of a BUNCH of jams over the years.
  2. Country_Squire


    Apr 7, 2019
    That makes perfect sense jackknife. Do you find that the blades on your SAK slice better than the blades on your Peanut? I've found that I prefer my SAK to my Peanut for this reason. There's something about the Victorinox blade profile and shape that just works. That being said, I wish Victorinox would do a remake of their very early soldier models. I love the traditional look and materials of the Peanut and to have that combined with the utility of a SAK would be wonderful. I hope the Cult of the Peanut is coping alright with your abdication...
    NirreBosse and Jeff_R like this.
  3. jackknife

    jackknife Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 2, 2004
    Yes, the SAK slices better than a lot of knives due the nice flat grind of the blades and thin stock. For the business of cutting, thin blade stock is a good thing. SAK's are always under estimated when it comes to cutting and edge holding by the fan boys of more expensive higher status knives.

    When my sister-in-laws large sofa she ordered on the internet came, it was totally cocooned in cardboard. Just getting it out was a job. Then the cardboard all had to be cut down to fit in the recycle bin. My Vic Tinker did the whole job without sharpening. I did have to stop about 2/3ds the way through to get the glue residue off the blade with some alcohol based hand sanitizer so I could keep on slicing. Lot of that brown packing tape holding it all together was tough stuff. When I was done, the tinker got a few minutes touchup on the little Eye-Lap model L with the cut down handle that I keep in my wallet and it was like a razor again.

    I love that the SAK blades are so easy and fast to touchup when they do start to drag in the cutting. A minute of light honing on the diamond or a few strokes on the bottom of a coffee mug, and it's ready to go again. Victorinox blades just flat-out work great. Not to mention that all the other tools on them give you options that no other pocket knife comes close to giving. Theres a reason that Victorinox makes and sells more knives than any three of the 'other' big knife companies do. They work.

    I still think now and then of getting another peanut, but I know that I have trouble at my age with the arthritis in my fingers dealing with a small stiffly sprung slip joint with snappy half stops. The Vic SAK's on the other hand, aside form giving me a well made pocket knife with unmatched versatility, gives me a smooth opening knife with easy and very predictable pulls. With Victorinox uniform production, I now that I can go on vacation and buy a small SAK in a big box store where ever I land, and it will be just like the one at home. And it's low cost enough to just give away go the airport shuttle driver when I leave. They all recognize the rd handled SAK logo and are happy to get it.

    For a very very good all around pocket knife, you just can't beat a SAK. It cuts, screws, prys, opens bottle and cans, plucks splinters, and a host of other jobs no other knife can do.
  4. James Y

    James Y

    Feb 18, 1999
    Back in 1981, I came to the realization that, for me, the best multi-bladed pocketknife is the SAK. Before that, I used to carry a Schrade medium stockman stamped "razor blade stainless), then an early Buck 303 Cadet. I could accomplish so many more tasks with the SAK. Even a stockman, with its differently-shaped blades, did not offer the same degree of versatility and functionality for me as a SAK, with its assortment of tools. Oddly enough, the SAK blades also generally cut better than the other types of pocketknives, and are easy as pie to resharpen. And as an added bonus, except for an occasional rinsing out and lubing, SAKs don't require constant maintenance, as the corrosion resistance is excellent.

    I like, carry and use modern knives, too. But if I was forced to choose only one brand/type of folding knife for the rest of my life, I would choose Victorinox and its SAKs.

  5. YellowSwiss


    Sep 28, 2015
    I was thinking about this thread today and I have to say, the SAK is the most common-sense EDC there is for me...for many reasons:

    1. Tools - Certainly, a blade is wonderful to have around, but there are so many other things I need to do each day.

    2. Ergonomics - One of the best ways I have found to really get a "feel" (pun intended) for the ergonomics of a knife is doing some serious carving. Spend a protracted amount of time whittling on a piece of wood, and it quickly reveals hot spots or other features that become uncomfortable.

    3. Usefulness - I know, it is a broad term, but I gave a SAK to a friend a few years ago that was really into tactical knives. He scoffed at first, but I asked him, "which do you do more? Stabbing bad guys or use a knife for utility and general cutting functions?" He now EDC's a SAK. In a recent discussion about knives for self-defense, I gathered several videos of knife attacks and knife related incidents. It is amazing how strongly victims fight back even after multiple attacks with a blade. I am not knocking someone who chooses to carry a knife for self-defense....I have too, but I get more use out of a SAK than any other knife.

    4. Blade steel - Yeah, I like super steels, but the SAK is more than adequate and can easily be brought back to razor sharpness without having to dedicate a whole evening to the task.

    I know there are a million reasons to carry a SAK, these were a few that were on my mind today.
  6. jackknife

    jackknife Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 2, 2004
    YellowSwiss, you make some very very good points in your post. All your points, 1,2,3, and 4 are valid. But especially number 3.

    When the cutlery industry started founder in the 1970's and early 1980's, they got desperate. So many people had moved to an urban environment and had little use for a knife, that the whole industry was caving in. They had to do something. They created an artificially driven market for the tactical knife. The knife as a weapon. Since the sales of traditions pocket knives was fading, and office cubicle workers had little need of a Barlow knife, or stockman or trapper, the knife manufactures had to convince them they needed a knife for another reason; self defense. Never mind that a knife is the absolute worst weapon to defend yourself with, it was all about Hollywood and image. Real world use fell by the wayside. Paid product placement came about and people saw their screen heroes packing and using al kinds of cool looking knives. If it's on TV, it must be good, right? Look at the whole thread on knives of NCIS, a fictional unreal TV show. Mark Harmon must have sold a zillion tiger striped knives.

    Today, most young guys carry a tactical knife for the image. I see it so often in the general knife forum that they have the knife "in case someone gets on me". Or they like to "whip out" the knife for the show off/intimidation factor. Browse the general forum and it is s subject that comes up on a regular basis.

    Too many young men have the idea that the magic talesman of the large one hand wonder they have in their pocket is going to get them out of a scrape that either could have been avoided or solved in a better way. A knife has zero shock effect like a bullet or blunt object like a beer pitcher, bar stool, ashtray, jack handle, pool stick, padlock, or any other heavy object in the head. A violent criminal once cut, often goes totally bonkers and fights even harder because he's now fighting for his life. You're cut/stabbed him, and now it's gone to another whole level. If he has a knife of disown, you're now in a knife fight. A place you don't want to be. I've seen one real knife fight in my life, anti was a butcher shop. In a minute or two, one was dead on the scene and the other was in I.C.U for a long time. They had to hose the blood off the sidewalk there was so much of it.

    The odds of getting in a knife fight are extremely out weighed by the need to open mail, open plastic packages, cut a string now and then, tighten a loose screw, open a cold brewski, punch another hole in the belt when you've lost a few pounds, or get a splinter out of a finger. I've never had to takeout a sentry, but I've killed a lot of envelopes and packages of all kinds. I've even killed a few cans of chili with the can opener.

    I think a SAK is a great knife for those us who deal in reality instead of fantasy. The real world is challenging enough to get by. If you need a self defense weapon, carry a gun. If you can't have a gun, get a nice heavy blackthorn or hickory walking stick and bash the mutha. Leave the knives for the Hollywood fantasy.
  7. Rich S

    Rich S

    Sep 23, 2005
    I've carried a SAK Tinker for about 30 years (actually on my second) -no more useful tool on the planet than a SAK of which ever model you like.
    jmh33, Storm 8593, Jeff_R and 3 others like this.
  8. James Y

    James Y

    Feb 18, 1999
    I don't carry a knife for the purpose of self-defense, though I do carry a clip knife every day for certain cutting chores. I still get more use each and every day from my SAK/s). SAKs are no joke and no gimmicky little trinkets. I really don't know what I'd do without an SAK on me.

    Even at home, the only can opener I use is on my SAK. Not all cans have pull tops; and even then, I use the large screwdriver/bottle opener tool to pry the pull ring up enough to hook my finger into it.

    jmh33, Storm 8593, Jeff_R and 2 others like this.
  9. YellowSwiss


    Sep 28, 2015
    @jackknife thank you! I was curious about where the stabinator mentality came from. So many hollywood shows and movies show instant incapacitation with a knife, but seeing reality is an eye opener.

    The SAK is definitely more useful in my daily life.
    Getting older likes this.
  10. znapschatz


    Jan 24, 2005
    I, too, have only seen one knife fight in my life. It was decades ago in a New York bar somewhere in the city, where I went with some buddies on a weekend pass from Fort Dix. Our boozing was interrupted by a commotion, which turned out to be two women in a knife fight. They were holding each other by the hair over a table and slashing away, blood everywhere. Not wanting to get involved as witnesses when the cops finally showed up, my companions and I decamped in all due haste. We never found out who won. That was my lesson about the effectiveness of knives in a life/death struggle.
  11. 315

    315 Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 2, 2017
    I am a little curious about something. How many knives were made/sold per capita every decade from the 30’s forward. Cutlery companies stayed in business when most people only had a pocket knife or two in their possession, but then they started to struggle. How much of the decline was because the companies started producing more knives or were there more companies producing them, essentially flooding the market?

    It amazes me the amount of Swiss Army knives made by Victorinox every year but they keep selling them.
    Getting older likes this.
  12. jackknife

    jackknife Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 2, 2004
    You're very welcome, YellowSwiss.

    I was a knife nut even when I was a kid, and in the 1950's, the knife market was a totally different environment. The average Joe always had a pocket knife on him, and it was usually a small two blade jack or pen. Sometimes a stockman. Others may carry a trapper. The 1960's changed everything. First, people were still on the great migration from the rural to urban setting, and the planned communities that would become American Suburbia was in full development.

    Then Buck came out with the 110. That was a game changer in both advertising and hype. The Buck 110 didn't do anything that a fixed blade with a 3 or 4 inch blade could't do better. It was twice as heavy as a equal size sheath knife like the Buck 102, Case Little Finn, and others of the same kind. Buck hired the best Madison Avenue advertising firm and made the knife appeal to sportsman, the blue collar worker and others. Unfortunately, those 'others' were the less than decent members of society. The mighty switchblade that was revered by punks was outlawed in 1957, so the Buck in 1963 was the new idol for the wannabe bad a$$'s. In the 1960's the Buck knife became the replacement for the switch blades of the James Dean rebels, and the bikers and cult members who wanted a weapon they could carry openly with no hassle from the cops. Iron Horse magazine advertised the Buck knife as the "Official Bikers knife" and when Charles Manson needed weapons for his cult, he bought a dozen Buck 110's and passed them out. The Buck 110 even made it to Hollywood.

    It wasn't long before smart businessmen like Lynn Thompson and Sal Glesser and others jumped on the gravy train that was paying out. They capitalized on the weapon capability of the knife, instead of the utility aspect for hunting and camping. On how fast it was to open the knife with one hand. The tactical Tommie was born.

    However, it took from 1963 to a few years ago for the one millionth Buck 110 to roll of the assembly line. But Victorinox makes in excess of 35 million SAK's each year, with the humble little classic accounting for 9 million of the count. Apparently, most same people still prefer a small SAK in their pocket instead of a tacticool wonder knife of the month.
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2019
  13. James Y

    James Y

    Feb 18, 1999
    I've seen the aftermath of a knife attack, back when I was about 12. It was on a sunny afternoon at the beach, next to the lifeguard station. A small crowd had gathered around, including me and some friends from school. We were sitting on our bikes. A guy with open cuts on his upper abdomen, back and arms was standing there, asking if anybody had a cigarette. He was dripping blood, and there were puddles of it on the parking lot asphalt near him. A lifeguard was trying to get him to sit down until the ambulance arrived, but the guy kept ignoring him and walking in circles asking for a cigarette. He looked homeless, and he was probably in shock. For some weird reason, my friends and I (and some other kids) thought it was funny and were chuckling out loud. Yeah, kids can be really stupid. I don't know where the cutter had disappeared to.

    Unfortunately, about a decade ago, a woman I used to know back in the '90s (she had been in charge of disabled student services at a major university, and at the time I worked there part-time providing real-time captioning for deaf students) was murdered by her boyfriend. She had been stabbed many, many times. It and the subsequent trial was a big story in the local news.

    Last edited: Jul 7, 2019
  14. James Y

    James Y

    Feb 18, 1999
    As for why pocketknives fell out of favor with the general public, I think has much to do with changing trends. In a similar way that very few men wear fedora hats with their suits anymore, like they did up until the '70s or so.

    Although SAKs and multi-tools seem to be doing very well. I like my pliers-based MT. Like my Victoriox Spirit, but for day-to-day carry and use, I carry SAKs.

  15. jackknife

    jackknife Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 2, 2004
    Yup, thats about it, trends. Fedora's, ascots, and high button shoes.

    With the great migration to the cities, all those GI's coming back from the war had no intention of going back to the farm. There was good jobs in the city, with pay way better than pop paid him to milk the cows and get the hay in. Bright lights and big city had it's lure. Overall's went out and the suit came in. Office work replaced cleaning the harvester, and there wasn't much use for a knife in an office environment.

    From 1950 to 1980, American society underwent a huge change. A whole generation grew up in suburbs with pre packaged food and other day to day items, and all the conviences that made life easier. Mode of dress became more casual, the tear open packages became common. It got to be the norm for millions of people to go through the day with no knife on them at all.

    None of the old line U.S. knife companies are around anymore. All the 'new' ones are the start ups from the 1980's, like Cold Steel, Benchmade, Spyderco, and the other companies selling to the fantasy of the knife as a weapon. Victorinox is the only old company still owned by the original family, like Opinel. They must appeal to a more no nonsense person who is practical minded.
    NirreBosse likes this.
  16. YellowSwiss


    Sep 28, 2015
    I'll admit..I have a few "tactical" knives...really, their only true advantages might be one handed opening, and more advanced steel. But really, are those things worth an extra $100+ over a SAK? To me, not really. BTW - Big Opinel fan as well...and I also have quite an array of Becker knives too. They do not appeal to me for their "tactical" qualities, but for their abilities as serious outdoors knives. In the pouch of each of my Becker sheaths is either a Huntsman or Farmer.

    As a side note, I must also mention this: I have noticed that most forums (like this one and Swiss Army Knights) as well as the Becker forum I frequent, seem to have some of the nicest people. I see a lot of threads digress into outright web fights these days, but it seems these forums are quite civil. I am not trying to cast stones...just an observation.
    NirreBosse and Storm 8593 like this.
  17. The Zieg

    The Zieg

    Jan 31, 2002
    Bell's Two Hearted Ale and Victorinox Trekker (formerly a German Army Knife).


    Knifenorway and lonestar1979 like this.
  18. pipedreams308

    pipedreams308 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 29, 2006
    Case would beg to differ!
  19. Daedric Panther

    Daedric Panther

    Apr 27, 2019
    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I thought Buck was still owned by the original family
  20. 017


    Mar 31, 2016
    I always carry a Victorinox Swiss Army Knife. First it was a Camper, then an '08 Soldier for about 5 years. Currently a Pioneer.
    redsparrow likes this.

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