Support BladeForums! Paid memberships don't see ads! Knives. We knife nuts tend to elevate them to a cult worship status and fawn over them, collect them, and carry sometimes more than two at a time. We are the obsessed and afflicted. The knife knuts. And there’s no better time in history to be a knife nut than now. There’s a huge selection on the market, ranging from tactical wonder knives that you can flick the blade open in a blink of an eye, to vintage looking numbers from GEC and Case that your great granddaddy would be proud to own if he were still around. Then theres the multitools. Tim Leatheman started the modern craze in that direction, but they had been around long before Tim was conceived. The old Automobile knives of the early 20th century with little wrenches to adjust the carbide running lamps on the old cars, and the escape kives of WW2 for pilots shot down behind enemy lines. They had hacksaw blades, wire cutting capability, and a file or two. General Chuck Yeager used one to breakout of a Spanish jail when he got captured in Spain after escaping the Nazi’s when he was shot down in occupied France. Then there’s the boy scout knives. This was my very first knife, a gen-u-ine official Boy Scout knife with the motto “Be Prepared” on the handle. My dad gave to me on my 12th birthday and it opened many doors as did being in the scouts. Camping, hiking, not too mention a crusty ex-Marine scout master named Mr. Van who was be believed to be at least a minor God by the young scouts he led. He himself carried a beautiful old original Remington scout knife that to us young scouts was fully equivalent to Arthurs Excalliber. But then, there’s the SAK. The red handled wonder of the free world, and recognized all over that world. I read someplace that in a world wide survey of recognizable brands, the Red handle with the silver cross came in right behind Coca-Cola and Bic. Everyone knows the SAK. Everyone. It very well may be the only pocket knife that has been to the ocean floor and into space, and most places in between. It’s real explosion came after WW2 when returning GI’s brought them back to the U.S. and they got to be known. By the end of the 20th century, they were the worlds biggest selling knife brand, and the worlds largest knife company. Of these, the humble little classic has been the quiet crimson tide sneaking in and taking over the “pen knife” market. When I was a kid, there was always the little pen knife that people carried. Almost universally it was a small one or two bladed little slip joint that was used for normal pocket knife chores by the city folk or suit types. They even had them on standup cardboard displays up by the cash register in the five and dime stores. Almost always had some kind of white fake pearl or cracked ice celluloid handles and carbon steel blades. They even came with a little bead keychain to attach it to your keys. Literally a keychain knife. After a while, the term ‘pen knife’ came to mean any little pocket knife, the same way the term Buck Knife in the 1970’s referred to any large lock blade. Fast forward to now, and the old white plastic handle pen knives are long extinct. Gone the way of the passenger pigeon. But, a little knife you see everywhere is, the red handled wonder, the SAK. And in particular, the Vic classic. They’re sold at big box stores for the price of a lunch special at chain restaurants like Bob Evans, Denny’s, and Cracker Barrel. I see them pop up in the hands of all kinds of people in all kinds of situations that require a small sharp edge. The middle age couple at Home Depot garden center wanting to buy a few bags of some mulch, but that particular pallet didn’t have the shrink wrap off yet. The man takes out his keys and there is the red handled wonder he pulls the little blade out and slices open the stacked and shrink wrapped pile of 50 pound bags of mulch It looked like one of the 58mm SAKs. Then there was the young lady at the watch counter at Walmart. She just wanted a new band on her Casio watch, but the sales girl didn’t seem to know how to do it, so the young lady took out the itty bitty SAK from her purse and did the job herself. Then there was my neighbor, Morris. We were at our neighborhoods regular Thursday morning old farts breakfast when he decided he needed mustard on his mid morning burger. Being almost 80 years old, his fingers couldn’t quite get the grip to tear open the little plastic mustard pack. Muttering an “Oh hell,” he pulls out his keys and takeout the scissors of a little classic and neatly clips the corner off the pack and all ends well. I ask him how long he’s carried that little knife and tells me that he’s had one on him every since his navy days. They get replaced as needed, because he uses them for a lot of things, and it’s the smallest pocket knife that he can get that will do so much. Keep in mind his navy days were a bit more than 50 years ago. That’s a very long time to be loyal to a particular brand of knife and a particular model of knife. To me, it seems like the humble little classic, the smallest of the whole Victorinox line, could very well be the ‘pen knife’ of the 21st century. Lord knows I’ve given away a large number of them in my quest to enlighten the world, one SAK at a time. To me, the Vic classic is the Giddeons Bible of pocket knives. The entry drug of SAK’s. It’s certainly the pen knife of the 21st century.