Swiss Army Knife: Components and Use

Swiss Army Knife

It’s no wonder they have dubbed talented athletes who can perform at a high level in multiple different team positions, a Swiss Army Knife. This device, packed with multiple tools, affords the user the convenience of performing a variety of functions with one device.

The concept for the first Swiss Army Knife was born from having a need, as are many if not most inventions. In the late 1800s the Swiss Army needed a tool that would cut, open canned food products, and allow soldiers to disassemble and reassemble the Swiss service rifle. In 1890, the first knife was produced which had a blade, reamer, can-opener, and a screwdriver.

I was a teenager when my father gave me my first Swiss Army Knife. At the time I thought it was the most awesome thing I have ever been given. It had 15 components (plus a separate blade sharpener) and came in a cool looking, tough leather carrier with belt loop, and I found ways to use each one of them. Years later, the knife remains with me whenever possible, and I still think of it as an awesome piece of engineering, and a prized possession. Over the years I have used it for multiple conventional and non-conventional purposes, it being a useful tool for some around the house jobs, and my primary tool for use when in the great outdoors.

Parts and Components of a Swiss Army KnifeWhat follows are some of the many ways, around the house/yard and in the great outdoors, the various components of my Swiss Army Knife have been of benefit to me.

  1. Large Knife Blade (6 cm in length)
  • Around the house: Cutting food, especially slicing meat sticks and the cheese to put on them when watching a football game. Cutting flaps off cardboard boxes.
  • In the great outdoors: Cleaning a fish. Carving a walking stick. Cutting rope or cords for tent bracing or to hang certain items.
  1. Small Knife Blade (3.7 cm)
  • Around the house: Cutting string and rope. Sharpening crayons.
  • In the great outdoors: Carving a small figure from a branch.
  1. Metal Saw with File (6.8 cm)
  • Around the house: Filing edges off fingernails. Fine filing of wood corners that I will be using for my woodburning art.
  • In the great outdoors: File down a bent and protruding piece of metal from our Coleman Stove that was catching and preventing the normal folding down to fit in its container.
  1. Wood Saw (7 cm)
  • Around the house: Sawing off a sliver of the base of a door frame. Making small cuts into wood that I will be using for woodburning.
  • In the great outdoors: Cutting small branches to use for wood carving.
  1. Fish Scaler with Hook Disgorger and Ruler (7 cm)
  • Around the house: Not really used it much around the house.
  • In the great outdoors: Scaling fish to be cooked. Removing hook from fish to be released back into the water. Definitely not for measuring the fish I catch😊
  1. Scissors (2.6 cm blades)
  • Around the house: cut out newspaper coupons and news articles. Cut lose stitching or fraying from clothes.
  • In the great outdoors: Cut fishing line. Cut to open durable food packets.
  1. Reamer with Sewing Eye (3.5 cm length)
  • Around the house: Punching a new hole in a belt to expand (usually the reason) or reduce the belt for a better fit.
  • In the great outdoors: Remove dirt and grit form grooves in equipment
  1. Phillips Screwdriver
  • Around the house: For tightening and loosening all manner of screws (door knobs, wall mounts,
  • In the great outdoors: Only when equipment we are using has Philips screws and they have become loose and need tightening.
  1. Can Opener with Small Screwdriver
  • Around the house: Open a can when my frustration hits a peak due to my inability to find the kitchen can opener.
  • In the great outdoors: To open cans that we have carried in for an overnight hike and camping adventure. Create holes in small containers for a variety of purposes.
  1. Bottle Opener with Large Screwdriver and Wire Stripper
  • Around the house: For tightening and loosening all manner of screws (outlet covers,
  • In the great outdoors: Have used it as a lever to pry open difficult to grasp tabs on soda cans.
  1. Fine Screwdriver
  • Around the house: Remove stuck paper from the holes of a 3-hole punch.
  • In the great outdoors: Tighten loose screws on binoculars.
  1. Magnifying Glass
  • Around the house: Inspect to see if there really is a sliver in my child’s hurting finger.
  • In the great outdoors: Entertaining kids with close-up views of cool looking insects and other fine detail entities.
  1. Corkscrew
  • Around the house: Remove an undesirable object that has been pressed into an area, inaccessible by pliers, by twisting the corkscrew until firmly embedded and them pull out with a better leverage.
  • In the great outdoors: Don’t think I have ever used it in the outdoors.
  1. Tweezers
  • Around the house: Pluck nasal hairs that are visible, unsightly, and ticking me off.
  • In the great outdoors: Remove slivers from my kids’ fingers. Remove very small cactus spines from my child’s body who fell backward into a group while fishing.
  1. Toothpick
  • Around the house: Pick my teeth of course.
  • In the great outdoors: Pick my teeth of course.
  1. Blade Sharpener

Only to sharpen the knife’s blades.

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