The Swiss pocket knife is a global term for a multifunctional and compact pocket knife with many tools. That definition is perfect for many Swiss pocket knives. Some models are equipped with that many tools they can hardly be called compact. The Swiss pocket knife, also known as the Swiss Army Knife, has a beautiful history and still is one of the most authentic pocket knives.
The Swiss army decided in the late 19th century to introduce a practical pocket knife for its soldiers. This was ‘Modell 1890’ , introduced in 1891. It could open a tin and take a service gun apart. Due to the introduction of guns, there often is a screwdriver on a Swiss pocket knife. The production was handled by several companies. Ultimately only 2 companies remained: Victorinox and Wenger. These still are the only brands who are allowed to call their knives ‘Swiss pocket knives’ and label them with the typical Swiss cross. Wenger was taken over by Victorinox in 2005. But both individual brands still exist.
All Swiss pocket knives of course have a knife. And most types are equipped with a screwdriver, tin and bottle opener, toothpick and tweezers. There are lots of models and anyone can find their perfect knife. Files, saws, pliers, scissors and now even an usb-stick or LED light can be found on various models. There also are knives designed for a particular target group, like golfers or sailors.
Although the functions of a Swiss pocket knife are limited by its size, the quality of the knives is so high that Wenger and Victorinox provide a lifelong product guarantee. The steel types are strong and rust resistant, the finishing is of a very high standard. Many tools are fitted with locking mechanisms that prevent the risk of involuntary folding.