Swiss Army Knife history and facts

Swiss Army Knife Collection
Charlie Cooper / Updated: Apr 6th 2020 / Knives

If looks can be deceiving, the Swiss Army Knife is a prime example of that. From the outside it just looks like a fun size bit of metal that appears as useful as a bacon sandwich platter at a vegan event, but oh it is so much more than a fun sized bit of metal.

An object first produced in 1891 in Switzerland, known for its variety of different tools including a knife, screwdriver and a trusty can opener, the Swiss Army Knife has became famous for its versatility and it is a fact that the phrase ‘Swiss Army Knife’ is now a common term for describing versatility. Despite it now being a universal term, the name Swiss Army Knife is actually the name the US soldiers adopted for it in World War 2 after struggling with the pronunciation of ‘Offiziersmesser’ (Officers Knife).

The origins of the knife have been engraved into military life since day one, with the first model being produced for soldiers to use to assist in the dissembling of a rifle whilst also being able to open canned food. The original design, invented by Karl Eisner, has kept many of its initial components but has had things added with the evolution of society. The current manufacturer is Victorinox, an original manufacturer of the knives, with it acquisition of competitionWenger in 2005.

Deeply embedded in the Swiss military, the knife is still heavily involved in military life to this day with national service being implemented in Switzerland. With the military focused on being peaceful and for defensive purposes, Swiss soldiers can be issued a specific army Offiziersmesser instead a gun upon request. In military issued knives, the coat of arms of Switzerland is engraved upon the knife instead of the standard Victorinox or Wenger Swiss cross logo.