Tap to Read ➤

Swiss Army Knife

Buzzle Staff Oct 27, 2018
Did you know that US soldiers coined the term 'Swiss Army Knife' after World War II, as they were unable to pronounce its original name, 'Offiziersmesser'?
Karl Elsener invented the Swiss Army Knife in 1891. He set out on this task because he wanted to create something for the Swiss army that was not manufactured by Germans. The first knife that he made was called the 'The Officers and Sports Knife', and it featured a wooden handle and a variety of tools like a screwdriver, a can opener, a punch, and a blade.
Elsener created a revised version later, that featured two blades instead of one. This change resulted in Eisner having to add another spring for the second blade, because of which there was now room for him to add other tools such as a corkscrew.

The Swiss Army Knife Explained

The Swiss Army Knife is a multi-function pocketknife. It is made up of a blade and a combination of various tools, like can openers and screwdrivers. These attachments are found inside the handle of the knife that works on a pivot point mechanism.
The handle is usually red in color and features the emblem of Switzerland. The knife model that the Swiss army actually uses is made up of a knurled Alox handle, a blade, a reamer, and a small screwdriver.

Features of a Swiss Army Knife

Today various models are available in the market. The most common tools that are featured are a main blade, a smaller second blade, a toothpick, tweezers, a corkscrew, a can opener, a bottle opener, a slotted flat-head screwdriver, a nail file, a pair of scissors, a saw, a file, a hook, a magnifying glass, a ball point pen, a fish scaler, and a key chain.
With the advance in technology, modern knives include a USB flash drive, a digital clock, a digital altimeter, LED light, a laser pointer, and an MP3 player.
The standard Swiss army knife is approximately 9 cm long and 2 cm wide. Smaller models are about 6 cm long and 1.5 cm wide. The thickness varies according to the number of tools included. The red-colored one is the most common, though nowadays it is available in various colors and textures.


  • One of the reasons for the Swiss army knife being light and elegant is that it makes multiple use of each spring.
  • The cutting blades are made from special blade steel with a Rockwell C (Unit of hardness) of 56.
  • The internal separating strips are made from Aluminum alloy and the bushings and rivets are made of brass.
  • The small and large blades are pressed into place by the spring with a force of 8 and 12 kg respectively.