The last 50 years have been a mixed bag for the Swiss Army Knife. Computers, phones, and generally not-knife-fixable objects have pervaded our lives and the relevance of a multitool has been reduced. They’ve adapted marvelously, however, offering flashlights and USB drives included in their tools. And really, if you don’t at least have one of these things stored away somewhere, you’re cheating yourself. So maybe it’s time to just pick one, just in case the end times are approaching.
The original, and some would say still the best, is the Soldier Knife. It’s what was originally issued to the Swiss Army, and the secret of their neutrality. Nobody else brought reamers to the World War, so they had to trade for Switzerland’s, exchanging non-aggression pacts. Here’s what the original looked like:
But the original just got redone (a rare occasion) and the new standard is this:
Not bad, right? It’s rugged, and it’s equipped with the basics and nothing else. I like this one. Alternatively, if you want the original lozenge-style form factor, I recommend the Huntsman. You have no idea how many splinters I took out with its surprisingly effective tweezers. It also comes in camo.
But if you’re more of an urban adventurer and around-the-house type, the Cybertool 34 is the way to go. You should get the 125th anniversary one since the look is hot.
It’s got lots of stuff you need for home and computer maintenance: tiny, weird screwdrivers, dip switch flippers, wire tools… it really looks like something an IT department should have hanging on the wall for emergencies.
I’d recommend a SwissFlash knife — you know, the ones with the built-in USB drives — but they look bulky. They ought to spruce those up a bit.
If you’ve got a fat wallet already, you might add in one of these great Swisscards, which friends of mine have found very useful. For carry-everywhere knife-and-stuff, I always recommend the Utilikey, which made it past airport security about 40 times before one eagle-eyed TSA guy spotted it.
Of course there’s lots more at the Swiss Army site. I didn’t really mean for this post to be sort of shilling for Swiss Army, but I was just reminded by this post how cool their little tools are. I need one in my life, and you probably do too.