The Ultimate Beginners Guide to Swiss Army Knives and Their Tools

For knife collectors and enthusiasts, the Swiss Army knife is iconic! Originally designed in 1891 as a simple pocket knife for Swiss soldiers, this knife has seen countless iterations and adaptations since then. But, no matter which model you own or admire, it’s fascinating to see how this pocket knife design has evolved over time.

From its humble origins of being a 19th century multi tool for Swiss soldiers to modern versions with dozens of essential elements housed in one compact body, today’s collection of Swiss Army knives offers plenty of functionality despite their small size. 

Swiss Army Knives

Yet, one of the most interesting aspects of a Swiss Army knife is that it is an iconic multi-tool that everyone will recognize. With its classic design and range of functions, it’s no wonder why so many people find these knives irreplaceable. 

In this blog post, we’ll take an inside look at some notable features found on historic and current Swiss Army knives and how they have changed throughout the years!

Swiss Army Knife Tools

A Swiss Army knife is an incredibly useful gadget known for boasting a wide range of tools stored conveniently in one pocket-sized device. Actually, they can have as many as 87 different tools, such as with the Wenger Giant. However, most only include a handful geared toward specific activities.

Although Swiss Army knives include a large blade as well as a small blade, depending on the model, they can include such tools as a Philips head screwdriver, a wood saw, scissors, a reamer, a corkscrew, and even a ballpoint pen. 

Versatility and Durability

Although knife collectors have long prized these knives for their remarkable versatility, the thing that makes them stand out is the quality that goes into every one of their knives. They are made from the highest grade stainless steel and carefully crafted to help you tackle any task with confidence.

Swiss Army Knife Tools

Swiss Army knife tools are known for their exceptional quality and lasting performance. This reputation is mainly due to the selection of premium materials, ranging from ultra-durable carbon composite materials to stylish damast steel used in their construction. 

By combining craftsmanship with reliable functionality, Swiss Army knives demonstrate why so many people rely on them. And it’s this commitment to quality that ensures you can trust every pocket knife crafted by their master bladesmiths.

Swiss Army knife tools are known for their exceptional quality and lasting performance. This reputation is mainly due to the selection of premium materials, ranging from ultra-durable carbon composite materials to stylish damast steel used in their construction. 

By combining craftsmanship with reliable functionality, Swiss Army knives demonstrate why so many people rely on them. And it’s this commitment to quality that ensures you can trust every pocket knife crafted by their master bladesmiths.

History of the Swiss Army Knife

First developed and popularized by Karl Elsener, whose company Victorinox AG began making the Swiss Army knife back in 1897, the knife has become a staple of households and toolboxes everywhere, but it wasn’t always that way.

Although it is now widely used for household tasks and crafts, along with outdoor activities, it was first designed as what was known as a “soldier knife,” offering multiple functions needed by soldiers in the field.

However, since the original Swiss Army knife was developed for the Swiss military, these versatile tools quickly gained popularity during WWI and WWII for their convenience, durability, and small size. Officers of all ranks from various countries often carried Swiss Army knives for their valuable tools like scissors, can openers, screwdrivers, and blades that could efficiently perform multiple tasks. 

But what started as a necessity for the military ended up being discovered by many others looking for a handy tool to keep around just in case. 

Swiss Army Knife History

Development of Early Models

Since then, the knife has come far because as time passed and technology advanced, so did the Swiss Army knife as it began to include more complex tools such as compasses, along with files, and corkscrews, making it useful to civilians as well as military personnel. 

Today’s Swiss Army knives still include these tools and much more, giving enthusiasts access to an ever-expanding catalog of features.

Popularity in Modern Times

Although Swiss Army Knives have now been popular for many years, their use and popularity continue to grow. Whatever hobby or task a person might need, a Swiss Army knife will likely have the tools necessary to get the job done.

From corkscrews for wine lovers to tweezers for precise crafts, they offer a wide variety of tools at a minimal size and weight.

Whether you’re an outdoorsman adventuring into the unknown or need a consistent go-to knife around the house, it’s no surprise why Swiss Army knives are so popular.

Wenger Swiss Army Knives

When talking about Swiss Army knives and Swiss Army knife tools, it wouldn’t be right not to mention Wenger SA knives.

Founded in 1893, before Victorinox acquired them in 2005, the company had established itself as one of the two leading sellers of Swiss Army knives in Europe. Today, Victorinox still features Wenger knives as the “Delemont Collection.” 

They also include a wide range of tools, such as compasses, saws, and scissors, along with other tools and features that make them highly sought after by enthusiasts and professional knife collectors. Though it may not match the pedigree of a Victorinox Swiss Army knife, the Wenger Swiss Army knife is no less iconic.

Swiss Army Knife Multi Tool

Different Types of Swiss Army Knife Tools

Multi-tools and Their Uses

Although Swiss Army knives provide their users with multiple utilities that make daily tasks easier without having to carry around separate standalone tools, including such things as a nail file, a toothpick, a Phillips head screwdriver, tweezers, and scissors, different models are geared for different purposes and activities. 

So let’s take a look at a couple of examples!

Examples of Swiss Army Knives

One side note that should be mentioned here is that because there are so many models and variations, each for a different purpose, when asked the question “which Swiss Army knife is best, the answer is, there really is no best Swiss Army knife!

Swiss Army Classic SD

The Victorinox Classic SD Swiss Army knife features a durable stainless steel construction encased in many popular styles. In addition, it has a slim profile to go along with being highly resistant to wear and tear. 

The knife includes seven Swiss Army knife tools, including a small blade, scissors, a nail file, a screwdriver, a key ring, a toothpick, and tweezers. Not only does it make a perfect gift or stocking stuffer for Christmas due to its compact size, it can also be easily carried around in daily life without taking up much space. 

Victorinox Huntsman

The Victorinox Huntsman Swiss Army knife, is a must-have for anyone looking for a versatile knife. It is also made from stainless steel, is 3.6″ long, and includes 15 functions. In addition, it comes with a leather clip pouch. So it’s perfect for the great outdoors.

The Huntsman has everything you need, whether heading off the beaten path or just popping open a can.

Wenger Giant

The Wenger Giant is an amazing knife and the largest Swiss Army knife made. With a total of 87 tools and 141 different functions, it is truly remarkable that such a compact object can be so multifunctional. 

In fact, it was officially awarded the Guinness World Records distinction as the ‘most multifunctional knife’ in its class. With features such as scissors, saws, blades, and even a divot repair tool, this Swiss Army knife is perfect for any enthusiast looking to add to their collection. Moreover, its sleek design makes it extremely functional and aesthetically pleasing.


A Victorinox knife is an incredibly useful tool for a variety of tasks, from outdoor camping adventures to household chores. With their unique combinations of Swiss Army knife tools and features that can include such things as pliers, a wire cutter, or even a magnifying glass, these knives can help even the most experienced enthusiast tackle any number of projects. 

And because of its versatility, portability, and utility, the Swiss Army knife is a fascinating example of how necessity breeds innovation. As its various tools have been designed over time to address different needs, the knife continues to become more and more relevant. 

swiss army knife4

Whether you are looking for a simple pocket knife or a more complex multi-tool, the Swiss Army Knife has something to offer everyone. So stop by our shop today and see our selection – we would be happy to help you find the perfect one for your needs.

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Are you looking to sell your knives? We’d love to evaluate them as we purchase used knives of all kinds and offer competitive prices. So call us or stop in today to find out more about our knife buying process.

I also hope you enjoyed this post about Swiss Army knives. If you want to learn more about knives, may I suggest checking out one of our other knife posts?

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why are Swiss Army knives red?

History has it that the color was originally chosen to honor the legendary Swiss Army, which proudly wears uniforms of the same color. However, the color has now come to symbolize precision and reliability.

Are Victorinox and Wenger knives the same?

Although they used to be separate, today, both companies are owned by Victorinox. Despite this, the knives retain their individual identities, with Wenger being known as the Delenont Collection.

What types of tools are available on Swiss Army knives?

Swiss Army knives can include everything from a toothpick to a magnifying glass, with each knife featuring a different set of tools. However, the most common Swiss Army knife tools include a blade, a corkscrew, scissors, and tweezers. Other features may also include a screwdriver, a bottle opener, scissors, pliers, a key ring, and tweezers, just to name a few.