January 23, 2009 Swiss Army Knives have not been left behind by the advent of modern technology with the inclusion of Flash drives, MP3 players, laser pointers, recently even biometric security into the 200 strong model range to compliment the traditional offerings which began when the first Swiss developed Soldier Knife arrived back in 1891. These knives are still part of standard kit for the Swiss Army and, following the issue of the first new specification since 1961, Victorinox has produced a new take on an old favorite.
As you might expect, there are a few changes from the original wooden-handled Soldiers Knife from 1891 which featured a blade punch, can opener and screwdriver. The new incarnation features a new ergonomic handle made from dual-density materials designed to provide better grip in wet and cold conditions and a serrated locking blade that can be opened with one hand, plus the usual array of the most practical tools found on a Swiss Army Knife - a Phillips screwdriver, can opener, bottle opener, wire stripper, reamer, tweezers, toothpick and wood saw.
Despite having provided knives to the Swiss Army for over 100 years, Victorinox was not an automatic choice as the new supplier. The company won the right to produce the new Soldiers Knife after a tender process in which contenders from seven international suppliers were rigorously field and laboratory tested and analyses for cost benefit. A contract was signed between Victorinox AG, Ibach and armasuisse in September 2008 for 75,000 soldier’s knives worth CHF 1.38 million. The new knives will be issued to troops during the first basic training sessions of 2009 and will hit stores in Spring.