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  #21  
Old 10-19-2017, 11:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vicegrip View Post
Which one do you carry around
There are four knives in this shot that I actually carry (or did carry) on a regular basis, highlighted here:



From L-R:

Lower left, red/white circle - this is a custom Yeoman model that has a watch in the front scales. Its a three layer knife but the watch makes the front extra thick, so it carries like a 4 layer. Ever since I started wearing a watch on a regular basis this one mainly just sits in the drawer. A little too bulky for office type work.

Mid-left center - this is a Pioneer Harvester. One of my favorite knives because the 93mm aluminum knives are so overbuilt. 93mm knives like this are all derivatives of the *actual* Swiss Army Knives (i.e. ones issues to the Swiss Army for field work and to field strip weapons) issued from 1962-2009 and are all business - no corkscrews, no toothpicks, etc. I use this knife a lot for outside/yard work because it cleans up so easily - unlike the regular knives there's no plastic scales and nooks where dirt and stuff can collect. Open it up, rinse out, blow out with compressed air and done.

Mid-right center - this is an Expedition Lite. This is my go-to knife for camping and hiking. Too big to pocket carry on a regular basis, I clip this on one of my shoulder straps when my kids an I go hiking. Because I'm a data geek, I love the electronics in the scales the most - time, barometric pressure, altimeter, and thermometer. Downside to these is they are surprisingly expensive new ($170+) and hard to find in the US. Since they're not really sold in the US, they don't show up on eBay much in TSA seizure auctions. The Traveller Lite is a similar knife that is easy to find in the US (still expensive new but they show up regularly on eBay for $40 or so), but lacks the metal file and wood saw of the Expedition Lite. Here it is in Colorado on the way up to Pike's Peak:

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Right - this is a Compact, the knife I carry 90% of the time. Two layers, very thin, perfect (IMO) for carrying in typical urban/suburban settings. It opens beer bottles, cuts open packages of car parts, cuts tags off things for my wife, eyeglasses screwdriver because my glasses seem to fall apart a lot, toothpick, tweezers and honestly the most used feature - a ball point pen. I have two of these - red and green. One of them typically disappears for a couple months at a time until it's found in the couch or under the bed. Right now the green one is MIA.
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  #22  
Old 10-19-2017, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Jazzbass View Post
Yeah, I thought about doing something like that, but man what a ton of work that'd be. Even if you wrote details on 3 knives a day every day, it'd take almost 6 months to get through them all.
We'll wait.
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Last edited by N0tt0N; 10-19-2017 at 11:26 AM.
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  #23  
Old 10-19-2017, 11:24 AM
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Very cool but talk about a wormhole. I would like something to use around the house/yard. Screwdriver, knife, bottle opener... but what about the wood saw? I can see use for the awe. Man, the tweezers might be useful.

So I go from this




to this and just about need backpack straps

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  #24  
Old 10-19-2017, 11:26 AM
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You're telling me? How do you think I ended up for 477 (plus) of these things in the first place?

BTW, the second knife you show is in the lower right corner of the pic.
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Old 10-19-2017, 11:39 AM
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good stuff

I knew it wasnt just me
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Old 10-19-2017, 02:22 PM
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This is really cool. I have carried a Tinker version (I think) since I was about 13. They won't let me bring it into work any more so I smuggled one in (seen pulp fiction?) And I keep it in my desk.

Its a tool not to be without!
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  #27  
Old 10-19-2017, 02:37 PM
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note to all, never borrow steve knife
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  #28  
Old 10-19-2017, 03:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vicegrip View Post
what is the significance in the row of knives?
It's basically the Swiss Army Knife equivalent of this:

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In my original shot, from left to right, it shows the evolution of the basic Officer's Knife from introduction in 1897 to present. Let's take a closer look.

Original Era: 1897 - late 1920s
These are the original style knives based on the 1897 design. These were called "Officer's Knives" in contrast with the "Soldier's Knife" of 1890 that was standard issue to soldiers in the Swiss army. They were smaller than the Soldier's Knife and added a small "pen" blade (supposedly for erasing pen from paper) and a corkscrew (because officer's would drink wine, no?). Unlike the Soldier's knife, Officer's Knives were never officially issued by the Swiss army.

The big innovation of the time for the Offiecer's knife was the addition of a 4th rivet that allowed more tools to be added to the back side of the knife. This design was patented by Victorinox in 1897.

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From left to right:
1. This is a late 1800s knife - one of the first ever produced. 100% handmade in a pre-electricity, water-powered shop. The stamp on the large screwdriver (open) says "Gesetzlich Geschützt" meaning "Patented". The standard tool set is the large blade, pen blade, corkscrew, awl, large screwdriver and can opener. All tools here are carbon steel, as usable stainless alloys don't appear until the early 1920s. The scales are a wood fiber material that is basically the like hardboard. In the earliest construction of the knife, all four of the rivets that are used in the knife are peened through the scales and visible.

2. Early 1900s knife (c. 1905-1910). Same basic handmade construction as the first, except the "Gesetzlich Geschützt" stamp is gone and inlaid into the scales is a hand cut Elsner (Victorinox) logo. Like a lot of the carbon steel knives there's a lot of corrosion on all the tools. The bottom of the front scale is missing, exposing the brass liner.

3. Early 1920s knife. Still the original 4 rivet construction, but this is one of the first made from that new stainless steel material. Note here that by the 20s the logo on the front was die stamped instead of hand cut like in #2. The stamp on the large screwdriver says "Victoria Inoxyd". Victoria was the name of the product line and "Inoxyd" is short for "Inoxydable", French for "stainless".

4. Late 1920s knife. Also stainless, but with the same basic construction as the first three. The main exception being that now there is only three visible rivets (the fourth rivet is still there, just hidden behind the scales). Like this one, most of the knives you see from this time are stainless, although Victorinox still made carbon steel versions of Officer's knives into the 1940s. Whether it's because they made more of the stainless knives or because they tend to be the only ones that survived is not 100% clear.

Wartime Era (early 1930s-1951)
Lots of evolving technology in the early 20th century brought a lot of changes to these knives. Better stainless alloys, new types of plastics, and bottles the caps that need to be removed.

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From left to right:
1. This knife is actually dated 1938, so we know exactly when it was made. The big change with this one vs the previous "Original" era knives is that the large screwdriver has evolved into a bottle opener/screwdriver tool. This particular knife is interesting because it is carbon steel, despite stainless being in use by Victorinox since the early 1920s (hence the rust). It also shows that they were still using the wood fiber scales into the late 1930s.

2. This knife dates to the mid- to late 1930s. This is a more typical pre-war era knife. All stainless, fiber scales, new fangled bottle opener.

3. Dating to about 1940, this is one of the earliest attempts at plastic scales. By all accounts this plastic is celluloid, a fairly unstable plastic made from camphor and nitrocellulose. This plastic was used from c. 1940-1944, and it is very unusual to find knives where the celluloid is still intact. Most of the time the plastic has shrunk with age or UV exposure, cracked, or completely disintegrated. Minutia detail - the shield logo on the front with the very sharp "V" at the top. Only seen on knives from c. 1940.

4. This knife also dates to the early 1940s, and is very similar to #3. The main difference here is the - buffalo horn scales. A significant majority of the knives that survive from the early 40s will have some sort of "special" scales (horn, mother of pearl, etc) as the plastics of the time were so bad that they just disintegrate.

5. Speaking of disintegrating, this knife is here as a perfect example. Also dating from the early 1940s, this knife shows the typical celluloid shrinkage common to scales of this era. You can see how they have pulled away from the rivets and distored the inlaid logo, like a balloon deflating. Curiously, this knife also has the shackle attachment at the top of the knife instead of the bottom, as was common.

6. A mid 1940s knife with mother-of-pearl scales. Here because I thought it looked cool. This would be one of the last knives made with the original style can opener.

7. This knife from 1946/7 shows a huge new advancement - a new style can opener! OMG! 50 years of production and this is like the biggest change to the model line. Exciting stuff in a very reserved, teutonic sort of way. Evolution, not revolution my friends. The can opener isn't open on these knives so it's hard to see, but the change was this:

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Note that on this knife (and #8) the plastic scales aren't all cracked and warped. This is because by c. 1945 they seem to have figured out their plastics. A new material called "cellidor" was now used. Cellidor is a cellulose based plastic that didn't exhibit the degradation effect of the earlier celluloid plastics. Knives with intact scales from the late 1940s on are fairly easy to find. The bottle opener on this one says "Swiss Made" for the curious.

8. Last version of the old style knife, made c. 1950. With some minute exceptions, same knife as #7.
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  #29  
Old 10-19-2017, 03:55 PM
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Vintage Era (1951-1974)
Now something significant happened in the early 1950s. Victorinox production exploded due to new interest from the US. Prior to WWII no one in the US had really ever heard of these knives. By the late 40s and early 50s demand was through the roof thanks to all the GIs coming home and spreading the word about these great little knives they discovered during their time in Europe. All the knives prior to this time were still largely hand made. To keep up with production Victorinox needed to automate. And a part of this automation was a major redesign of the knife itself.

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1. This knife is from the early 1950s and shows the newly redesigned can opener/small screwdriver tool. In prior versions the can opener was on the bottom of the knife and the bottle opener at the top, but with the redesign these change position. This knife model here is very much the “964” of the Officer’s knife model line – it looks very similar to previous versions, but was about 90% different. The can opener is stamped “+PAT” indicating the newly patented can opener design.
2. This knife is from c 1957-1960 and shows how they are evolving the knife design to keep up with automation and production demands. The exposed rivets on previous models are very time consuming to peen into place and must be done by hand. With this model, the brass rods holding the knife together are mechanically peened and the scales snapped on the now-hidden rivets. One benefit here is that end users can now replace their scales if they become damaged or cracked.
3. This knife is also from the c1957-1960 time frame, but represents another nod towards increased production – the economy model. At this time, despite the some of the new automation methods, there was still a ton of manual labor involved (mainly polishing and QC). Victorinox introduce a new economy line called “Elinox” that was cheaper than their premium “Victoria” models. The main differences were: cheaper plastic for the scales, different logo (triangular shield), unpolished tools, less QC.
4. This knife is from c 1965 and shows the new step in the evolution of the knife – the small awl. In all previous models the large triangular awl was inset in a cutout on the front scales. This new awl (introduced c 1961) used less material and was easier to assemble.
5. Also from c 1965, this is an economy “Elinox” version of #4.
6. This knife from c. 1974 shows more evolution. While this is a no-keyring variant, this would be the version that introduced the small key ring attachment on the rear (see knives below) instead of the larger, manually attached shackle as shown on #4 in this picture. Also gone is the +PAT on the can opener as the patent from 1951 expired after 20 years.

Modern Era (1974-present)
Starting in 1974 the knives produced at very much the typical modern era Swiss Army Knives that people are used to seeing. The rapid number of changes from the 51-74 period start to slow down as the knife has evolved from a largely handmade item to something that can be produced with a significant amount of automation.

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From left to right:
1. This is a mid 1970s economy knife. This replaced the “Elinox” line seen previously. With a significant amount of automation available by the 1970s, the gap between the Victoria line and Elinox line was narrowing. These new economy models have cheaper plastic scales with hot stamped foil logos instead of the inlaid nickel-silver logos of the past
2. From 1984, this is a model made for the 100th anniversary of Victorinox as a company.
3. Early 1990s version of the Officer’s Knife with the “Switzerland/Crossbow” inlay instead of the traditional Swiss Cross. Sometime exported to middle eastern countries where selling items with crosses might be… difficult.
4. Mid 1990s economy knife. Pretty similar to the rest except the hot-stamped logo is now the standard Victorinox logo instead of the triangular cross.
5. Late 1990s version – the main blade is now thinner at the tang than before. Previously the spine of the blade was 2.0mm but the tang was 2.4mm. This meant that the whole blade needed to be machined from 2.4mm thick stock, most of it going to waste. The new blades are now machined from 2.0mm stock with a 0.4mm spacer at the pivot point.
6. Another evolution of the economy knife – this one using new nylon scales with the hot stamp logo instead of the cheaper cellidor plastic scales used since 1974.
7. Modern version – c. 2015. Here is used a version of the Officer’s knife with anodized aluminum scales instead of the usual plastic. Because I thought it looked cool.
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  #30  
Old 10-19-2017, 04:29 PM
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amazeballs.

thanks jazz and keep it coming!
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