Monday, May 4, 2009

Victorinox Swiss Army 125th Anniversary series

I've always preferred Victorinox Swiss Army knives over Wenger. Wenger lays claim to being the "Genuine" Swiss Army knife, and Victorinox is the "Original" Swiss Army knife. Until this year, both companies were authorized to make knives for the Swiss Government and armed forces. These two cutlery giants came to an understanding. They are both "real" Swiss Army knives, but as of this year, Victorinox will be the official provider for the actual Swiss Army.

When got these a month or two back, I knew I had to have one. I'd recently bought a Victorinox Hiker model as part of a value pack that came with an awesome Smith's diamond sharpening rod, but I had it attached to a lanyard, and one day at work it flew out of my hand, hit the cement floor of the place I was working and chipped up the plastic scale on the "logo" side of the knife. This was my perfect self-justification to get another knife!

The 125th Anniversary series consists of a special edition Swisscard, a Classic SD, a Cybertool and the model I chose, the Climber, which is similar to the Hiker, but has a scissor, and a corkscrew instead of the right-angle phillips driver. The finish on these badboys is sweet. Little tiny Victorinox shields are patterned on using a special process, and near one end of the knife a larger shield logo is present. My climber came in an impressive gift box with a magnetic flap, and a cool red suede bag, I guess to store the knife in when not in use.
When I first got this limited edition, I wondered whether or not I was going to carry it or not. I've been known to treat some of my more expensive knives like "safe queens", ie: polishing them and locking them up. But at this point in my life, I figure I have too many nice knives to ignore, and what the hell's the point of owning them if you aren't gonna use 'em?!
So, I've been carrying my 125th edition Climber everywhere. I used it to pop beer caps at a friend's bachelor party, I use it at work to cut plastic from petfood cases, hell, I used it today to peel an orange. Owning knives is much more satisfying if they seem to serve a purpose. I generally carry a medium to large size "tactical folder", usually a Benchmade, Spyderco, Cold Steel or something comparable, in my right pocket, and then a small multi-tool or Swiss Army in my left pocket. Granted, this Climber model is no different from the regular Victorinox Climber, aesthetically, it looks a bit cooler, and it was a few bucks more than your off-the-shelf Climber, but I feel like it's more fun to carry, because nobody (okay, nearly nobody) has seen a Victorinox SAK with this pattern before. I attached a Lanyard Zone Glow Cobra lanyard, one of my favorites. Scott is the main man up at the Lanyard Zone in Canada. He hand-ties all of his products from super-tough paracord, and offers an incredible array of color choices and evil-looking skull beads to spice up your lanyards. I'll be ordering from him again, as his Glow Cobras glow bright and make finding your gear in the darkness of a car at night, or a tent in the woods, very easy.
So, if you're looking to replace that tired and rusty Swiss Army Knife your uncle gave you when you were ten, check out the re-decorated 125th Anniversary lineup from Victorinox.

Victorinox at Knifecenter

Oh! And one more thing...The Victorinox brand-new Soldier Knife is finally available at better knife retailers on the web and in physical brick-and-mortar cutlery shops. This knife looks far more functional for EDC, or for active duty military than the time-tested classic Soldier from Victorinox.

Check out the specs at Victorinox's site!

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