What Is the Most Useful Swiss Army Knife?

Swiss Army knives have earned iconic status since their introduction in 1891, but now the manufacturer of the world's best-known multi-use tool has raised the bar even further. While every Swiss Army knife contains a knife, nail file, can opener, corkscrew, bottle opener, and awl, that apparently wasn't enough for some pocket knife aficionados. In 2006, the Swiss manufacturer Wenger began offering the Wenger Giant, a Swiss Army knife with 87 implements capable of performing more than 140 tasks.

The Guinness World Record holder for the largest such knife, the Wenger Giant weighs 32 ounces (.9 kg) and measures 9 inches (23 cm) in width, so it's not exactly the kind of tool you would casually toss into your pocket on the way out the door. But it certainly can be handy around the tool bench. Here's just a partial list of its contents: serrated blade, needle-nose pliers with wire cutter, double-cut wood saw, universal wrench, club face cleaner, cupped cigar cutter, mineral crystal magnifier, telescopic pointer, fish scaler, toothpick, tweezers, and key ring.

Some Swiss Army knife facts:

  • The first knife used by the Swiss Army came from Germany in 1891, since no Swiss firm could manufacture the required 15,000 knives.

  • More than 34,000 Swiss Army knives are purchased every day.

  • Swiss Army knife manufacturer Victorinox, which has owned Wenger since 2005, also makes perfume, clothing, cutlery, watches, and cosmetics.

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