Swiss Army Knife

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A Swiss Army knife is a type of multi-function pocket knife or multi-tool. It originated in Ibach Schwyz, Switzerland in 1897. The term "Swiss Army knife" is a registered trademark owned by Wenger S.A. and Victorinox A.G., longtime suppliers of knives to the Swiss Armed Forces. Generally speaking, a Swiss Army knife has a blade as well as various tools, such as screwdrivers and can openers. These attachments are stowed inside the handle of the knife through a pivot point mechanism. The handle is usually red, and features a Victorinox or Wenger "cross" logo or for military issue knives the coat of arms of Switzerland. The term "Swiss Army knife" was coined by US soldiers after World War II, presumably because they had trouble pronouncing its original name, "Offiziersmesser". Sometimes, the term "Swiss Army knife" is also used metaphorically to describe usefulness, such as a software tool that is a collection of special-purpose tools. The "Swiss Army knife" has been added to the collection of the New York Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and Munich's State Museum of Applied Art for its design. Various models of Swiss Army knives exist, with different tool combinations for specific tasks designed for everyday carry. The simplest model sold includes only a single blade. The most common tools featured are, in addition to the main blade, a smaller second blade, tweezers, toothpick, corkscrew, can opener, bottle opener, slotted/flat-head screwdriver(s), phillips-head screwdriver, nail file, scissors, saw (regular, wood), file, hook (parcel carrier, tightening aid for shoelace. The martensitic stainless steel alloy used for the cutting blades is optimized for high toughness and corrosion resistance and has a composition of 15% chromium, 0.60% silicon, 0.52% carbon, 0.50% molybdenum, and 0.45% manganese and is designated X55CrMo14 or 1.4110 according to Victorinox. After a hardening process at 1040 °C and annealing at 160 °C the blades achieve an average blade steel hardness of 55-56 HRC. This steel hardness is suitable for practical use and easy resharpening, but less than achieved in stainless steel alloys used for blades optimized for high wear resistance. Elsener, through his company Victorinox, managed to corner the market until 1893, when the second industrial cutler of Switzerland, Paul Boéchat & Cie, headquartered in Delémont in the French-speaking region of Jura, started selling a similar product. This company was later acquired by its then General Manager, Theodore Wenger, and renamed the Wenger Company. In 1908 the Swiss government, wanting to prevent an issue over regional favouritism, but perhaps wanting a bit of competition in hopes of lowering prices, split the contract with Victorinox and Wenger, each getting half of the orders placed. By mutual agreement, Wenger advertises as the Genuine Swiss Army Knife and Victorinox uses the slogan the Original Swiss Army Knife. On April 26, 2005 Victorinox acquired Wenger, becoming once again the sole supplier of knives to the Swiss Army. Victorinox has stated that it intends to keep both consumer brands intact. The Swiss Army knife is a signature of the American TV show MacGyver, wherein MacGyver often improvises tools that are needed to solve problems. He often used his knife to help build mechanisms out of common items, which led to sayings such as "making a cake out of a stick of chewing gum." [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]





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