Last Updated: April 29, 2022

13 Fun Facts About Swiss Army Knives 

Curious about Swiss Army knives? Then you’re certainly in the right place because we’ve got all the facts about Swiss Army knives you might be interested in!

Who invented them, how are they made, and which are the best ones are just a few of the questions answered in this guide. Read on to learn all the facts about Swiss Army knives you need to know and see what it is that makes them so great! 

Who Invented The Swiss Army Knife?

Victorinox Swiss Army Knife - Climber

The official Swiss Army knife slowly evolved from the knives that were issued to Swiss soldiers. These were originally produced by a German knife manufacturer Wester, but Karl Elsner started producing them in Switzerland in 1891. 

He was a Swiss cutler and he founded Victorinox in 1884. The company was founded in Ibach, Switzerland, and since its inception, it has grown to become synonymous with Swiss quality. 

Back in the day, the Wenger company also used to produce the first Swiss Army knives. In the late 19th century, the Swiss Army decided to offer Wenger the contract as well, so the two knife manufacturing companies split the contract for the supply of the Swiss military force until Victorinox bought Wenger in 2005. 

How Are Swiss Army Knives Made?

If you’re genuinely interested in the process of manufacturing Swiss Army knives, you’ll really enjoy this video:

The Victorinox Swiss knife blades are stamped from steel rolls, and each of the rolls can produce about 16,000 steel blades. The main Victorinox factory produces about 45,000 knives every day, so they utilize about three steel rolls per day. 

It takes about five minutes to produce one Swiss Army knife, which is pretty impressive. The exact time depends on the model, and it’s also worth noting that the different tools seen on various models of the SAM require alloys of different hardness. 

The red casing is made with injection molding and it’s one of the last components in production. 

Who Makes Swiss Army Knives?

The Swiss company Victorinox manufactures Swiss Army knives. They’ve been manufacturing them since the late 19th century, and they’re the leader in the Swiss Army knife market today. 

It’s worth noting that there was another Swiss cutlery company that had the contract to manufacture military knives. This was the company Paul Boéchat & Cie, which later became known as Wenger.

Victorinox acquired Wenger in 2005 and since 2013, all the Wenger knives have been integrated into the Victorinox product range. Some were discontinued, the most notable of which is the Wenger Giant, which was the largest SAM that was ever produced. 

How Long Is A Swiss Army Knife?

Famous Swiss Army Knife

Swiss Army knives are between 58mm and 111mm long when closed, with six other options in between. They are available in a wide variety of sizes, so the length does differ from model to model. 

Both the length and thickness of the model depend on the number of tools it has. Also, it’s worth noting that those are the available options for Victorinox Swiss Army knives – those produced by Wenger are available in a few other sizes. 

Wenger SAMs are available in sizes from 65mm to 130mm, with five options in the middle of the range. 

Which Swiss Army Knife Has The Most Tools?

Out of all the Swiss Army knives that were ever produced, the Wenger Giant was the one that had the most tools. It included every single tool that was ever created for a Swiss Army knife, and it had 87 different implements that allowed for 141 different functions. The Wagner Giant is discontinued, but it is still possible to get your hands on a second-hand knife. 

It’s worth noting that this is possibly the least practical SAM, at least in terms of portability. It weighs around two pounds and it’s way too big to fit in a pocket. 

When it comes to Swiss Army knives that are manufactured today, the Swiss Champ XXL takes the crown in terms of functionality. It boasts 73 different functions, it weighs well under a pound, and it can fit into a larger pocket. 

How to Carry A Swiss Army Knife?

There are dozens of ways to carry a Swiss Army knife, so it depends on what you’re most comfortable with. Ease of access is perhaps the most important – you want to carry the knife somewhere where it’s always within your reach. 

Victorinox makes knives of different sizes that are supposed to be good fits for various pocket sizes. Perhaps the best way to carry a Swiss Army knife is to just keep it in your pocket so that it’s always within your hand’s reach. It is a pocket knife, after all, so carrying it in a pocket seems like the ideal solution. 

You can also attach it to a keychain or secure it to a belt with a carabiner. SAMs are usually quite small so you should be able to fit them wherever you want, just try to keep them easily accessible. 

How Long Does A Swiss Army Knife Last?

If you take care of your Swiss Army knife properly, it should last you pretty much forever. But that can be said about most quality knives. 

It’s worth noting that there are a lot of knock-offs of official Swiss Army knives, so be sure you’re getting the real deal if you want the knife to last. Fake SAMs and those manufactured by cheaper brands don’t have that Swiss military quality, and they won’t last you nearly as long. 

A genuine Swiss Army knife will last you for decades and it can easily outlive you, as long as you take good care of it. It’s an item that is often passed down to younger generations, and there’s even one that’s been sitting in a museum for decades and it still looks pretty good!

Do Swiss Army Knives Have A Lifetime Warranty?

Victorinox AG offers a lifetime warranty for the materials and workmanship of all their knives. The warranty doesn’t cover any damage or deterioration caused by everyday wear and tear, abuse, or misuse, so keep that in mind. 

It’s also worth noting that this is only for tools and stainless steel components. Electronic components are covered by a two-year warranty.  

Can I Check-In A Swiss Army Knife?

Yes, you can check in Swiss Army knives. You can check most knives, as long as they’re properly sheathed so that they don’t injure any baggage handlers who might go through your bag. 

It’s worth noting that SAMs, or any other knives for that matter, are not allowed in carry-on luggage. 

What Swiss Army Knife Does MacGyver Use?

The TV show MacGyver was incredibly popular in the 90s, and its protagonist is best known for refusing to carry a gun and carrying a knife instead. MacGyver popularized the use of Swiss Army Knives in the US, so much so that there’s a Swiss Army knife at the New York Museum of Modern Art. 

Macgyver doesn’t use just one Swiss Army knife, he uses a different knife in almost every episode – the guy used pretty much every single model of the Swiss Army Knife that both Victorinox and Wenger had ever manufactured. 

Some of his favorite SAM models include the Huntsman, Adventurer, Sportsman, Hiker, Fisherman, Tourister, Wenger Classic 11, Climber, Spartan, and about a dozen others. 

How Much Does A Swiss Army Knife Cost?

The price of a Swiss Army knife depends on the exact model of the knife. The most basic options are pretty cheap at some 10 Euros, while that beast of the Swiss Champ XXL that has more than 70 features costs almost 350 Euros. 

You can get a decent SAM for some 40-50 Euros, but it’s worth noting that there are dozens of both cheaper and pricier options. Ultimately, it comes down to the number of tools you want the knife to have and if you need any specific tools on your SAM. 

Where to Buy A Swiss Army Knife?

You’ll find the best selection of products if you shop directly from Victorinox. You’ll also be certain that you’re getting an original Swiss Army knife, which might not always be the case with other shops and third-party sellers. 

Swiss Army knives are also sold on Amazon, eBay, and in countless stores. You can usually buy them in places that sell outdoor gear, specialty knife stores, or army and surplus stores. 

Which Swiss Army Knife Is The Best?

With such a wide range of options, the best Swiss Army knife is the one that has all the functions you possibly need. The brand has such a wide product range that it’s impossible to select just one SAM and say it’s the best out of the bunch. 

Whether you’re looking for a sports knife, Swiss Army Forks, or multi-tools with dozens of different functions, there is a product out there that’s exactly what you want. Check out this guide to the best Swiss Army knives to see best-selling and most popular SAMs.

About the Author Anna Timbrook

Anna is the co-owner of expert world travel and can't wait to share her travel experience with the world. With over 54 countries under her belt she has a lot to write about! Including those insane encounters with black bears in Canada.