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The Swiss Army multitool edges toward a knife-less future

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There are many models of Swiss Army knives, which can be equipped with everything from a flashlight to a seatbelt cutter. To date though, there’s not a version without the tool’s namesake knife. That’s about to change.

Since the late 1800s pocket-tool maker Victorinox has been manufacturing pocket knives encased in a trademark red outer shell and filled with tools that go well beyond a simple slicer. Now however, due to pressure from rising worldwide knife violence, the company has announced that it will be releasing a version of its product that has no blades.

That’s right, the company is going to be putting out a range of knifeless Swiss army knives.

“We’re concerned about the increasing regulation of knives due to the violence in the world,” said Carl Elsener, in an interview with The Guardian. Elsner is the fourth-generation CEO of the company, which is still a family-run business. “In some markets, the blade creates an image of a weapon. I have in mind creating a tool that would be useful for cyclists. Cyclists have a need for specific tools but not necessarily a blade. We already have a tool specifically for golfers.”

Elsner’s concern seems to be well founded as, according to the UN’s Global Study on Homicide 2023, 30% of all homicides in Europe in 2023 were committed using some type of sharp object.

In addition to rising knife violence, Victorinox told the newspaper that it is also responding to regulations being put into place at various venues and activities such as sporting events or other outdoor activities.

Then, of course, there’s the fact that Swiss Army knives regularly get tossed in the confiscation bin at airport security checkpoints. For anyone who’s ever lost one of their beloved tools that way, a bladeless version that can still offer up all the other utility would be a welcome addition to their travel toolkit.

While the company has been successfully selling multitool knives since 1897, it did see its overall sales slump by 30% after 9/11, says The Guardian, so this move seems to be one intended to read the writing on the wall and head off another hit to the business caused by rising knife violence.

There’s no word yet on when the new bladeless tools will be made available, but with multitools of all stripe regularly blasting past their fundraising goals on crowdfunding platforms, we’re sure whatever versions a well-respected maker like Victorinox puts out will fly off the shelves.

Source: The Guardian

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