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The Victorinox champ.

In 1891, Karl Elsener's cutlery business began supplying the Swiss Army with the basic Soldier's Knife. In addition to the primary blade, the Soldier's Knife had a screwdriver, awl and can opener, features remaining fairly static into recent times. In 1897, the knife springs were modified to allow two extra blades on the back of the knife. This Officer's Knife grew a second smaller blade and corkscrew.

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These basic features captured global attention in two world wars. Elsener was an early user of cutlery grade stainless steel. In 1921, he combined the Swiss abbreviation for stainless with his mother's name and the company name became Victorinox. The increasingly feature-laden Swiss knives have become a signature artifact of the 20th century--nearly as ubiquitous as the trilobite in Paleozoic sediment and part of every environment except passenger aircraft.

Familiar with the more basic models, I determined my next Swiss Army Knife would be the biggest one I could hope to carry in a pocket with no batteries to change. The Champ fits the bill perfectly. A real knife sandwich at a pocket-sized 3.6" x 1.1" x 1.3", it fits nicely in the standard nylon .45 ACP magazine pouch. The blade-cluster of the Champ encompasses 30 applications ranging from simple knife blades through a range of screwdrivers, openers, pliers, files and saws. There is even a common straight pin hidden under the corkscrew. It took me three days to find that one. The blades are scalpel sharp and easy to maintain in that condition. The same is true of the wood chisel and combination gouge/sewing awl.

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There are many retail sources for the Champ. Like the other Swiss knives, deep discounts are common with prices ranging from $48 to the suggested retail of $88.

VICTORINOX AG

SCHMIEDGASSE 57, CH-6438 IBACH-SCHWYZ

WWW.VICTORINOX.COM

ONE STOP KNIFE SHOP

340 PRODUCTION COURT, LOUISVILLE, KY 40299

(502) 671-5510, WWW.ONESTOPKNIFESHOP.COM
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Title Annotation:QUARTERMASTER
Author:Cumpston, Mike
Publication:Guns Magazine
Date:Mar 1, 2009
Words:323
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