Useful Stuff to Know » article » Victorinox Swiss Army Knife Tips, Ideas, and Tricks » Dec 31, 01:13 AM

Victorinox Swiss Army Knife Tips, Ideas, and Tricks

Swiss Knives are great. I think everyone should own at least one since they fit inconspicuously in your pocket or purse and come in handy when you least expect it. One tool saves you the trouble of running to the tool drawer, borrowing scissors, or looking around for some poor substitute to do a job. They are not just for camping, hiking, or being a survivalist, but are good at work, home, and — once upon a time — at school. Nowadays not so much as a Nerf ball can be brought to school without getting suspended for carrying a weapon, so kids please leave the knife at home.

Before I got my Swiss Army Knife, I locked myself out of the apartment once and had to take a screen off the window to get back in. How did I do it? By looking around the parking lot for five minutes until I found a penny, which I sharpened on a cement wall into a sharp edge, which I then used to dig into the pins holding the screen in place and slide them free. That’s an example of a poor substitute. It would have taken me five seconds with my Swiss Army Knife. Now if my knife had come with a bump key, that would be something :)

So what other unconventional things can you do with a Victorinox Swiss Army Knife?

  • Hook – 1) Untie knots. Just dig the hook into a part of the knot and pull. The smooth metal polish on the hook should allow the string to slide through as the knot unravels. 2) Tighten boot laces — instead of jamming your finger beneath a lace, just use the hook… good for hiking when the boot needs to be extra tight (like when walking down hill).
  • Flat-head Screwdriver – You can modify the tool in the following ways: 1) grind the tip into a chisel edge so that you can still turn screws with it, but now it doubles as a wood chisel or improved pry as well — just file the tip on one side with a Dremel or metal file. 2) If you have a dremel with a small grinding wheel, you can likewise grind the little notch (wire stripper) on both flat sides so that the bottom of the notch is now sharp instead of thick. It’s the only way to make it into an effective wire stripper, otherwise it really won’t strip anything.
  • Phillips Screwdriver – Just a word of advice: only the Explorer, Swiss Champion Plus, and Swiss Champ (of the standard sized models) has this one pulling out parallel to the long axis of the knife. Otherwise they come out the bottom perpendicular to the knife. If you expect to use this one a lot, say for opening electronics cases or putting together furniture, I highly recommend getting one that opens parallel to the knife body, otherwise it’s awkward to use.
  • Magnifying Glass – This one is also featured on the Explorer, Swiss Champion Plus, and Swiss Champ. How useful is it? Well I’ve burned wood and started fires with it in bright sunlight. Paired with the tweezers it’s indispensable for removing splinters. The newer models have a transparent plastic housing around the glass lens, whereas the old had a gray-colored nylon-like plastic. Both are pretty durable, although I prefer the old gray one.

More ideas are on the way… stay tuned!