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A Woman’s Perspective on Swiss Army Knives
I admit it. I love clever household tools. My most used gadgets tend to be manually operated kitchen gizmos. You know, the old tried and true: the can opener, peeler, and an apple corer with a hand crank comes out once in a blue moon when it’s time to make an apple pie.
Back in the late 1980’s when I started college I decided I wanted my own Swiss Army Knife. No one in on-campus housing had any tools. Space was limited so I didn’t want a bulky tool box. I wanted several tools in one, a jack of all trades that I could keep in my backpack. I was living on my own after all and needed to be prepared to bail myself out of any situation that might arise.
I went to a local cutlery store where they have a wall of knives (this was a few years before the convenience of internet shopping). After much deliberation and knife handling, I decided on a Victorinox Mechanic 53441 model knife. The pliers and Phillips screwdriver looked close to their full size counterparts and I knew they would do the job. The can opener was an added bonus. I knew I would use that if my can opener was in the dishwasher or if I was outdoors. The bottle opener would see plenty of action from my friends for party time when a beer or bottled soda needed opening.
I carried that Swiss Army Mechanic knife all throughout college. It went from backpack, to purse, to fanny pack, to my room, the kitchen and wherever I needed my trusty friend. Sadly, I lost it somehow when I moved from my second college apartment into my own home.
I went without a Swiss Army Knife for several years. I got married. I now looked to my husband to be the resourceful one when there was a fix-it or minor household repair to be done. I gave him a Mechanic with his name engraved on the red handle.
I got myself a pink classic 53185 because it was a beautiful carnation pink color, small enough to hook to my keychain, and the cutest tool I’ve ever seen. The nail file has a pointy tip which to me is more useful than the small screwdriver tip most classics have. I have cleaned my nails and filed them hundreds of times. In a pinch when I’ve misplaced my full size tweezers, I’ve used the small removable tweezers on my pink classic to pluck out an eyebrow hair or splinter. The mini blade opens cardboard boxes, envelopes and hard-to-rip-open bubble packs that I sometimes get in the mail. The tiny scissors have seen their share of work – cutting strings or clipping my nails.
I’m fond of Victorinox Swiss Army Knives since they have served me many times in my own life. Whenever I need a gift for the friend or family member that has everything, I look to Swiss Army and I pick out a knife that I feel will fit their personality and lifestyle.
I’ve given an Executive 53401 model Swiss Army Knife to my dad who has an orange grove. The Executive has an orange peeler that easily cuts through the skin of oranges and citrus fruit. It is a little bigger than a classic but still light enough to be carried in your pocket on a daily basis. I also thought it would be easier for him to handle than the classic since it is larger.
Many of my female friends at work have received Signature Lites from me over the years. The translucent, jewel-like colors such as amethyst purple 55195 and ruby red 55191 have been appreciated and used on a daily basis by the recipients. Most of the time, my girlfriends have said that they never would have thought to buy a Swiss Army Knife for themselves and they can’t believe how many times they have had the need to use one once they’ve acquired one.
In 2006 when the Wenger Clipper came out I gave my best friend and my mom one in Plum Ice Purple 16962 and Watermelon Pink 16959. This Swiss Army Knife has a full size nail clipper on it. They’ve thanked me several times for this practical gift.
Every time one someone graduates junior high school or high school, I buy them a full size Victorinox Swiss Army Knife. Something memorable that is loaded with features. The Swiss Champ 53501, Ranger 53861 and Deluxe Tinker 53481 are my favorite models to give. They are packed with tools and always elicit a “Wow!” response from a young person. Many times the Swiss Army Knife I give to a young person is their first and everyone remembers their first knife as their most special.
Swiss Army knives are appropriate for all gift-giving occasions: birthdays, anniversaries, wedding and groomsmen gifts, housewarming, thank you, graduation, promotion, safety award, any time you want to give a gift that is both useful and different. High quality and interesting gadgets make Swiss Army Knives the perfect gift choice. You also get the most bang for your buck as the keychain models start at around $15 with the large knives running in the $40-$60 range. Most can be engraved for a nominal fee.
I have two small boys, a 1 year old and a 5 year old. I look forward to the day that me and their father will pick out a Swiss Army knife for each of them to use and cherish.
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