Saturday, March 12, 2011

Swiss Simplicity

I firmly believe every man should carry a pocket knife on him (where allowed by law), and for a good number of years, I owned a Victorinox Pioneer ALOX Swiss Army Knife. I kept it on a carabiner attached to my key-chain, so it went everywhere I did. It featured a stainless steel 3” blade, two can openers with two flat-head screwdrivers, and a reamer.

I loved that knife, but at some point I lost it (likely during a move). It wasn’t until after I noticed it was missing that I became aware of my almost nostalgic attachment to it. I can still recall the weight of it hanging from my belt loop and exactly how it felt in my hand. One edge of the textured aluminum scales was worn smooth from where it would rub against anything and everything I sat on, and the tip of the blade was actually chipped from where an ex-girlfriend had used it to scratch her name on the guard rail of a bridge (not my idea).

That same nostalgia is what recently prompted me to want to replace it but, in the time since I bought the original, my life and needs have changed a bit and upon reflection I realized I didn’t have any need for any of the tools besides the blade itself. In the years that I owned the Pioneer, I may have used the screwdriver and can opener one time each, if that. Personally, I never used the reamer for anything other than cleaning under my nails (at the time I didn't even know what a reamer was for), though I believe it may have been used by a buddy of mine to slash someone’s tires at one point (again, not my idea). I also no longer have a need to carry keys, so I didn’t care if the replacement was lacking the key ring attachment. 

The call to find a replacement was too great to ignore, and after a bit of shopping I quickly discovered that Victorinox makes a single bladed version of the Pioneer.

Beautiful in its simplicity, it’s the same length as the original Pioneer. It is a bit thinner due to the absence of the extra tools, and it fits perfectly in the coin pocket of a pair of jeans. 

I think it also gains a more mature feel and a classier look than the original without the tools. Hopefully I’ll manage to have it longer than the original, as I would love to be able to pass it down to a son at some point.