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. 


  1. Nicely written piece. Some things need to be replaced once lost. Obviously, you lost the knife, but not the associated memories. I'm glad that you found a replacement which you like perhaps more than the original.

  2. I am so very excited to place a comment on your blog David. I didn't read any other comments yet because I want mine to be from my mind, heart, and soul. You my Dear Son-In-Law need to pursue a career in writting. Get yourself in school and get on the ball and make our family millions of dollars. I am not joking here. I can't believe that you would think someone would stop reading such great writting in the middle of it. Who knew that I could've found such deep interest in an old army pocket knife? I felt for you and your loss. I had some kind of emotion over the knife being lost that I just can't explain in words. Weird I know but, I do. I just wanted to immediately search the web for the exact knife for you the moment I read the last line and who knows I may find it one day. I am so very proud of you David. Don't let your talent go stagnant and rot away. I feel so much more educated now than when I read your post that lead me to your blog. Go Get them Son. Love, Mom XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOX

  3. Not just men need to carry knives. My dad bought me one years ago. When I lost it this summer he made sure to get me a new one for Christmas. Of course, it was only a month after that I found the original knife. Being without one for a few months made me realize how much I use it...and all the random things I use it for. Just a single blade can do a lot.

  4. Nicely written. It's funny how the simplest, tiniest things can carry a truckload of memories. A special moment or person can be attached and recalled from a smell, taste, sound or the touch of a minor inanimate object. I am glad you were able to find an adequate replacement!