Friday, 21 March 2014

The Swiss Army knife, context is everything.

I've recently been looking a lot at Swiss Army knife (SAK) reviews online. There is one thing that has me a little confused though, how few reviewers get the context of the tools in it, then complain about them being used.

To understand the context of the SAK, you have to understand Switzerland. Switzerland is a neutral country, therefore unless it's defensive, they are non-combatant. Their army spends most of the time in barracks, unless on exercise. Most of the tool choices were made not to be a combat knife but an EDC for a barracks based soldier. 

Let's take a look at some examples to make sense of this. The hook for example in my eyes is a lace hook. This is an aid to help you get correct tension on your boot laces. It also is handy for twisting off materials like wire ect. 

Another good example, is the scissors. Now I've used scissors for usually light tasks such as nipping off threads and cutting plasters. These are everyday jobs, in the context of a soldier. 

Finally we come to the bottle opener. It is what it is, but in the context of a soldier it's important. As a soldier, you also have to be a gentleman. I've seen bottle openers on many military knives, including Sgian Dubhs. In the barracks at dinners ect, a soldier, usually an officer was expected to open wine bottles.

So the inclusion of these tools makes utter sense to me. Now how these are handy to us bushcrafters goes without mention, we've all used the SAK and found uses for the tools, but reviewers need to realise that this is a very certain type of military knife, and never to be used overseas as a survival knife.

No comments:

Post a Comment