Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The back-up pocket knife

Since I had recently mentioned pocket knives, I thought I would post a photo of my back-up knife.  I got this one from some mail-order military surplus place many years ago and have hardly ever used it.  It's also made by Victorinox (the Swiss Army knife folks) but as you can see it's not a SAK.  This one was made for the German military, I don't know what era, and is a good knife as every Victorinox knife I've ever had is.  A standard blade, plus a saw blade.  The piece of metal lying alongside the saw blade is a metal cover for the saw.  I suppose they put that on there so you don't lose a finger when you use the bottle opener.  My biggest complaint about it is that it doesn't have a Phillips head screwdriver.  Slightly lesser complaints are no tweezer and no toothpick.  I think this is probably the only corkscrew I own.  It came with that lanyard rope that you see in the picture and I never bothered to remove it.  By the way, I used this knife when I was teaching some Cub Scouts how to sharpen a knife for their whittling chips.  Not that it has ever needed sharpening.  It keeps an edge like Mournblade.

And just for kicks, two other tools that are always at my desk.  Just above the knife is my good pipe tool which I use only here at my desk.  Outside I use other, cheaper and easier-to-replace pipe tools.  To the left is a Senior pipe reamer with the drill removed.  The drill is used to clean out the air passage in the shank.

My phone doesn't take really good pictures, but you can click to enlarge if you want to.


  1. According to the SAKwiki page for the GAK, it served in the German army from 1976 to 2003, when it was replaced by the 111mm One-Handed GAK (identical model to the One Handed Trekker, but with the olive drab Bundeswehr scales). I thought it funny that the new model did away with the corkscrew, causing me to ask out loud "How are the Germans supposed to open their wine next time they invade France?" to which someone finally wittily shot back, "They'll get the French to open the bottles for them."

    I like the old GAK enough, especially the corkscrew, as I think it's one of the best I have in the house for such a need, but I much prefer the new Swiss army's OH Soldier's knife, the same as the OH GAK but for the scales being Swiss military. The saw is longer and without the can opener hanging off the end, and as the name indicates, the main blade can be opened with one hand. (While not as fast as a Spyderco or Benchmade or other "tacticool" brand, it is still fast and easy enough to do, compared to opening it without that feature).

  2. I got this one in the early 90s, so it was probably from the earlier end of that time period.

  3. That's the same time I got my first GAK, picking it up at the local army-navy store. I had to get a replacement there a few years back, when they were selling off their last ones for only $8 each, then no more. :(