Our Partners Victorinox: A Pocket-Size Lifesaver
Is there anything you can't do with a Victorinox pocketknife? You can cut, file, saw, and even save lives. This is proven by Pascal de Souza's extraordinary story of how his little red knife helped him avoid disaster. Bonviva reports on his incredible story, shows you where and how Victorinox manufactures this little lifesaver, and shares tips for using the pocketknife.
Lifesaving Victorinox Pocketknife
A moment of inattention is often enough to turn your everyday journey home into a disaster. That was precisely what happened to Pascal de Souza, when on a rainy Friday evening he came off the road on a bend and ended up with his car in a ditch: "I was trapped by my seat belt and couldn't open it. My car had gone head-first into a catchwater ditch for rain run-off. The icy water was flowing into the car, and the level was getting higher. Above me the headlights of passing cars lit up the bend, though no-one knew I was there."
Then De Souza remembered about his trusty companion, a Victorinox pocketknife. Using the knife, which he always carried with him, he was able to cut through the seat belt and free himself. "Without my Victorinox I would definitely have been trapped in the ditch all night. Given the icy cold water, I would have had to prepare myself for the worst."
Without my Victorinox, I would have had to prepare for the worst.
Pascal de Souza
From a Knife Factory to a Multi-Product Enterprise
Victorinox has been producing these versatile pocketknives in Ibach in the Canton of Schwyz for over 130 years. Around 1,000 people are employed in their manufacture in the biggest knife factory in Europe. The Victorinox Swiss Champ, for example, one of the company's flagship knives, comprises 64 different parts. From stamping blades to quality control, there are around 450 different steps in the process. As many as 60 employees are dedicated solely to quality assurance: Every single knife is tested for impeccable manufacture and operability.
Victorinox today is much more than just a knife factory. In addition to the Swiss Army Knife, Victorinox sells watches, household and professional knives, luggage, clothing, and perfumes – and what's more in around 130 countries worldwide.
Carl Elsner belongs to the fourth generation to have run the family firm that was founded by his great-grandfather: "Our knives attract customers because of their functionality, and they have become a symbol of Swiss quality and reliability," he says. No doubt this is also thanks to the long-standing, loyal workforce.
But Victorinox's Swiss Army Knife is not only a byword for outstanding quality and longevity. Above all, the knives are seen as genuinely versatile and useful for everyday life. No wonder: With up to 33 functions, depending on the model – from a screwdriver to a nail file and a magnifying glass – the little pocketknives have a lot to offer.
We have compiled the five best tips for the Swiss Army Knife:
Carving is probably one of the most important initiation rituals when you have the first pocketknife of your own. Decorating wood and branches is especially popular with children. The most important thing is always to carve away from your own body. Kneel down and support the piece of wood on your thigh to give you stability. Many wonderful suggestions and ideas about being creative with a pocketknife can also be found in Felix Immler's book "Crafting with the Pocketknife".
- Putting a Bicycle Chain Back On
It is not obvious what the function is of the hook next to the corkscrew on the pocketknife. In Canada, it is apparently used for cleaning ice skate blades. In this part of the world, it is perfect for refitting bicycle chains that have come off. Just turn the bike over, pick up the chain with the hook, and pull it back over the sprocket. Release the chain and at the same time turn the pedals with your other hand – done.
- A Romantic Picnic in the Park
With the Victorinox Swiss Army Knife, you are perfectly equipped for a romantic picnic in the park. You'll have almost everything you need, from a practical bottle opener and a knife for cutting fresh fruit to a can opener.
- Untying a Knot
The practical corkscrew will not only help you out on your romantic picnic. It's child's play to untie any knot with it. Just insert the point of the corkscrew carefully between the loops of the knot, turn the corkscrew, and untie the knot. Give it a try!
- Use the Small Ballpoint Pen
The ballpoint pen on the pocketknife is really practical, there's no doubt. But it's not very easy to write with the little pen. The trick is to open the pocketknife's multi-purpose hook, place the pen in the empty slot in the handle, and carefully let the hook snap back into place.