I’ve carried a knife of some sort just about every day since I was 10 years old. I’ve been carrying a Swiss Army Tinker from Victorinox for about 20 years. Before that, I carried a Boy Scout model Swiss Army knife since about the 7th grade, until I lost it when my canoe capsized when I was on a camping trip in Ohio when I was in college.
This year for Christmas, I presented the Dauphin with his first pocket knife, a Swiss Army Climber model. He was very pleased.
Here are our knives, side by side, with mine on the left and the new one on the right:
Since it had been about 20 years since I looked the Swiss Army line, I was also pleased with the changes Victorinox has made.
First, as the photo shows, mine is shinier than his, because his side panels are a matte texture, versus the old slick plastic. This makes the knife much easier to grip when wet. I tested it and I like it.
Second, there are a few more blades on the Climber versus my Tinker model. The scissors are much welcome. My wife carries a small Classic Swiss Army, and she tells me she uses the scissors at least once a week.
The Climber also has a hook and a corkscrew, but is lacking the Philips head screwdriver.
My impressions of the Climber are very positive, by itself, and compared to my Tinker. Opening is smooth, the blades are all solid and sharp, and the miscellaneous tools are easy to open and use.
I’m still pleased with my 20 year old Tinker, too. Although one panel is a little loose, the grip is still comfortable and usable. The blades have kept their edge, although I dress them regularly.
In all, this new knife should serve my son well for the rest of his life, provided he doesn’t put it in the pocket of an unsecured sweatshirt on any canoe trips.
A note of thanks is due here to Sheriff Jim Wilson. Some time back he and I swapped some tweets about pocket knives, and about how I had resisted giving my son a knife, for fear that he would accidentally take it to school, and in today’s Zero Tolerance world, be expelled when it was discovered.
Sheriff Jim responded simply that this might also be a way to teach responsibility.
Later, he wrote in his blog
I especially like to see a kid with a good pocket knife. It’s usually an indication that someone trusts him. And it is tangible proof that he is growing up and that the day when he will have his very own .22 rifle is not all that far off. Kids need that sort of trust and responsibility.
I think he was right. Thank you, Sheriff.