These strike me as a bit of a "show-off" item,
packed in there just to show off that innovative
Swiss design. ("See? It's sproingy!") They don't
look strong enough to cut anything heavier than
paper, and I don't hear a lot about people trapped
in the woods, forced to clip coupons to survive.
But it is sproingy. C
Why is this a standard feature? I've never used
it, I've never known anybody who used it, and
I have no idea why it has a hole in the middle.
I'm sure there are people out there who rely
on the leather awl to get them through another
day of selling cheap bodices to Ren Faire attendees,
but they've got to be in the minority. So why
the ubiquity of what most people probably think of
as "The Mystery Tool"? D+
This is handy. I think there are more people out there
who use their SWAs to pop open a refreshing, domestically-produced
brew than use the leather awl, fish scaler, and toothpick combined.
I can never find my regular bottle opener anyway; I think it's built
into a spatula or a cheese grater somewhere in my kitchen,
but I can never remember where, so this is a great thing
to have even at home. A
The blade defines a Swiss Army Knife. It's right there in
the name: "Knife." Even if you don't use the blades, without them
the tool becomes a "Swiss Army Multi-Function Utility
Thinger," which lacks panache. At the same time, the
blade unnerves me. It doesn't lock in place, and it closes
with such a resolute snap that I don't think I've ever put the
blade away without some over-imaginative portion of my
mind (The Stephen King Lobe) picturing my poor, unprotected
finger trapped like a chicken neck under a hatchet. Maybe
that's why they make them out of stainless steel. B+
I love this. It's so European. I picture a survivalist sommelier,
living off the land, with only a bold yet elegant Bordeaux
and maybe a light Chardonnay to keep body and spirit together.
And it makes picnics so picnicky. A
This seems like padding. "What the hell, let's
tuck a shard of plastic into the case and call it a toothpick.
Now we can say it has ten different functions without having
to count 'ballast.'" It's not like it's tough to improvise
a toothpick from natural materials, if you're not fastidious.
And if you are fastidious, you're probably not going to be
too big on the idea of a re-usable toothpick that's been hanging
out in someone's pocket, no matter how neatly tucked away it is.