The Brunching Shuttlecocks Ratings

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

Leather Awl
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+

Bottle Opener
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

Big Blade
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. C-

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