Knife wear and tear


I’ve had a Victorinox Swiss army knife since I was about 12, when I was given one as a present by some relatives who live near Grenoble in France. It’s a fairly basic model, with a big blade, small blade, tin opener, bottle opener, awl, and corkscrew. It used to have a toothpick and a set of tweezers but they are long gone.

I use the knife for nearly everything, it lives in my pocket everyday, except when I go somewhere where it wouldnt' be a good idea to be found with a knife, like an airport. I use it for chopping food, carving wood, general tasks that require something sharp. It’s been with me to 4 continents and survived a cumulative total of 10 months of fieldwork.

The knife has evolved a lot over the time I’ve had it. I was comparing it to a friend’s knife today and noticed that the repeated sharpening of the blade on my knife has completely changed its profile. Instead of having a deep belly, it’s been ground almost flat, which I find much better for carving wood. I’ve also added a more distinct point to the end of the blade by grinding off some of the top of the tip, this makes it more effective for etching designs and kolrossing . The profile of the blade has also changed, going from a normal compound bevel to a flat scandi edge, which is better for carving and much easier to keep sharp.

Comparison of knife
Comparison of blades

A couple of years back, while in Brazil, the glue on one of the scales of the knife came loose and fell off. For a long time I left it like that, as the knife was more compact. But as I started to do more carving I found it was quite uncomfortable. I shaped a new scale out of a piece of scrap hazel which I had been using for a different project. I used a power drill to make little indents where the rivets fit into the scale and clamped it overnight with come wood glue. I later engraved it using a friend’s soldering iron with a herringbone pattern and my initials. It’s much more comfortable to carve with now.

Scale blank
Scale polished
Scale engraved