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posted by janrinok on Friday May 10, @01:51AM   Printer-friendly

The next Swiss Army Knife won't have a knife:

The Swiss Army Knife has become such a shorthand for multifunctionality that companies producing does-a-lot-of-stuff wares will often say that their goods are the "Swiss Army Knife" of whatever category they're a part of. You can use the tool to cut stuff, snip stuff, uncork stuff, file stuff, in some cases download stuff.

But Victorinox, the company behind the famous gadget, is working on a Swiss Army Knife without the knife part.

"We are in the early stages of developing pocket tools without blades," a spokesperson for the company told CNN. Though it won't be discontinuing its bladed version, the company has been trying to figure out how to serve customers in places — specifically England and some Asian countries — where knives aren't as welcome a pocket sight than in other markets. The British government, for example, is considering new legislation on carrying blades in public.

The Swiss Army Knife has its roots in 1880s Germany. Then the Swiss Karl Elsener took production over the border. Soon a competitor emerged in the company Wenger, and for a while the Swiss government split its orders for the tools between the two of them. Wenger called its version the "genuine" Swiss Army Knife, and Elsener's Victorinox called its version the "original." The two companies ended up merging in 2005.

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  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by shrewdsheep on Friday May 10, @08:36AM (3 children)

    by shrewdsheep (5215) on Friday May 10, @08:36AM (#1356422)

    From the company side it is just business to keep selling into markets where the traditional knife might become outlawed. From the society side of things it is once again because of idiots that we cannot have nice things. The latter is sad indeed, but these are the times we live in. It is an exasperating question of how to contain the idiots without taking away freedoms.

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  • (Score: 5, Touché) by DadaDoofy on Friday May 10, @12:29PM (1 child)

    by DadaDoofy (23827) on Friday May 10, @12:29PM (#1356437)

    Especially when the idiots are the ones taking away freedoms.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 10, @08:14PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 10, @08:14PM (#1356486)
      not sure what else you expect to happen when there's no end in sight to people being killed.
  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by khallow on Friday May 10, @01:19PM

    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Friday May 10, @01:19PM (#1356441) Journal

    It is an exasperating question of how to contain the idiots without taking away freedoms.

    Sigh. As I noted [] years ago:

    We all lose when we regulate everyone as if they were the worst of idiots. If you're tightening regulations all the time because there are idiots, then you are doing it wrong. The idiots won't stop being idiots.

    My take is that for non-idiots, it isn't an exasperating question. It's not that hard to contain idiots. It just requires us to accept that we'll read about a certain amount of Florida Man in our news stories.