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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: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 10, @07:14PM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 10, @07:14PM (#1356475)

    You can be arrested and prosecuted in the UK for having a butter knife on, or about your person in a public place. []

    The law is a bit more nuanced when it comes to screwdrivers, they're no longer automatically to be considered bladed/pointed articles as far as the Offensive Weapons Act is concerned, but unless you've a good excuse for having them on your person, they'll get you via 'going equipped' or another catchall law.

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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by janrinok on Friday May 10, @07:53PM (2 children)

    by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Friday May 10, @07:53PM (#1356482) Journal

    It sounds like your experiences with your local police forces are very different from mine.

    I have lived in Morayshire (Scotland), Lincolnshire and Kent and had occasion to carry a machete to and from exercise areas. I have never had a problem from the police. I understand that many others will have had different treatment. I was always permitted to travel to and from exercise areas (sometimes several hundred miles away), but I would have had no justification for stopping in a pub en route for a few beers.

    If you are carrying a 'bladed article' on a night out with friends then you are breaking the law.

    I am not interested in knowing who people are or where they live. My interest starts and stops at our servers.