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You’ll Soon Be Able to Carry Your Swiss Army Knife on Planes

One of the most recognizable knives in the world is undergoing some pretty major changes.

Even before the concept of EDC really came into existence, a lot of people carried around a Swiss Army Knife. The most ubiquitous multitool in existence, the red-handled knife is cheap, compact and useful, containing a variety of handy tools such as screwdrivers, bottle openers, corkscrews, awls, scissors and, naturally, a blade.

But that “knife” in Swiss Army Knife can prove problematic. If you’re used to carrying your Swiss Army Knife in your pocket, you’ll need to ditch it before getting onto a plane. You also could run into legal hot water if caught carrying the blade in a city, state or even country where doing so is against the law. To alleviate this risk, Swiss Army Knife-maker Victorinox is crafting a new version of the iconic pocket knife … without a knife.

The Swiss Army Knife Tool

In a recent interview with Swiss newspaper Blick, Victorinox CEO Carl Elsener cited increasing restrictions on public carrying of knives and the “weapon-like” image of blades as reasons for new product development.

“In England or certain Asian countries, you are sometimes only allowed to carry a knife if you need to have it to do your job or operate outdoors,” Elsener said, according to CNN. “In the city, however, when you go to school, to the cinema, or to go shopping, carrying pocketknives is severely restricted.”

To combat the increasing persona-non-grata status of knives, Victorinox is developing several new products that will incorporate a variety of tools in (presumably) its familiar red guise. But a knife will not be among them.

“I have a cool tool for cyclists in mind. We already have a tool specifically for golfers in our range,” Elsener told Blick. “Cyclists probably need special tools, but not necessarily a blade.” (It’s worth noting that the Golf Tool to which Elsener referred has a blade.)

Don’t Worry, Swiss Army Knives Are Not Going Away

While a company spokesperson told CNN that Victorinox is “in the early stages of developing pocket tools without blades,” they also confirmed that any new products would be supplements to the brand’s catalog rather than replacements. In other words: The OG Swiss Army Knives, with their admittedly useful blades, will continue to be available for the foreseeable future.

Finally, if you’re experiencing a bout of déjà vu while reading this, that’s because Victorinox already offers a bladeless Swiss Army Knife. Called the Jetsetter, it was created specifically as a flight-friendly multitool and combines a scissor with a Phillips/bottle-opener combo. It’s quite limited in its functions compared to a standard Swiss Army Knife, however, and presumably the new bladeless options Victorinox is cooking up will offer much greater utility.


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