The subject matter begins in 1891 with Karl Elsener, controller of a guests that made surgical outfit. He based the Association of Swiss Master Cutlers, to endow pouch knives to the Swiss army, who at this incident were exploitation German-made ones. It took Elsener five time of life to come up next to what he called the "Soldier's knife" (known nowadays in Switzerland as the "Offiziersmesser"). With suggestions from an plan friend, Jeannine Keller, the untested classic had a wooden handle, and came near a blade, screwdriver, can opener, and a clobber. It was if truth be told ready-made accessible to the ground forces previously 1896, but Elsener was not halcyon near the device, and over time was able to put blades on both sides by mistreatment a signal instrument victimisation a one-member spring for both blades. This allowed him to as well add a bottle opener.

Elsener's company, Victorinox, was the azygos seller of multi-function pocketknives until 1893. A friendship in the French-speaking area of Switzerland titled Paul Boechat & Cie began to marketplace a related goods. The organization was next bought by its plain manager, Theodore Wenger, and the organization dub exchanged to Wenger. By 1908, the Swiss policy approved to carve up the deed for knives relating the two companies, to some extent to placate German and French-speaking factions in the country, and in part to enliven match (and subjugate the prices of the knives). The two companies came to an agreement completed marketing, next to Victorinox exploitation the turn of phrase "The Original Swiss Army Knife" and Wenger victimisation "The Genuine Swiss Army Knife". The consequent period (1909), the Swiss army began decorating the knives beside the Swiss political unit cartouche (a light-colored mixture). Victorinox uses a protection near symmetric balance circa the cross, while Wenger uses a slightly plumlike angular with quadrilateral spatiality. The Swiss army uses knives with a simpler bilaterally-symmetric shield.

Victorinox switched to untainted steel blades and tools in 1921. It is believed Wenger did so as capably on all sides the same time, but enterprise sources are nisi nearly the distinct solar day. The knives were sold-out in PX stores on US service bases from 1945 to 1949. In reality it is acknowledge that the permanent status "Swiss Army Knife" was coined in English by American G.I.s during World War II, because they couldn't utter the Swiss identify "Offiziersmesser".

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Today, Swiss ground forces knives comprise a large indefinite quantity of tools, including: individual blades, a bottle-opener/screwdriver/wire stripper, can opening/small screwdriver, tweezers, toothpick, corkscrew, phillips-head screwdriver, staple file, scissors, saw, hook, magnifying glass, marker pen, fish scaler, pliers, keychain, USB flash memory, digital clock, digital altimeter, LED light, laser arrow mp3 player, and a copper-base alloy spacer in the official service model, which allows house of the SIG 550 and SIG 510 do violence to rifles (with the screwdriver and juicer extended, the knife becomes a limitation to the onrush pin during the fastener machine). Wenger has a particular model which contains all the tools they brand name. The tool is almost double as schoolwide as it is long, and retails for say $1,200.

The knives are as well on hand in frequent separate colours besides the traditionalistic red. Black, blue, white, pink, camouflage, phosphorescent pallid and various others, in some opaque or crystalline. Also bimetallic and grove cladding. The standard truly nearly new by the Swiss ground forces is in certainty aluminum, and not red at all.

On April 26, 2005, Victorinox noninheritable the Wenger company, seemly once again the unattached stockist of knives to the Swiss army. The firm intends to keep the Wenger brand name liveborn for knives sold to consumers.

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