For all you out there who are old enough to remember the times when having a Swiss Army Knife was a sort of Badge-of-honor (at least when you were between 10 and 13 years old) then let me introduce the Swiss Army Knife 3.0 or the Combat Utility Knife. It is made by the same folks in Switzerland who made your Original Swiss Army back in the day, Victorinox but is being Exclusively Distributed in CONUS through the Windrose Group. Sales are being Restricted to Law Enforcement, Military or Federal Agencies at this time.
OK, so a quick breakdown of the knife. On top of the knife are hidden a phillips head screwdriver/punch and an awl/reamer next to that. The primary blade is designed to be opened one handed and is a locking design with a lever release. The blade utilizes a Spyderco like design in the thumb hole and overall blade shape. The edge is a combination, with 3/4 of the real estate being serrated and the remaining 1/4 being a razor sharp plain edge. The wood saw is a dual cut design with some seriously sharp teeth. On one end is s small can opener/flat-head screwdriver. On the other end is a large can opener/flat-head screwdriver with a small notch on the bottom to act as a wire bender/stripper.
The knife is an all metal liner-lock design. The blades and the tools lock up nice and tight and the release is fairly easy to manipulate. The outside of the knife utilizes non-skid soft pads which are comfortable on the hand for your average task in the field. The designers also went the extra mile and installed a handy lanyard ring so the knife can be mounted on a pack or gear for easy access.
I want to apologize up front for not being able to get out in the field and do more actual test than I did with the knife. As many of you may know we got flooded down here in Texas this past week and I was not able to do the test I had planned. I did however get to use the knife in some EDC situations and chores while helping friends and family escape the flood waters, which I suppose is as good as any field test I could have come up with! the only problem is I did not have time to take any pictures while doing this, as we were kind of in a hurry to get people and things out of there!
I used the knife several times to cut cord and rope to free items and tie things down. The serrated edge had no problems handling the nylon and cotton rope and held it’s edge really well after several uses. I would have liked to have more real estate for a plain edge however because a serrated edge, although sharp and tough, can fray some line when you are cutting it; and the small plain edge offered was not really big enough to handle large cutting chores. As the wise man once said: Sometimes you just need a BIG plain edge! I used the wood saw once to clear a small limb out of the way. It cut like a charm and was easy to use. Although the designers did a good job with the saw, I would definitely pack a Gerber saw or something similar for those serious limb jobs. I used the phillips head screwdriver to open a fuse box. Putting the driver on top of the knife was a good ideal because you can use it like a corkscrew and it did not fatigue your hand as fast. The large flat head attachment was handy as a prying tool; unfortunately I did not have the need to open any cans, so the can opener went unused!
Overall, the knife was handy and practical. The one glaring fault that I think they made was the primary blade. They need to reverse how it is laid out. It needs 3/4 Plain edge and 1/4 Serrated..a Plain edge is just too practical in the field to only have 1/4 of the blade! Also the primary blade needs a point on it; Any Knife, regardless of design, should have the ability to be a stabbing weapon, not just a cutting tool.
Stay Alert, Stay Armed and Stay Dangerous!