all functions

Opening all the functions at the same time


Sometimes people talk about opening all the functions at the same time for picture purposes or other. I will explain everything about this for you.

Victorinox say “it is ok to open all the functions at the same time because the Swiss Army Knife is always in the elastic region”

By opening all the function means to open them and hold them in a position that will hold the springs in maximal position. This you can see on pictures or advertisings for example. All the functions are opened so they can be seen. If you open the function fully out then it is a little different.

Here is my research and information on this.

It is ok to open a SAK in top condition. A used or damaged knife is different and more care need to be taken.

The Victorinox Spring is very advanced and it is in the philosophy of the brand to have the knife in the elastic region so people in the world can use or play with the functions like they want.

One of the key inventions by the brand is the special spring with three functions on it. The spring is a floating type spring that can operate all of them.

It can be helpful when cleaning a SAK to open all the functions fully out because by doing so it is possible to use a brush to clean with.

The amount of pressure that will build up in a SAK depends on how many functions it got. The SwissChamp for example can be difficult to open all the functions with for a picture purposes. It can be done.

What can happen if I open all the functions in maximal position on a SAK?

The spring can get damages, the riveting can get adjusted and damage the pins. If the spring get damaged it will usually lose some pressure. The spring that is the most exposed is the three function floating spring. On models with the notch on the flat screwdriver for preventing accidental closing can be important to have in mind. I would open the awl fully out as a general rule. This should be done on the no notch types as well. The other backside functions can be adjusted in other positions for the picture purpose. There is a fine line with the elastic region or the flexibility or the number of functions vs the possibility to open all the functions at the same time.

The SAK is advanced and as a general rule for a collector it can be smart to not open all the functions is maximal position. Picture purposes are not the best for the SAK. Another important factor with this is the danger of cutting yourself because the pressure can or functions may move with the result of injury on the hand for example. The Swiss army Knife blade is very sharp and can easily cut deep into the hand.


It is always helpful if you want to open all the functions at the same time to make sure it is clean and oiled. This will in my mind make the mechanism hurt less.

One of the main reasons for why people talk about the danger of opening all the functions at the same time is because of the slip joint mechanism and other brands knives in the world. Many pocket knives from other brands may not have a mechanism that would take this. They would get damaged very fast.

The three function spring on SAK is different and advanced.


Opening all the functions in max position also depends on how old or valuable the SAK is.

The picture on the top shows the Explorer with some functions fully opened and some in maximal position. As a general rule i do usually open them so. I would open some function fully out on one side at the time for cleaning.

90-degree angle

On the picture the phillips and flat screwdriver with notch are in the 90-degree angle. This can be helpful for picture purpose. The 90-degree angle is not the maximal position because of the design.

Correct used "companion for life"

Next part of opening all the functions


I would like to write some on a knife that’s been used for some years and been used correct. On a knife that has seen use on all functions is interesting. It is obvious and normal that you open one function and use it and then close it and opening another for normal use.

On a SAK that has seen use for many years and seen regular maintenance will be in full working order. The mechanics, functionality and quality will be there even after many years of use. Let us imagine this SAK I mentioned. How will it feel? There will always be some wear on the construction and functions but this is usually just comfortable and nice. There will be very little play in the functions and the spring will be intact. The little wear you feel will be in the form that the springs will feel just some lighter in pressure. There will be little or no corrosion on any part of the construction or functions. The plastic scales will be more matt and the color will be just some different and look like it is rounded some. It can be a companion for life. The blade has been sharpened many times to have that razor edge. It may be needed to have the blade professionally sharpened if the edge has come too far up.

Professional sharpening

The Victorinox pen blade


The modern pen blade on the 91mm Victorinox knives is 2mm thick. On a blade thats been sharpened much for many years then the edge will obviously move towards the back of the blade.

On a blade that’s been sharpened very much it would be difficult to have the normal edge angle because the blade gets thicker towards the back. There is a fine line between upolding the normal edge angle with the same abilities and feel when sharpening. If the edge has moved up towards the back then it can be more difficult to have the same edge angle and the fine edge line. It is more difficult to sharpen and the edge line may or can look a bit uneven. It is possible but more difficult. This is why I mentioned professional sharpening.

It is absolutely possible to have different edge types on a pen SAK blade. The normal edge is the best for the functionality and the versatile use. It is an edge that is very sharp but not the strongest. In general a SAK blade steel is on the softer side and require sharpening on a regular basis. It is also very easy to sharpen because of the normal edge and steel.






There are some differences in the blade thickness and shapes in the history of officers knives.


It is very important for a knife to be sharp and this includes all cutting tools, scissors and saw.

The functionality is always the best with sharp tools and the comfort as well. If a knife for example is not sharp or dull then much force will be needed to cut with it. This will or can damage the SAK construction or functions. The danger of cutting yourself will be present.

It is important to use the functions for what they are designed to be used on and to use the correct grip and motion. The amount of Nm that will be used on a dull instrument will be higher. It is always best for the SAK and functionality that the Nm used is correct.

It is always important with any tool to use the correct force. It is usually not much force needed to cut when the blade or function is sharp. To turn a screw in wood for example requires a certain Nm and this is usually never any problem for the SAK. It is not needed to push the screw through the wall because this is not correct.

The SAK has been used to build or make artwork or assemble many devices when used correct. This is an art form in itself.



The scissors on the Victorinox or Wenger knives are very high quality instruments.

On the picture you can see the Victorinox 91mm type and this is a world class scissor. It can be used on many materials and it will stay sharp for a very long time. The edge angle and the design are very correct. The scissors cut with precision and it is durable enough. The only problem is the separate spring on it but this can be replaced easy.

If it is needed to sharpen the scissors then just use a fine diamond flat stone and sharpen exactly on the top (see the point of the nail cleaner) then remove the little burr on the side. Repeat this on the other part as well.


The modern saw on the Victorinox or Wenger knives are made with very high quality.

This saw will cut wood, light bone and rope with no problem. It will stay sharp for a very long time. It is absolutely possible to sharpen this function if needed. I have tested the scissors and saw on many categories. I tested them for some years and used them on many different materials.

To sharpen each tooth on the saw would take a very long time and it is more difficult. The best for me is to just sharpen each flat side of the function. See the picture. Just let the burr on the teeth be.

closing the blade

One of the advantages of the Swiss precision on versatile knives with many functions is the sound it makes. Opening or closing the functions is the evidence of a SAK.

Be aware of the general rule for any slip joint mechanism in the world to guide the blade when folding it into the body of the construction. By this I mean to gently guide the main blade for example when you are closing it. This will prevent the edge and pressure of the spring to collide and damage the edge. I would say this probably never happen on a SAK. On a damaged knife this would or could happen.

To guide the long functions like the saw and main pen blade can be smart to do as a general rule.This is only when you close the function.

By guiding the saw you will also prevent the teeth to damage other parts of the construction.


I can add that by gently guiding the blade includes to not letting the blade snap shut with full speed and pressure. The precision and the sound of the snap is the evidence of a SAK and they are designed so you do not have to guide it like I have explained. As a general rule to guide it without full snap or speed is smart to do anyway. If you suddenly should get damages on the edge with a small folding to one side then it is because of the full snap speed closing.






Opening or closing the functions


When opening the functions no special care is needed, one thing to remember is to make sure you do not cut yourself.

Opening or closing the SAK then the sound of the spring, functions and construction tells you that this is a precision quality tool. To close any of the screwdrivers or functions with no edge can be done with full snap or pressure without any guiding.

In my articles I have mentioned about the guided closing on some functions as a general rule. This problem is sometimes also depending on what size of knife and category. A longer blade will sometimes influence this.




When a SAK is in closed mode with all the functions resting in the body of the knife then it is in a compact form. A compact form can be carried in a pocket or a pouch.

Every function on the versatile knives is designed to be or rest with pressure. A slip joint mechanism is a very smart invention. It is also important to remember when the blade rest in the body of the knife (construction) then it is important not to force or press the blade more towards the spring.  The result of this can be a folded edge.



Colliding and press

On the picture you can see why the general rule for slip-joints apply to the SAK as well.

The edge part of the SAK blade that can get folded if you let it snap with full force or press the blade towards the spring is the outer part of the pen blade. The curve itself is the most difficult to sharpen and it can cause complications for the presentation of the blade. A folded edge is never fun to correct.

It may sound like just a minor detail for most users but it can be avoided if you follow my guide. This will prevent the edge from colliding with the aluminum and nickel silver spacer.

Compact form

It is important to remember about the rule for the slip-joints constructions. There are many different categories and knives made in the history of Swiss Army Knives.

In general this rule can prevent damages on the liners, pins and functions. This has been thought about and it is in the philosophies of the Swiss Brands to make the constructions with stop functions to prevent the edge or functions to damage any parts. There are different modifications done in history for this as well. The versatile knives are made with high precision but it can or may happen that the dimension tolerances may be to narrow. The constructions of the SAKs are in a compact form and by this it means to make the functionality and quality in a compact form and so that the functions may interlink or be placed well. The design and compact form requires high precision.

Remember the general rule for slip-joints and guide the blade or saw + any function with cutting edge.




production variations

When you research SAKs and the evolution, milestones and knives then a picture or an overview will happen. The possibility to understand why the parts were changed or how is important to know.

Both Victorinox and Wenger made or make many different categories of knives from the beginning until today.  Some of these categories got a different designation and functionality depending on what area of use.

There can or always be production variations that cannot be used for the evolution of the knives.

If you look on one category with the 91mm Officers knives for example then the level on how compact the knife is will vary based on the evolution of the knives. By this I mean from what year it was made. The spring pressure in some area of the ratio may be different. The use of materials is one of the most obvious changes and the functions. Some parts of the evolution are because of production costs and automation.  On the knives the level of how compact or how much precision it is on the tool and the spring construction will vary depending on what year it was made in history. Some production variations will cause some functions to touch each other. In an automated production the level of precision must be very high to avoid touching of the functions in such a way that it will hurt functionality. Some touching may be unavoidable. If you look on the economy made knives some of these production variations and problems may be easier to see.

Today the SAK can carry many functions and if we study the SwissChamp for example then the number of production variations, dimension tolerances and precision must be at its best. The pressure developed in the SwissChamp when opening all the functions at the same time will be high or distributed differently. The functionality of a knife with so many functions is depending on a very high precision and dimension tolerances.

To make the SwissChamp requires many steps in the production and it is the evidence of the sandwich construction at its best.





There is a fine line with the level of dimension tolerances and how compact the knife is.

It is important in a production and on a sandwich construction that the dimension tolerances are at its best. If not then it will hurt functionality and the distribution on the tool.

The riveting/peening on a SAK is very important not only to hold everything together but also for making the correct distribution or pressure. The riveting/peening  is important for the functionalty and comfort of use.


 Wow factor

Pocket Knives with many functions is not new in history and this was done a long time before 1884.

There could be different reasons for why a European cutlery or knife maker made such knives. It could be as a show piece or made to show the skill of a craftsman.

For my view on Victorinox:

The reason for having many categories and functions is to be able to produce a knife for any need and to be competitive on the marked and that the Brand philosophy and quality will be known. Some functions will always be with a gadget impression and this for me is some related to the old European show pieces impression with many functions on. By this I mean a wow factor if we can call it so. Today it is the two factories in Switzerland that can make these knives with enormous amounts of functions on them because of the Swiss production and precision. This is also done with a reasonable cost for the product.

Usually always on the SAK the functions are thought about and developed for use and I am always careful to say that it cannot be used. I have been surprised many times.

The use of electronic functions on a SAK:

This complicates the cleaning and durability of the whole tool. I like some of them and I can also assure that some of these inventions are made with really high technology.




The problem with imitations and fake knives cause many different problems for Victorinox.

To be competitive on the international marked requires a cost effective production with the high quality. The quality need to be held up to show the difference between real knives and the fakes.

The modern Swiss Army Knives can be copied and with the help of modern machines and production be made rather similar.

One of the key factors for why this knife is difficult to copy is the extreme Swiss Precision and production. To copy this knife and make it with the same quality would require a very advanced production and quality materials. Then the cost difference between these two brands would be interesting. If the cost would be the same then I would guess most would choose a well known name.






Slip-joint Evolution

The use of mirror polished parts and design may influence the use of the knife.  To open a function with the nail nick with comfort can be influenced by this.

I can only explain from my own experience and feel that there is a balance between the comforts of opening the function and to use the function.

The pressure from the spring influence how easy the function opens and how it will be held in an open mode during use. It depends on what category and form and from what time in history how the design and pressure of the spring will feel.

It is important for the functionality and comfort that one does not break a nail when opening a function. When the main blade is in open mode and cutting on a surface then it is important to remember that it will fold at a certain pressure in reverse or that the edge is hooked. This spring pressure is lighter today I feel and that it is important for the safety when using the blade to remember this.

It is also very important that the SAK is clean and oiled for the best and most easy opening. The negative side of a clean and oiled SAK is that it may fold more easily.


On a large SAK it would be absolutely necessary with a lock and they do have one.




Fine line

The fine line between pressure and comfort

There are different philosophies in the world for the pressure on a slip-joint mechanism. By this I mean that some use a stronger pressure to hold and support the blade in open mode. The negative with this is that they are usually hard to open but not always. The fine line between a sudden closing or fold with a harder spring pressure is easy to feel when whittling for example. The little extra pressure is the best for use and the safest.

It is very important with a slip joint to learn how your knife will behave and how you should cut.


The fine line between spring pressure and riveting.

It is absolutely important that the riveting/peening is in balance with the slip joint mechanism.

The spring pressure holds the blade and the riveting secures it. If the peening is to light then there will be play sideways and it will affect the slip-joint mechanism. If the peening is too hard it will affect the slip-joint mechanism and it will not be comfortable opening or closing.

To hard a peening would make it difficult to open and it will overshadow the purpose of the slip-joint spring.



Special scales


The best handles


I have talked some on my webpage about that the use of plastic and rubber handle scales are the best for the SAKs. When it comes to the use of wood handles then I feel it is Wenger that got the best design and quality. Plastic handles are the best for both companies and the one company Victorinox today.

Some of the Victorinox wood handle garden tools with open rivets are very well made and sturdy.

Many collectors and users make personal handle scales for their knives with different wood and decorations. It is absolutely possible but it requires pretty much work and I am impressed with what people make and post online.

I have explained how there is some flexibility in the SAKs when using it. If you use or make wood handles and attach them with glue then the overall feel of the knife will be some different. It will get a more firm feel and it will not flex as easy. If too much Nm is used then the handle may twist of.

 In many ways the glue is a problem when attaching the wood because it can get into the mechanism and this is not good. If it is done correct it is well. The use of countersinking the wood scales can be smart because the liners on a SAK are usually never fully flat and this will prevent warping.

The absolute best if you want to have wood handles on the knife is to use open rivet construction. This will secure the wood handle scales and the scales will not fall of. This construction is usually more firm in the feel. The only problem is the peening itself because this needs to be done by a professional or a modder. This is because it is responisble for the assembly of the sandwich construction.



The balance of strength

The assembly of the sandwich construction is done with rivets. The peening of the rivets with bushings is important for the distribution and functionality of it.

The brass rivets used on a 91mm got the correct diameter to take the twisting from the screwdriver or other motions on the functions when you use it. It is important that this is done correct.

There are different forces working on the construction of a SAK because of the springs, functions and what kind of motion that will be used. I have never had any problem with the riveting on a Swiss Army Knife and it can take rather much Nm for sure. I have some concern on the small grooves that can develop on the pins on a used knife. I am not sure if it is the edges of the hole in the functions or sand with dirt particles that is responsible. This I have only seen on hard used knives. A weakened pin is not good. I can only say that I have never had any problem.

The riveting and size of the functions with materials in the assembly is correct on them. It is very advanced because if the riveting would be wrong then this would affect everything.

A SAK is very advanced and I have tried to research how the forces will be distributed when the different motions and stress happen. The distribution of forces is fascinating!





There is also another part of the functionality on the knives that is interesting and this is how the functions angle is from the body of the knife in open mode. It is interesting because the angle from the body or construction may influence the ability of it to sudden fold or accidental close. This depends some on how the function rest towards the spring. It is my belief that the spring pressure, riveting, angle and size of the function very much depends on each other. Check out my page large saw philosophy for the best example on angle.


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26.07 | 23:05

Hi and thank you very much for question. The closest I know is the Master Fisherman 1.4753.72. The. 73 is related to what inlay it got maybe. Best Regards Trond

26.07 | 19:22

Hello Trond,
I received a Mechanic in a red/white Victorinox box. The box is stamped item number 1.47 53.73. Do you know what knife goes in this box? Not Mech

01.07 | 23:13

Hi, sure I would like to see, BR.

01.07 | 16:24

Hello Trond.

Would you be interested in seeing progress pictures
Of my custom Champ with Voyager digital clock scales.
I could email them to you.


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