|The German Army Knife, or GAK, is a 108mm knife manufactured by Victorinox and was official issue for German troops (Bundeswehr). This knife marks a touch point in Victorinox's history, with them manufacturing knives for the German Army as well as initiating the 108mm platform. The GAK was the first knife on the 108mm platform, and has a unique tool design among other Victorinox frame sizes. The multi-layer 108mm knives are also unique in that all the tools open in the same direction, which means all the main layer tools pivot at the same end of the knife (top). This makes them very intuitive and quick to get accustomed to. This design was eventually replaced with the 111mm One-Handed GAK (see Trekker). |
Table of Contents
- Large Blade
- Wood Saw with Can/Bottle Opener - includes a blade guard, and has a reputation as one of the best wood saws.
Back Layer Tools
Scale ToolsThe GAK and other 108mm knives do not have any non-blade tools such as the typical toothpick and tweezers. This is typical of the military knives, but rare for the civilian knives.
ScalesOlive Drab Green Nylon, with German Army Eagle logo imprinted.
- The GAK-2, as it is often referred to as, has a modified Saw/Opener tool that has a textured area on the blade for use as a match-strike or nail file.
- There are identical GAK models available from a number of different military contractors in addition to Victorinox. See SOSAK article: German Army Knife Variants.
HistoryThe 108mm GAK was first issued in 1976, and continued to be used until 2003, with the introduction of the new ((Trekker|111 OH GAK]. According to Victorinox, the GAK (0.8770.04) was made by Victorinox from only 1976 to 1986. In 1985 the file was added to the woodsaw. From 1986 to 1997 Victorinox delivered parts for the knife to the Adler Messer GmbH.
[[[The GAK was the first of the 108mm designs]] note: this is in question], and was manufactured to specification under contract for the German Army. It was the first Victorinox knife to use Nylon scales rather than fiber or Cellidor, and introduced the unique Wood saw/Opener combo-tool.
This design was most likely a German Military design/specification with Victorinox receiving a manufacturing contract, as other manufactures were also used from time to time. The design suggests that Victorinox may not have had a lot on input on the general design. The 108mm platform and design are quite different than other Victorinox models, and at first it does not look like it really belongs. The platform turned out to be a very good design, and the 108mm knives are admired by many with all models now being collectible. The design is considered a good example of simplicity with excellent functionality and durability.
With the manufacturing machinery in place, this spawned the civilian version the Trooper, and the rest of the Safari Series.
- Trooper - Civilian version
- Mauser - adds a Clippoint Blade
- OH GAK - German Standard Issue 111mm One Hand GAK, replaced 108mm model
- Other Victorinox 108mm Models