The Scissors are a common tool on many Swiss Army knives, and might be considered the distinguishing feature of these famous multi-blade knives.
|Scissors from 91mm, 84mm, 74mm, and 58mm|
Victorinox has manufactured scissors for their 58mm, 74mm, 84mm, 91mm and 111mm knives. The scissors are exactly the same in the 91mm and 111mm sized knives.
The scissors incorporate a user replaceable spring between their handles to automatically open the blades when pressure is released from the handles. This automatic opening by the spring makes them easier to operate and enables very quick cutting. The springs for the scissors are quite durable and can last a lifetime with only a little care. A Repair Kit is available with a set of tools designed for replacing springs. Most people though don’t bother with the special tools and knife jig in the repair kit. A quality Victorinox dealer should also be able to replace broken springs.
For many years scissors were not available on any alox scaled Victorinox knives (93mm or 84mm), although there was always great demand for alox models with scissors on the SAK modding community. In 2016 Victorinox themselves finally updated their alox line by producing the ‘Pioneer X’ - the first factory produced alox model with scissors. This is a regular alox ‘Pioneer’ with an added scissor layer. The scissors are regular 91mm scissors except, interestingly, the nail nick in the alox version of the scissors is on the ‘outside’ of the scissors, as opposed the normal ‘inside’ location on the ‘Officer Knives’.
- First produced around 1902 in some Officer’s models.
- Scissors manufactured in the 50s-60s included on the Fisherman and other knives have a divot behind the pivot for crimping lead split-shot used on fishing lines.
- Early versions of the scissors used a screw for the pivot, later models use a rivet. According to Victorinox the rivet replaced the screw in 1991.
- The springs used on the various scissors have changed slightly over time. Early model springs have a single leaf type spring while newer model springs have an inverted “V” shape leaf type spring. According to Victorinox the spring change occurred in 1975.
- Scissors on early Fisherman models have two additional features; Just in front of the pivot they have a small notch to be used to open lead split-shot used on fishing lines, and just behind the pivot is another notch for use to crimp lead split-shot on to the line. The split-shot opener notch can appear without the additional crimper notch, but crimping is possible without a notch.
- In 1990 Victorinox redesigned the scissors spring and handle again. The spring now has a “cam” end which is a slightly inverted cup. This design change was to aid in keeping the spring in constant contact with a newly designed scissors handle that has a “guiding groove” to the back side of the movable handle.
- In 1991 Victorinox started manufacturing the Multipurpose Hook. The Hook shares a common spring with the Scissors, and since the hook was introduced they have always been paired together on 91mm knives. This is a good way to date some knives.
- Starting in 2007, (as reported by Victorinox*) the steel pivot rivet in the 91mm scissors was replaced with a bronze colored rivet made of a nickle-silver alloy. This same alloy has also been used in some later SwissTool Spirit models. *Note: There is some evidence that the pivot material change happened later than 2007, for instance the Victorinox 125 Anniversary models (2009) had the steel rivet.
- The 84mm scissors are no longer manufactured. Knives containing these scissors are considered a collectible especially in the modding community.
External Link: SOSAK: 91mm Scissor Changes, October 1st, 2009 [Article]
|from left to right, approximate dating: pre-1975, 1975-1990,1990-1991, 1991-2007|
Evidently in the earlier years their scissors were made just like the Victorinox models with the same spring system and smooth jaws. According to published works Wenger changed from the standard separate spring system to their patented current lever type integral spring in 1972.
- Produced in 65mm, 75mm, 85mm and 120mm sizes.
- The 120mm size scissors are a new fold up style with smooth jaws but are still back spring powered.
- The jaws of all other sizes of the scissors are micro-serrated and therefore can handle more heavy duty cutting chores than their smooth jawed counterparts.
- They have a unique “lever” type spring system that is powered off of the back spring inside the knife.