You can tell a lot about a person by the kind of knife they get tattooed on them. Switchblade tattoos tell you that their wearer is enterprising, incisive, spontaneous, and daring. A butterfly knife tattoo screams, “I’m kind and gentle, but I have a hard time saying no to anyone because I am a people pleaser.” But what if you want the world to know that you’re flexible, always prepared for anything, and always up to a challenge? Then you probably want a Swiss Army knife tattoo.
Swiss Army knives are by far the most fun and practical knives you could ever own, or get tattooed on your body. The knife traces its origins back to the 1890s. Switzerland’s army needed a new knife, one that could open canned food and dissemble an army rifle – a task that required a screwdriver. At the time, no Swiss manufacturer had the means to mass produce them, so the first batch was actually made in Germany.
In 1891, Karl Elsener set out to manufacture the knives in Switzerland. As he already owned a company that made surgical equipment, this was not a terribly difficult pivot. Using a revolutionary design, Elsener was able to add twice as many features to the knife, including a corkscrew. He named his new company Victorinox, in memory of his mother, Victoria, and set about manufacturing Swiss Army knives.
For about 100 years fierce competition existed in the form of another Swiss knife manufacturer called Wagner. In order to not show favoritism, and to encourage lower prices, the government of Switzerland started splitting its orders for knives between the two companies. There was an agreement between the two that Victorinox would market its knives as the “Original Swiss Army Knife,” while Wagner used the slogan “Genuine Swiss Army Knife.” Eventually, Victorinox got tired of this bullshit and acquired Wagner in 2005.
And now you know the rest of the story. It’s been a wild 130 years of the super handy knife, and we’ve got some top notch Swiss Army knife tattoos that are all really sharp tributes to this pocket wonder. So sit back, take them in, and try not to cut yourselves.
Yes, Swiss Army knife tattoos sure say a lot about a person. Our only regret with this article was being unable to find someone with a Swiss Army knife tattoo depicting the blade (or corkscrew, saw, or awl) going through their skin. Maybe you can find the inspiration to make this happen, as it really needs to. Thanks.