The One Hand Forester, a new Swiss Army Knife in the Grip series from Victorinox for 2010, is a perfect pocket knife for anyone, whether you’re hiking in the wilderness or just hanging out around town.
But first, let’s talk about Victorinox and Swiss Army Knives. In 1884, in Ibach-Schwyz, Switzerland, knife-maker Karl Elsener set up a workshop full of polishing and grinding machines, all powered by a waterwheel set up on the nearby Tobelbach Brook, and began selling knives. Karl created the name of his then-local/now-international company, Victorinox, by combining his mother’s first name (Victoria) with the French word for “stainless steel” (inox). Although, today, the company also produces luggage, watches, and clothing, Victorinox is still best-known for developing and selling its many types of Swiss Army Knives. The first Swiss Army Knife dates back to 1897, when Karl Elsener called the product he supplied to the Swiss Army the “Swiss Officer’s and Sports Knife.” At the end of World War Two, men and women of the American military still in Europe with money to spend discovered this useful item, and called it the Swiss Army Knife, a phrase that, over the decades since, has come to mean ‘general versatility’ for just about any product.
On to the details — the One-Hand is a compact ten-function multi-tool, covered with the standard emblazoned bright-red housing that has come to mean Victorinox. Patterned after Victorinox’s Soldier knife series, this knife only weighs 4.8 ounces, and is 4 3/8 inches long (folded). And, of course, there’s a lifetime warranty.
And here’s the ten functional parts, each of which folds out from the casing:
• Serrated blade (locking)
• Wood saw
• Combination can opener/small screwdriver (locking)
• Combination bottle-opener/wire-stripper (locking)
• Large standard screwdriver (locking)
• Key ring
First, the One Hand Forester is literally one-handed — it is just so easy to pull the knife out of a pocket and open it with one hand. And it doesn’t matter which pocket and which hand. How many times have you found that you had only one hand free to reach for that pocket knife? This feature of the One Hand Forester by itself is enough to make this knife worth the purchase price many times over.
The big blade is sharp and serrated, good for cutting whatever you need cut. The locking mechanism adds safety, and disengages easily.
The saw is also easy to pull out from the casing, and more than long enough to cut whatever the knife blade cannot cut.
The combo can-opener / small screwdriver, just like the one on every Swiss Army Knife, always works.
The separate large screwdriver works just like the large blade, locking in place as needed.
The combo bottle-opener / wire stripper also has a locking mechanism that works great, and works on bottles and wires as needed with little fuss.
The reamer? I’ll admit, I’m still looking for a use for this one, but it’s great knowing it’s there.
The key ring is just like the standard can-opener / screwdriver: reliable and on every Swiss Army Knife — attach the ring to a long lanyard, tie the lanyard to your belt, and you’ll never lose this knife.
A corkscrew is the one item you’re never sure you should have with you, but then, there’ll always be that moment with a wine bottle’s stubborn cork, where you’ll be the hero with your Swiss Army Knife corkscrew.
The manufacturer’s suggested retail price is $60 (but you’ll find it for a lot less). On a scale of 1 to 5, I’ll rate this little beauty a 5+!