Friday, September 27, 2013

Custom Buffalo horn Fieldmaster

No fancy exposed rivets or engravings, but my old trusty Fieldmaster re-scaled with custom Buffalo horn. This easy to work with and rather strong material is ideal for every day use. That's why this knife's gonna be my first custom EDC. The Swiss cross is a nice add-on I wanted to show off if someone asks me where I bought this one... ;) I know ..., but you would do the same! :)

Victorinox Alox Bantam 0.2300.26

This is one of, if not, THE thinnest pocket knife available from Victorinox in a 84mm frame, yet it contains the most important tools. In this small package, you find the main blade and combo-tool. This tool offers a large flathead screwdriver, the same size as the one found on the other caplifter-design, a caplifter, wire stripper and can opener. The silver Alox gives this knife a strong and durable shell, and the 6mm thickness makes it ideal to carry in an environment where knives should be concealed... According to the Victorinox website (09/2013) they are still available...

Victorinox Signature Lite 0.6226

This little Classic changes his scale-tools (toothpick and tweezers) for the pen and small LED. I was surprised by both the easy handling of the pen and the amount of light produced by this very small LED light. The pressurized pens, available in the plus scales are nice to have in an urgent situation, but difficult to handle. When we look at the slide-design on the Signature-series, it gives you the necessary "bulky" handle we're used to. It's short, but so are the pencils in IKEA and that works well too.... ;) To open this pen, you need to unlock the small side-lever by sliding it towards the inside of the knife (A). Once unlocked you need to keep it this way and push it towards the LED side of the scale (B). The LED was surprisingly bright. It's bright enough to illuminate the path in front of you in an emergency situation, to find a key hole, or even to use as signaling light. The shield is used a the push button for the LED and a small hole on the side of the scale allows you to push the battery out with a needle. As you can see on the picture with the large light-spot, this LED provides just enough light to see the necessary...

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

DIY Victorinox display

A few weeks ago, my wife wanted to go to one of the many shoe-stores in Tongeren, a city close to where we live. When I entered the store, I noticed a nice display box with a glass cover and suddenly a lightbulb popped up above my head... This would be great for my Soldier replica.... And so I started my second display-diy adventure. It took me one week, 10 layers of acrylic paint, and a lot of patience to complete this one. Let's start with the basics... The base-construction is made of 8mm MDF wood and contains small pinewood beams to strengthen the frame. The RGB led strip inside provides a diffuse effect thanks to the milky white lucite inside the cross. On top, I used two LED lights of 3watts each, available in IKEA for 10Euro. The Acryl cover is cut with my figure saw and "welded" with Chloroform. The Victorinox decal was bought on Ebay and gives the display an "authentic" look... I'm a real diy guy, and made many things in my life, but this one made me smile when I showed it to the wife. ;) She loves it!

Sunday, September 15, 2013


A few weeks ago, my wife introduced me in geocaching. This is a worldwide community with participants and people who actively hide and maintain caches. The main goal is to search with a portable gps for hidden "logs". Once you know which area you want to search, you can look for cache- coordinates on the website. When you reach the spot, you can start searching and some spots have spoiler-pictures or even hints... I love this kind of "activity", because it gives me a great excuse to use my precious Fieldmaster and Sentinel. I used the wood saw of the Fieldmaster a few times to make some walking sticks, and even the small 91mm saw surprised me. I used it before, but I have to admit that this time I didn't spare it. Without the slightest effort, I cut through 3cm Oak. For those not known with this hobby.... Give it a try... You won't be disappointed! 

Below : These little guys were on a family trip...

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Beijing Opera Mask Classic SD

Victorinox released 3 different types of "knives" with this beautiful Beijing Opera Mask, the Swisscard classic, Classic SD and Climber. They all come in a nice cardboard box with a mask print and pouch. These knives are only available in Chinese stores and some offer international shipment. That's how I got mine. I love to find the Climber, but these are more difficult to find... In China, this Opera Mask edition is often copied, especially the Swisscard. You can easily spot a fake one if you look at the tweezers and toothpick. The plastic has a different color and the nail file has a different "pattern". Please, don't be fooled by the low prices! If it looks to good to be true, it usually is!!!

Below : This imitation has a toothpick made from grey plastic instead of ivory (B) and the nail file has another grind-pattern as the real one (A). These cost around 3 to 4 $ and are often found on Chinese online-shops, so don't be fooled...

Below : Here's my Classic that I've ordered on Deal Extreme, so not every Chinese shop sells imitations...

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Victorinox AutoTool

The Autotool was a nice, useful idea, but the tool size was a bit clumsy. A few of the plastic tools got easily damaged and this shows once more that plastic is Victorinox's Achilles heel... It was introduced in 2000 and discontinued about a year later. This happened due to low sales and a few design flaws. The battery of the tire pressure gauge couldn't be replaced, the ice scraper broke fairly easy due to a "hidden" liner lock and the classic lightbulb made this a huge mistake for a company that offers a lifetime warranty... The pliers head is the same as the one found on the Swisstool, but the handle is twice the size as the head. This makes the tool extremely difficult to handle. The outer shell (handles) is sand-blasted grey. Why they didn't go for the shiny surface like the Swisstool stays a mystery to me. It contains a few Swisstool tools with the same release lock (philips head screwdriver, can opener, cap-lifter and a large serrated blade. I'm not a fan of the serrated blade because of the limited uses, but for some reason, Victorinox placed this blade on the Autotool and the Sportratchet. The flashlight was a big surprise... For a tool, released in 2000, you would expect a LED, but no, they went for the classic lightbulb. Don't get me wrong, I love Victorinox and sometimes it's allowed to make a few mistakes... In a career of over 125 years, a few mistakes are forgivable... The ice scraper was well designed, but thanks to the "hidden" release, often broken by misuse. Overall a great tool to add to your collection, but I would never use it... One positive thing about this tools is that Victorinox knows when to cut their losses. Some people would have problems with admitting that they made a mistake, but not Victorinox, since they stopped production after a year.

Below : Notice the size difference between pliers head and handles.

Below :  removable Fuse puller 

Below : Digital tire pressure gauge

Below : Flashlight with lightbulb

Next you can see how the ice scraper should be deployed and closed. Please notice the liner lock!!!