Swiss Army Knife maker developing new version - without the knife

The maker of the Swiss Army Knife says is it working on a new model - without a blade.

Carl Elsener, chief executive of Victorinox, said a rise in regulation to tackle knife crime meant the company was developing a new version of its famous pocket tool.

In an interview with Swiss newspaper Blick, he said: "We're concerned about the increasing regulation of knives due to the violence in the world.

"We're actually working on pocket tools without blades. For example, I have a cool tool for cyclists in mind.

"We already have a tool specifically for golfers in our range. Cyclists probably need special tools, but not necessarily a blade. The blade creates a weapon image in some markets."

Mr Elsener said Victorinox saw knife sales plummet by more than 30% "overnight" after the September 11 attacks in the US, telling Blick: "9/11 painfully showed us that we must not become dependent on a single business area."

The Swiss Army Knife - first patented in 1897 - generally has a main blade plus other types of blades and tools including a screwdriver, a can opener, a saw blade and a pair of scissors.

Under UK law, a person can only carry a knife in public if it has a folding blade that is less than three inches long.

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It is illegal to carry most other knives in public without a "good reason", which includes for work, for religious reasons (such as the kirpan some Sikhs carry) or if they are carried as part of a national costume.

Data released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) in April shows that knife crime in UK increased by 7% from the year ending December 2022 to December 2023, and has increased by 81% in the past decade.

ONS data also shows that sharp instruments - including kitchen knives, swords and machetes - were the most common method of killing for both male and female victims in the year ending March 2023, making up two-fifths of all killings in the UK.