Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Found Pocket Knives, Victorinox Budding Knife

My wife and I recently bought a new-to-us car. While we were cleaning out the old car to sell, I came across these three pocket knives in the very-full glove compartment (along with some hand warmer packets from the late 1980s). We figured these knives must have come from her father when he had the car years ago. I thought they were pretty interesting and worth a quick post.
A little background would help here. My wife's family are orchardists, so it was no surprise her dad would forget a tool or two while he used the car to drive through apple orchard rows. I think I had probably came across one or two of these knives while searching for something else in the glove compartment years ago, but I didn't think twice about it.

Here's the first one. It has a long blade at about 3.5" with a skinny handle. It looks like it could be a good 25 years old and surprisingly it's made in the USA; however, I have no idea who the manufacturer is. One side has the Chevron gas logo with "Ortho Fertilizers." The reverse side has information for a local orchard supply store. I imagine the long blade would come in handy for cutting large bags of fertilizer, compost, etc. I can't picture myself using this one very much. It seems a little ridiculous with such a long blade and skinny handle.

Next up is a familiar looking multi-tool. The overall length is about 3.5" and features a knife, bottle opener / screw driver, and a corkscrew. Tweezers can be found hidden away in the handle. The build quality on this one seems pretty low. The handle scales are plastic and there is a bit of slop to the tools when deployed. I don't think I'll be giving this one an EDC test drive either. If I were to carry a SAK-type multi-tool, I'd opt for one without the corkscrew (sorry for all the acronyms there). I may just throw this one in the bag we keep our tent in so we'll have it in case we need it while camping.

This last knife was a bit of a mystery. Right off the bat I could tell it was of higher quality than the other two. I noticed the familiar shield logo, and sure enough, it's made by Victorinox of Swiss Army Knife fame; however, this didn't look like any SAK I was aware of. That strange hump on the back side of the blade seemed odd. At first I thought it was perhaps some kind of package opener that you could use to cut packing tape without having to deploy the knife. But the rest of the blade also seemed a little odd.

Upon closer inspection, I noticed the well-used blade was flat on one side, i.e. only tapered down to the cutting edge on one side. I've seen "chisel ground" blades on other knives, but I couldn't figure out the purpose here. It took about 20 minutes of Googling before I caught a lead. This is a Victorinox budding knife. It's meant to be used for grafting fruit trees. Well duh! My father-in-law is an orchardist after all.

I'll leave it to you to find out how these knives are use to graft trees. I'm sure Youtube can help. In the meantime, I plan on giving this back to dad when the in-laws visit this weekend.

No comments :