Why You'll Love to Own This Favorite Minimalist Tool

Today's post is by my husband Jon.  Find his previous work here.

so many tools

It's my most useful tool.  

My "desert island" tool.  The one tool a minimalist doesn't want to be without.

And no, this isn't just an infomercial extolling the virtues and myriad uses of some funky-named, gadget-like multi-tool.  It isn't one more "As Seen on TV" product that will languish in the back of a drawer because it doesn't really do any job very well.

I'm referring to my well-used and beloved Swiss Army knife.

It's a tool worth passing to the next generation.

My father had a Swiss Army knife too.  In fact, I just gave his to my son, who plans to restore it.  I recall Dad using his to cut PVC pipe fittings and clean the innards of a chainsaw.  On backpacking trips, his handy knife sliced salami and other snacks, cut open freeze-dried food packaging, fashioned a billycan hook from a willow switch, trimmed fishing line, and even solved the great rat's-nest snarls we presented him when our reels exploded.

"Um Dad, can you fix it... please?"

Thirty-eight years ago, Karen bought me my first Swiss Army knife as a Christmas gift.  It lasted for more than two decades until I lost it.  My then-teenaged kids gifted me the second, and knife number two has been going strong for the past seventeen years.  Precision craftsmanship and high-quality materials make this a tool for the long haul.

My knife has come in handy ever since.  Through home ownership and apartment living, this small, simple, portable tool has taken on many roles and applications.  It's handy for house work, yard maintenance, paint work, wood work, auto repair, and the list goes on.  

It's the ultimate transformer.

Swiss army knife
The old adage "Necessity is the mother of invention" has proved true.  A little imagination transforms my humble Swiss Army knife into whatever tool I need at the moment.

  • a cutting tool

  • a scissors tool
  • a prying tool
  • a can-opening tool
  • a screwdriver (Phillips and standard)
  • an etching/scoring tool
  • a wood-putty-finishing tool
  • an unplugging tool
  • a paint scraping tool
  • a whittling tool
  • a cleaning-out-of-small-crevices tool
  • a trimming tool
  • a tweezing tool
  • and more!

You name the job, and the Swiss Army knife will help you.  I always pocket mine when I am helping my grown kids with a home project, working on a car, or doing maintenance work for family or friends.  If I forget it, I regret it.

Get a Swiss Army knife* for your long-lasting, do-everything tool, and replace a bunch of other gear.  Just keep it simple.  You'll be glad you did.

* This blog is reader-supported.  When you buy through my links, I may earn a small commission.


  1. The Swiss Army knife I lost also had a toothpick which helped me deal with my uneven teeth. Now I just borrow hubby's knife when I need a knife. His doesn't have a toothpick, though.


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