Swiza

Move over Swiss Army knives!  You’re got company.

Swiza is a relatively new knife company, but they have a long history as a clock maker.  Louis Schwab established the Swiza clock factory in Moutier, Switzerland where they have a long reputation as a premiere clock and watch maker.  But change comes to everyone. 

In 2006, the Schwab family transferred ownership to Bedonna Holdings.  Who are they?  Good question.  Bedonna appears to be a holding company whose business is making money.  Like all holding companies, they own several companies that make products the public wants.  Kind of like angels on “Shark Tank.”

At some point Swiza got involved with estragon, a design company.  Yes, it’s a lower case “E,” all very artsy fartsy.  But Dirk Fleischhut and André Lüthy appear to have the chops.  They helped Swiza get into the knife game with a very interesting knife. 


green handled Swiza
The Swiza C04 in Khaki, or as I call it green


They opened a plant in Jura, Switzerland, and in Oct 2015 started making Swiza knives, a creditable challenger to the Victorinox/Wenger Empire.

Here’s a little aside I found interesting: the geology term “Jurassic” is derived from the Jura Alps, which date to that era.  Knives and fossils in the same blog, must be a record of some kind.

Here’s a Swiza D06 in leafy green.  Let’s talk turkey, err… rather knife. 

The first thing you notice is the nail nicks or blade openers.  They are elongated trapezoids holes that penetrate the blade or tool.   The second thing you notice waits for you to pick it up.  The bolsters have a soft silky feel.  Rub your thumb over the closed knife.  There aren’t any sharp edges with the exception of the back end of the tweezers.  You’ll find a curious double step that lets you grab and remove the tweezers very easily.



Siza Khaki knife tweezers  D04
Curious looking back end of the Swiza Tweezers, but easy to extract from the knife 

The 3 inch blade is milled from 440C stainless steel and has a Rockwell “C” hardness of 57.  The blade locks open, a touch I have always liked.  The release is hidden under the white Swiss cross on the handle.  It takes a little effort, but that’s actually desirable in a locking knife.

Various tool configurations are available.  This knife has in addition to the tweezers and main blade, a #1 Philips screwdriver, a #1 and #3 flathead, bottle opener, can opener and a reamer with sewing awl eye.  I’ve always been curious about the sewing awl eye.  If you’re using that function, that’s going to be a very coarse repair which will probably do more damage than the rip, or the fabric is so coarse you can wiggle it through without cutting large holes.

Swiza swiss army type knife
I seldom need a can opener, but the screw drivers and bottle opener are life savers!
The tools appear to have been hardened to 54HRc.  Why such relatively low hardness, you ask?

It’s not low.  We’re spoiled by pricey super steels with Rockwell values in the 60s.  At these levels bending the blade is likely to break the blade.  As one Ernie Emerson once wrote, a bent blade is still a knife, a broken blade is just expensive junk.  (My apologies if the quote is wrong.)

At these levels of hardness you should be able to resharpen the edge with a fine grain rock.  A number of years ago, I attended a mini-class where it was claimed you could sharpen a blade with mud. That is, if you had enough time, and if the knife was dull enough that even a slight improvement was desirable.  I’d look for a fine grain, flat rock first.

All in all, I think you’ll find the Swiza up to all your urban cutting needs.  This Swiza, with its leafy green scales has a suggested manufacturing price of around $56.