The Swiss Army knife (French: couteau suisse, German: Schweizer Offiziersmesser: "Swiss officer's knife", Italian: Coltellino svizzero) is a brand of pocket knife or multi-tool manufactured by Victorinox AG and Wenger SA. The term "Swiss Army knife" was coined by US soldiers after World War II due to the difficulty they had in pronouncing the German name.
The Swiss Army knife generally has a blade, as well as various tools, such as screwdrivers and can openers and many others. These attachments are stowed inside the handle of the knife through a pivot point mechanism. The handle is usually red, and features a Victorinox or Wenger "cross" logo or, for military issue knives, the coat of arms of Switzerland.
Originating in Ibach, Switzerland, the Swiss Army knife was first produced in 1891 after the company Karl Elsener, which later became Victorinox, won the contract to produce the Swiss Army's Modell 1890 knife from the previous German manufacturer. In 1893 the Swiss cutlery company Paul Boéchat & Cie, which later became Wenger, received its first contract from the Swiss military to produce model 1890 knives; the two companies split the contract for provision of the knives from 1908 until Victorinox acquired Wenger in 2005.
A pocket knife is a folding knife with one or more blades that fit inside the handle that can still fit in a pocket. It is also known as a jackknife or jack-knife. A typical blade length is 5 to 15 centimetres (2 to 6 in). Pocket knives are versatile tools, and may be used for anything from opening an envelope, cutting twine, performing an emergency tracheotomy, slicing a piece of fruit or even as a means of self-defense.