Swiss Army Fieldmaster Knife and Why You Should Never Give a Knife


The Swiss Army Fieldmaster knife offers the classic Swiss Army knife functionality, without loading up the knife, and your pocket, with tools you don’t need.

Everyone who has used a Swiss Army Knife is impressed by the sheer cleverness of the seemingly countless tools.

BUT, which outdoor experience – camping, fishing, hiking — or indoor home and shop applications, which combination of tools makes the perfect Swiss Army knife is a matter of debate. 

But before we begin:


A tip on giving knives: Don’t give anyone a knife.

According to the Irish, or the English — actually it was someone who told me who has a lot of Irish in them — it’s BAD LUCK to give someone a knife.

Instead you should always sell a gift knife for a penny.

This ensures that the person buying the knife will not cut themselves.

Well, that’s the legend, anyway.

At least they won’t cut themselves on your account.

The friend or loved one who receives a Swiss Army knife from you may still cut themselves, of course. Sharp knives do that.

But it’s their knife. They bought it from you. For a penny. So never give anyone a knife, sell it to them. And may they have the luck of the Irish.

The combination of tools in the Swiss Army Fieldmaster knife includes several classic tools. BUT,

The main reason to get the Swiss Army Fieldmaster knife is the saw.

Swiss Army Fieldmaster knife

A bit of History:  The Swiss Army knife saw was the precursor to the modern pruning saw. Aggressive teeth, pointed backwards so that you pull through the cut not push, defined the modern pruning saw decades before they became available.

The modern pull-action pruning saw really is a marvel of manufacturing. Anyone remember the old one-handed bow saw? The first time I tried the pull action of a modern, shark-toothed saw, I could not believe the cutting power. The Swiss Army knife was the first to offer an aggressive pull action saw, although I hear tell that Asian saws have pulled backward for centuries.

Here’s a modern pruning saw. Buy this, do not accept as a gift. See above for Irish reasoning on the subject.

Although it has the saw, CAVEAT, the Fieldmaster Swiss Army knife, although the father of the modern pruning saw, can no longer compete with an actual pruning saw.

Still, the Fieldmaster is a pocket knife. It can compete due to lack of competition, unless you happened bring a modern pruning saw on your fishing or hiking trip.

Hikers, especially hiker campers, are obsessive about weight, as they must be.

The Fieldmaster may not be for these payload freaks because it has some luxury tools that would be better exchanged for other payload. Like food!

Still, with the proper skills in the right terrain, a Fieldmaster’s tiny but effective saw could turn a light Space Blanket into a shelter made of leaning saplings.

Yes, you can cut down a tree with the Fieldmaster Swiss Army knife saw. I’ve done it. Another tree quickly took its place.

My opinion is that the Fieldmaster is an awesome set of tools for the wilderness and that includes the ocean. Take a look at the awl for sewing, and the hook, which I still have to figure out all the uses.

Now you might argue with this claim and say, “Wilderness? What’s with the three kinds of screwdrivers? I’m sure I will find lots of screws on a tree! The Fieldmaster is a city knife.”

Agreed. You would have a good point. There are no screws in nature.


  • Most of us who venture out into nature take some gear. And some of that gear DOES have screws, of all sizes, and including Phillips head.
  • Hikers do move through populated areas and may also need to deal with civilization.
  • But touche’, the Fieldmaster has to sell you on the other tools that come with the saw.

This is going to sound like I’m abandoning you.

But the real case for the Fieldmaster is made by those who have tried one. Check out the reviews below and see where you come down on the great Swiss Army Knife debate.

Kitchen Gadgets as Art neat kitchen gadgets that happen to be beautiful sculptures

kitchen tool sculptures

Neat kitchen gadgets spend most of their time in a drawer.  Here is a collection of high-end cooking gadgets beautiful enough for an art museum.

This kitchen gadget, the Alessi apostrophe  avoids citrus catastrophe. Clawing your way into oranges is so last century. If you enjoy peeling oranges and getting all the citrusy goodness up under your thumbnail, this beautiful gadget may not be your thing.

Alessi Apostrophe Orange Peeler

Sculpture orange peeler Only 2.2 inches tall, one inch wide, and 10 ounces of matte finish stainless steel.             Honey, this is for you. Simple and timeless, this Alessi honey jar and serving wand please the eye the way honey pleases the palatte. Simply pass the wand over biscuits, fruit or tea to taste the magic. photo of Alessi juicer

A truly space age kitchen gadget, the Alessi citrus juicer comes in two sizes, and comes with a citrus bonus (hint: it’s a punctuation mark).  

Alessi my squeeze citrus juicer Main Squeeze? When it comes to citrus juicing, the Alessi My Squeeze is beautiful enough to be your new main squeeze.  Five inches by two and a quarter inches and made of sculpted stainless steel, the My Squeeze should last for centuries under ordinary conditions.

  • Dimensions: 5″L x 2.25″W
  • Mirro polich stainless steel
  • For all citrus fruits

Let’s recap these gorgeous kitchen gadgets, experience a little sticker shock, keeping in mind that Italian works of art aren’t cheap.

Alessi Apostrophe Orange Peeler
List Price: $30.00
Price: $30.86
You Save: N/A
Alessi Honey Pot Honey Jar
List Price: $98.00
Price: $98.00
You Save: N/A

Bonus Kitchen Gadget: Microwave Egg Cooker

Nordic Ware Microwave Egg Boiler
List Price: $13.00
Price: $9.97
You Save: $3.03

Soft, medium or, if you like your eggs like your detective novels, hardboiled. This device cooks them fast and rarely blows up. Nordic Ware also makes a microwave popcorn popper that uses no oil and regular popping corn. Plus it’s not very expensive.

Looking for a low-end, thrifty, non-artsy version of the Alessi Apostrophe kitchen gadget? (So cheap it’s probably not gift appropriate)  Fox Run Orange Peeler, Set Of 2

Best Aircraft Cable Key Ring and Why Not to Get the Wrong Kind

Aircraft cable twist lock key ring 2013The best and strongest aircraft cable key ring is a simple loop of aircraft cable

Aircraft cable is a flexible plastic-coated stainless steel wire rope developed to manipulate control surfaces — flaps, ailerons, and tail rudders — on airplanes. Aircraft cable now finds uses in bike locks, exercise machines and sailboat rigging.

Why aircraft cable for a key ring?

With a tensile strength of 890 pounds, a 1/16 inch aircraft cable may seem over-engineered for holding keys.  The aircraft cable key ring was introduced in the 1970s.  Some key rings manufactured back then are still in service.

Aircraft cable twist lock keyring 1976

This aircraft cable key ring has been in constant use since 1976. Despite fading, cracks in the plastic coating, and some play in the clasp, this key ring still works perfectly.

Get the right kind of air craft cable key ring, the twisty kind

There are three kinds of key ring cable clasps:

  • threaded carabiner-style — problem: fussy screw connector; can snag
  • ball in socket — problem: streamlined but disconnects too easily
  • twisty lock — fast, smooth, secure but you need to know how to use it

See this brief video on  How to use the twisty aircraft cable keyring

My personal recommendation comes after trying all three kinds of aircraft cable key rings.

Yes, the ball in socket type does disconnect when the ring is squeezed, if you are lucky, when the keyring is in your pocket.  The threaded variety also unscrew and are fussy. I have used a twisty lock aircraft cable key ring since about 1975.  In 1976 while visiting a fair booth in San Diego, I talked with the company rep about these amazingly strong and wear-resistant key rings.

When I showed the company rep my purple aircraft cable key ring, he offered to trade me a brand new red one

I was hesitant to part with my reliable key ring.  When he told me his company did research on wear and tear in used key rings, I agreed to the trade. That red aircraft cable key ring has been in my pocket every day since 1976.  Perhaps the company will offer to trade me a new one?  I suspect the cable was made by the Loos Company.

Will your aircraft cable key ring last for 37 years?  Get one now and start testing!

Or perhaps you need more aircraft cable, also known as wire rope?

Here are a couple of little gizmos to hang your keys in your pants and a folding knife the size of a key! Click on a photo to see they have quite a few fans. But let me recommend replacing the fingernail breaking split ring with an aircraft cable key ring!