Fingernail not tough enough for opening tools on a Swiss Army Knife

  • #1
symbolipoint
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Is any tool available for a person to use instead of putting their weak finger nail into the groove of one of the functions of a swiss army knife or victorinox knife in order to open that function? Some of our nails are just not tough enough to put into those grooves to pull the function out enough to grip and pull the rest of the way. If this tool exists, what is it called?
 

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  • #2
fresh_42
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Lineman's pliers or simple graphite, maybe better penetrating oil for the axis.
 
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  • #3
symbolipoint
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Lineman's pliers or simple graphite, maybe better penetrating oil for the axis.
?
Pliers, maybe, if something small enough could be found. I tried to focus my description and question to the groove in the tool where you put your fingernail to help pull open the functional piece of the knife.

"Graphite"? The situation is not a lubrication problem. Some peoples' nails are not strong enough to get a good start on opening the function piece of the knife.

I do not understand the statement about penetrating oil. My question is in regard to any Victorinox knife in good, or new condition. I believe you are thinking of a corroded or rusty knife.

To be a little bit more specific: I have access to ~ 3 swiss army knife multi-tool products; one in excellent condition, and the other two are new. I can put my thumb nail into the products' function groove and open the chosen function. A few of the functions are tough to open but I can do it. Another person, who has weaker nails, cannot open a few of those functions on the knives. Now, ANY kind of tool which can be used INSTEAD of finger nail for opening a function of a swiss army knife?
 
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  • #4
ergospherical
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Now, ANY kind of tool which can be used INSTEAD of finger nail for opening a function of a swiss army knife?
You could use another Swiss army knife?
 
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  • #5
berkeman
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I carry a Leatherman Wave multitool on my belt, and the knives are easy to open with one hand (with your thumb, not your nails). I also carry a small 2" Gerber pocketknife which is easy to open with one hand with just your thumb and middle finger.

wave-plus-silver-closed-front.jpg

https://www.leatherman.com/wave-10.html

1636499159482.png
 
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  • #6
symbolipoint
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Nice @berkeman, but what the functions on a particular knife would have, are other than just a KNIFE function; The victorinox things have on them are (depending on which product), reamer, scissors, screwdriver, can opener, bottle opener, nail-file. The thing with the cutting edge is not the only function of interest. With all that, I should ask, Does your Leatherman product have these listed functions, and is the finger nail not necessary to open those functions?
 
  • #7
berkeman
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With all that, I should ask, Does your Leatherman product have these listed functions, and is the finger nail not necessary to open those functions?
Correct on both questions. There are several different Leatherman multitool models, with different mixes of tools inside. I've owned several over the years, but have settled on the Wave model for the past 5+ years because of the mix of tools inside. I'm pretty sure I only use my bare thumb to open the exterior knives/file and the interior accessories. I use it mutilple times daily (I work in a lab), and it saves me time and steps when I don't have to walk back across the lab to my toolbox to fetch a tool that I have on my belt... :smile:
 
  • #8
symbolipoint
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You could use another Swiss army knife?
?
Maybe another Swiss Army Knife product which has some functional part with an edge slender enough to fit into the groove slot on the function of the hard-to-open product. Your idea is worth looking into.
 
  • #9
berkeman
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?
Maybe another Swiss Army Knife product which has some functional part with an edge slender enough to fit into the groove slot on the function of the hard-to-open product. Your idea is worth looking into.
Interesting. Would a thin coin work? For me it would be a dime (ten US cents), but I don't have a Swiss Army Knife handy to try that on...
 
  • #10
symbolipoint
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Correct on both questions. There are several different Leatherman multitool models, with different mixes of tools inside. I've owned several over the years, but have settled on the Wave model for the past 5+ years because of the mix of tools inside. I'm pretty sure I only use my bare thumb to open the exterior knives/file and the interior accessories. I use it mutilple times daily (I work in a lab), and it saves me time and steps when I don't have to walk back across the lab to my toolbox to fetch a tool that I have on my belt... :smile:
I need to re-think this. Your Gerber - same way? Not need finger nail put into a notch on some feature to open the featue? The features on the Gerber to be some of or all of nail file, scissors, reamer/awl, bottle opener, can opener, some other folding tools? Reason I need to ask this way is that the Victorinoxes available here are not as unfoldable handles the way your Leatherman appears. Instead, one has a set of layers with some things which are to be unfolded from the handle; the handle itself does not fold.
 
  • #11
berkeman
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I need to re-think this. Your Gerber - same way? Not need finger nail put into a notch on some feature to open the featue?
My Gerber pocketknife is just a 2.2" pocketknife, with no other tools. It opens with one hand using only my thumb and middle fingertip.

Reason I need to ask this way is that the Victorinoxes available here are not as unfoldable handles the way your Leatherman appears
The Leatherman multitools have exterior knives/file that fold out from the body (using only your thumb), and interior tools that you unfold it to get access to (and which exposes a handy pliers tool). The advantage of a Swiss Army Knife over the Leatherman is that the Swiss Army Knife is about half the size, so you can carry it in your (bulging) pocket. You need to wear the 4" Leatherman in the included leather pouch on your belt. But the Leatherman tools are much more robust than the ones inside Swiss Army Knifes that I've used in the past, which can be a consideration if you use the tools daily like I do.
 
  • #12
berkeman
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the Victorinoxes available here
I checked their website, and I see now that they do have a Multitool, but it does look like it takes a fingernail (or a dime?) to open all of the interior tools.

1636506566414.png
 
  • #13
Rive
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Is any tool available for a person to use instead of putting their weak finger nail into the groove of one of the functions of a swiss army knife or victorinox knife in order to open that function?
I know it kind of kills the spirit of the swiss army thing, but some bottle openers works just fine.
keysmart-bottle-opener.jpg
 
  • #14
PeroK
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Is any tool available for a person to use instead of putting their weak finger nail into the groove of one of the functions of a swiss army knife or victorinox knife in order to open that function? Some of our nails are just not tough enough to put into those grooves to pull the function out enough to grip and pull the rest of the way. If this tool exists, what is it called?
I know some mountaineers who do specific exercises to strengthen their finger-nails for just this reason.
 
  • #15
rsk
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Oh I know this feeling.

I usually have something on hand like the wrong end of a pair of tweezers, or another knife.

Reminds me of this. Glass breaking hammer, break glass to open.

196167-1758474413195-3631378-n.jpg
 
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  • #17
berkeman
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They seem to have changed the blade lock from my Wave: is it still simple to unlock (intentionally) one-handed and pretty much impossible to do so unintentionally?
If you mean "unlock" to close the blades, then yeah it's a 1-handed operation for me. I think I have the original Wave, not any newer versions, so I'm not familiar with any changes to the design.
 
  • #18
pbuk
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I think I have the original Wave, not any newer versions, so I'm not familiar with any changes to the design.
Ah, the picture you posted appears to have locks on the back of the knife: I assume we both have the original design like this:
1636554346417.png

The lock is in place on the open blade (slightly out of focus) and can easily be disengaged with the thumb before closing, but is almost impossible to be operated accidentally. The newer design does not look so good to me.
 
  • #19
berkeman
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Ah, the picture you posted appears to have locks on the back of the knife: I assume we both have the original design like this:View attachment 292065
The lock is in place on the open blade (slightly out of focus) and can easily be disengaged with the thumb before closing, but is almost impossible to be operated accidentally. The newer design does not look so good to me.
Where do you see a view of the new Wave that has a different blade locking mechanism? I didn't find any good views of that at the page I linked to, but it looks like the locking notches are still in the same place in this partially open view:

1636555252684.png
 
  • #20
russ_watters
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Maybe another Swiss Army Knife product which has some functional part with an edge slender enough to fit into the groove slot on the function of the hard-to-open product. Your idea is worth looking into.
I keep a mini Swiss army knife on my keychain, which includes a knife, scissors and nail file/flathead, which would work.

But I agree with @berkeman that for more serious use a leatherman/Gerber or stand alone knife are more useful.
 
  • #21
pbuk
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Where do you see a view of the new Wave that has a different blade locking mechanism? I didn't find any good views of that at the page I linked to, but it looks like the locking notches are still in the same place in this partially open view:
In the first image in your post #5 I assumed that the ridged levers on the back of the knife were blade locks. From the image in your later post it looks as though they are locks for the inner tools which would be an improvement.

Just found a video which clears it up:
 
  • #22
berkeman
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Just found a video which clears it up:
Yeah, looks like the lock is the same. The notch on the top/back of the knife is the stop, not part of the lock per se.
 
  • #23
Jarvis323
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I also have a Wave and it's great. But this thread is about finger nail strength and opening difficulty. The inner tools on my Wave will rip your thumbnail clean off before budging. Maybe I need to do some maintanence.
 
  • #24
berkeman
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The inner tools on my Wave will rip your thumbnail clean off before budging.
Which ones? Both inside sides of my Wave open with just an index fingertip for me...
 
  • #25
Jarvis323
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Which ones? Both inside sides of my Wave open with just an index fingertip for me...

After anyone of the inner tools is open on a given side, then you can more easy get to the other ones, because they kind of all move together a little as you open one of them.

I usually focus on the scissors on this side.

side1.jpg


On this side it's usually the screw driver.

side2.jpg


I'll sometimes use something like a butter knife to pry it open. I think when it was new it opened pretty easily. I guess I probably just need to clean and oil it.
 
  • #26
berkeman
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I'll sometimes use something like a butter knife to pry it open. I think when it was new it opened pretty easily. I guess I probably just need to clean and oil it.
Yeah, just clean it and lightly oil it and dry it all off. Mine has been easy to open everything for many years, and I think I've only oiled it all and dried it once or twice. :smile:
 
  • #27
pbuk
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After anyone of the inner tools is open on a given side, then you can more easy get to the other ones, because they kind of all move together a little as you open one of them.
Yes, and I find the easist way to do this is with a thumbnail in the grooves near the pivot (top right in your first picture); although this obiously requires more torque there is less friction (because they all move together) and greater contact area in a much deeper and wider groove.
 

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