Wenger 16999 Giant Swiss Army Knife – Why Do I Love It?

There really is no reason for the Wenger 16999 Giant Swiss Army Knife to exist. There is hardly even any excuse for it to exist, yet I love it!

I imagine the development of the knife as an idea from a crazy customer:

“Build me a Swiss Army Knife that has every blade.”

The engineers at Wenger would probably produce a knife that has one of each type of blade or function tool and proudly present it to the customer.

“No. I said to build me a Swiss Army Knife that has EVERY blade! Try again.”

OK, so “every blade” means all the blades and other implements that Wenger has put on any Swiss Army knife they have produced, including all the different sizes and shapes of each and every one.

The result is a tool over 8 inches wide, weighing about 2 pounds, and described on the Wenger North American website as, “Designed to fit the contours of the human hand perfectly which creates a firmer grip and makes every knife safer and more precise.” Swiss guys must have truly enormous hands.

The Giant Swiss Army Knife has 87 implements and claims 141 different functions. The claim seems a bit dubious since two of the said implements are key rings and those are far from the only duplicates. How many different functions could two key rings, or two of any other implement, serve?

I thought that this model really only served two functions:  it serves as a display piece to show off all their blades and a gimmick to win a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records. It does those in an over-the-top way that is hard not to love, but it turns out that the Giant Swiss Army knife, in the right hands, is a pretty neat percussion instrument:

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  1. From the few recent sales reported, used examples of the Giant Swiss Army Knife sell in the $800 to $1,200 range. The retail price on the Wenger website is $2,149.95.