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Swiss Army Knives still cut it


From preparing meals around the campfire in the wilderness to fixing a faulty toaster in a city apartment, the multi-purpose Swiss Army Knife embodies both adventure and reliability in a pinch. With the help of molybdenum, this durable product 'still cuts it' and remains popular around the world.

© Victorinox

A combination of tradition and advanced technology means molybdenum is a vital component in the manufacture of the knife. The EN 1.4110 martensitic stainless steel used for the blades contains 0.5% to 0.8% molybdenum, which make it wear and corrosion resistant, enabling the knives to maintain a sharp edge. These are key features for such a dependable product, where regular use is possible even in the most challenging of environments. Swiss Army Knives' proven utility in cities, oceans, mountains and even in outer space, is a testament to their enduring appeal.

In 1978, NASA purchased 50 pieces of the Master Craftsman model for use aboard the Space Shuttle Enterprise. As anyone who has opened a toolbox in zero gravity will understand, chasing tools as they float around the space lab is not a great way to make necessary repairs. The all-in-one nature of the pocket knife consolidated most of the tools into a hand-held device – problem solved. In fact, during the 1980s, the Master Craftsman was renamed the "Astronaut" knife for its storied use in space. Extraordinary performance of the knives is found closer to home as well. During a recent trip to Egypt for a TV documentary, Sir Ranulph Fiennes, a world-renowned explorer, tutored his younger cousin, Joseph Fiennes, on defusing an anti-tank mine with the trusty knife. It is little surprise that such a compact, sturdy design finds use in the most extreme environments. However, the Swiss Army Knife is not just at home in intense situations. It can also be found in the New York Museum of Modern Art, the MOMA, which recognized its seminal design in 1977.

Discover more about the important role molybdenum plays as an integral part of the sustainable manufacturing process.

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