How to Repair a Swiss Army Knife

How to Repair a Swiss Army Knife

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Items you will need

  • New Swiss Army Knife mechanism for replacement

  • Hammer

  • Thin utility knife

  • Finish nail or other small-tipped nail


  • Many of the tools contained in a Swiss Army Knife can be damaging or lethal if misused. Always practice caution when working with knife blades: a careless or sloppy handling of the knife blade could cause injury to yourself and others. Keep animals and children away from your working area at all times.

Developed in Switzerland during the late nineteenth century, the Swiss Army Knife is among the most commonly used utility knives available. Operating as a multifunction pocketknife and multi-tool, the Swiss Army Knife incorporates mechanisms as diverse as toothpicks to screwdrivers to can openers. Each of the individual tools of the knife is stored tightly inside the handle, and can be easily accessed and replaced in the event of a blade or mechanism damage. With some basic supplies, and a careful eye for detail, you can repair and replace the mechanisms of your Swiss Army Knife yourself.

    Ensure that your work surface is clear of any dirt, dust or other debris, and that it is well lit.

    Locate the scales visible on the knife’s outer surface. Insert the blade of your thin utility knife beneath the scale and apply enough pressure to pry it loose. Release the attaching pin of each scale (most models come with four) and place the scales in a secure location nearby.

    Locate the two surface ends of the rivet connecting the two outer portions of your Swiss Army Knife. Insert the tip of the thin finish nail into the exposed surface of the rivet, located in a small metal housing or “bush.” Gently tap the back of the nail with your hammer until the rivet drives through to other end of the knife. Maintain a tight grip on the pocketknife as you work.

    Remove any and all extra rivets from the knife in this manner while maintaining a tight grip to ensure that the contents do not fall as you work.

    Place the intact knife on the work surface and gently lift the handle cover facing up. Take note of the location and placement of each tool as you remove it. Replace any damaged tools and mechanisms with new components, making sure that you position each tool in its correct angle and placement.

    Reassemble the Swiss Army Knife by aligning each tool with the holes correctly lined up for each rivet. Replace the surface unit back to the top of the knife and double-check that no tools or mechanisms are sticking out of the handle casing.

    Insert each rivet and scale pin in the exact opposite manner that you removed them, ensuring a tight grip on the knife handle to keep the internal components stable (this becomes easier after inserting the first rivet). Tap each rivet and scale pin with the hammer to ensure a secure fit as you reassemble your Swiss Army Knife.