Here at Multitool.org we pay close attention to industry trends and changes to legislation that could impact our Members. As always, we promote the safe and enjoyable use of multitools, fixed blades, folding knives, one piece multitools and more.
A Canadian love affair with folding knives.
Many of our Members are campers, hikers and general outdoorspeople. We use folding knives as tools for our everyday life - as useful extensions of ourselves. Folders (folding knives) are extremely popular for a multitude of reasons, especially safety and convenience.
Although extremely popular, fixed blades have been known to pop through a leather sheath or two, but a folder tucks neatly inside itself for safety's sake. Their modest size makes them the perfect carrying knife for cutting up apples on a hike, to cutting a piece of rope while setting up camp.
One handed opening folding knives are extremely convenient for the busy Canadian camper. Cold, wet hands can making opening up a traditional Swiss Army Knife quite difficult. Whereas one-handed opening blades like the Victorinox one-handed Trekker are simple and efficient.
This week, the Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT) rendered a decision in Appeal No. AP-2017-012, T. LaPlante v. President of the Canada Border Services Agency regarding knives which open automatically by centrifugal force (centrifugal knives).
Why this decision matters.
CBSA has modified their prohibited weapons classifications to include a very large selection of folding knives. And they're calling them 'folding knives' by name! Not just 'centrifugal or gravity knives'. That means, that this large selection could no longer be legally imported into Canada. It's also worth speculating that they could become prohibited weapons by law in the future. This is setting precedent.
The new definition states that centrifugal knives will be classified as prohibited weapons if the following conditions are met:
A) a knife has a blade that opens by centrifugal force, when the blade is released from the handle into the fully ejected and locked position with a simple and brisk outwardly flick of the wrist; and
B) it includes knives that require some preliminary or simultaneous minimal manipulation of either a flipper or other non-edged parts of the blade.
But what does it really mean for folding knives in Canada?
When you look at point 'A' it doesn't cause much of a concern. But “B” changes everything. A non-edged part of the blade could include an opening thumb hole or a stud. It could mean that you gently released the blade yourself with your thumb along the side of the blade. Once released, many if not most folding knives will open easily or after 2-3 tries with a 'brisk outwardly flick of the wrist'. The full CITT decision allows for multiple attempts. We are extremely concerned that the majority of folding knives in Canada will be classified as prohibited weapons as this new definition lacks specificity.
We tested the CBSA definition on common folding knives – the results weren't good.
We went through our vast collection and tried out many folding knives found at Canadian Tire, Cabela's and other popular stores. Of course, some folding knives were easier to open than others. But once you add the definition of knives 'that require some preliminary or simultaneous minimal manipulation of either a flipper or other non-edged parts of the blade' - almost all of the folding knives we tested failed the test.
For example, the popular Swiss Army Knife, the Victorinox Trekker or the Forrester M Grip (seen in the gif) failed the test and would be classified as prohibited based on the CBSA definition. With a very slight manipulation of the thumb hole, and with a 'brisk outwardly flick of the wrist' the knife blade locks into place. We also tested the Pictou, NS Canadian-made Grohman R300S Lockblade – it failed the test and would be classified as prohibited as well.
Multitool.org's stance on the CITT decision and CBSA notice regarding Centrifugal Opening Knives
We believe that the CITT decision and CBSA notice do not reflect the Canadian government's intention or the spirit of the law.
The Criminal Code of Canada classifies a prohibited weapon (knife) as ' a blade that opens automatically by gravity or centrifugal force or by hand pressure applied to a button, spring or other device in or attached to the handle of the knife'.
And we firmly believe that the spirit of this law is to protect Canadians, especially law-enforcement. We do not believe that Canada's Parliamentarians would call for a ban on basic folding knives which are so popular from coast to coast to coast.
What can we do?
Continue to be law-abiding users of the tools you own. If you're in Canada, reach out to your Member of Parliament and let them know your concerns. Let them know that you believe the CBSA notice does not reflect the spirit of the Criminal Code of Canada.
Multitools have been a part of our lives for several decades and have been engineered to be a do it all tool box. Manufacturers include everything but the kitchen sink to ensure that we have the tools we need for any occasion and to keep us prepared. The downside to this is the tool is not specialized for a specific task and this general design makes the tool heavy. It also can be a deciding factor in which tool you purchase or edc if you have a collection like me. Several tool companies are designing tools that are specific to a job title, recreational activity or task and the Leatherman Signal is one of those tools. The Signal is patterned after the Leatherman MUT design and scaled down so it’s not such a massive beast. Weighing in at only at only 7.5oz the Signal is enough tool for the task and light on the tools so it's easy to carry where ever your headed.
Multitools comes in a vast variety of shapes and sizes and certainly have had a lot of changes to them since the first Leatherman was issued. In spite of all those changes the general look and functionality hasn't deviated much. Tools are usually clumped into two categories; Swiss Army style or plier based which is what most people associate with.
Back in the golden age of multitools; we'll say late 90s early 2000s there was a lot of manufacturers getting in on the game. Everyone from Buck to Kershaw was producing a multitool and some of the designs were very forward thinking. Schrade cutlery was one of those companies and they produced what they called the Tough tools. Both the Tough Tool and the Tough Chip did well for the company and we're proudly made in the USA.
Schrade had some financial struggles and was purchased by Taylor Brands LLC back in 2004. Taylor kept a lot of the lines alive that Schrade had such as Old Timer and Uncle Henry. Manufacturing was moved overseas and we saw quality control take a dip. Schrade continued to manufacture the Tough Tools but they don't have the durability of the once famed brand.
In the first quarter of 2016 Schrade brought some new products to the market which included some multitools. One of those new tools was the Schrade ST11. The ST11 or Schrade Tough Tool Multitool; is an interesting new take on an old design.
It has been a while since a multitool has come along that has generated so much excitement and anticipation as Gerber is doing with the new
Center Drive Multitool.
I don’t believe any tool has created this much of a stir since the releases of the Victorinox Spirit and Leatherman Skeletool. Best of all we should have one on the way shortly for a review!
I know we said we were giving away a ton of things here at MTO for our 10th Anniversary.
But we meant it.
This custom Swiss Army Knife is gorgeous.
It's a Syph007 custom milled titanium SAK! It's been specially made to celebrate Multitool.org's 10 Year Anniversary!
This custom SAK comes complete with MTO Logo engraved Ti scales, Ti liners and nickel silver tweezers.
The SAK incorporates the liners for an even slimmer yet tougher design! AMAZING!
Want one? Want in? We're giving it away!
Visit the forum and enter the draw here. You know you want to.
As part of the 10th Anniversary Celebration we are offering these Limited Time Multitool.org Shirts so that you can celebrate with pride!
What we have are two designs, in three colors each, for a total of six different shirts.
Leatherman USA has launched the New Skeletool RX First Responder Multi-Tool. In a release last week the company explained that the new tool will help first responders “be ready to respond quickly and safely in emergency situations.”
It looks like the tool has many of the same features of the regular Skeletool with a few minor changes. This model contains a carabiner/bottle opener, hybrid needle nose pliers/wire cutters, 154CM serrated knife and a replaceable carbide bit- strong enough to break windows.
As always, we’ll post a review as soon as we’ve had a chance to really use the New Skeletool RX First Responder Multitool.
Have you used this tool? Let us know at forum.multitool.org.
According to our friends over at Knifenews.com (full story HERE) the famous firearms manufacturer Smith & Wesson has purchased Taylor Brands LLC for $85 million. For those who don't know, Taylor has long produced knives and multitools with the Smith & Wesson name on them, and I have often commented on the quality (more accurately, the lack therof) of Taylor knives, whether they are marked S&W, Schrade, Uncle Henry or Imperial.
For years I had labored under the impression that the folks at S&W were blissfully unaware of the crap that Taylor was producing with their name on it- I am a big fan of Smith & Wesson firearms, and that name has become (in my mind at least) synonomous with quality revolvers. I had assumed that someone at Taylor had arranged for a dump truck full of cash to arrive on a bi-monthly schedule at the house of S&W's licensing manager, and that as a result, he or she just didn't ask any questions. It seems that isn't the case, and that S&W is fully aware of the crap that Taylor is producing, and that is very disapointing to me.
The worst part is that S&W doesn't appear to even want to fix it- they seem content to merely take advantage of the distribution network that Taylor has, so that they can make their own in house accessories more available. As if having their name on crappy knives wasn't damaging enough to the brand, now Smith & Wesson will be selling their actual merchandise on the shelves right next to crud, strengthening the connection.
This is one of those times when I really hope I am wrong. As I said, I have lots of respect for S&W, and I hate to see them take a bad decision (like giving a license to Taylor in the first place) and make it worse.
Pry tools seem to be a dime a dozen these days with everyone wanting to get in on the action. Pry tools used to be something only the higher end knife makers made as a way to save users from using their knives in ways they were not intended to be used. Since the Atwood craze, the mafket has been flooded by all kinds of styles and designs. Some are very creative and interesting while others giving you the impression that they are out to make a buck.