Craft a Swiss Army knife

This item appears on page 70 of the August 2012 issue.

The Swiss Knife Valley Visitor Center (Bahnhofstrasse 3, 6440 Brunnen, Switzerland) in Brunnen features information on scenic spots nearby plus a multimedia presentation on how Victorinox Swiss Army knives are made. (The knife’s ancestor was patented in 1897.) A museum as well as a store offering regional specialties and Victorinox products are on the ground floor.

By appointment, you can assemble your own, personal Swiss Army knife, under the guidance of an expert, for CHF30 (near $37), including engraving. Assembly takes about 15 minutes.

If you want to assemble four or more knives, contact the Visitor Center (phone +41 [0] 41 825 60 10 or e-mail For one to three knives, contact the Victorinox Brand store (phone +41 [0] 41 825 60 20 or e-mail, which is at the center.

The center is open 10-6:30 Mon.-Fri. and 10-5 weekends and holidays, May-October, and 10-6:30 Mon.-Sat., November-April. Admission is free.

Of course, knives aren’t allowed in carry-ons on planes, and valuables shouldn’t go in checked luggage, so what to do? Although the visitor center does not ship goods, you can mail knives home from any branch of the Swiss Post; the nearest to the center is a 5-minute walk away.

Mailing to the US a large envelope weighing up to 250 grams (8.8 ounces) costs CHF6.30 (near $6.60), while the least it would cost to mail a parcel/box of up to 500 grams is CHF45 (near $47). Mailing supplies are available at post offices for an additional charge. Visit