This one doesn’t have a corkscrew

I don’t have enough flashlights with “Light Emitting Diode” (LED) bulbs.

I have plenty of regular flashlights with regular bulbs and regular batteries. But those are old-fashioned flashlights. Not LED. Not cool. Not trendy.

Besides, I can never find one that actually works. There are many small stashes of flashlights scattered throughout my house and some of those flashlights even work. But only one of those is a LED flashlight, and I can’t find that one anyway. I need more. And they have to be LED.

So today I found myself inside a Snap-On tool truck.

Floor to ceiling, every single square inch was decorated with tools well beyond my price range or knowledge.

Amazing double-jointed swivel head shiny chrome things, most of which were intended for people a lot smarter than me. I recognized screwdrivers, but I haven’t the foggiest idea what all the other stuff was. I was way out of my element. (I think that my element is carbon)

Then I saw the flashlights.

Brushed aluminum, lovingly anodized, these Snap-On brand flashlights were the precious gems of the flashlight world. I coveted a Snap-On Tools flashlight.
I was even allowed to hold it in my bare hands. It was love at first light.

“How much?” I asked, much in the way a Beverly Hills stockbroker might casually ask when writing a check for an 8-series BMW sedan.

“Sixty-four dollars” I was told. I winced, pocketed a free red, plastic Snap-on tool pen as a consolation prize, and jumped down out of the truck.




My eight-dollar Mini-Mag light will have to suffice for a while longer.

Then, while researching sources of wooden hiking staffs on the Internet, (not for me, mind you. You think that I hike? Get real) I found a source for LED lights that are embedded into a Victorinox Swiss Army knife.

What could be better?

Swiss Army knives and flashlights are two of my favorite things. Why not combine them? What a great idea! That’s a classic match. That’s a HISTORICAL match, a match that should be placed on the granite tablet in Washington DC that has all the engraved names of the best duos of all time:

Beans and Cornbread
Getz and Gilberto
Almonds and Chocolate
Burns and Allen
Corned beef and Cabbage
Crisp Apples and Aged Cheese
Bert and Ernie
Death and Taxes

You are free to make your own list.

Victorinox is one of the two feuding Swiss Army knife makers.

They constantly argue with each other in their advertisements:
“I am the real one!” while the other scoffs and replies, “No, *I* am the genuine Swiss Army knife!” sort of like bickering Hillbilly cousins. Thank God that they argue in Swiss-Deutsch so that nobody else can understand them.

And they (getting back on topic) make a cool new Swiss Army knife, the “Signature II” knife, that has a light embedded inside it. It has other features as well: It costs much more than just a knife alone, so when you inevitably lose it in the grass, you will be out more money. Plus, it’s stainless steel, so it’s hard to sharpen. What more could you want from a knife?

Marmot Mountain, that venerable specialty retailer (worthy of a special trip) has these lovely knives for sale at a discount. MSRP: $26.00. Their sale price is a generous $22.10 (15% off). They also sell via mail-order and they are not a, large, evil, monstrous, insatiable, ’Wal-Mart-like’, Pinko members cooperative. They are privately owned and they compete quite well with the aforementioned store by offering its customers the discount up front, not by waiting to send you a lame check at the end of the year.

A quick check of other sources shows the MSRP $26.00 Signature II knife/flashlight combo for sale at $16.99 (nearly ten dollars off!) at Smoky Mountain Knife Works, a very odd, occasionally goofy (and not in a good way) but essentially competent mail order outfit. I always get my Case campers knives from them, they sell a lot of Case stuff for cheap. They have been around for years, and their catalog literally scares me. It’s the source for Pakistani Ninja swords and Chinese throwing stars. It also has a smattering of Confederate stuff. Creepy stuff. (Who buys this stuff? I hope they don’t live anywhere near my ZIP code)

They also have deep discounts on good kitchen knives, should you hanker for forged, German, chef’s knives: Henckels, Forschner, those sorts of brands.

They have one of the worst web-commerce pages that I have ever seen. I don’t know what browser it is optimized for, maybe Opera or Mozilla? Whatever, it must be the one sold only in rural Kentucky. Their catalog is, thankfully, much easier to read, and they have plenty of stuff that is not legal for sale in California, so you know that it must be really, really good.

The thing to do is get a print catalog or call them on their toll-free number (800-251-9306). Or search for awhile for the “Signature II” key words on their embarrassingly bad web site.

Clip a lanyard onto your flashlight/knife, and you won’t lose it in the grass.