The Swiss Army Knife might be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of military multi-tools, but don't underestimate the lesser-know alternatives. Alternatives, for instance, like this stainless steel IXL British Army Knife, whose no-nonsense exterior belies a rich and fascinating history.
The knife's marlin spike, for instance, was a mainstay of 1800s mariners and their signature knots. — but seafaring wasn't all fun and knot-tying. Though the blade's rounded tip may seem impractical, a stab wound at sea almost always meant certain death, so you generally wanted to avoid stabbing-conducive situations at all costs. Some of the components have kept their original purpose though, and as the workman's knife evolved into a military tool, one of these — the can opener — was added so soldiers in the field could dig into their canned food rations.
So along with this sharp-looking piece of British history, you'll be getting a 2.25 inch sheepsfoot blade, can opener, forged marlin spike, and flathead screwdriver. Not quite as functional as its Swiss cousin, perhaps, but it's just as pocket friendly and even lovelier to look it. You can pick up your very own at Core77's Hand-Eye Supply store for $US44. [Core77]