In 1991 Victorinox introduced the multipurpose hook to their 91mm Swiss Army Knife toolset.
The hook shares a common spring with the scissors, and since its introduction these two tools are always paired together, on 91mm models with scissors. The presence, or not, of the hook is a good way to date Swiss Army Knives, as any scissor equipped models, without the hook, were manufactured before 1991.
The hook is sometimes referred to as the parcel carrier, since this is a common and targeted use for the hook. It would be used for parcels that are tied up with string: The string is looped through the hook; the hand carries the SAK, with the hook pointing downwards, between two fingers - this prevents the string from cutting into the fingers/hand. It is rated for use up to 200lbs.
The hook is one of the least popular/least understood Swiss Army Knife tools, and one might have to be a little inventive to think about how to use it. However, like many SAK tools, its uses can be many and varied. There are several videos on YouTube, and threads on MultiTool.org, discussing uses for this tool.
Around 1998 Victorinox introduced a new feature to the hook: An engraved nail-file surface on the back along its spine - see the photo. However, this enhanced version is only supplied with a few models, such as the Compact.
- Carrier/handle: Parcel, shopping bag, bucket
- Puller: Tarp, tent-peg, wire, racked computer, ring-pull, hot oven shelf
- Pot carrier: eg from camp-fire
- Rope/lace tightener
- Clothes hangar
- Nail-file - If present on the hook!