The new model featured a one-handed-opening and locking blade, which is partially serrated on the forward section, the plain edge starting at the tang. The prominent hole near the top of the spine serves as a thumb catch that allows the blade to be easily deployed with one hand. The model incorporated a new locking screwdriver which is considerably stronger than its predecessor, and when combined with its solid liner-lock, functions well as a small prying tool. A wood-saw was also added to the Soldier's tool set, which was a much sought after feature of the original GAK.
The Soldier model has been issued to several other military and service organisations in addition to the Swiss military.
- Large partially-serrated knife blade which is liner-locking and one-handed opening
- Wood saw
- Cap-lifter/Screwdriver/Pry-bar/Wire-bender - extra strong, liner-locking
- Can-opener/Small screwdriver
The year of production (YY) is stamped on the tang of the main blade eg '09' for 2009.
This model was the first to feature new dual density scales that are green and black.
Victorinox reported the handles are injection molded with Polyamide 6 and TPE-U for the softer green colored material.
In 2008, following requirements from, and negotiations with, the Swiss Federal Department of Defense for a new Soldier knife, the existing Alox 1961 Soldier was retired, and this new 111mm design was introduced.
Victorinox reported that the contract for the new Soldier Knife, consisted of an order for 75,000 Soldier knives, plus cases, worth CHF 1.38 million.
The new Soldier Knife was slated to be issued to troops during the first basic training sessions of 2009. The earliest versions of this knife have an '08 ' tang stamp.
Prior to the release of the 2008 Soldier, Victorinox had developed a liner-locking system and released the regular Trailmaster model, and several other 111mm models featuring the new locking blade and cap-lifter. These new capabilities were incorporated into the 2008 Soldier.
The liner-lock design was also used in the updated 111mm One-Handed German Army Knife, known as the OH-GAK.
- In mid 2009 Victorinox made a special run of 100 knives for Swiss Bianco with a plain-edged main blade, corkscrew, and 09 tang stamp. Some were produced without the 09 on the tang.
- A special First Production Run limited edition model was released specifically for collectors with the much sought after year 08 tang stamp, and First Production Run / n of 1000 U.S.A. printed on the blade.
- In 2008 Victorinox produced a special military limited edition (0.8461.LTD08) of 100 knives exclusively for the Italian market. The knife's blade was etched lengthwise nn/100 with 08 on the tang. It came in a military style brown wooden box with a numbered guarantee certificate that matched the number on the blade and signed by M. Kunzi, Victorinox's distributor for Italy.
- In July 2010 a very limited edition of 25 knives was produced with a special 1291 crest on the scales, and a serial number 25/n stamped on the blade. The tang stamp was10, for 2010, the year of production.
- The first 2011 Soldier to appear is a special Swiss Soldier with a corkscrew instead of a Phillips screwdriver. This special edition was created for the Swiss military association for non-commissioned officers ASSO (Yverdon-les-Bains region), is numbered, and limited to 100 pieces. It is unknown if special editions were created for other chapters of ASSO.
The Soldier model has been issued to several other military and service organisations in addition to the Swiss military - Some images here in the SAKWiki military models gallery.
- Length: 111mm
- Width: 17.7mm
- Weight: 128.9g
- 0.8461.MWCH: Green/black scales (US Model No.: 53945)
- 0.8461.MW04DE: 111mm GAK
- 54945 US Model No: Green/black scales - First production run variation - With an 08 tang stamp
- Soldier 1961 - The previous 93mm Alox scaled Soldier's Knife
- Soldier 1951 - 93mm fiber handled Soldier's Knife with bolsters
- Soldier Model 1890 - The original 100mm Soldier Knife
- Trailmaster (Trekker in N.A.) - A predecessor and civilian version of this knife - includes the OH GAK