Similar to the officer's knives, "soldier's knives" were made in two sizes. The original size, which was delivered to the Swiss army, was 100 mm. The smaller size was 91 mm, the so-called "Little Soldier's Knife". The designation changed over the course of hihistory, from "small soldier's knives" to "electrician's knife", "fitter's knife" or "cadet's knife". Various additional functions were added to the classic model with 4 functional parts, such as a corkscrew, which was never found in this form in the official soldier's knives.
The origins of this series go back to the end of the 19th century. Two models are listed in the 1901 catalog (cf. cat. 1901). This series was made until the mid 1960's. They are no longer included in the 1971 catalogue.
In the 60 years or so that these pocket knives were produced, some of the functions changed. Certain models disappeared, others were added. It is unclear why the series was discontinued. The demand may have been too low.
Compared to the official soldier's knives, which were manufactured in this original shape and length of 100 mm until 1950, the series of "small soldier's knives" was not subject to any military specifications. The fact that the series was quickly switched from carbon steel to rust-resistant steel should underscore the high value of this series. This is also supported by the fact that around 1922 these pocket knives were offered with scales made of horn and staghorn as well as nickel silver bolsters, although these versions are very rare. These pocket knives came standard with red fiber scales and from about 1930 they were only produced in this version.
The high quality of this series is also reflected in the pricing. Around 1901, the identical models, large No. 200 and small No. 204/304, cost practically the same. Around 1910, the smaller model cost CHF 0.25 each more than the larger model.