(includes carrying case)
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This is part of IEEE Spectrum's 2010 Holiday Gift Guide.
The 2008 movie Get Smart featured a Swiss Army knife with a crossbow, a flamethrower, and a dental floss detonator, but the true test of a pocketknife is its versatility—the best knife is one you can change from day to day and from task to task.
That's the idea behind the Switch, from the crowdsourcing design house Quirky. In February, a user suggested that Quirky design a "modular pocketknife." The self-selling idea quickly jumped to the top of the queue. Within three weeks, Quirky's New York City–based design team had a preliminary CAD mock-up as well as a name and logo.
Unscrew the Switch with a coin and install whichever blades, tools, or doodads you like. It comes with three interior axles: small (2 to 6 tools), medium (4 to 10), and large (up to 13). The pen, scissors, Phillips-head screwdriver, LED flashlight, and 1-gigabyte USB memory stick make a good combo for the office. But a camping weekend might call for the more traditional knife, saw, pliers, and...come on, that LED flashlight's going to get used sometime.
This article originally appeared in print as "Ultimate Pocketknife."