Monday, January 5, 2009

Things not Found on the Internet #1. How to install scissors springs into Swiss army knives by Victorinox.

Have you ever wondered how to replace the scissor springs in the Swiss army knife? These parts don’t last forever. I received a few for Christmas (they can be ordered online from Amazon, Victorinox, etc.) but I could not find any where on the internet how to install the springs. No instructions came with them either.
It turns out from my experience that the best way to install a new spring is as follows: acquire a hammer, pliers (preferable needle nose) and some hard cylinders that are small enough to fit inside the hole of where the scissor spring attaches to the scissors. They need to be approximately the same diameter as the hole, a little smaller, but no bigger. Some may find a bright light and magnifying device handy since you are going to be dealing with small stuff. I used the smallest steel nails I could find. I then opened the scissors on the knife partly and laid the knife on a work surface. I supported the knife with a key ring. I then put the tip of the knife into the hole of the scissors and hammered out the old broken spring.
I couldn't find a nail small enough to fit inside the hole of these small scissors, so I used the pointy end, and deformed the tip to fit as I hammered it into the hole. Inserting the new spring is the tricky part. You may be surprised it really goes in at all, as the spring is too large to fit into the hole. But there is a Trick! Just get some pliers (needle nose wrapped in tape to reduce scratching are the best) and line up the slot of the scissors with the spring and squeeze.  On very small scissors, this may be trickier than on the large scissors, but the circle end of the spring is supposed to be compressed as it goes into the hole.  The chamfer on the edge of the hole helps the spring get in there.  On the medium size scissors, it is easier.  It all took about 10 minutes for two scissors.

Thanks to someone who posted a comment about some real instructions on how to do this.  I've copied the instructions here below, just in case someone decides to remove the web page from public view.  By the way, these instructions came out after my blog post.
If you've found this  post helpful though, please click on a link below.

Thanks to all who comment and help make this a depot of knowledge!
Special thanks to swiss-knife.com for finally putting some instructions out there where they belong.  I will be sure to order from you in the future.  Wish you all the best.
 www.swiss-knife.com
www.swiss-knife.com
Tool for changing scissors `and pliers´ spring - ref : VIC.9.6100.1

a) knife block b) disassembly/assembly tool c) countersink (with protective sheath)




Press spring-loaded knob with thumb to raise the pin. Open the scissors/pliers to a 90° angle and insert the fixed part of the scissors or pliers from behind so that it rests against the two pins. The knife and scissors/pliers should now be fully aligned so that the srping can fall into the depression when removed.







Take the correct tool of the two (observe knifeNo's) with the word "demont" facing you, and introduce it vertically into the eye of the spring. Dismantle by hitting the black knob.







Put countersink vertically into spring and press very lightly, turning it clockwise to clean the edge of the hole.







Put in new spring and pick up tool with the word "Montage" facing you.Hold it steady in the spring hole. Assemble by hitting on back knob with your hand.


 Victorinox Tourbach 2....$389.48 Kohl's

23 comments:

Jere said...

Excellent guidance, and the picture was worth the requisite 1000 words. I would add a magnifying glass, light, or eye piece for any handy-folks over about 50. But with your picture, and an old jeweler's eye piece I got my daughter's mini Victorinox scissor spring replaced in less time than it took to collect the tools.
Thank you very much for taking time to share your experience.

Brian Ulrich said...

Thank you, I knew someone would find this helpful! I couldn't find instructions on the internet. Thanks for leaving a comment too, I really appreciate it. I'll take you up on your suggestion to add the magnifying glass and other stuff.

ricardo furioso said...

It worked for me too. Thanks for the instructions. I bent it a bit at first, then figured out that a bit of clear duct tape would hold the spring in place while I nudged it into the little hole. Then once I got it started with a needlenose, I used a big Channellock plier to squeeze it into place.

TimP, UK said...

Thanks - v. useful

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the instructions. I couldn't find anything on the web except directions to write to Swiss Army for instuctions. I was looking for some sort of trick, but after reading your post, I just crunched the loop a bit with my needlenose, put it in place over the hole, and then used my needlenose again to force it in with a big squeeze.

Kim Stafford said...

Eye protection is a must. The tiny spring compressed and barely held by the needle nosed pliers wants to jump!

Jane said...

After struggling to find space for even needle nose pliers, I suddenly realised from your picture that you rmoved the scissors from the knife first.

How?

Brian Ulrich said...

Jane metnioned that she is having trouble fitting in needle nose pliers over the spring attach hole. While removing the scissors is an option, its not easy to do. The picture I showed on my blog is of the spare scissors that can be ordered from swiss army. I'm not sure how to unsnap the plastic knife sides. I have a knife without the plastic sides, but it is because they broke off. I'll try and find out and post a picture of the inside.
I would really recommend installing the spring without removing the scissors, if at all possible. I'm not sure if the sides can be reinstalled if the knife is disassembled, and at any rate, it would probably take more time than it is worth to just buy a new knife...
I have 1/16th of an inch between the edge of my knife and the centerline of the spring attach hole. Its not much, but its enough to squeeze the spring in.
Its been a year since I installed the new springs and they haven't broken yet!

Steven said...

Great thread. Something else that helped me: I first slid the arm of the spring into the hole, so that it was perpendicular to its final orientation. Then I pulled the spring and held it so that the spring loop was pulled tight against the hole - but still perpendicular. Then I slowly tilted the spring so that just barely an edge of the spring loop was in the hole and began applying pressure; spring loop was now orientated at about a 45* angle to the hole. Holding that still, I grabbed my needle nose pliers and squeezed hard. After about 20 tries, it finally went it most of the way. I found a wide nail, perched the tips of the scissors on a jar lid (for support), and tapped on the nail to drive the spring into the holder to make it flush. Seriously, this is way more difficult than it should be. And did anyone else find it bizarre that the spring costs $0.50, the shipping is free, and it comes 2-Day UPS packed in a small cardboard box?? So weird.

Anonymous said...

Many thanks for your info on changing Victorinox Swiss Army scissor springs! I was able to skip the call to Customer Service and with your instructions and picture, change my spring within seconds. I must have been lucky with the needle nose pliers because I got it in place very quickly, then gave it a squeeze. Thanks again for starting this thread!

Anonymous said...

Thank-you! I'd been struggling with this for quite awhile, and even managed replacing the medium sized scissor-spring without a magnifying glass, just the pliers.

Danuta said...

Thank you so so so much! The hardest part was getting the little bit of broken spring out. But following your instructions made it so much easier!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the page detailing this. I was replacing one of the large springs. I found it good to slide the arm of the spring through the little gap first to get that in the right position and to then move it around to get the loop in the right position. This way it is about there. It is angled at about 20 degrees off of where it should be. Using the needle nose pliers I snapped it in with a little squeezing of the loop and alternatingly squeezing it flat with the scissors to push it into the hole. Once it snapped in the angle corrected itself. BTW: REI sells the springs in the stores and online, 6 for a buck.

Brian S said...

Good tips. I ended up doing something similar to what Steven suggested, except I didn't actually hold the spring the whole way perpendicular to the installed position. First, I couldn't seem to get the grip or leverage to use my needlenose pliers to curve the little spring coil smaller, and I was having a hard time getting the curved portion of the spring flat against the main scissors blade (the one connected to the rest of the knife) to get the spring in the little slot next to the hole, so after several failed attempts to line the hole up first, I lined up the slot just enough to get the spring in it, and then pivoted the little spring coil into the hole in the scissors. Once I did that, I didn't bother trying to bend the coil at all. I just gripped scissors and spring in my pliers and squeezed until it slid (mostly) into place, then used a nail and hammer to center it in the width of the scissors. It was very helpful to read that one side of the scissors hole is slightly chamfered, so I took advantage of the chamfer to let my pliers squeeze the coil in for me.

Mark said...

FWIW, Victorinox sells the official spring replacement kit part no. 9.6100 and the pictorial instructions show the same procedure you described.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the instructions, very useful !! Cheers

Dan Stobbart said...


I put a 3mm drill bit into my cordless drill and used it to very slightly champher one edge of the hole the spring clips into. Then just snapped the spring in first go using pliers. Total time 5mins.

Peter England said...

Whilst I found your instructions on the internet, I found a much simpler way, and it took me under 1 minute.
Tools micro screw driver set (miising one screw driver) pair of old pliers used as hammer. Magnifying glass.
Punched out old broken spring with 2.0mm flat head 3 blows with side of old pliers. Insert new spring, if you check with mag you will notice one side of hole is slightly chamfered. Used #+0 Phillips head to hold and place spring at hole (important, place spring with downward curve of spring resting against blade arm so spring aligns with slot) After 1st blow spring I then pushed the spring downward curved above blade arm, 3 more blows with pliers to philips head sees spring in place. Maybe I just fluked it, but it worked for me.

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Anonymous said...

Thanks, that was a great writeup. I've been using this method for years, thought I'd look for videos to see if it can be done any easier. Didn't find any, so mad a video myself yesterday.

http://youtu.be/U9H_-jwSBsA

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Anonymous said...

The edge on the side without the logo is usually the chamfered one. Any unsuccessful attempt to force the spring into place may give its leading edge a burr, making fitting even more difficult. I put a slight chamfer on the spring edge with a bit of wet and dry and applied a drop of oil to the hole. As has been suggested, get it started with long nosed pliers (smooth faced or taped). Then use a chunkier pair of pliers - it takes quite a bit of force.

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