I have been meaning to do a comparison for a while now, especially since I just happen to have two Soldiers that are 50 years apart- a 1944 model and a 1994 model. Of course, since there are really only two distinct types, the 50 years thing is just a gimmick!
Many folks who get their first ALOX model are impressed with the solid, heavy duty implements inside it compared to cellidor models. This is because the ALOX models are all derived from the actual military issue Soldier model, while the cellidor models are descended from the old Officer’s model, which was a little lighter and more refined. Eventually many collectors discover the older models and they get hooked on those, while the formerly indestructible ALOX models start to look like toys!
Here, for reference are the major differences between the old and new Soldier models, fifity years apart.
|Weight||119.1g (4.2oz)||70.4g (2.48oz)|
Both knives are outfitted with similar tools, although there have been some significant differences. The clip point blade has been changed into a drop point, the old flathead screwdriver grew a bottle opener and wire stripper notch, the can opener reformed into the current version with small screwdriver tip and the awl has changed from a quarter round piece of pointed steel to a nice flat implement with a sharpened edge. And, if my 50 year gap had started a year earlier, there would have been one more difference. The hollow rivet was changed to a solid one in 1994.
Despite the fact that one can’t argue the superiority of the newer ALOX Soldiers (more functions, more compact size, better materials) one can’t wonder what the actual Swiss Soldiers (guys in uniform, not the knives!) Thought when they were issued these much smaller, lighter and flimsier knives! I can’t help but think that there was quite a bit of grumbling around the barracks until the newer models proved themselves!
Since certain respected members of SOSAK now blame me for their various discoveries of new areas of SAK collecting, I am now issuing a warning. Under no circumstances should you consider purchasing your first old Soldier because I can tell you with absolute certainty that it will not be your last!