EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – For those of us of a certain age, “MacGyver” was an iconic TV hero, a truly one-of-a-kind character with a lasting impact.

The action-adventure character Angus MacGyver, played by Richard Dean Anderson, refused to use guns. He was known for improvising solutions to whatever sticky-wicket dilemma he found himself in on a weekly basis, by mostly using Duct tape and a Swiss Army Knife.

To many men, this spoke volumes and continues to resonate with our dreams of being handy and outwitting the “bad guys.” For many of us, our first true love wasn’t that cute girl in 8th grade history but that Swiss Army Knife we received as a Christmas or birthday gift from Dad or a cool Uncle.

The iconic status that “MacGyver” reached in the 1980s elevated the Swiss Army Knife – from nostalgia to useful tool that can still compete and often beat rivals Leatherman and Gerber Gear multi-tools on an ounce-by-ounce basis.

I’ll be honest: I love Swiss Army Knives and can’t resist adding a new one to my everyday carry.

For years, I carried the Victorinox Waiter, a 3.3-inch, or 84-millimeter, knife that packed a wallop. The main attraction was it had a handy corkscrew on the bottom half – very useful during my college days when I worked in restaurants or for having fun on the weekends.

My latest is the Victorinox Tinker Small, one of the many Swiss Army Knives that Anderson used in his portrayal of “MacGyver.” In fact, the Tinker Small is often called the original Swiss Army Knife that Mac used to foil villainous plots.

Like many large knife manufacturers, Victorinox periodically changes its lineup and eliminates some lesser seller models.

Swiss Army Knives collectors have been reporting that the company is planning to eliminate about two dozen of its models and streamline its inventory this year. One of the models that is reportedly slated for the chopping block is the Tinker Small.

(Note: The company has not formally announced any discontinuations).

Blasphemy? Well, the company makes a full-size Tinker and that knife will continue to be made, according to knowledgeable collectors.

The Tinker Small is 3.3 inches or 84 millimeters long, just like my long-ago favorite Waiter. The regular Tinker is 91 millimeters or about a quarter inch longer.

Both have the same tools; the only difference is the slight length difference. That’s been given as the reason for the Tinker Small’s reported demise, that it is so similar to the regular Tinker that most people don’t even know there is a difference.

But for everyday carry enthusiasts, that 84 millimeter length is about perfect. A guy I love to watch on YouTube, who makes the TX Tool Crib videos, likes to say that 84 millimeter Swiss Army Knives are “the perfect blend of pocketability and functionality.” Couldn’t have said it better.

Let’s take a look at the Tinker Small. It contains two knife blades – a regular blade and smaller pen knife blade.

It also has the standard combo tool – bottle opener, flathead screwdriver (which can be used for some Phillips screws) and wire stripper. That tool can click into place at a right angle to the knife handle giving it some extra “oomph” if you need it.

It also has a can opener that can be used as a small screwdriver and a lightweight package opener in a pinch.

On the backside is a Phillips screwdriver and a reamer, hole punch and sewing awl.

(The backside Phillips is in place of the corkscrew on my beloved Waiter.)

Of course, the Tinker Small also comes with the ubiquitous scale tools – the toothpick and tweezers, which come in so handy. My kid always asks me for a tweezers instead of going to Mom, because he knows I can pull out one of my Swiss Army Knives in a jiffy.

The whole package comes in at a featherlight 1.9 ounces, making it ideal for everyday carry.

But on second thought, if they really are discontinuing the Tinker Small, I think I will tuck it away for safekeeping and not use it.

It’s such a beautiful tool: I think I just want to use it as a keepsake to remind me of that long-ago pocket knife my Dad gave me and to remember one of my favorite television heroes of all-time.

If you do love a good lightweight tool, you can find out more about Victorinox brand Swiss Army Knives by clicking here. They have a U.S. operation which ships from the East Coast.

Here’s a tip: I usually wait to order a different model until I get an offer from them for free shipping.

Dave Burge has been covering news in the Borderland for more than 20 years. If you have any story ideas, questions or gear you’d like him to explore, you can email him at dburge@ktsm.com.