04-10-2014, 05:14 PM
#1
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So a few weeks ago I realized I needed (wanted?) a new pocket knife and started looking around for one that would fit my needs.

I wanted a folding knife with a stainless steel blade for ease of maintenance and a wood handle. It should also be small enough to a) be legal (my state caps the blade length at 4 inches) and b) convenient to carry around in my bag/pocket.

I finally found just what I was looking for in the Opinel line of folding knives.

Opinel is a French company that have been making knives since 1890 and heck, even Picasso used one to sculpt with Smile

In France 'Opinel' has become a term for any wood-handled pocketknife - sort of how we use "QTip" etc.

So, I plunked down $19 (incl. shipping) as I opted to 'splurge' on the rather beautiful darkwood Bubinga handle.

One of the biggest decisions, apart from the type of wood, is what size you want. I wanted something small and non intimidating and went with the no. 6 knife which is the smallest knife that have the virobloc twistlock to secure the blade with.
I found it to be the perfect size for me when it arrived but I believe the most popular size is the no 8.
I also liked that it had Scandinavian stainless steel.

I've already used this little thing a few times and let me tell you this..this knife has some bite to it! Smile
(Now I may also pick up the carbon blade version to try that one out....).

Some pics, as we all love pics:

(Btw, in one picture you can see the Opinel logo, a "crowned hand" or "main couronnée" which has been their logo since 1909. On my knife you can also see the word "INOX" which is only on the stainless steel blades as INOX is from "INOXidable", meaning "non-oxidizable or stainless steel).

Anyone interested in more history this is a great link: http://www.opinel-musee.com/uk/il4-knife...-hand.aspx

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 04-10-2014, 07:11 PM
#2
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That is a lovely nice.
My dad usually brings back some very similar ones made in Portugal when they go for their yearly 6-month sojourn.
Enjoy the blade. Smile

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 04-10-2014, 10:32 PM
#3
  • Shaun
  • Senior Member
  • St Peters, NSW, Australia
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I have several. I like them in the carbon steel to keep a great edge and also I like to blue the blade. My preferred size is 10. Did you know they are regarded as one the the 100 most beautiful objects in the world? Truly. By the Victoria and Albert Museum.

There is a technique for opening them the French call the coup de savoyard, and it involves tapping it on the heel to slightly knock the blade out of the handle.

Also, you can adjust the ring, by first taking it off. You can do that by opening the blade with the ring in the lock position, and it FLIES off, so be CAREFUL otherwise it will get you right in the eye.

Opinel knives are simply GREAT. Good one.


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 04-10-2014, 10:39 PM
#4
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Wow, I did find some references to the Opinel knives being in the 'top 100';
  • In 1985 the Victoria and Albert Museum in London selected the Opinel as part of an exhibit celebrating the “100 most beautiful products in the world”, featuring the Opinel alongside the Porsche 911 sports car and the Rolex watch
  • The Opinel was also selected as one of the 999 classic designs in Phaidon Design Classics
  • has been exhibited by the New York's Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) as a design masterpiece

Pretty impressive Smile

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 04-10-2014, 10:41 PM
#5
  • Shaun
  • Senior Member
  • St Peters, NSW, Australia
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(04-10-2014, 10:39 PM)Darkbulb Wrote: Wow, I did find some references to the Opinel knives being in the 'top 100';
  • In 1985 the Victoria and Albert Museum in London selected the Opinel as part of an exhibit celebrating the “100 most beautiful products in the world”, featuring the Opinel alongside the Porsche 911 sports car and the Rolex watch
  • The Opinel was also selected as one of the 999 classic designs in Phaidon Design Classics
  • has been exhibited by the New York's Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) as a design masterpiece

Pretty impressive Smile


And deservedly so.

Despite what advice you may be given, do NOT soak or oil this knife. It will ruin it if the wood swells up. Just wipe it clean. They're cheap. If you do managed to make a hash of things... buy another one Smile

Here are mine:

[Image: BJiS6eN.jpg]

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 04-10-2014, 11:20 PM
#6
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People also 'mod' these knives quite a bit.
Some great examples here: http://www.bladeforums.com/forums/showth...pinel-mods

(04-10-2014, 10:32 PM)Shaun Wrote: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=73U1PhWMzEM

Great video

Video showing Opinel manufacturing



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 04-11-2014, 12:51 AM
#7
  • TheMonk
  • Super Moderator
  • Porto, Portugal
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Opinel knifes are great indeed!
Luckily they're pretty easily found here in Portugal, in a lot of shops.

I always carry one with me in my car, you never know when you're gonna need it. Biggrin

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 04-11-2014, 02:58 AM
#8
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One neat little thing about them great for fishermen, if you drop them in the water they float because of the wooden handle.

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 04-17-2014, 08:17 AM
#9
  • Rufus
  • Senior Member
  • Greater Toronto Area
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I have a no. 8. When I first got it I thought the handle felt flimsy, so I use it carefully. I have yet to put it to the test. At the other end of the spectrum I have a folding wood-handled Corsican shepherd's knife. It's built like a tank, which makes it a bit heavy, but I have more confidence in this knife coming through a torture test than I do with my Opinel.

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 04-17-2014, 10:59 AM
#10
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Beautiful knife and fantastic looking handle. I can add this French company to my list the other being Plisson for producing outstanding products. Thank you for sharing.

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 04-17-2014, 11:51 AM
#11
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Opinel knives are great. I have a No. 6 with a carbon steel blade and the beechwood handle. I was having a little trouble with surface rust, so one night I stuck it in an onion for about an hour. It now has a lovely patina on the blade and no more rust at all. Great little knife that will hold a razor sharp edge and fits great in the little pocket in your jeans!

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