Knifeless in Seattle- "making do" with TSA


June 27, 2008, 07:01 PM
I flew into Seattle with no checked bags (because of the latest hassles and fees) and obviously no knife in my pocket. After the car rental, the first stop was the market district and a cutlery shop for an almost "disposable" knife. It took me about 5 seconds to decide on an Opinel #7. I payed the inflated price of $14 and requested the use of a sharpener. The store person said "They come ready to use."
I said, "That's fine but I know it will take a better edge and if I'm paying $14 for a $10 knife, I figure you've got a sharpener here somewhere that I can use. Right?"
He shrugged and handed me a ceramic stick. a few licks and it was ready to cut. really nice edge actually. He watched as I worked the pivot a few times and worked a little chapstick lube into the joint and dropped it into my right front pocket.
My host for 4 days (of flyfishing, good conversation, good food and good Washington wine) had never handled an Opinel and was impressed when he used it the first time to clean 2 nice cut throat trout to cook on the fire.
The Opinel #7 served me very well until it was time for me to leave for the airport. I left it on the kitchen counter for its new owner. I may have to pick up another one for my backpack. nice carbon steel, very lightweight, solid safe locking mechanism, and a good value for an almost disposable knife.

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June 27, 2008, 07:46 PM
I miss WA.

Link (

Don Gwinn
June 27, 2008, 09:10 PM
I miss my Opinel. And you're not helping.

Joe Demko
June 27, 2008, 09:13 PM
The other day I picked up an inox Opinel in one of those stores that sells cheap imported tools. It was $4 NIB. It's a nice knife, but I prefer the carbon steel ones; so I didn't buy all ten or so that he had on the counter.

The Tourist
June 27, 2008, 10:30 PM
I have always told my clients to get something like a three or four inch plain edge Cold Steel Voyager. Get it sharpened so that it can take a two week vacation.

Get a padded mailing envelope and make two sets of labels. Two for your home address, two for your host.

Ship the knife to him (or the hotel) using one set of labels as the "to" and "from."

Have a great vacation.

When leaving, take the other set of labels, reversing the position. In this way, the knife has a better chance of not being lost. But even if it is, or you wish to give it to your host, the choice is yours, and you're not out that much money.

You have a good idea in buying a knife at your destination. However, some towns do not have a B&M knife store.

June 27, 2008, 10:42 PM
Is this the one?

OP7 (

The Tourist
June 27, 2008, 10:55 PM
Yup, that's it.

Tom Krein
June 27, 2008, 11:00 PM
I'll be in Seattle in August for a little vacation... CAN'T WAIT!!

Opinels are really good little knives, especially for the price! I am planning on checking a couple of knives though...


June 28, 2008, 12:32 AM
Thanks, Glenn Bartley, for that link. I've heard people say the name "Opinel," but didn't have a good idea quite what that meant. Nice-looking knives; I think I'll get one while I'm in Portland in a few weeks; I'll be traveling the same way Kingcreek did (carry-on only), and I'll actually be going from there to Seattle (by train), and can *leave* the knife there for myself, actually, since I'll be back again to stay a few months later.

Very nice!


June 30, 2008, 09:06 AM
Thanks all. The carbon steel Opinels are really quite good blades and take a very nice edge. I spent most of my time in Tacoma and I could even consider relocating to the Yakima valley some day. The salmon were running but we didn't catch any. The trout fishing in the lakes was good but the rivers were running high and fast. Lots of snow still melting.
I can live for weeks on a "picnic" diet out of a backpack. Fresh fruit, cheese, cold meat, fresh bread, etc. but it always requires ready access to a good knife.

Carl Levitian
June 30, 2008, 01:26 PM
After about 2001 or 2 Opinel upgraded thier stainless steel. There is now very little difference between the carbon and stainless Opinels. Exept of course the stainless ones need less maintance.

June 30, 2008, 02:42 PM
I'd say, if you had to pick up a knife in a town, something in the 2.5-3" lockblade range would be what I would get, along with an SAK classic.
Go to Walmart, and get something like a CRKT M16 or a Kershaw or Buck lockback.

July 5, 2008, 03:29 PM
When I fly, I always plan to buy a cheap knife at my destination... but I've never quite made it happen. Always too busy to go find one. I think I know which knife store you bought your Opinel at - definitely not "bargain city" there.

July 6, 2008, 12:26 AM
My general course of action in this situation is to pick up another SAK. You can never have too many.

July 6, 2008, 12:59 AM
Lived in WA state as a kid, my youth was very similar to that of Calvin & Hobbes, including the creek in the backyard. Really miss those memories. Even very young, I recall I always had some sort of folder in my pocket.

Still get to Seattle every so often, love that salmon chowder!

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