Opinel's, What's not to love!?


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gotboostvr
January 5, 2014, 09:06 PM
I don't typically visit this particular sub forum often but mentioned in another thread that I carried a few Opinel's from time to time and someone threw some love my way for it. Obviously he gets it, so I figured I'd try and spread the word a bit more with what you can do with these great knives from France.

I'll leave this (http://bladebarrelbezel.com/2013/05/20/opinel-no-8-inox-knife-review/) here for a decent quick write up on them in factory form. But they're flat ground Scandinavian Carbon or stainless steel knives that weight nothing, look great and cost 10 bucks.

http://i.imgur.com/0Rh0UHY.jpg?2
This is a No.8 and a No.6 that I've made a bit more "my own"

http://i.imgur.com/vKniDmz.jpg?1
The No.8 on top I made last night I cut the blade into a Sheep's foot instead of the standard clip point. Below that is a No.6 that I chipped the tip off of so I cut it into a steep drop point, that's not a false edge, but I don't keep it real sharp.

I love these knives and occasionally run into people that recognize them (somehow!) and get all giddy. A few friends and people I work with have gone out and got their own even.

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olderguns
January 6, 2014, 04:56 AM
I bought my first one about 6 months ago and Love them, still carry other knifes mostly but out in the yard and around the house it,s one of these,

Zeke/PA
January 6, 2014, 06:29 AM
I own AT LEAST 200 knives and the Opinel brand is one of my favorites.
I carry a #12 for my daily chores, a #10 for a smaller knife carry and I like the curved version for gardening tasks. Easy to sharpen, good edge holding ability AND the price is un-beatable especially if purchased on-line!

hso
January 6, 2014, 07:35 AM
A quick search on Opis here will show a lot of love for them.

As a folder they're about the best bang for the buck out there.

JR47
January 6, 2014, 03:34 PM
When I was stationed in Vietnam, Opinel knives were available cheaply. What I discovered was that many of the ones of that day (1966-69) would absorb water during the rainy season, and you couldn't get them open, or locked, because of the swollen wood.

They usually came coated in a shellac that wore off with use. I own a couple of Opinels today, and a Cold Steel spin-off with a Zytel frame. They are used as collectibles, though, not as EDC.:)

Sam Cade
January 6, 2014, 03:43 PM
Cold Steel spin-off with a Zytel frame.

The Twistmaster.

I loved those. :(

Zeke/PA
January 6, 2014, 05:55 PM
The "swollen wood" tendency is still present in today's Opinels but I've adressed the problem by giving the joint/hinge a liberal dose of WD-40 from tme to time. I favor the Carbon steel versions and I usually Patina a shiney new one with French's yellow mustard.

Deltaboy
January 6, 2014, 11:13 PM
Love them.

22-rimfire
January 6, 2014, 11:24 PM
Don't own one and have no intention of buying one. They simply aren't my cup of tea and can not understand all the love other than they are cheap.

EmGeeGeorge
January 7, 2014, 01:02 AM
http://www.worldknives.com/products/antonini-lupo-pro-ringlock-working-knife-a930121n-2943.html

twofifty
January 7, 2014, 01:04 AM
22-rimfire, here's why:
I can easily gut a deer, then skin it, and the carbon steel blade is still sharp enough to help with the butchering a few days later. That's good performance for a cheap knife.

If the ergonomics or the lines of the knife don't please your hand and eye then I understand you not liking them. However, you're missing out on some great reliable performance in a nice light compact no-gimmick package.

Zeke/PA
January 7, 2014, 05:34 AM
22-rimfire, here's why:
I can easily gut a deer, then skin it, and the carbon steel blade is still sharp enough to help with the butchering a few days later. That's good performance for a cheap knife.

If the ergonomics or the lines of the knife don't please your hand and eye then I understand you not liking them. However, you're missing out on some great reliable performance in a nice light compact no-gimmick package.
I mostly carry a #10 in a flashlight holder and the knife is always shaving sharp.
However a mere "touch up" on a leather/cardboard strop occurs after a day of use.

22-rimfire
January 7, 2014, 11:03 AM
22-rimfire, here's why:
I can easily gut a deer, then skin it, and the carbon steel blade is still sharp enough to help with the butchering a few days later. That's good performance for a cheap knife.

If the ergonomics or the lines of the knife don't please your hand and eye then I understand you not liking them. However, you're missing out on some great reliable performance in a nice light compact no-gimmick package.

I don't deny that they do what you say. The crucial word in your statements is "cheap", but being cheap is not a bad thing. I guess I find them a little gimmicky even though they have been made for a long time. I don't find them particularly pleasing to my eye. Feel is not a big issue; they are mostly just "there". So, if you like them or even prefer them over other knives, I find that great.

I like SAKs an awful lot and some people find them gimmicky. So, it is mostly a matter of personal taste and preference. I find myself gravitating away from modern knives to more traditional designs in the last couple of years. I really don't feel a need for a fast opening knife although being able to open a knife one handed is useful at times.

GLOOB
January 8, 2014, 05:45 AM
I carry a #8 on occasion. There's plenty to not like, if you want to be honest. But variety is good, and Opinels are different and inexpensive. I have too many knives to NOT have one of these.

DNS
January 8, 2014, 06:03 AM
My 12 has been terrific and I've got a 3 on order.

Phaedrus/69
January 8, 2014, 06:57 AM
The No.8 is probably my favorite. I have probably ten Opinels and they're great knives. Yeah, they can swell up when they get wet. The carbon ones are the best IMO. I haven't had much luck getting the kind of edge I like on any of their Inox models.

Carl Levitian
January 8, 2014, 12:04 PM
Opinel's are wonderful knives, and they cut just as well if not better than some real high dollar knives. Yes, the swelling when wet is a minor irritant, but c an be great reduced by just lubing the joint with something that will soak into the wood. I've got Opinels to stand up to being totally submerged in a glass of water for the better part of an hour. I used to sand off the finish and do the wood with Helmsman spar urethane. Then greased the joint with gasoline jelly. Wipe out the excess with a folded up paper towel. Now I just take the knife and soak the hinge area with food grade mineral oil. Once the wood gets pretty saturated with the mineral oil, water can't swell it that much. It may get a little more snug when soaked in water, but not that bad. When it dries out its back to normal.

I can't think of many pocket knives that offer the light weight of the Opinel, the quality of blade with the full convex grind, and outstanding cutting ability of the Opinel. Throw in the very low cost, and it's a win-win for the buyer. Opinel saws are good too!
http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3758/11827315155_3a7b4d855f_c.jpg

Liberty1776
January 9, 2014, 10:11 PM
and they're sharp as hell. Tell you what, every chef in France worth his salt carries one all the time...(have to test stuff at the market that day, you know...)

twofifty
January 9, 2014, 10:51 PM
I don't deny that they do what you say. The crucial word in your statements is "cheap", but being cheap is not a bad thing. I guess I find them a little gimmicky even though they have been made for a long time. I don't find them particularly pleasing to my eye. Feel is not a big issue; they are mostly just "there". So, if you like them or even prefer them over other knives, I find that great.

I like SAKs an awful lot and some people find them gimmicky. So, it is mostly a matter of personal taste and preference. I find myself gravitating away from modern knives to more traditional designs in the last couple of years. I really don't feel a need for a fast opening knife although being able to open a knife one handed is useful at times.
I like SAKs too.

22-rimfire, have you looked at the Victorinox "SwissTool" pliers? They're a bit heavy but if a guy's going to carry a leatherman type tool, the Victorinox model is an excellent choice.

twofifty
January 9, 2014, 10:54 PM
Carl Levitian, I'd never heard or seen that Opinel folder saw. It's perfect!
I want one for my big game gutting kit.

Deltaboy
January 9, 2014, 11:04 PM
I want to get the Saw.

olderguns
January 10, 2014, 11:35 AM
I tried to force a patina with mustard on this one didn't turn out like I planned but I still like it.
193392

Zeke/PA
January 10, 2014, 04:56 PM
I tried to force a patina with mustard on this one didn't turn out like I planned but I still like it.
193392
The blade should be free of oil,grease or fingerprints before the mustard treatment.
I usually wipe the blade with a rag dampened with Mineral Spirits before applying the mustard.

MikeJackmin
January 10, 2014, 05:54 PM
I'd done a nice even patina with hot vinegar.

I start by degreasing the blade, and putting a little masking tape over all the wood within an inch or two of where the blade is. Then I find a mug or a jar deep enough to submerge the blade, fill it with vinegar, and pop it into the microwave until it just starts to boil. Take it out, insert the blade, and watch the bubbles.

After maybe a minute the blade will turn almost black, but most of the black will wipe off. I rinse it under fresh water, and wipe off whatever comes off easily. Then it goes back into the vinegar for another one-minute soak.

The repeated applications tend to average out to a nice even color, and you can get just the shade of grey that you like. Reheat the vinegar as necessary. Maybe five dunks is about average.

olderguns
January 10, 2014, 06:06 PM
Thanks guys,
I may retry it can,t do any worse,
But then again I might get used to stripes

plmitch
January 11, 2014, 04:24 AM
Looks like nice knives just never seen one.

Shanghai McCoy
January 11, 2014, 10:31 AM
I have one that lives in one of my muzzleloader hunting pouches. Good knife and it has that "old timey" look that I like .
I think I'd like one of those folding saws too now that I've seen it. Looks like it would be handy for tidying up branches in the deer blind..?

Deltaboy
January 11, 2014, 11:10 AM
I got a number 10. It is great.

Zeeemu
January 11, 2014, 11:50 AM
Not to rain on anyone's parade but any blade is better than no blade. :eek:

Speedo66
January 11, 2014, 04:04 PM
I've never found the handle shape to be comfortable in a pocket, and I prefer a knife that locks open automatically.

Scandinavian steel is good, too bad Mora doesn't make folding knives.

JohnKSa
January 11, 2014, 04:39 PM
...I prefer a knife that locks open automatically.I've spent enough time with knives that lock automatically that I've found myself a few times using my Opinel and assuming it's locked open when it's not.

The other thing that worries me (and occasionally costs me some precious blood) is that the blade is sharp all the way to the hilt and there's nothing to keep your fingers wandering far enough forward to rub against that razor sharp corner at the back of the blade.

I keep a stainless Opinel on my workbench.

GLOOB
January 11, 2014, 09:38 PM
I am usually carrying a Svord Peasant over my Opi #8. The blade is a little thicker, and the handle a little more ergonomic. And there's no messing with the lock ring.

If you like chromium-free carbon steel in a folding knife, there don't seem to be many other options in this price range. The Svord comes with a ridiculously thick edge, so it's not the slicer that an Opi is, without some serious work. But the steel is good, and they come apart really easily - a good feature for a folder with a carbon steel blade.

Sam Cade
February 10, 2014, 07:38 PM
I'd done a nice even patina with hot vinegar.


This is a #10 (we use them as steak knives that can live in the silverware drawer) wrapped in a paper towel and left soaking in a cup of white vinegar for a couple hours then scrubbed with a worn out piece of 2000 grit sandpaper.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=194752&stc=1&d=1392075477


After scrubbing.
http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=194753&stc=1&d=1392075477

They grind these with a fairly coarse belt.

GLOOB
February 11, 2014, 06:19 AM
They grind these with a fairly coarse belt. Most of my carbon Opi's came warped. They needed a little work on the belt sander, anyways.

olderguns
February 11, 2014, 06:41 AM
I really like that patina Sam,
Mine didn't go so good with the mustard so going to retry with vinegar.

Mp7
February 11, 2014, 06:57 AM
Only downside:

Not opening when the wood swells due to moisture.


Just had that happen with a brand new No12
after first cleaning.


I`d still recommend them for all of the above reasons.

Would buy a ColdSteel Twister instantly.

OH_Spartan
February 11, 2014, 09:02 AM
Olderguns, wipe the blade with the thinnest film of oil you can, then vinegar till dry. Comes up with a nice polka dot patina.

Im getting kind of tired of it. I think I might polish it off and try embedding it in a potato next.

Behold....another great thing about opinels....a new patina every week.

Zeke/PA
February 11, 2014, 09:16 AM
The "regulars" on this forum know my feelings on Opinels.
I presented #6's this past Christmas to Sons -in-laws and Grandsons much to their delight.
Yellow Mustard for Patina and WD-40 as a "hinge" lube !

ahtoxa
February 11, 2014, 05:58 PM
I like Opinels as well. About to order me a #8.

Sam Cade
February 11, 2014, 06:38 PM
I really like that patina Sam,
Mine didn't go so good with the mustard so going to retry with vinegar.

The trick is to be patient.

An overnight soak wrapped in a paper towel will get you something like this:

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=183419&d=1367203488

It's a good idea to tape off the handle on the Opinels with impermeable tape.
Unless you like your knives to smell like pickles of course.

GLOOB
February 17, 2014, 05:48 PM
This thread got me tweaking my Opi's. Inspired by the chili pepper handle of my Peasant. The perspective is skewing things... that's an 8, 10, and 12. The Peasant has the shortest blade of them all. :)

http://i688.photobucket.com/albums/vv241/gloob27x/DSC_0037_zps1a921f8d.jpg (http://s688.photobucket.com/user/gloob27x/media/DSC_0037_zps1a921f8d.jpg.html)

Carl Levitian
February 17, 2014, 06:36 PM
If Opinel would do nothing else, I wish they would phase out the wood handle and make it an injection moulded polymer like the new outdoor Opinels or the old Cold Steel twist masters. The injection moulding would not only cut the cost for the company, but you'd get a truly weather proof knife, that would be stronger as well. I've had Opinel's get sticky onme from moisture, and I've had two of them crack in the wood opposite from the blade goove and just in back of the bolster.

Synthetic handle would be such a great step up from the wood.

twofifty
February 19, 2014, 08:16 PM
When your Opinel gets 'sticky', have you guys tried rapping it sharply on a table top, tree trunk, boot heel?

Here's how:
Grasp the ferrule area in a pinch grip and knock the butt end (knobby part of handle) sharply on something resilient. This dislodges the blade such that you can now grasp it easily and fold the knife open.

hso
February 20, 2014, 12:02 AM
For those that have wood carving skills - http://www.opinel-usa.com/collections/opinel-raw-handle-series-aka-opinel-ebauche#.UwV-GEJdVgI

Models specifically left "raw" so they can be carved.
http://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0287/6884/products/IMG_5302_large.JPG?v=1392759524

hso
February 20, 2014, 12:05 AM
And for folks wishing for a polymer handle instead of wood.

http://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0287/6884/products/N_8_OUTDOOR_ORANGE_Face_145_large.jpg?v=1390614216

twofifty
February 20, 2014, 12:08 AM
Looks like they're stepping up the designs and materials.

hso
February 20, 2014, 12:14 AM
http://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0287/6884/products/damas_n08_big_large.png?v=1390676844

Damascus and ebony!

GLOOB
February 20, 2014, 03:36 PM
That ebony handle is so tempting. I was pretty close to pulling the trigger, at one time, to add some bling to my EDC. But I can't bring myself to pay the limited edition markup for a knife that "needs" some value-destroying modifications.

tiamat
February 25, 2014, 05:11 PM
I've been intrigued by knives ever since I was a kid, but I still don't get the Opinel's. I guess that means I have to own one for a while to really figure out why, right?

hso
February 25, 2014, 07:07 PM
That's as good an excuse as any. :D

ugaarguy
February 25, 2014, 07:23 PM
This thread prompted me to search Amazon again, and, unlike a couple months ago, they have several Opinels prime eligible in the $12 to $15 range. I'm not convinced I'm going to like an Opinel better than a $20 Byrd that has a pocket clip, a one hand opening hole, and a lock that automatically engages; but for $12 we shall soon see.

DNS
February 26, 2014, 02:44 AM
I agree completely.

My Opinel 12 is fun to carry and I love it, but practicality falls a little behind when compared to reaching down with one hand and flipping open my Tenacious.

If I were retired and had more time to play at working instead of actually working I think it'd be different. Can't wait to test my theory.

Carl Levitian
February 26, 2014, 09:08 AM
[I agree completely.

My Opinel 12 is fun to carry and I love it, but practicality falls a little behind when compared to reaching down with one hand and flipping open my Tenacious.

If I were retired and had more time to play at working instead of actually working I think it'd be different. Can't wait to test my theory.]

In one part your theory is correct. Having been retired since 2001, I can vouch that an Opinel makes a very nice edc pocket knife. But having been a fan of Opinel's since 1982, I can say they make a good edc working knife. I was a machinist and a knife was needed everyday. Getting a piece of round stock for a lathe job sometimes needed a knife to cut the greasy filthy plastic tape that held the bundles of stock together. The Opinel and slip joints gave you a little moment to slow down, think about what you're doing, and enjoy the knife.

Kind of like finding a little moment of zen in the middle of a chaotic day.

amd6547
February 26, 2014, 10:26 AM
To me, the Opinel makes a fine working knife to save the edge on my Endura for "serious" use.
When I was young and stupid, I did suffer a nasty cut finger from my Opinel, which had been used for slicing a watermelon at a picnic. Now, I know better, but back then, it wasn't well known that the wood handles swelled when wet. Still have a scar on the top of my left forefinger.
Now, I keep my Opinel handle pretty soaked with Ballistol.

Mp7
February 26, 2014, 11:12 AM
Unfortunately those are single edged - sailing knives - for cutting rope they re great i guess. But as a pocket knife - no good.

With a straight carbon blade - anytime!

tiamat
February 28, 2014, 11:47 AM
The Garden Knife seems more to my liking, but I can only seem to find it in a #8 - I wouldn't want anything larger than a #6. Do they come in other sizes?
I also see there's a Garden Knife 3 set, which includes the #8 garden knife, one with a hook blade, and that nice foldable saw, but it's not available on Amazon.

Sam Cade
February 28, 2014, 12:10 PM
Do they come in other sizes?


Nope. Only one size for the Garden Knife.

:(

http://www.opinel.com/uk/nature/jardinage


http://www.opinel-usa.com/collections/opinel-garden-knives#.UxC0KvldXeE

mgmorden
February 28, 2014, 12:11 PM
I've got a stainless #8 that I use a lot. Don't carry it very often but it sees a lot of use in the kitchen and such. For the price they're hard to beat.

tiamat
February 28, 2014, 12:17 PM
Nope. Only one size for the Garden Knife.

well shoot.... :(

Deltaboy
February 28, 2014, 11:36 PM
Great knives

tranders
March 6, 2014, 01:12 AM
I really like Opinels. I have a 12,8,and 6. Great slicers.

Water-Man
March 6, 2014, 01:18 AM
Good steak knives too. I've owned a set of twelve for several years and they still cut like new.

Black Toe Knives
March 6, 2014, 02:04 AM
Little off subject, two very rare customs, I used to have. I like sharing them.
http://i474.photobucket.com/albums/rr105/ke4ozo/HPIM0632.jpg
http://i474.photobucket.com/albums/rr105/ke4ozo/HPIM0644.jpg
http://i474.photobucket.com/albums/rr105/ke4ozo/HPIM0643.jpg

tranders
March 6, 2014, 02:35 PM
Wow. Those are super nice

Radagast
March 8, 2014, 09:41 AM
Y'all are enablers. A week ago I didn't know these existed and had no need for need for them. I've just ordered a carbon no 8 to use and a stainless no.8 Luxe with Burbinga handle to admire.

MDI_Weapon
March 10, 2014, 05:01 AM
I love Opinels - I carry a No. 8 with me just about everywhere. The same is true for the Mora HD Companion when I am out in the boonies. Neither knife is expensive but they both hold a razor sharp edge.

Carl Levitian
March 10, 2014, 07:35 PM
What's interesting about the Opinel, that it was a strait friction folder until 1955, when they added the locking ring. Before 1955, you had to be a bit careful when using. But apparently friction folders in Europe were much more common place than they ever were here.

Sam Cade
March 10, 2014, 10:03 PM
The fives and smaller are still sans Vibroloc.

Bummer, since the Five is my favorite whittler.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=195690&stc=1&d=1393877807

Deltaboy
March 13, 2014, 09:46 PM
Well I ordered a pair for me and Dad.

Carl Levitian
March 16, 2014, 07:09 PM
I've been using my number 8 stainless Opinel a lot alongside my Sardinian resolza, and they both have many of the same qualities, like the effortless slicing and lightness in hand.

You could go a very long way with an Opinel as your only pocket knife and not be wanting.
http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3694/13203071833_1bf781f8b4_c.jpg

ApacheCoTodd
March 18, 2014, 07:57 PM
Well, let's see... "Opinel's, What's not to love!?"

Blades that are too thin for the way that I use knives.
Hinge pins... see above.
Handles thicker than needed and prone to absorption.
Weak and not particularly confidence inspiring blade locks.

Nah, for me, they're over-praised peasant knives.

Don't even get me started on the Cult-of-Mora around here.

Anyhow, you asked.

meef
March 19, 2014, 12:52 PM
Based on this thread, I just had to see what all the fuss was about, so.....

I ordered and received both an Opinel #12 and a new (really) Cold Steel Twistmaster.

While I haven't had the opportunity to put either of them through any sort of use or testing yet, I really prefer the overall feel, etc. of the Twistmaster.

While the Twistmaster came pretty darn sharp out of the box, using my Wicked Edge sharpener (what a GREAT piece of hardware) I put a new really, really sharp edge on it. Will almost cut your eyeball from across the room if you look at it too intently.

Again, just first and casual impressions, with nothing objective yet to go on. We'll see.

Sam Cade
March 19, 2014, 01:54 PM
Everytime someone mentions the Twistmaster I die a little bit inside. Of all the products that Cold Steel has contracted for, I liked the Twistmaster the best and miss it the most*.
:(







*The LTC sorta-Khukuri being #2.

Deltaboy
March 19, 2014, 10:55 PM
I got my pair of #6's In this week and I will give Dad his when they visit on Easter.

Radagast
March 20, 2014, 03:45 AM
Just used my out of the box No.8 to carve a roast. I'm ashamed to say I've just realized how blunt my kitchen knives are. So I have a Spyderco sharpmaker on the way.

Deltaboy
March 28, 2014, 10:13 PM
I just stropped my new #6 on some cardboard and it shaving sharp now.

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