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Opinel - Thanks!

Discussion in 'Non-Firearm Weapons' started by DickP, Dec 17, 2009.

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  1. DickP

    DickP Member

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    I was cruising THR for folding knife recommendations - the city I live in has an ordinance outlawing every variety of locking folder, regardless of blade length - and a number of threads mentioned the Opinel.

    Mine just arrived in the mail today, and holy mackerel, what an awesome little knife this is! Classy-looking, dirt cheap, sharp as hell AND street legal! I think I'm gonna order about five more of 'em...

    Anyway, I never would have stumbled over this gem were it not for the fantastic resource that is THR. Thanks everybody!
     
  2. HoosierQ

    HoosierQ Member

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    !

    Hey...even though it wasn't me, glad we here at THR could help you. I hear good things about the Opinel...and crazy things about San Antonio and knives. I hear even a Bowie knife is illegal there! In Texas! That's kind of nutty.

    Anyway, if you need to broaden your folding knives, non-locking...the Case Sodbuster is a darned nice single blade folder without a lock and has a pretty decent ergonomic handle...really a handful of knife...and no lock. I have had a Sodbuster junior since '72 or '73 (the same one actually) and it is a great little knife.

    Welcome to THR (although I see you've been here a little while).
     
  3. bikerdoc

    bikerdoc Moderator Staff Member

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    Enjoy your fine new knife.
     
  4. earplug

    earplug Member

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    I have several

    I really like the feel of my Opinels. They do rust real easy and if cleaned in water the wood will swell and lock the blade, A drop of Break Free CLP now and then is good for them.
    I own several and they tend to stay in my pocket.
     
  5. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    They're actually pretty rugged. The high carbon ones do get rusty, but after awhile it becomes a dark patina. I've left some of mine in water for days and revived them without problem. The new ones in Innox don't seem to rust at all. I love them for cleaning fish and game.
     
  6. ArfinGreebly

    ArfinGreebly Moderator Emeritus

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    Non-Locking Opinel?

    Could you enlighten us on which model this is?

    All my Opinels have a locking ring.

    You have one that does not?

     
  7. Carl Levitian

    Carl Levitian member

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    I had an on and off love affair with Opinels since 1982. I'd buy one, sand down the lousy finish they came with, refinish in a linseed rubbed finish and end up giving it away for a gift. I've had several, and they do cut like nothing else. One of the greatest cutting pocket knives on the market. My favorite is the number 8, and the last ones I had I got tired of all the sanding, so I just sanded the inside blade slot and around the blade pivot to remove some wood that binds the blade when wet. Then I finish it with clear Helmsman Spar urethane. Makes them water proof enough to drop in a glass of water for 15 to 20 minutes with no swelling.

    A friend who is really French, says to just lube with mineral oil, or smear Vaseline in the joint and wipe out excess, to water proof.

    Opinels are great knives if you like to tinker.
     
  8. amd6547

    amd6547 Member

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    Yes, the wood does swell, as I once found out accidentally...I was using one to slice watermellon on a picnic...when I went to close it, the blade was stuck open, then released suddenly, giving me a nasty cut on the top of my left index finger (looking at the scar 30years later)...
    ...Which was not the knife's fault. The Opinel is a very useful knife, I still own a couple.
     
  9. DickP

    DickP Member

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    Mr. Greebly:

    Yes, the model I received (No. 5?) unfortunately lacks a locking ring, but this was unintentional on my part - I thought all Opinels had locking rings. I'm going to make sure my next knife has one, and is maybe a little bigger.

    San Antonio ordinance sez:

    "It shall be unlawful for any person to intentionally or knowingly carry on or about his person a knife with a blade less than five and one-half (5 1/2) inches in length, which knife is equipped with a lock mechanism so that upon opening, it becomes a fixed blade knife."

    So I think an Opinel is legit in SA, even equiped with a locking ring, because that ring doesn't engage "upon opening" - but who knows? This is pretty clearly one of those laws which is only enforced, if ever, against people actively seeking out trouble.
     
  10. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    I agree that seems to be a reference to modern lockblades that click into place. "it becomes" suggests that there is no need for the user to do anything to lock it.
     
  11. DickP

    DickP Member

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    Mr. Levitian - Great info, thanks! I think the No. 8 is next on my list.

    Cosmoline - Yeah, I did not anticipate just how thin and sharp these blades would be - fillet knife for sure!

    HoosierQ - Yeah, I feel guilty whining about what I can't legally carry in Texas when there are poor b*****ds far worse off, but to single out the Bowie knife as an "illegal knife" in Texas, of all places?

    Of course, I can understand why we had to outlaw the dirk, the stilletto and the poniard - This is a problem that doesn't get much attention outside of the state, but Texas' inner cities have long been blighted by roving gangs of young toughs sporting ruffled collars and tights, who accost passersby and relieve of them of their coinpurses at the point of their drawn poniards...
     
  12. gb6491

    gb6491 Member

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    The Opinel is indeed a fine cutting instrument. If you are a fan of them, you may find this site of interest: http://www.netlaputa.ne.jp/~opinel/opinel/opinelx/fopinel_x.htm
    Bable Fish version
    http://www.netlaputa.ne.jp/~opinel/f_open.htm
    Bable Fish version

    If you do find that San Antonio does ban all lock blade folding knives, the Douk Douk might be of interest to you.
    Bable Fish version

    Another French page comparing the Douk Douk and an Opinel:
    http://a-couteaux-tires.zevillage.org/news/douk-douk-vs-opinel
    Bable Fish version

    Bable Fish doesn't always link well for me, thus the original French pages and Japanese page written in French links;
    also, and unfortunately, the Bablefish translation is often difficult to follow.

    Regards,
    Greg

    Oops, almost forgot this site:
    http://michel.montlahuc.free.fr/ (again in French)
    Bable Fish version

    There is a lot to see on this site; one page that might be of interest is this one on disassembly of the Opinel:
    http://michel.montlahuc.free.fr/demontage.htm
    Bable Fish version

    This personal gallery page, has many different artists' work:
    http://michel.montlahuc.free.fr/opinel4.htm (look for the "sa page" link to see each artist's gallery)
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2009
  13. jdub3

    jdub3 Member

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  14. ArfinGreebly

    ArfinGreebly Moderator Emeritus

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    "Peasant" Knives

    The Opinel falls into a fuzzy class of knives to which I improperly refer as "peasant" knives.

    (There is an actual pattern usually called that, Svörd of New Zealand makes a good example.)

    In that same broad, general class, I also place the sod buster pattern. The sodbuster isn't really a true peasant knife, as it has a backspring to keep the knife either open or closed. Nonetheless, I include it in the peasant knives as it's a very plain working man's knife with no locking mechanism, no adornment to speak of, and the most ordinary of blade profiles.

    If you like the Opinel and would like something similar in form (though mechanically different) you might want to look at sodbusters. The small "sod buster junior" pattern made by Case and Böker are very satisfactory examples of an easily carried piece.

    Case and Böker both make a large version as well, the Case in stainless, the Böker in carbon steel. The large sodbuster is a real handful of knife, suited to all kinds of cutting tasks, including kitchen work.

    I've been able to make an entire salad with both the Opinel and sodbuster knives without having to make any special allowances for quirks in the knife's pattern (making salad or cutting up apples will bring out the best and worst in a knife).

    I have Opinels from #6 up to #12 (which is way too big to carry).

    The #10 is probably the largest I'd attempt to carry, and that would have to be in a pouch of some kind; my pockets aren't that big.

    Hmmm . . . I wonder if anyone makes a sodbuster as large as the Opinel #10. That would basically be a folding butcher's knife. :eek:


    Anyway, I'm glad you like the Opinel. I hope you appreciate that it's kind of a gateway drug. :evil:

     
  15. DickP

    DickP Member

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    Uh-oh...

    Think I'm gonna need a sodbuster... And maybe a douk-douk too...

    At least knives are cheaper than guns, right?
     
  16. DickP

    DickP Member

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  17. ArfinGreebly

    ArfinGreebly Moderator Emeritus

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    Holy Cow

    Now why did you have to go and do that?!

    Talk about variations on a theme!


    I'm gonna have to get me one of these!
    02E0501.jpg -- 02E0501_1.jpg

     
  18. Creature

    Creature Member

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    Last edited: Dec 18, 2009
  19. Deltaboy1984

    Deltaboy1984 Member

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    I want to get a Opinel soon!
     
  20. twofifty

    twofifty Member

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    Opinel's French carbon steel works to a beautiful edge.

    I've gutted a mature buck with mine; it only needed a few licks with a diamond hone near the end. You do have to pay attention when cutting blind such as reaching up for the windpipe. Slices tomatoes mighty fine too.
     
  21. Black Toe Knives

    Black Toe Knives Member

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    Here are couple of very rare custom Opinels Style Knives, I found at a Gun Show. Chris Reeve only made 27, here is 26 and 27. One has ebony and the other has a Ivory inset. Chris called theses Helix Locks.

    OpinalCR.jpg
     
  22. Creature

    Creature Member

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    It is kind of ironic that the Bowie knife is illegal in San Antonio...considering that San Antonio is where Colonel James "Jim" Bowie gave his life during the fighting right there at the Alamo!!
     
  23. blkbrd666

    blkbrd666 Member

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    Accourding to the ordinace, why would a Bowie be illegal???...sounds like they just want to make sure you don't carry anything too small...which would follow the old saying about things in Texas. Even then, sounds like you could just say, "I didn't know I had it with me.".
     
  24. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    Tx state law bans bowies, not San Antonio.

    You could carry a 5.5 + inch blade folder with a lock under San Antonio law.;) Sadly, you'd be in violation of TX state law then.:banghead:

    Anybody know of a folder with an exactly 5.5" blade?:evil:
     
  25. Mp7

    Mp7 Member

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    i still have the Opinel that my dad gave me when i was six.

    That ... the Mora and the Japanese knife above are my favorites.

    Your will be delighted, when you Hokonogami arrives.
    ( i cut myself deeply within 5 minutes!)

    extremely hardened. hard to sharpen.
    It´s the ZEN pocket knife.

    The Opinel with locking-mech is practically better though.
     
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