Knives are an integral part of my daily wear. Finding knives that are not seen as evil mass murderers or teen pop stars of the moment is at times a challenge. I once had a set of “friends” who were firm believers in the idea that following and being the same was a good thing. When it comes to knives there is no single best approach.
Opinel folding knives have been around since 1890. Based in France this knife is a working individuals knife. It is built with a robust locking design that has never failed during my use of it over a few years and with a few different models. The blade varies in length depending on which number you desire. The #6 – #10 are, in my opinion, the best sizes for the widest variety of uses.
Contrary to many peoples approach with this manufacturers fine product, I prefer the #6 as it is extremely light, sharp and easily accessed while avoiding every knife law I can think of across the Americas. Many say the #8 is the premier choice, and honestly, it is a truly great size. However for between $9-$30 depending on handle material or blade material you can literally afford to purchase every size just because. The knives pictured are the #2, #6, #8 and have all been tested quite extensively. Below #5 (thank you Rick) there is no locking ring which makes them just another folder. It is the locking ring, wonderful steels and ingenious design that makes these knives a must have for your survival kits!
The blades come in XC190 high carbon steel or Sandvik 12C27M stainless steel. They are highly flexible, easily sharpened and come from the factory extremely sharp, I found mine only needed a light quick wet buff on my favorite 6000 grit Japanese stone. This brought them to a mirror edge which they retained quite well through a variety of daily uses and even hard testing. The blade is attached to the handle with a simple system and remains quite firm when extended and locked using the turning locking ring. While thin they are quite strong and it was only after using a vice that I was able to break a blade, having bent it last 90% several times to do so. Mild through heavy use has been seen by most of my knives because, they are tools. These are a line of budget knives I am proud to carry and use.
The handle is solid wood and varies depending on what you want, it will swell unless you keep it oiled and the carbon steel blade will rust quickly if not cleaned and oiled as well. My favorite gun lubricant, Ballistol, may be used on many other items and these knives are no exception. I wipe the blades down and squirt a few undiluted drops into the joint itself and than work the blade back and forth wiping the excess away and storing almost indefinitely or until needed again. I really have no cons with these knives and like the Morakniv line I would not hesitate, in fact do have them in all of my kits. They are available through Amazon and can be found at quite reasonable prices, especially considering that like the Morakniv products they really are a premium product in a budget package.
For more information ask. Again I am sure I have left a few pertinent points out, so ask or let us know your Opinel knives stories!
Free the mind and the body will follow