Opinel Knives

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Darrell
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Opinel Knives

Postby Darrell » Mon Jun 16, 2014 2:23 am

Anybody have experience with them? I ordered a #8 garden knife from Amazon, we'll see what it's like. I gather they're made in France, have a locking blade, some people like them rather like Swedish Moras. The basic knives with (beech) wooden handles are not expensive. Here's their USA website:

http://www.opinel-usa.com/

Here's something interesting--they sell knives with raw handles as well, so people can carve them:

http://michel.montlahuc.free.fr/lgerdil.htm
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Re: Opinel Knives

Postby skb12172 » Mon Jun 16, 2014 5:17 am

I know we have a few aficionados here. Based on the low price, and their recommendations, I bought three. I have the #10, #8, and #6. Excellent knives, but in my opinion, better suited for kitchen or picnic duty than EDC.

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Re: Opinel Knives

Postby skb12172 » Mon Jun 16, 2014 5:21 am

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Re: Opinel Knives

Postby Jered » Mon Jun 16, 2014 7:02 am

I have one...somewhere.

For the price, it's a really good knife. The steel holds an edge well, the locking ring works, and it cuts stuff.

It's not as tough as a full tang fixed blade, but, they're good knifes for the price.
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Re: Opinel Knives

Postby Erik » Mon Jun 16, 2014 8:19 am

skb12172 wrote:Excellent knives, but in my opinion, better suited for kitchen or picnic duty than EDC.

That pretty much sums it up. I have had one, but lost it. For me, it's not a competitor to a Mora, they're totally different kind of knifes.

The Mora is an all around work horse. It can be used for pretty much anything you want to use a knife for, and you can abuse it and still depend on it. (I've cleared brush with Moras several times) It's kind of a reflection of the Scandinavian mindset of utility, where things are meant to be used, and used a lot.

The Opinel is more of a finesse knife. It doesn't really feel very strong (even for a folder), and I wouldn't even think about abusing it. But as a small knife to keep in your pocket and cut things with that doesn't require too much force, I think it's great. Open letters and boxes, cut string, and other things like that is what the Opinel does well. If that's what you need a knife for I don't see any reason not to buy one.
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Re: Opinel Knives

Postby Aesop » Mon Jun 16, 2014 9:43 am

They are picnic knives, not working (let alone survival) knives: great if you're cutting cheese and apples, and peeling back the foil on a bottle of the grape.
They beat a knapped slab of flint wrapped in deer antler and anchored with dried sinew and hoof paste, but they're not a Mora, and certainly not a KaBar, SRK, or Becker Companion.
Which, given the price, is about what you'd expect, and they fold up to fit in your pocket.
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Re: Opinel Knives

Postby Greg » Mon Jun 16, 2014 12:01 pm

Aesop wrote:They are picnic knives, not working (let alone survival) knives: great if you're cutting cheese and apples, and peeling back the foil on a bottle of the grape.
They beat a knapped slab of flint wrapped in deer antler and anchored with dried sinew and hoof paste, but they're not a Mora, and certainly not a KaBar, SRK, or Becker Companion.
Which, given the price, is about what you'd expect, and they fold up to fit in your pocket.


Pretty much. They're cute little fairly light-duty utility knives. The steel is thin, but that just means it cuts better. I have three of them, and carry them occasionally. They're cheap and readily customized. They're also very light-weight, so it's a good knife to stick in your pocket if you're not planning on carrying a knife - you won't notice it.
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Re: Opinel Knives

Postby Highspeed » Mon Jun 16, 2014 1:44 pm

They have always impressed me with their edge holding to price ratio, but as noted they are only for very light duty use.
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Re: Opinel Knives

Postby PawPaw » Mon Jun 16, 2014 5:03 pm

My son, who is a knife guy and hobbyist blacksmith tells me that his favorite knife for whittling is an Opinel. He claims that they hold an edge really well, and that the edge is easy to touch-up.
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Re: Opinel Knives

Postby Denis » Mon Jun 16, 2014 5:33 pm

I like them a lot - cheap, cheerful and sharp. Did I mention cheap? They're commodities, and I regularly throw another one into the shopping basket when I see them at the supermarket or garden centre. The carbon steel ones come with and take a great edge and are easily resharpened, the stainless ones somewhat less so, but those are much better for food use, as they don't tarnish.

The varnished round wooden handles are not very "grippy", so not very suitable for use in the wet, or for slippery jobs like gutting fish or animals. I didn't know it was possible to get them with blank handles - those could probaly be improved somewhat in the grip department by careful carving and stippling...

Since Erik made the comparison, an Opinel can be brought places a sheathed Morakniv can't - such as for use in knife-averse company, on picnics, at work, etc. On the other hand, the Moras have a better grip and are much stronger general-purpose knives.

My suggestion - buy a few of each!

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Re: Opinel Knives

Postby SeekHer » Tue Jun 17, 2014 10:08 am

They are not "outdoorsman's" knives but a farmer's EDC like a W.R. Case Sodbuster...Used to cut baling twine, score a sapling for a graft, carve an apple for lunch, maybe dress out a rabbit--although they are robust enough to do a deer, from first hand knowledge.

I had gotten one, in the mail, suddenly one day with a France postmark and as I always take my blades and try them on animals before keeping or trading them (except gifts) it worked fine when I used it to help a neighbour dress out a sheep...An unknown Belgium residing foulness of life (lawyer) is responsible and I thank him again...BTW--Alas, I still do not possess the Laguiole except when I'm permitted to touch it.

They made their way into the kitchen as paring and boning knives and of course in the picnic basket.

Comparing them to anything else, especially a Mora, is inane.

They are an extremely old pattern, dating back to Roman times but I don't know when, exactly, the rotating ring lock came about but I know it was before the 1780s (There is one in a book of Rev War Arms) but Opinel patented it in 1955.

For an EDC blade they are fine but as a combat/defensive they lack a lot although they were used during both world wars by the Francs-Tireurs (Resistance) in Belgium and France with lethal results.
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Re: Opinel Knives

Postby Darrell » Wed Jun 18, 2014 1:10 am

I received the Opinel #8 today via Amazon. Wasn't quite sure what to expect... decent little knife, blade's about 3 1/4" long. The handle has a taper and curve toward the heel end. The locking mechanism is interesting, simple and effective. And no, it's not a Mora, but it's not bad. Nice blade in any event. Pretty sharp out of the box, I touched it up a bit on the fine diamond stone. Here it is at Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Opinel-Garden-Kni ... ndle+Knife

At $13.99, the price is comparable to the Mora Carbon Clipper. For the money, I daresay the Mora is a better knife.

Looking at Opinel's US website, I see nothing about blade sizes. Is there any convention to blade number and size or such?

Speaking of Moras, I had occasion today to use the Clipper I keep in my toolbox at work. I used it to cut down a sheet of 1/2" Nomex blanket. Nomex is quite tough stuff, the Mora went through it like, well, a hot knife through butter. ;)
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Re: Opinel Knives

Postby skb12172 » Wed Jun 18, 2014 1:18 am

Darrell wrote:I received the Opinel #8 today via Amazon. Wasn't quite sure what to expect... decent little knife, blade's about 3 1/4" long. The handle has a taper and curve toward the heel end. The locking mechanism is interesting, simple and effective. And no, it's not a Mora, but it's not bad. Nice blade in any event. Pretty sharp out of the box, I touched it up a bit on the fine diamond stone. Here it is at Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Opinel-Garden-Kni ... ndle+Knife

At $13.99, the price is comparable to the Mora Carbon Clipper. For the money, I daresay the Mora is a better knife.

Looking at Opinel's US website, I see nothing about blade sizes. Is there any convention to blade number and size or such?

Speaking of Moras, I had occasion today to use the Clipper I keep in my toolbox at work. I used it to cut down a sheet of 1/2" Nomex blanket. Nomex is quite tough stuff, the Mora went through it like, well, a hot knife through butter. ;)


The knife "number" is the length of the blade, in centimeters.
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Re: Opinel Knives

Postby skb12172 » Wed Jun 18, 2014 1:26 am

Not to change the subject, but the consensus is that Moras are good knives? I know nothing about them, but the price sure seems right.
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Re: Opinel Knives

Postby Greg » Wed Jun 18, 2014 2:02 am

Oh yes Mora's are good knives. Extraordinarily good for the money. But they are absolutely no frills.
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Re: Opinel Knives

Postby Denis » Wed Jun 18, 2014 2:25 pm

SeekHer wrote:An unknown Belgium residing foulness of life (lawyer) is responsible and I thank him again...BTW


Hey, I resemble that remark! Nice to hear from you - did you get my e-mail recently? If not, shoot me a message, and I'll resend it...

SeekHer wrote:--Alas, I still do not possess the Laguiole except when I'm permitted to touch it.


All as it should be, then... :-)

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Re: Opinel Knives

Postby Denis » Wed Jun 18, 2014 2:29 pm

Darrell wrote:I received the Opinel #8 today via Amazon.


Lucky you. Well wear, and don't cut your finger!

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Re: Opinel Knives

Postby Darrell » Wed Jun 18, 2014 10:39 pm

Denis wrote:
Darrell wrote:I received the Opinel #8 today via Amazon.


Lucky you. Well wear, and don't cut your finger!

I learned long ago to not test an edge with my fingertip. ;) I test it against my thumbnail--if it bites into the nail, the knife is sharp.
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Re: Opinel Knives

Postby Greg » Wed Jun 18, 2014 11:11 pm

Darrell wrote:
Denis wrote:
Darrell wrote:I received the Opinel #8 today via Amazon.


Lucky you. Well wear, and don't cut your finger!

I learned long ago to not test an edge with my fingertip. ;) I test it against my thumbnail--if it bites into the nail, the knife is sharp.


I do that when I'm running low on forearm hair. :lol:
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