Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Mini Review: Opinel

I ordered some Opinels from Ben's Backwoods and have been testing them around the house. They're inexpensive but of nice quality. It's not everyday that you can buy something that is also exhibited at MOMA.

The knives have a pleasant feeling beechwood handle and high carbon steel blades that can take a good edge but need to be sharpened often (similar to the blade on my straight razor). They are really beautiful looking knives that have a nice old world simplicity to them and are perfectly at home in your Acorn or Carradice bag.

In use, they do short work of domestic tasks like the slicing of apples and oranges. I haven't field tested it yet so I can't comment about its carving and whittling abilities. However, do read this very thorough review here from Cutlery Science.

My feeling is that these will make great camp cooking knives and general utility knives. Perhaps, not robust enough for full on bushcraft work, but it should be able to carve out the occasional tent peg or notch a piece of wood.


Noel said...

A fine blade, I love the Opinel. The blade is prone to corrosion and it is very brittle so with heavy use you get little nicks out of the blade. But they can be sharpened like a razor. The lock ring is a great too.

I used to carry one often when I was a scout but it lacked the durability of a hardened steel bladed lock knife. For more delicate uses and just for the sheer beauty and craftsmanship the Opinel wins. I've been meaning to buy a new one for a few years now, thanks for the reminder to do so.

tvnewsbadge said...

preI've been a fan of Opinels for many years... my favorite "carry" knife is the number 7.
When not in my pocket or backapck, I store my colection in a airtight rubbermaid savin saver with silica gel packs and never had a problem with rust.

2whls3spds said...

Yet another fan of the Opinel knives. I have several and at one point had their folding saw. There is a special timeless beauty in a tool that is nice to look at and comfortable to use.