Opinel No. 8 "picnic" knife, my favorite pocket knife

If you were to search my closet you would find an Opinel No. 8 pocket knife in each and every outdoor coat. This low cost, incredibly durable 3 1/4 inch blade is exactly what I need.

Opinel is a fairly famous brand in France and has been making knives since 1890. Chose between the stainless steel or carbon blades, stainless will never rust, but carbon stays sharper longer and is less brittle than steel. Then pick a size you like, the No. 8 is perfect for me. I find the lovely, barely finished wood handle fits my hand perfectly and the blade size is fairly all-purpose. On knives I've had for a while the handle gains a classic and personal feel from dents, scratches and use.

I have various multi-tools specific to most of my hobbies, so I don't find a 'Swiss Army' style knife very useful. For cutting apples, trimming some rope, cleaning a trout, cleaning a salmon, popping PLA off the build plate and so many other things, I always turn to my Opinel. It has a blade to cut with and a twist lock to lock the blade in place. Nothing more to it.

I also love the price at less than $15 delivered. Often, I see them for sale at a local surf shop and various online retailers at prices that dwarf these. Some online retailers will tell you it is “elite” and special in myriad ways for $30 or more. I can tell you that at less than $15 it cuts things you want cut and will last longer than you will.

Opinel No 8 Stainless Steel Folding Knife

Opinel No 8 Carbon Steel Folding Knife

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  1. zaren says:

    My dad has one of these knives. I always thought the twist-lock was a neat design. He got it before I was in high school, and I'm sure he still uses it, and my son's in high school.

  2. Opinels are terrificly modifiable. They consist of five parts that are easily separated so you can force patina the carbon steel blade (if you have a carbone) and reshape and treat the handle to your liking. Soaking the handle in tung or linseed oil can protect the wood from the expansion that irks so many opinel owners. A little water on an untreated handle can sometimes cause them to sieze up in the open or closed position rendering them useless or dangerous. If you google "opinel mods" you'll be amazed at what some people do with them.

  3. Yep - they're great. The locking mechanism is brilliantly simple and very strong - once they're locked in, the blade isn't going anywhere. Yes on the tung oil (If I could apply tung oil to every wooden object I own, I would).

    A mate of mine bought a box of 8 or 12 as a set of matched steak knives - they make a very cool looking table setting, that's for sure.

  4. I still have my Morakniv that I got at age 10, now 41 years later. I've resharpened it a few times, and the thing is just as strong and useful as ever. It's got a plain wood handle and a leather sheath. Now I think it's going to be getting a French cousin!

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