Opinel

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ziggy925
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Opinel

Postby ziggy925 » Wed Dec 07, 2011 12:13 am

Just got my first Opinel knife. Not sure why I got it, but it is an intersting, simple design to add the mix.

Any thoughts on these knives?

trey
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Re: Opinel

Postby trey » Wed Dec 07, 2011 12:16 am

I had one. I like the concept but I just couldn't get into it. I gave it away.

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Johnj
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Re: Opinel

Postby Johnj » Wed Dec 07, 2011 1:39 am

It's a french knife. ::shrug::
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Practicing the dark art of turn-signal usage since 1976.
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Big Barn
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Re: Opinel

Postby Big Barn » Wed Dec 07, 2011 3:28 am

I have two Opinel 'like' knives. One Marjacq & another from Durol, both French made. The thing I like about the Durol is the push button lock (open/close). The Marjacq has the improved ring lock for open or closed use & it came with a very nice snap over leather sheath. I believe Opinel has the improved ring lock too. All three companies are moving to using all types of handle material & a few different shapes & make great slicers. Plus, if you lose it, you haven't broken the bank (at under $20). Of the three, I use/carry the Durol the most.
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FRJ
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Re: Opinel

Postby FRJ » Wed Dec 07, 2011 3:51 am

The Opinel is a good knife. There are stronger knives, but it is a good servicable knife.
I carried one for several years when I could afford nothing more.
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pinnah
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Re: Opinel

Postby pinnah » Wed Dec 07, 2011 4:36 am

I really like my Opinel #8.

Image

Several things going for it...

1) It has a great carbon blade. Folks who worry more about such things than I do (or fully understand) say that their reputations for being great slicers is due to the convex grind of the blade. Add to this a longer blade than most pocket knives and only a moderate clip profile and you have an incredibly useful EDC knife.

2) it's light. Insanely light. This combined with the wood handle makes it an easily carried knife (ymmv).

3) It's tough. I don't baby my knife but I can't say I've been able to damage this knife. It's tougher than the weight and low cost suggest.

4) Its very office friendly. The most common reaction from. Non-knife people is usually, "that's cool looking"

There are some downsides...

1) It's in expensive and this often carries the baggage of meaning cheap, poor quality or not serious. Some (not all) knife people might be embarrassed for you.

2) The knife begs for tinkering. One common mod is to pop off the locking (YouTube) and file down the top edge so the locking spins 90-180 degrees. Makes the lock really absolute. Another common mod is to reshape or restain the handle to suit your taste. Hand carved Opinel handles are something of a cult thing.
Dave "Pinnah" Mann, Bahston, MA
Dave's Nordic Backcountry Skiing Page

ziggy925
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Re: Opinel

Postby ziggy925 » Wed Dec 07, 2011 6:03 am

Interesting replies and photos. I got the carbon steel and the knife is very light. I will say one thing about it: The French definitely make better knives than cars. I also like the idea of staining the handle, and whittling the handle into something interesting would be very cool.

Anybody know how it comes apart? :D

I can also see where it would be more of a conversation piece than the SOG I carry.

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pinnah
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Re: Opinel

Postby pinnah » Wed Dec 07, 2011 2:28 pm

They make better knives than bicycles too, imo. There's a saying among bike mechanics. It's often better to restore a bike, unless it is French. They used all sort of obscure standards on their bikes, which made them essentially unrepairable in the US back in the day. My experience in dealing with those hassles left a real anti-French bias in my mouth, which is to say that it is all the more noteworthy that the Opinel has earned my respect and loyalty. It's just a useful and functional knife.

There are only four parts to the Opinel: the handle, the blade, the pivot pin (hidden) and the lock ring.

The crude method I use to remove the lock ring is shown in the You Tube video.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PMI9MKuygIE

I use a small screwdriver as the pry bar.

Another method is to use a set of reverse pliers or to make your own reverse pliers by cutting down the jaws of a wooden clothes pin.

If you study the ramp along the top edge of the lock ring and how it engages the blade as it locks, it should be pretty self-explanatory to see how to file down the top of the ring so that the ring will spin more than 90 degrees. This mod really changed the Opinel's lock into something I trust a lot.

I once heard a speaker talking about computer security and he said all that a hacker is is somebody who can bend the computer to their will. A "hack" is old computer programming lingo for taking an existing computer program and modifying it slightly to better suit your need. A good modification would be called a "good hack". It's similar to hot rodding - the act of bending the car to your will.

The best advice I got about the Opinel is that it's a starting point for modification. It's the knife equivalent to a 1967 Mustang. When it was sold, it was pretty much understood that the buyer would modify it. Going the other direction, there is something a bit sad about an entirely stock Mustang in my mind. Same thing is true about a stock Opinel. In my way of thinking, my Opinel should end up looking different from your Opinel. They're meant to be hacked, hod rodded and modified to suit your taste.
Dave "Pinnah" Mann, Bahston, MA
Dave's Nordic Backcountry Skiing Page

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woseyjales
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Re: Opinel

Postby woseyjales » Wed Dec 07, 2011 3:17 pm

One easy way to pop the lock ring off
your Opinel is to simply pull blade open against resistance
of locked ring in closed position. Be forewarned when ring
goes ka-twang ! it usually ricochets under or behind
the nearest piece of furniture.
As for the comparison to a stock 1967 Mootang, based on
cheap price for Opie and car you must be feeling sorry for
an inline 6 and 3 spd manual coupe. 390 GT fastback wasn't
too shabby right out of the crate.
Nose heavy yes, but not too shabby. Man, it hurts to think
back that far.
I like the Opies for their functionality, ergonomics, & aesthetics.
The fact that they are inexpensive w/o being 'cheap' is a nice
plus but the other attributes far outlasts low cost.
Only reason my No.6 carbon is #2 EDC is the Sak Cadet has more
tools such as screwdriver tips and file which makes for useful
unsharpened edge for scraping or point for probing.

I like to sand the handles to round off the angular corners.
This also accentuates the grain which varies quite a bit from
knife to knife. If you wish to carve your Opinel they do have
some with larger raw handles to provide more material for
carving with their Ebauche line.
EDC#2 No.6 el carboney:
Image

No.6 SS Walnut & Oak after 'pocket wore' treatment:
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Schmancy Bubinga has polished blade:
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ol' smoke
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Re: Opinel

Postby ol' smoke » Wed Dec 07, 2011 11:47 pm

Sand 'em down to easy open with one hand. When you tell girls it's from France they will simply melt, Ahhhh....... ::tu::

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woseyjales
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Re: Opinel

Postby woseyjales » Thu Dec 08, 2011 1:43 pm

ziggy925 wrote:.....I will say one thing about it:
The French definitely make better knives than cars.

Reminds me of a few jokes re what FIAT meant.
1. Feeble Italian Attempt at Transportation
2. Fix It Again Tony

Supposedly the reason Columbo loved his Peugeot 403
so much was because his first car was a FIAT.
::facepalm::

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pinnah
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Re: Opinel

Postby pinnah » Thu Dec 08, 2011 3:14 pm

The best comment on the Opinel I've heard was comparing it to a Buck 110 (which I also own):

Opinel: Traditional, dangerous, good with cheese.

Buck 110: Big, bold, capable of field dressing big game (or at least pretending that you might). :shock:
Dave "Pinnah" Mann, Bahston, MA
Dave's Nordic Backcountry Skiing Page

ziggy925
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Re: Opinel

Postby ziggy925 » Thu Dec 08, 2011 5:26 pm

ol' smoke wrote:Sand 'em down to easy open with one hand. When you tell girls it's from France they will simply melt, Ahhhh....... ::tu::



::tu::

A friend of mine had a Citroen, which was a very cool car -- when it was running.

ziggy925
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Re: Opinel

Postby ziggy925 » Thu Dec 08, 2011 5:31 pm

BTW, the blade is so thin it took no time at all to put a very keen edge on it. That said, one of the dullest knives I've ever seen out of the box. I guess they do test them on cheese. ::ds::

ziggy925
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Re: Opinel

Postby ziggy925 » Sat Dec 10, 2011 11:23 pm

I think my sharpening skills are getting better. I just pulled the Opinel out to use it, rinsed it and wiped it with a cloth. Went through the cloth and into my finger. Ouch! :shock:

Haven't done something that stupid in ages, but I must admit my knives are sharper than they've ever been.


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