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Viceroy 🟩🟩🟩
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
A year ago I’d never heard of Opinel knives — but I had certainly seen one before.

I was reading a knife forum where the guys were singing the praises of these inexpensive, 1800s-design, carbon blade French folders. As soon as I saw a picture I recognized the knife. It invokes a memory from very, VERY early in my childhood. Pre-school years certainly, but I just can’t recall who in my family had a knife like this. Most likely in an old tackle box or something like that.

Anyway, I just received my Opinel in the mail. It's a model “Number 8”, meaning eight cm blade, for the whopping price of $18. And dang, what a beautiful knife this is for hardly more than pocket change!

The blade is very thin but not too flexible. It will look even more attractive when it ages, as carbon steel does. It is probably the sharpest out-of-the-box blade I’ve ever purchased, but there were a couple imperfections so I made a few passes through my Lansky pocket sharpener. It’s now like a scalpel. The locking ring securely keeps it shut and open. The blade shape would make it a good bird and fish knife. The appearance exudes elegance and style. It’s not hard to believe Papa Hemingway used one of these.

At less than $20 I will be getting more Opinels for sure. This one weighs only ~1.3 oz, but the length is a little long for a pocket knife, so I’ll probably get a smaller one.

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I can't say that I have really warmed up to mine. Don't recall the size (measures about 7 1/4 cm), probably a 7. It is sharp, the blade shape is not the best for scooping peanut butter out of a jar (the only 'food prep attempted so far) but it does open packages quite well. Mine lives (open) in the pen/pencil cup on my desk. If I were back packing or motorcycle camping I think it would be a wonderful 'kitchen' knife but I don't do those things anymore. Glad I bought one as an example of the style but not likely to become an EDC for me.
I was going to take a picture but other than a little staining on my blade it would be difficult to tell the knives apart.

Bruce
 

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Viceroy 🟩🟩🟩
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Discussion Starter #3
It is certainly not a quick knife to deploy or re-fold, what with the locking ring gizmo. So I probably will not “EDC” it much or often. The light weight is amazing though. I can see packing this in checked luggage for hotel room food prep once the post-COVID era arrives and travel is wise again.
 

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Opinels are great knives. They get real sharp, hold edge for a long enough time, and are really easy to get back to shaving sharp. I actually use mine more to cut of stuff for dinner than I use my actual kitchen knives.

They are pretty much my use it to abuse it knife...and if I kill it or lose it, I am not crying about losing my more expensive folders.
 

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I have a couple of Opinel knives, carbon steel and stainless. Many of the basic models have beech wood handle scales, the deluxe models use pear and olive wood.

A classic design from the late 1800s. The price is inexpensive enough to buy them as impulse buys in the sporting goods store.
 
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Question for you guys that have this knife. Being lightweight with a wood handle , do they float. I am thinking this may be my new fishing knife
 

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Viceroy 🟩🟩🟩
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Discussion Starter #7
Well now I'm seeing they make a #10 version with a built in corkscrew in the handle, so that may be an even better "travel knife" with the ability to open a bottle of wine at the destination as well as cut a chunk of cheese and salami.

Question for you guys that have this knife. Being lightweight with a wood handle , do they float. I am thinking this may be my new fishing knife
I would experiment for you, but I've read that they tend to be tough to open when they swell with water so I don't want to try. :p

A quick google search shows some people saying theirs does, and other people saying theirs doesn't. It may vary from size to size.
 

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Viceroy 🟩🟩🟩
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Discussion Starter #8
Well, after a few days of hard use I accidentally dropped the knife on the concrete garage floor and broke the tip off.

I put it on the belt sander and turned it into a sort of spear point. Then I stuck it in a rotten tomato from the garden and forced it to “patina”. I think I like it even better now!!

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Viceroy 🟩🟩🟩
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Discussion Starter #9
On a whim, I continued to “mod” my Opinel today. Decided I didn’t like the flair at the butt of the handle, so I sanded it down to sort of match the profile of my old Buck Woodsman.

I think I did pretty well considering I suck at doing anything freehand. It’s actually symmetrical and smooth! Now for some stain and varnish.

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The sanding mod looks like a definite improvement.
 
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Viceroy 🟩🟩🟩
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Discussion Starter #11
The sanding mod looks like a definite improvement.
Thanks. I don’t mind the looks of the Opinel flared butt, but on this #8 it jabbed right into the palm of my hand uncomfortably. I plan on picking up a bigger 9 or 10 someday where I can get a full grip on the main part of the handle before it flares.
 

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An addendum I didn't include:
I'm glad you included a pic of the knife closed. After your blade adjustment I would be concerned that your handle adjustment might have exposed too much of the blade tip but as shown in the pic it doesn't
 
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A year ago I’d never heard of Opinel knives — but I had certainly seen one before.

I was reading a knife forum where the guys were singing the praises of these inexpensive, 1800s-design, carbon blade French folders. As soon as I saw a picture I recognized the knife. It invokes a memory from very, VERY early in my childhood. Pre-school years certainly, but I just can’t recall who in my family had a knife like this. Most likely in an old tackle box or something like that.

Anyway, I just received my Opinel in the mail. It's a model “Number 8”, meaning eight cm blade, for the whopping price of $18. And dang, what a beautiful knife this is for hardly more than pocket change!

The blade is very thin but not too flexible. It will look even more attractive when it ages, as carbon steel does. It is probably the sharpest out-of-the-box blade I’ve ever purchased, but there were a couple imperfections so I made a few passes through my Lansky pocket sharpener. It’s now like a scalpel. The locking ring securely keeps it shut and open. The blade shape would make it a good bird and fish knife. The appearance exudes elegance and style. It’s not hard to believe Papa Hemingway used one of these.

At less than $20 I will be getting more Opinels for sure. This one weighs only ~1.3 oz, but the length is a little long for a pocket knife, so I’ll probably get a smaller one.

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I always like this kind of knife
 

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Question for you guys that have this knife. Being lightweight with a wood handle , do they float. I am thinking this may be my new fishing knife
I dropped mine in a stream and it definitely did not float! I got it back, but got soaked in the process!
 

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the Opinel knives are a lot more affordable to collect than my other type of French folding knife, the Laguiole

 

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Viceroy 🟩🟩🟩
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Discussion Starter #16
the Opinel knives are a lot more affordable to collect than my other type of French folding knife, the Laguiole
I’ve handled them but just can’t develop any attraction for the appearance and design. It’s the simple and cheap Opinels that I love.

It reminds me of what James May from the BBC show “Top Gear” said about French cars. The French are basically a nation of peasant farmers so they’re at their best when producing something basic and proletarian like a Citroën or Renault. 😆
 

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if you are only going to pick one to like, I guess it is better to pick the cheap one

to me, both are classic designs and both started as knives for working men, the Laguiole's are a lot more expensive now because the French manufacturers still hand forge them.
 

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A year ago I’d never heard of Opinel knives — but I had certainly seen one before.

, I just received my Opinel in the mail. It's a model “Number 8”, meaning eight cm blade, for the whopping price of $18. And dang, what a beautiful knife this is for hardly more than pocket change!
At less than $20 I will be getting more Opinels for sure. This one weighs only ~1.3 oz, but the length is a little long for a pocket knife, so I’ll probably get a smaller one.

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Killer; I just got mine, and the design is great. I got the stainless one. The #8 is just the right size. I'd even carry it. Mine came with maybe 3/4 of the blade sharp after an unearthly number of strops with my crock sticks, I had advanced the sharp edge maybe 1/2" toward the point. I'm going to have to get my Worksharp belt sharpener out and have a go at it. How does your Lansky pocket sharpener work?
 
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