I love my Opinel No. 8 pocket knives

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/07/24/i-love-my-opinel-no-8-pocket.html


Brilliant. Great balance, locking blade, holds an edge very well, even under abuse. Had mine since '77, still in the top shelf of my bench box.


I got this knife on Amazon for under $9. I ground off the tip and the edge to make a folding butter knife that I take to work with middle schoolers affected by autism. We go out in the community often, and having something you can use to spread or cut soft foods that is also safe around sometimes-rambunctious kids is pretty handy. Not a lock blade, but good quality and hard to close by accident. I liked it so much I got a couple more (left sharp) for the car and shop. (https://www.amazon.com/Imperial-Schrade-IMP22Y-Folding-Pocket/dp/B0035ELWT6/ref=sr_1_fkmr1_3?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1532454235&sr=8-3-fkmr1&keywords=imperial+sodbuster+yellow)


What about the No 13? You don’t like foldable machetes?


The Opinel is so has-been… French knife-hipsters carry Douk-douks nowadays.



Of course all steel is carbon steel. Otherwise it’s iron or an iron alloy. What makes these knives such performers is that they are not tempered back as much as most blades. This gives you a very hard cutting edge that holds very well. The drawback of course is that being harder, they are slightly more prone to breaking than most commercial blades. On short knives this is hardly a problem worth considering.
Stainless on the other hand may not even be steel depending on the mix but for the most part, as long as you have some carbon in the alloy they can be made just as hard (less hard on quench but also less temper to achieve similar hardness) but the nickle and chromium you find in stainless mixes do make it much harder to re-sharpen when made that hard.

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I prefer the No 6 because it is the smallest model that still locks but is still big enough to be useful. It is just a more manageable size to carry in your pocket day in and day out.


Other than camping/trekking/climbing, I’ve never felt the need to carry a knife. I just don’t come across things that need cutting that often. Except at home, and at work, where there are, already, you know, lots of knives.

I was the same, until I got my current job which involves a lot of package opening and a few fix ups. I had to get a knife because I noticed that my keys were getting gunked up with tape residue, and keys are not good for trimming flowers.

Now remembering to keep a knife on me has been harder than learning to carry a wallet when I was a teen.

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I had one of these but felt it was inferior to an Opinel.


They’re also incredibly light, and take up very little space in a pocket. Most of your tacticool pocket knives, multi tools, And classic lock packs are really heavy. And really bulky. I try to carry a knife on me all the time (for tool/practical reasons not for paranoia). And until I picked up a no7 they were always in the way, bulky, difficult to pull in and out of a pocket. With the opinels you can carry a full sized knife that’s about as intrusive as a tiny one.

But fair warning the no8 is large enough that it may run up against size limits for “concealed” carry. It’s fine in NY, but apparently over for a lot of states.


the carbon steel is the only choice. it is super sharp and holds an edge forever. the stainless steel is a far worse blade. I keep a #6 in my desk at work and a #8 in the kitchen drawer and use for camping.

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Really? I feel like I use my pocket knives constantly. Cutting open boxes, slicing an apple, random garden chores, etc. It might just be that I’m too lazy to go get a knife and like having it on me. My only problem is a lot of my clothes don’t have pockets, so I have a key ring knife, a purse knife, a knife I keep in my desk…


I use a Victorianox stainless garden knife though, when I do have pockets I’d rather have something less bulky than the Opinal in them, and I got sick of having to constantly clean the rusty blade.

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I really don’t open that many boxes. When I do, it is almost always in the kitchen where there are many knives. My apples are also in the kitchen. I’m much more likely to use gardening tools in the garden. Cutting plant ties is done with the secateurs. I do recall cutting the mesh I installed for pea vines with a knife a few years back, I guess. If I’m planting and have to slice seedling trays etc. I get a knife from my workshop. Each of us is different, eh?

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This! I carry a Leatherman PST II which is the largest multitool I find comfortable to carry, and even that will eventually wear out cheap pants pockets. Jason’s Opinel has a definite advantage in density and weight.

You’re right, but I carry stainless because it’s less work to sharpen to a usable edge than it is to keep carbon steel intact. Sea water and sweat have been known to soak my Leatherman pretty often.

I’m honestly not sure if I’m jealous or not! :hmmm:


I love my opinel #6 carbon, it’s light enough that when I whear shorts that it and my phone don’t pull down my shorts


Hot take: No. 9 or GTFO

I have both a regular No. 9 with carbon steel blade and the DIY, which is No. 9 size. I find that the No. 9 is a perfect fit for my hand and the blade is a really nice size for food prep.

The problem with Opinel knives is they are a terrible fit in women’s pants pockets (and the no. 9 is even a bit bulky for men’s jeans), so my EDC knife these days is A CRKT Squid, which is short and flat and clips nicely into the little watch pocket on jeans, but thanks to its relatively deep handle profile is still very comfortable.

It’s been obsurdly humid here the last few weeks. We’re usually up around 80% this time of year. But we’ve been hovering in the high 90s the last couple weeks with no end in sight.

I’ve not had rust problems till now. Even with salt water b 5 years. But my knife is all jacked up.

Ive also heard the stainless is less prone to chips and dents.

Depends on the grade of stainless, but my Leatherman branded tools have been reasonably durable… no chips or dents, just some snapped off blades that the company replaced for free.