Sharpening

Just arrived for review: Opinels #6 & #8

IMG_8334

Two new arrivals via Amazon. #6 and #8 Opinels.

There is not much that I need to do by way of a formal review. Editor Emeritus Chris Dumm did an incredible job reviewing the #8. It is our #3 review all time with more than 25k views.

Frankly, unless I was trying to test them to failure, there is not much difference between the #6 and #8 in terms of functionality, though the #6 is more comfortable in a crowded pocket. The #8 is noticeably more robust.

For what it is worth, my buddy Bill J. (author of the 4th place Reader Essay contest entry) carries a self-modded #7 as his go to EDC. I can see how that might hit a sweet spot. While I haven’t confirmed, the picture he sent me of his makes it appear he mostly carries it in a well worn belt sheath.

billj

Bill J’s modded Opinel #7. The sheath seems well-loved as well

My initial impression of these knives is that they are every bit as wonderful as their reputation. They feel light and responsive in the hand, they are lovely knives to look at, and I have been able to put an armhair-shaving edge on them both.

FullSizeRender (58)

The factory edges needed some work.

The knives did not come outrageously sharp from the factory, so I would not put them in the same class as David’s Hogue factory edge. I sliced a bit of coloring book paper (I was out of newsprint) and they factory edge tore slightly.

FullSizeRender (59)

Much better.

Less than 5 minutes with the medium and fine Spyderco Sharpmaker rods, and I had the the carbone steel blades where I wanted them.

IMG_8337

It’ll do.

I gave the #6 to my Father-in-law. He has been needing a new knife, likes small pocket folders as opposed to clip knives, and immediately took a liking to it. I may buy myself another, but since my in-laws live with us, I will be able to see it in daily use.

I will post periodic updates. Andrew C. posted a picture of his big (#12?) Opie to the TTAK Facebook Page. He seems like a satisfied customer.

How many others of you carry these timeless classics and what size do you prefer?

 

Discussion

8 responses to ‘Just arrived for review: Opinels #6 & #8

  1. I have the #6 with a walnut handle. At least I will have it when it turns up again, it’s been missing for the last few days, not sure where I set it down.

    It’s a nice knife, makes a fine daily carry knife. You hit all the good points about it in your review.

    I picked this knife because I don’t live in a free state, and travel into NYC on a regular basis.

    The blade is short enough to not meet the local definition of being a “weapon”—longer than 3 inches, and it’s impossible to flick the blade open, especially when it’s locked closed, thus dealing with the NY state “gravity knife” fiasco of a law.

    So it’s less functional than the Benchmade I was carrying before, but safer for the local legal situation.

    They’re also inexpensive enough that if you do lose it it’s not a big deal. Having lost a few expensive Benchmades over the years, that’s a big selling point!

    I found the factory edge to be adequate, but it’s nice to know you can get it that sharp!

  2. My first Opinel was the #12, which is the largest size except for the #13 display knife. It is light enough to still travel comfortably in a pocket, but is better off in a custom belt sheath. It’s large enough to work as a kitchen knife, and I have carved roasts and turkeys with it.

    Since then I’ve collected a bunch of them – – a couple of #10’s, #8’s, a #6, and one of the filet knives. One of the #8’s is the deluxe version with ebony handle and mirror-polished stainless blade, and the #6 has an olive-wood handle.

    The main thing to remember with an Opinel is that they are designed to cut, not chop, hack or baton. They excel at slicing meat and other foodstuffs and slitting open/cutting up cardboard boxes. Light utility, not heavy utility.

  3. I bought my daughter a #6 a couple of years ago for a Christmas gift. She loves it and this article reminded me I’ve been meaning to buy a handful to stick in glove boxes and desk drawers for the rare occasion I need a sharp knife and don’t have my Spyderco Endura 4 on me.

  4. It comes from a time when thing were made to be used, and its function makes it beautiful
    Sadly enough there is a great gap between the time we(French) invented this beauty and the new generation of french knifemakers (bastinelli, thiel, perrin….)

  5. Went to the barber today, picked up the July Sports Afield, and in an article about deer sausage, the illustrating photo was cut sausage on a cutting board with an open Opinel on it (#8, looked like).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *