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New Opinel

Discussion in 'Traditional Folders and Fixed Blades' started by mdsmith, Dec 22, 2011.

  1. mdsmith


    Jan 7, 2009
    Hey guys. Thought I'd share a couple pics of my new Opinel #7. I had a #6 a while ago that I modified into a spear pint and rounded the handle of. I gave it to a buddy of mine a couple of years ago when he moved put of state. I never really took to carrying it anyway. I thought I'd give it another try and picked up the #7 yesterday at a camping store. I took it to the shop at my union's training school to reshape the blade a bit. I found the upswept tip it comes with a little awkward. I gave it a smooth dropped point. l also rounded the edges of the handle, and lightly sanded the finish get a kind of uneven look, then treated it with linseed oil. This one will be on package opening duty this Christmas.


  2. BRL


    Apr 27, 2011
    Really nice! I want one of these quite a bit but can't find them in stores anywhere (really would like to handle several first).
  3. zippofan


    Nov 12, 2011
    I stumbled on an online Opinel site about a year ago. Out of curiosity I bought a #8 in stainless for laughs. When it arrived I wasn't laughing, I was impressed. While very simple, it's been a useful camping tool ever since.
  4. pinnah


    Jul 28, 2011

    That tip looks perfect. Interestingly, just yesterday while wiling away time on a painful conference call for work, I worked down the tip of my Opinel #8 to look... well... pretty much like you have yours. Great minds and all that. Actually, it was the second round of file work the blade has seen as the clip is morphing to my preferred drop point.

    Actually the success of the Opinel mod has gotten me to thinking... I picked up a cheap Buck 482 for a work knife and it has a stouter drop point profile. But, it's the same length as the prettier and heavier Buck 112 so I'm thinking about picking up a cheap 112 and de-clipping it too, more along the profile of the 482.

    Funny thing these Opinels. As a former bike mechanic who spent much too much of time being frustrated by lousy French bikes, I have a natural bias against French made stuff and I'm almost fanatical about US made knives but dang it... The Opinel #8 remains my most carried knife. As one of the posters above said, it's very, very impressive. Easily the most cutting for the least weight and just perfect if food prep is part of the equation (and for me, it often is).

    Here's an older picture of mine after the first round of blade reshaping. Mine looks closer to yours now.
    opinel-leaves by Pinnah, on Flickr
  5. mdsmith


    Jan 7, 2009
    Nice!! One of the things I really like about the Opinels is how the handle really takes on a lot of character after some use. Hopefull mine will have that worn and weathered lookd that yours has.
  6. quattromori


    May 7, 2011
    One of the (many) things I like about Opinel's is their ability to be modified quite easily without losing their character and strong points.
    Honestly, I always liked the shape of the "regular" Opinel blade, but your version does look attractive too.
    As for the wood getting better with time and use, I do agree. I've also seen great things achieved with sanding, oil and sunlight exposure.

  7. AFAustin

    AFAustin Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 8, 2004
    It really is hard to beat Opies in the bang-for-the-buck dept. I have a #6 in Inox with pretty olivewood scales that cost me all of $14. And, yep, I modified the exaggerated upswept tip to more of a drop point as well.

    I had an issue with the ring being too stiff, but found some handy tips online for removing and adjusting it. The removal part was fun---kind of like opening a bottle of champagne in that it involved prying it gradually till it came flying off like a missile!

    They are fun little knives, and slice like crazy in the kitchen.

  8. mdsmith


    Jan 7, 2009
    Funny you say that, the ring on mine is a little stiff. I figured it would losen a bit with use. Either that, or I could just wait for Carl to chime in with an easy and effective old timey solution.:D
  9. A set of snap ring pliers makes removing and re-installing the locking ring VERY easy. Can also be used to gently 'spread' it a bit, if it's a little too tight. I've also noticed that some tightness in mine was due to rough finish or burrs on the peened heads of the pivot pin, which created some extra drag under the locking collar. I used a ceramic hone to burnish them a bit, which made a noticeable improvement. Same could also be done with some wet/dry sandpaper. :)

    Last edited: Dec 22, 2011
  10. mdsmith


    Jan 7, 2009
    Thanks for the info. I have a set of those. I'll give it a go this evening.
  11. Humppa

    Humppa Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 25, 2010

    I also got a couple of theese french knives. But I use them mostly as an indoor tool. The wood is untreated. When the handle gets wet, it´s like a sponge and the handles are hardly to close. This is one negative experience with Opinel.
    The other one is the locking-ring. I never removed one, but a little oil could help, I´m sure.

    Some of the guys here in Germany make a fun to costumize their Opinels. Making the blade a wharncliffe, giving the handles anonther form an a lot of such things are around here... ;)


    The top one is a #8
    The second one is a Ankermesser and the last one is a Mercator. Nice European family meeting :D

    Kind regards
  12. mdsmith


    Jan 7, 2009
    I wonder what the best way do waterproof it would be. Maybe just keep coating it in linseed oil until it won't soak any more up? I wouldn't want to put any sort of poly coating on it.
  13. Humppa

    Humppa Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 25, 2010

    I can understand you, that you don´t want to put any poly couting on it. It would ruin the natural handle, I think.

    Linseed could fix it up. Maybe any colorless varnish would also fix it up.

    I don´t know the words for the different kinds of treating the wooden handle as well. I also asked Mrs. Google Translator and she only gave me the word "varnish" ;)

    I hope it could help a little bit.

    Kind regards
  14. Gevonovich


    Jan 17, 2011
    Nice modification Mdsmith. She looks great.
    I can't resist showing off mine again. I carry it a lot after i got it not too long ago for $1.00. I had read all about them and thought about getting one and when I saw it for a dollar, i grabbed it as quick as I could. Its amazingly sharp, light, and cuts really well. My ring is a little tight as well, so thanks for the fix David. I took this the other day at a new spot i found down by the lake.

  15. jackknife

    jackknife Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 2, 2004
    I used to do the linseed oil thing, but it's messy, and time consuming, and in hot weather the knife sometimes weeps an oily film. Then I had lunch with some real French guys. One of our Vespa riders group is Pascal, born and raised in Paris. France, not the one in Texas. Some of his family came over for a visit some years ago, and Pascal, his father and I had lunch. I used my Opinel at lunch, and of course that started a long talk about Opinels. Pascal's dad told me they just use Vasoline in the pivot area. Smear in some around the pivot area, let sit for a while, then fold over a paper towel and gently wipe out the excess. For the past few years I've done that, and it's the closest I've had to a waterproof Opinel. I can drop my number 6 oak into a glass of water for 20 minutes, and take it out and open it with no problemo. It seems weird at first, but it's an Opinel, they'er a little weird to start with.

    I have used Helmsman Spar Urathane satin no gloss on the outside of them. It works okay to keep the outside from wicking moisture.

  16. Bob W

    Bob W

    Dec 31, 2000
    I'm a huge fan of the Opinel knives also. It's great to see so many Opinel topics lately on BladeForums; they used to be quite under-appreciated.

    I like your reshaping mod to give the blade a bit of 'drop'. Visually, it's a nice improvement. In everyday use though, I find myself using the stock sharp tip more than the blade's belly for various tasks.

    Have you seen the Garden Knife? It's "dropped" so much that it's more like a spear point. I own one but haven't carried it to see how useful the blade shape is or isn't.
  17. I used some Watco Danish Oil to seal my walnut No. 08. It's a mixture of linseed oil, varnish and mineral spirits. Does a great job at sealing it, so it won't soak up moisture. I sanded the handle to shape with some wet/dry sandpaper, then further smoothed it with higher grit paper, up through around 1200/1500 grit, I think. Then sealed it up with the Danish Oil. I've done a little light sanding & buffing after, so it's got a nice 'almost glossy' satin sheen to it now.


    (Here's the same knife, alongside my 'Carbone' No. 08, before I sanded & sealed the handle)
  18. Bigfattyt

    Bigfattyt Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 23, 2007
    Great pics all. I sure want one or four.

    I want to order some of the oversized handles to shape them my self. They look so great.
  19. quattromori


    May 7, 2011
    The matter of water resistance in Opinel's is something that I had to face too.
    Recently, on my stainless #6 in rosewood, I decided to go for a vaseline/mineral oil alternate treatment.
    My knife doesn't get any rain or water, but can suffer humidity and deals with alot of fruit juices.
    So far, it seems that the treatment is working fine.
    I also oiled the inner side of the locking ring (using a syringe and a small needle or a cannula), since I didn't want to remove it but I wanted to make sure it didn't get stuck. It slides just fine now.

  20. Humppa

    Humppa Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 25, 2010
    Hi guys!

    Nice ideas... that you all have here.

    But imo Carls or Fausto posibilities of getting the handle waterproof seem to be really ok. Vaseline might really work in that case. I took my Opinel #6 Carbon from the office home, I´ll try out when I have time during holiday... Maybe something will help against that water-sponge-effect.

    Kind regards

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