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Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by ColonelX, Apr 6, 2010.
Just head down to Wensala Square and pick up any knife you want.
True, that is the other side of being a continent with many small countries. There are so many different rules in a relative small area. And not only countries have different rules, also districts, provinces and cities can have their own rules.
But nevertheless I never have problems with carrying knives. Just use your common sense and you'll probably not get into problems and have a nice stay in Europe.
This is a bit of an old thread, but I wanted to add on to it as it was relevant to an upcoming trip. We're landing in Paris in a month and I want to buy an Opinel or SAK folder for all purpose/picnic use. Is there a specific place to get these or are they pretty ubiqitous and easy to buy in many places? I was thinking an Opinel and maybe even a nonfolding but very good all purpose Victorinox bread knife. Cheers
Whenever I go overseas I always rock a alox Victorniox cadet in a bright color (Blue, orange or red). Not threatening and just as useful. + it has a bottle opener that hopefully you get to use more than your blade on your trip. Have fun!
Definitely a Swiss Army knife. I’d probably take a huntsman. If you’re exclusively in the city, then perhaps a spartan or tinker instead.
Get a slip joint or a SAK, you should be fine almost anywhere but in airports (of course)
I live in France, usually I carry :
Manly wasp, or
Spyderco UKPK, or
TRM Atlas, or
I have small SAK as a keychain tool.
Sometime I can have a Victorinox Spartan.
These are legal.
However keep in mind that in most touristic area you can have controls that will forbid any kind of blade (museums, theme parks...)
As a basic rules for american visitor: under 3" and slip joint are fine.
I France the laws are quite strange, their is no difference if you carry a locking blade or a gun... however is you are not carry the blade on you (pocket clip orin pocket) but have its a bag you may be allowed to have it if you have a good reason (self defense is a bad reason).
Also the police is not allowed to look into your pockets unless their is a problem with your attitude.
So their is some kind of "tricks" and "flexibility" but if your are not used to the local laws and culture and you don't speak the language I would recommend to keep it simple and limit your carry to a small slip joint.
Have a nice trip in France.
I hope you will enjoy my country.
I was in Paris last summer and checked out a few knife stores.
Courty et Fils: https://goo.gl/maps/3MKGre2my9oSy6yQ8
Excellent selection of traditional knives from various regions of france, but the owners are not quite as friendly.
Cutlery Marais: https://goo.gl/maps/i7tfQS6axGeprCa19
A small traditional store, owner speaks English and is pretty friendly. I picked up a limited edition Opinel (oak).
Armes Bastille: https://goo.gl/maps/GYY8y94TnKnGh7Zh8
Super modern store with literally the BIGGEST collection of Microtechs I've ever seen. Worth a visit but it's mostly modern stuff.
As for best knife, I lost my Endura at the customs checkpoint between London and Paris - blades must be under 10cm and non-locking (dammit).
The rest of the trip I didn't have any issues but yes a SAK is fine or a small multitool (I have a Gerber Dime), and the London confiscation box was full of Opinels lol. UK is where you are most likely to get something confiscated.
If catching planes, just keep in your luggage. It's during trains between countries, you might get something nice confiscated.
As for knives, I picked up (on a different trip) a Douk Douk, a Le Thiers Compagnon and a Laguiole in juniper (smells awesome!).
Cost is relative... they're not made in China so be prepared to pay 80 EUR to 125 EUR (steel is usually 12C27 or 14C28) and do make sure you handle them open and close. I've handled a few with gritty openings and non-centered blades.
The Le Thiers Compagnon (in the middle) is my favorite of the 3... it's "modern traditional" French knife.
I was in Zurich a couple weeks ago. They sell SAK's in the airport, after you go through security.
Guns and knives are not treated exactly the same in France. They are in different categories of weapons. The only real definition of absolutely illegal types of knife is used by French customs, and there you find one-handed opening/automatically locking blades, gravity knives, stilettos, and fixed blades that must be more than 15 cm long, have a substantial hand guard and a double cutting edge to be considered illegal (basically, bayonets). But a knife in general can be considered a 'weapon by intent' and as such be confiscated.
In practice it means that police officers have to make the call when they find you are carrying a knife. If it's in an urban area and they are stressed (say there are riots in town), you will lose your knife, no matter the type or size. In rural areas, the gendarmes are a lot more tolerant, and need to be if they don't want to arrest almost everybody, between farmers, hunters and all the others out looking for mushrooms and whatnot. I have walked into the gendarmerie several times on other matters, while openly carrying my Laguiole and my Leatherman on my belt, and they did not even blink.
Generally, the advice to keep it to a relatively small slipjoint is a good one, especially in the cities.
Guns, by contrast, are just prohibited (unless you are a licensed hunter engaged in a hunt in the countryside). Civilians carry no handguns in France, period. There is no room for interpretation by police officers there, they will just arrest you.
The knife certainly doesn't fit what you are looking for but this is exactly what the Lionsteel TRE–the full titanium version–was made for: to be adjustable so as to conform to various laws. At almost 3 inches and locking I wouldn't carry it there. I was in London and Paris last summer and didn't bring a knife, buy or carry one. Walking distance from the Louvre I found the best brick and mortar knife store I've ever been to called Courty Fils. They had ZTs, CRKs and Rocksteads among other familiar brands in addition to many brands I was unfamiliar with including some by local knifemakers.
Yes you are right
The knives with locking mechanism are in he same category as the hunting rifles ie your can purchase them and carry them in bags or cases if you have a good reason, but you cannot carry them on you