opinel knives

Jun 17, 1999
Does anybody have any experience with Opinel Knives? How's the blade material?
They are good knives, Not the best. But for the price they can not be beet.
They make a great using/loner knife in that you're not embarrased to use it and don't mind loning it out. At $8-$12 for one you can buy several and not worry about them getting trashed or lost. As for blade pivot stiffness and lock stiffness just break it in. Or force the issue with White Lightning and pliers.

"A knifeless man is a lifeless man"
-Nordic proverb

Dirt cheap and wickedly sharp. There is no comparing most stainless steels to a simple carbon steel like Opinel uses, IMO. It takes a good edge, stays that way pretty well, and it is easy to put that edge back. It does rust, though, which is doubly dangerous in a folder so take care of it.

Opinels are in a sort of in-between class; not the quality and sophistication we expect of even the simplest Walmart pocket knife, but certainly a step above that disposable utility blade. They are good knives if you accept them for their own unique selves - not well-finished, not fast-opening, and not too pretty, but a good, sharp piece of steel that folds away well and stays open when you need it to.

I think of them as a GREAT folding paring knife. They are right at home in the bottom of a picnic basket.

Very old design, very basic, and politically correct! Good steel. CS Twistmaster's are basically the same with tougher handles, heavier locking rings (and great steel).
When the UBB people finally fix the search bug you'll be able to find a long post I wrote on how to turn an Opinel into a one-hand opener, how to make some cosmetic improvements, and even a suggestion on how to add a spring and make one into an switchblade. It's in a thread called "Modifying Knives" IIRC, but it's so far back it'd take forever to find without the search function.

-Cougar Allen :{)
Straight V grind, and the closest thing to a paring knife you can carry in our pocket.

I'm in concert with all of the above posts, with these extra tib bits.

Its the national knife of France. You can get away with carrying one where another might get you in trouble, a la Gend'arm (sp).

Its "ethnic" in a European way.
Make a great first lockbacks for your kids, or gardening blade for pruning. Once you put a good edge on one, stropping will keep it hair peeling sharp because of the flat V grind.

Very comfortable handles, The Cold Steel Twist Masters are like Opinels on steriods, also good blade, but much more expensive.

I picked up mine several years ago at a flea market for $2, from someone that did not know what they were selling. Blade is 3 1/4, making this a #8 (?).

Consider bluing the blade, but as mine was used, it had a light patina (tarnish) that prevents rust. Last week I opened it up and dropped the whole thing into non toxic lemon oil and let it soak for a day. Let it drain, and I'm good to go for another year. -Brian
Brian are you sure about the v grind? Mine is a convex grind and I got mine new, and all of the ones I have seen are the same way.
There are also Opinels with stainless steel blades. They usually have red text instead of the black text in the handle. I would have loved to have one when I was on a picnic. I have a carbon steel one, but it was at home and I wouldn't have wanted to know what does TufCloth taste like with cheese.


Two important questions in life:
Do they have a catalog?
Did you know there's a town called "Batman" in Turkey?
David Williams, you have performed a great service to humanity by rediscovering that thread! There's a wealth of information in it.

I have never seen an Opinel with a convex grind -- is it stainless? I've never looked close at a stainless one (feh!).

-Cougar Allen :{)
All I can say it that mine's a flat grind. Maybe the bench grinding setup that yours was made on was a little worn and gave a slight concave profile to your blade. Also, I estimate the age on mine to be 10-13 years old. Bought it used in 1989, and looked like it had never been sharpened.

Years ago, one of the old Gutmann annual knife pubs did a profile on Opinel. Ment to be a good working knife at a low price for the labor/craftsman market. Ol' Joseph Opinel did well!

Forgot to mention something *very* important. The Grand Old Man of the forge himself, Bill Moran, uses an Opinel for his own pocket knife.

Pictures were in one of the Knife Annual by Warner a few years ago. The handle appeared stained darkened, silver wire inlaid, a la Moran, and thinned down more toward the butt end were the lil' finger rides. -Brian
I have a couple of these and they can be sharpened to a scapels sharpness. I use a # 6 to slice carrotts and celery for my wife's salads and such. It is stainless, but I also have a # 8 size in carbon steel and it seems to take a better edge.Opinel also puts out a really nice polished blade fish filet knife for some one who likes a nice compact folding filet knife. These knives for the little money really perform and seem to be very well made.I also picked up a commerative that was made to commerate the 1944 D day landing 50 years.It has a walnut handle and an acid cut design on the blade
in a nice box. I think I paid the extra high price on this one of about 13.95.
Yes, the convex grind is very slight. I looked for the box and papers that came with the knife and could not find them. I seem to remember Opinel them self stating that the blades have a convex grind. Does anyone still have the box or papers that came with there knife who can check this?
Btw I have the carbon steel #6.
Opinels are the perfect gift knife.

Inexpensive Quality

Good Steel


I give one away, and buy another within weeks.

Marion David Poff aka Eye, one can msg me at mdpoff@hotmail.com If I fail to check back with this thread and you want some info, email me.

Check out my review of the Kasper AFCK, thougths on the AFCK and interview of Bob Kasper. http://www.geocities.com/Yosemite/Meadows/1770/kasperafck.html


I bought a no 8 stainless Opinel in France recently to complement my aging carbon version. It came in a presentation box with a chunky leather sheath, which also held a 3" sharpening rod. For some reason the knife itself is marked "Olivier". The handle is also made of a lighter and seemingly more dense wood. At the time I assumed it was comemorating something, but I can't find any evidence to support this.

Great knives!
Bringing this back to the top again, cuz I just bought a #8 Opinel (hey, it was only $10) to use on picnics.

I seem to remember Opinel them self stating that the blades have a convex grind. Does anyone still have the box or papers that came with there knife who can check this?

The brochure in my box says:
The Edge: Opinel blades still feature the same convex edge profile as a century ago.

The other reason I've resurrected this is cuz the locking collar is darned tight on this and I got it from a dealer too far away to exchange. Anyone have tips on loosening the collar? WD-40 doesn't seem to help..looks like the rivets are sitting low on the groove. Or are tight Opinels the standard and I just have to toughen my thumbs a bit? Thanks.
You've just gotta keep twisting that lock collar until it breaks in. When I got my cold steel twistmaster it too a month to break in, and I needed a pair of pliers to open it the first few times.