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Opinel, new ring, with problems, so better buy a few of the old ones, if you can still find them.

Discussion in 'Traditional Folders and Fixed Blades' started by jacktrades_nbk, Jun 25, 2018.

  1. jacktrades_nbk


    Feb 7, 2007
    Maybe there are some modders who can make it as it was again, but why? It was perfect as it was, for more than 100 years, and now they change it...

    Response from Opinel to the video:

    These new rings boast a wide range of benefits: → The rotation of the rotating lock ring is smoother and more reliable → Better rotation guide→Ejection-proof system when closed blocking the blade is now only possible from one side. The stop frees the groove to fold the blade intuitively, without needing to look at the knife.→Consistent workmanship qualityOur new rings are entirely produced in our factory in Chambéry, using top of the range machinery developed specifically for Opinel® and manufactured in France. This guarantees a higher production rate and better cutting and shaping quality. This new equipment demonstrates our commitment to continuous investment in modernising and improving our industrial facilities in Chambéry, as was also the case with our 1500-m² extension in 2015.We are confident that this new ring generation, which has also been patented, will meet the expectations of all our Opinel® enthusiasts and have a career as prestigious as the one created in 1955. These new rings will be available from February 2016 on the following No. 07 models: stainless steel and carbon traditional knives, My first Opinel®, No. 07 Outdoor Junior. It will then be gradually available over the next two years on all knife sizes.

    Video with description and the problem:

    sitflyer likes this.
  2. supratentorial


    Dec 19, 2006
    The virobloc was added in 1955 so a it is bit short of 100 years. Starting in the 1990s they modified it to lock in the closed position.

    There have been a few posts complaining about this more recent change. All of my Opinels are older so I haven't seen it. Maybe contact Opinel and let them know. I want Opinel to be around for many more generations. It's not a complicated mechanism so it seems like it should be an easy fix. Might just make the slot longer or go back to the earlier version.
    jacktrades_nbk likes this.
  3. jackknife


    Oct 2, 2004
    I've already encountered this problem and I won't be buyng anymore Opinels to tweek and give away. They've made it no longer worth any of the time I have left to try to tinker with a new solution to a problem that didn't exist. I tossed the one I was trying to mod in the trash and bought the young man a Victorinox recruit.
  4. Hickory n steel

    Hickory n steel Basic Member Basic Member

    Feb 11, 2016
    I'd buy one and fix the issue if I wanted an opinel.
    jacktrades_nbk likes this.
  5. Henry Beige

    Henry Beige Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 1, 2015
    Now I am curious. My first thought would be to drive tha protrusion back where it belongs woth a hammer and punch, and cut or grind a second bevel to make the lock ring operate normally. Or else get busy with a Dremel.

    But I am not going to run out and buy a new one right now, as I have more than enough older Opinels on hand.
    GABaus and jacktrades_nbk like this.
  6. afishhunter


    Oct 21, 2014
    So the "updated" lock does not work in either position, and Opinel's "fix" of a non-existent problem has created a problem.

    It looks like Opinel changed the pivot pin, too. It's flush on both sides now.
    GABaus and jacktrades_nbk like this.
  7. davek14


    May 30, 2009
    If you look at an older Opinel, you will see that the "formed groove" that the peening of the pivot pin rode in is what stopped the lock ring from "riding up" when the knife was locked closed. It is also what kept the ring on the knife. I stopped taking the knife completely apart for modding as getting this peening just right on re-assembly was hard to do. My locking ring always rode up while locking closed. In later years, this peening was not done as perfectly on new knives. It must have been a fiddly thing at the factory.

    The pivot peening riding in this groove kept the locking ring on the knife and also kept it from riding up on locking closed. That is obviously it's purpose.

    Afishhunter, I've noticed that, on the two new styles I have that the peening was on one side only and was done poorly. If it's flush on both sides now, what is the purpose of that formed groove. It's clearance for the peening on the pivot pin as well as keeping the ring on the knife (and the riding up issue). Seems like with a flush pivot pin and the new stamped groove it's superfluous.

    Seems like people who just buy an Opinel and use it see the new design as a non-issue. An Opinel lock is fairly sturdy, but I always thought the had a tendency to loosen with use. You had to make sure they stayed tightened. I, and many, made the slope on the top of the ring more gradual for a better friction lock. This new design would limit that.

    I've never handled a Cold Steel Twistmaster, but pictures show a stamped groove. I wonder if they have taken a page from their book.

    jacktrades_nbk likes this.
  8. jackknife


    Oct 2, 2004
    That was my first thought as well. Easier said than done. The steel is tempered pretty well and a Hamer and punch had little or no effect on that hump. Didn't file well either. Then the ring had the locking bevel on only one side and it was the opposite that I like, being right handed. Would have had to cut a whole new locking bevel on the right side. End result it was just not worth it to me to go through all that.
    NirreBosse likes this.
  9. jackknife


    Oct 2, 2004
    An excellent way to put it. They have made it very very difficult to just snug up the pivot pins like it used to be. No more a few taps with a Hamer to make it nice and snug like a friction folder should be. They have thoroughly screwed up a well tried design that had nothing wrong with it. I smell a lawyer in this somewhere.
    GABaus and Henry Beige like this.
  10. abcdef


    Oct 28, 2005
    I keep seeing posts on this issue. My only Opi's are a couple of old ones that have never gotten any use, so I have not compared new/old. Since only a knut notices a difference, the other 99.99% of buyers won't care. I can only speculate it is enough cheaper to produce the new lock that Opinel does not care either. My guess is they save enough to afford a few lawyers.
  11. jblyttle

    jblyttle Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 3, 2014
    It's hard to go back once you have changed the whole line. Hopefully they will be able to step back with this feedback and see the problem before going ahead with all of the other models.
  12. afishhunter


    Oct 21, 2014
    I would be SHOCKED if Opinel even looks at this forum. Heck, it would be shocking if they even know about this Forum. Any feedback they get is probably not going to be from a forum.

    I might be mistaken, but I think even a non knife knut will notice if the blade lock does not work. :)
    jblyttle likes this.
  13. jblyttle

    jblyttle Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 3, 2014
    I agree, I meant feedback in general, probably YouTube is more noticeable. Either way, I think that they will at least hear the message.
    afishhunter likes this.
  14. Camillus

    Camillus Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 3, 2015
    Maybe. I think this issue was extensively discussed in this forum over a year ago.
  15. Henry Beige

    Henry Beige Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 1, 2015
    The problem dates back, in my opinion, to the introduction of the hold-closed notch, which created a situation where you could try to open a locked knife and send the lockring flying across the room. Before the closing lock, there was no way to lever the lock ring with the blade.
  16. Bartleby


    Oct 28, 2005
    It is much more likely that 99.9% of users won't be aware of this dangerous change in design while relying on it to work without any thought about doing so, get injured and take their business elsewhere. Word of mouth often does more damage than an army of lawyers. It is unfortunate that Opinel has chosen to make a dangerous change to a proven design.
    GABaus, afishhunter and jackknife like this.
  17. jackknife


    Oct 2, 2004
    I think this maybe very true. It's the great unwashed masses, the non knife folks that may not know they are in danger of grievous damage to the right index finger or worse. Limiting the lock travel to just one direction was a mistake in itself, but to limit the locking ring travel to just a little bit of rotation is a potential dangerous fail.

    My question goes all the way back to 1955, and why after all those years of use and popularity from 1890 on, did they add a totally un-needed locking ring that is just a sheet metal thing that can be shoved out of the way. How many centuries did peasants all across Europe use pure old simple friction folders with no problems? The Sardinian resolza, the Spanish Teramundi, the Opinel in original form, and the Japanese with the Higonokami. Ands lets not leave out the peasant life from down under that was the model of knives made all across Europe by local blacksmiths. The more I have used that little resolza Fausto gifted me, the more I understood how well those European peasants were served by a simple friction folder.

    The more I used friction folders, the more I fell in love with them. Sooooo simple and logical. If you use it like a slip joint, theres no problem. I guess I must be the very odd man out, because I've never liked lock blades. They give a false sense of confidence. In my life I've seen two very bad incidents where someone trusted a lock too much. One had the right index finger amputated, the other needed many stitches and later surgery to try to get the finger working again. Both were from young guys who had too much faith in their mighty lockblades. Big name brand knives at that.

    My feeling is that, if you need a knife that isn't going to fold on you, then that's what sheath knives are for. An un-folding knife. A knife that's not already meant to fold in the middle.

    Opinel needs to just leave things alone on a knife that was already just fine until 1955.
    GABaus and Bartleby like this.
  18. Henry Beige

    Henry Beige Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 1, 2015
    Carl, you are quite right about friction folders. But I wonder if the Opinel would have captured my fancy as it did, without the elegant simplicity of the original lock ring.
    NirreBosse, 353 and Bartleby like this.
  19. jackknife


    Oct 2, 2004
    I can't answer of you, Henry, but Opinel's history speaks for itself. In 1911, Opinel was awarded the gold medal at the Alpine International expo in Turin Italy of sit's excellent design of the knife. In 1915, they had to move to a new bigger factory in Chamberry France for increased production. So even back then, The Opinel was catching a lot of peoples fancy. Pablo Picasso loved the Opinel so much, it was his prime sculpturing tool. That was well before the lock. By the time Marcel Opinel 'invented' the viroblock' the humble Opinel had been in use for over a half a century with many fans of it's cutting ability. Just what Joseph Opinel had invented it for.

    There's such a thing as fixing something that ain't broke.
    afishhunter and Bartleby like this.
  20. deltaboy


    Jul 6, 2014
    Sad to hear this!

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