Opinel Questions

Joined
Aug 10, 2008
Messages
563
As I am not a paying member i am not afforded the luxury of a search function. I dug back a few pages and didn't find anything opinel-related so I figured I would post a new thread - my apologies if this is a question that has been asked over and over.

I'm an American living in NC and am really interested in picking up an Opinel (or three; they're so cheap!) My two questions are:

I have pretty big hands, and have never handled any of the various Opinels. I've heard that a size between 7 and 10 is ideal for people with big hands doing real work with a knife. Any recommendations on this?

Slimline or traditional?

And are there any regular Opinel dealers in the Eastern US, or do they need to be mailordered?

I guess I'm just looking for general knowledge and opinions on Opinels, as they look like well-made, very pretty, old-fashioned knives. Anything you all can share would be GREATLY appreciated.

-James
 
Joined
Aug 10, 2008
Messages
563
update: Found a bin of Opinel No. 8's at my mall's Williams Sonoma for $16! For the price, these are quite cool knives. It took me a while to put an edge on it since it's stainless, but it's a razor! Love the classic feel. Naturally, here are pictures.

dsc04413zd0.jpg

dsc04414qk2.jpg

dsc04415nr8.jpg

dsc04417re0.jpg
 
Joined
Mar 20, 2006
Messages
2,221
I would recommend ordering online from Smokey Mountain Knife Works. They carry a lot of the Opinel line (the pareing knives are awsome in addition to the folders;)) and have free shipping on orders over $10 placed online. Sometimes local outdoors stores carry them. I believe Coghlans repacks at least one or two models of Opinels in their packaging (Coghlans is a major distributor of cheap camping equipment).

I prefer the traditional Opinel Handle. I think with big hands, you would too- but knives are a personal preference thing. Opinels are affordable enough that if you don't like what you chose- you aren't out much (and they hold their value well, so you can get most of your money back on eBay if need be).

One other bit of advice- stock Opinels and humidity don't mix because of the wood handle and lack of metal liners. However, jackknife presents a really good method of sealing them to prevent those issues. See the last post in this thread: http://bladeforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=560058&highlight=opinel
 
Last edited:

Blues

hovering overhead
Staff member
Super Mod
Joined
Oct 2, 1998
Messages
31,747
I would recommend ordering online from Smokey Mountain Knife Works. They carry a lot of the Opinel line (the pareing knives are awsome in addition to the folders;)) and have free shipping on orders over $10 placed online.


That went the way of all things a while back.

Now it's free shipping over $100.

The bright side is you can buy a bunch of Opinels for that amount. And I agree, the paring knives (and the folding saw if they have 'em) are excellent.
 
Joined
Aug 10, 2008
Messages
563
I would recommend ordering online from Smokey Mountain Knife Works. They carry a lot of the Opinel line (the pareing knives are awsome in addition to the folders;)) and have free shipping on orders over $10 placed online. Sometimes local outdoors stores carry them. I believe Coghlans repacks at least one or two models of Opinels in their packaging (Coghlans is a major distributor of cheap camping equipment).

I prefer the traditional Opinel Handle. I think with big hands, you would too- but knives are a personal preference thing. Opinels are affordable enough that if you don't like the (will finish later- need to get some food).

I'd like to get a longer, slimline one with a bubinga handle... they look gorgeous in pictures! I'll have to check out that website.
 
Joined
Mar 20, 2006
Messages
2,221
That went the way of all things a while back.

Now it's free shipping over $100.

The bright side is you can buy a bunch of Opinels for that amount. And I agree, the paring knives (and the folding saw if they have 'em) are excellent.

It's understandable why they would have changed the promotion- I remember when it was free shipping on all orders:eek: (last Christmas) Last time I bought anything from them was like April or May, so the change must have been in the past couple months. Ya gotta make sure to get some Moras while your there too:thumbup::p
 
Joined
Mar 7, 2005
Messages
1,063
I really like the number 8 for the woods, a number 6 for the office (my folding paring knife) and a number 7 when off-duty.

If I could only have one it would be a No.7
 

Kiah

S&S Moderator
Moderator
Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Joined
Jul 20, 2006
Messages
19,451
I really like the "Garden Knife". It's a No. 8 with a spear point, curved handle, and lanyard hole. Most are stainless, but Coghlan's sells a carbon version.
 
Joined
Apr 5, 2007
Messages
6,249
I carried an Opinel when I was doing alot of long distance hiking in England and Scotland.
It can be quite 'damp' up in the hills.
Never had any trouble with the Beechwood swelling.

You can get them in oak or olive wood, which would be much less likely to swell than beechwood.
 

Will Power

Gold Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2007
Messages
29,345
Try one of the African hardwoods too,it's a durable handle and has a nice dark colour.
All round, Opinels are fine knives,inexpensive and a very good range to choose from.
Their saws are well worth having.
 
Joined
Apr 5, 2007
Messages
6,249
Try one of the African hardwoods too,it's a durable handle and has a nice dark colour.
All round, Opinels are fine knives,inexpensive and a very good range to choose from.
Their saws are well worth having.

Are they pull or push saws?
 
Joined
Jul 22, 2007
Messages
1,045
Ah yes, the Opinels at Williams-Sonoma at Southpoint. I didn't believe it when, last year, buying some Le Crueset stuff for my mom, I staarted looking at the knives and saw- Opinels. I didn't know they were stainless.

I bought a carbon No 9 in Zermatt, Switzerland. It's a good size for me- I too have large hands.

As for swelling, I induced a patina using the hot juice method, and it swelled a little bit. I let it air dry and then poured a little oil in the joint. It did fine.
 
Top