Optimize my Opinel?

Feb 22, 1999
I just picked up an Opinel folder (the OP84 with the stainless steel blade, cute little "INOX" logo painted on the handle that harkens me back to when VictorINOX took the name because they were producing SAK's with stainless blades). Only problem is that the ring lock is so tight that it physically won't move (though I can move it with my Leatherman tool).

Any ideas on how to loosen up the ring? Anyone else dealt with this problem before? I know stiff actions in Opinels are a common enough problem because of the plain wooden handle, but this is the first impossibly tight ring I've encountered...

Hey there. I know what you are referring to. When I bought my Opinel in Paris in 1996 I had to go through a few until I found one that was not stiff as a board. I endded up finding one that is fairly smooth.
I say all this to say...would you be interested in buying another? I bought it for the novelty while I was there, but have NEVER carried it or cut a single thing with it. No box, but in MINT condition. Let me know what you think...this could definelty solve your current stiffness problem...

(email me today with a response.)

David P Sproles
Eagle Scout Class of 1988
sproles@email.com or
No thanks. But I thought I would give the French a shot at proving they can produce a worthwhile production blade. *laugh*

Here's a hint for loosening up Opinels: Take a match, and dip the butt in vaseline, then spread vaseline over the inside of the handle with the blade closed and half open. Then work the blade in and out of the handle for a while. I've done this with both my Opinels, and they're so smooth I can flick them right open.
At less than $10 a pop just buy another one
Which reminds me, yes Shaun I have blued a knife blade and it made my Opinel look much better. The almost 20year old knife has no rust and it is in salty-air Juneau, AK which is famous for rusting out anything non-SS.
I have two Opinels. They normally loosen up with use. If not, apply some oil to the locking ring. They usually tighten up when they get wet also(the pear wood swells).

Discount Knives sells most, if not all, of the Opinel models.

[This message has been edited by K Williams (edited 03 July 1999).]