Traditional Opinel No 8 Pocket Knife Review

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Opinel has been manufacturing knives since 1890 which is much longer than the most of the present-day knife manufacturers, they started with a distinctive sense of function and style and haven’t stopped yet. The Opinel No. 8 is the most commonly seen sporting a carbon steel blade and beechwood handles,and is by far their most popular knife design & size, it’s also available in a wide range of different steel types and handle materials. The one included in this review, for instance, has Bubinga wood handles and a stainless-steel blade.

Traditional Opinel No 8 Pocket Knife Review

Opinel No 8 Pocket Knife Review

The first folding knife that I ever purchased for myself was the Opinel No. 8. Now that I am older, I chose to kick back some nostalgia and get myself the luxury/upgraded version of the classic Opinel No. 8 that I can’t help but love.

Other than different blade steel/finish and wood, there truly isn’t any difference between the classic Opinel No. 8 in Beechwoods and my knife. I do have the classic Opinel No. 8 too; however, I have to say I love the overall appearance of this Opinel just a little bit more.It is minimal in the aesthetics department, yet I think therein lies the charm of it.In all cases, the Opinel No. 8 has a clean, refined and quite beautiful look to it.

The 8.26 cm (3.25 inch) long blade is perfectly finished,on my version of the Opinel No. 8, which is a good change of the regular classic Opinel from the standard industrial finish. The blade is a huge fingerprint magnet, be advised that if you get the version that I have.

The Opinel design is as regular as you can get, which implies no clip of any sort. I sometimes take it as a glorified neck knife in an Opinel leather sheath that I had purchased separately. I got the idea to convey it this way was from the way Cody Lundin wears his Mora Classic as a neck knife.

I couldn’t find the exact one on Amazon, however this one is very close, and looks to be exactly the same except for that slit at the front. The sheath is well made with clean branding and nice contrasting stitching.

As my sheath has zero attachment points of any kind, it definitely looks over function. To be honest it is actually more of a pouch than a sheath, but for its intended purpose it functions adequately. If you carry an Opinel every day, it’s definitely not for quick deployment at the end of the day, so no trouble with the sheath making it a little harder to deploy.

Whenever someone asks on the forums for a recommendation of an inexpensive folding knife that cuts exceptionally well, the answers are normally flooded with suggestions of Opinels. It’s not hard to perceive why. The Opinel No. 8 honestly out cuts everything and is a super slicer. At 2 mm (0.08 inches) thick, I can’t think of any other single folding knife that comes this thin out of the box. It’s probably one of the most anorexic blades I own.

In addition, their unbelievably low price tag make them an easy entry into the knife market. You go Mora, when it comes to the most affordable bang-for-buck bushcraft/survival knives. You go Opinel,when it comes to the most affordable bang-for-buck folding EDC super slicers.

Opinel No 8 Pocket Knife – Blade

The Sandvik 12C27 blade is crazy lean and full flat ground. Opinel really hit the jackpot, in terms of performance and aesthetics. It’s basically a folding light saber and will slice through basically anything with insane levels of ease. Between the two steel options, stainless steel (12C27), and carbon steel (XC90), in my experience both hold an incredible edge. In spite of the fact I would suggest you going with the stainless option if you are located in a humid environment where rusting is a possibility.

It ought to be noted that out of the box the blade may not be at its maximum capacity of screaming sharpness, and obviously, it may need to be resharpened to get to that point. However, this should come as no surprise at the sub $15 price point. You are lucky, however, as Opinels, even if they are stainless steel, are almost meaningless to sharpen, and to say the least, results of the new edge will be awe inspiring.

I truly do not suggest prying with it since the tip is pretty acute. You can simply regrind the blade if you do manage to snap the tip off. Obviously, you will be compelled to join the club of Opinel owners who have treated their knives badly, it’s a popular club, yet don’t worry, due in part to how inexpensive the Opinel really is.

Opinel No 8 Pocket Knife – Construction

The construction of the Opinel No. 8 is one piece. It’s truly the perfect example of keeping things simple. It has a single pivot and no way to adjust anything beyond the lock engagement.

Opinel No. 8 handles are excellently contoured, with a magnificent ergonomic palm swelland no visible defects. The lathed construction means that the ergonomics are as neutral as you can get. We are competing a Mora Classic here.

The Opinel is basically weightless in your hands and a pleasure to utilize throughout the day as it weighs 1.6 ounces (45 grams). Balance on the Opinel No. 8 is moreover perfect at right behind the pivot.

Opinel No 8 Pocket Knife – Pivot

It’s very easy to point where the single pivot is located. This single pivot clasps the metal sheath where the rotating lock of the Opinel sits. With exaggerated torsion and lateral pressure, it has been said that the steel ring can pop offhowever, the lock will never fail under normal use. It has said, the steel ring has never popped in over a decade of owning and using Opinels quite really hard, so I can’t really comment on that.

Coming back to the aesthetics of the Opinel No. 8, I can think of very few knives that are as minimally rugged as this one, in my opinion.

Opinel No 8 Pocket Knife – Open

To open the Opinel No. 8 on the blade of the knife,there is a nail nick. As a result of the knife’s lack of washers and also due to its wood construction, environmental factors like temperature and humidity can occasionally cause the scales of the Opinel No. 8 to expand, which can practically lock the blade in closed position. It’s a common criticism made of the Opinel No. 8 but I personally have never experienced this before. Some find ways to combat this issue. For instance, they will try heating up the handles in linseed oil or by submerging them in anti-freeze. As I have never tried them out myself, no guarantee with regards to how well these methods may work.

In case if you have tried any of the methods of overcoming scale expansion on the Opinel No. 8, do let us know in the comments: 1. What strategies have you used, and 2. If they have or haven’t worked. It would definitely be useful for those who have encountered the issue personally and its quite interesting information to learn.

Opinel No 8 Pocket Knife – Deployment

Once the knife has been deployed and is completely open, just twist the ring to secure the lock. Really,as simple a concept as you can get. I am very sure even a 10-year-old would have this knife figured out in minutes. It’s really nice to own a knife with just two moving parts, in our age and day of over-complicated super modern locks.

Opinel No 8 Pocket Knife – Choil

To speak of, the Opinel No. 8 has absolutely zero choil. It’s basically a folding guillotine, so I would advise being careful and (yes, I’ll say it once more) not prying using the knife, as the ring would pop off and the blade would come down on your digits. You will have a personal and a very up close understanding of how well Opinels can really cut.

Opinel No 8 Pocket Knife – Saber Grip

With absolute neutrality in saber grip, the Opinel Number 8 is extremely comfortable. Kind of feels like holding a giant sharpie, however better because of its palm swells. The wood handle is satisfying and warm to the touch. Of my entire collection, it’s likely my second favourite knife handle, second to the Mora Classic, and for a folding everyday carry knife its handles are definitely my favourite.

Choking up on the Opinel Number 8 is additionally agreeable within reason. I prefer not to grip too hard in this grip, as the fat of one’s fingers can get wedged in the gap of the ringlock.

Opinel No 8 Pocket Knife – Reverse Grip

The Opinel Number 8 is definitely not a tactical knife, reverse gripping this knife is equally neutral, and the lack of a guard reflects that. I would recommend against stabbing with it. Because you might not want your hands to slip, as using the knife will then backfire on you.

Opinel No 8 Pocket Knife – Pinch Grip

By contrast, pinch grip, is exceptional.One of the better knives to pinch grip with is definitely the Opinel Number 8. When it comes to field dressing the wooden handles might be problematic, as blood and guts might get lodged inside the knife, so remember that. It’s not a move through/open frame construction, and accordingly there is no real approach to take the knife apart for cleaning and maintenance.

Regardless, as an EDC its stunning and very efficient. For a reason it’s a classic, and as I said, at that price point, perfect entry knife into the market.  If you’re a collector, the sheer number of different variations of this knife additionally makes it a fantastic collecting piece. If you don’t need the standard Beech Wood handles? And if you want walnut handles? They are available. So are Olive wood, Oak, and of course Bubinga. Prefer an outdoor version without wooden handles? They have that, as well. You can even get it in blue.

Opinel No 8 Pocket Knife – Conclusion

To me, the Opinel No. 8 is almost ubiquitous in the knife world, and is an interesting knife to discuss and review. For the money that we give, there is no knife in the market that cuts as well. The ergonomics and superb grinds absolutely mean that the Opinel No. 8 has no rival in its price range.If you haven’t got a huge budget, for less than $15, and if you want a performance knife, pick one of these up and you will never think twice. If you wantto spend some extra money with the same performance, but with cleaner aesthetics and better materials,then go for the Bubinga one that I have got. Hell, you can spend lavishly and buy both for under $50.

There are some disadvantagesto this knife, yet objectively speaking, if we were to address them it would change the knife irreversibly. Part of the beauty of an Opinel is that this classic has been made in France, Savoie for well over a century with little changes having ever been made, and without any regards to material trends and modern design. It wouldn’t even be the same knife if you made the scales synthetic and allowed faster deployment. Much like the Mora Classic or the Buck 110, this knife is historyand tradition all wrapped into one age-defying, sleekpackage and should be appreciated as that.

If nothing else, pick one up, to experience one of the most acute edges in the market at one of the most insanely low price points.


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