Opinel, a simple knife

DSC_5753My Opinel number 10

To me there is pleasure in using tools and knives are no exception. Several times each day I use knives for something, opening mail or shipping boxes, cutting cordage, cutting down the fore mentioned shipping boxes for the recycle bin, cutting whatever needs cutting in the workshop, cutting food, and on and on. For me, a knife is a very useful tool.

There is a type of knife that for lack of a better term I call “simple knives”. I am not sure how to describe simple knives but to paraphrase United States Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart; I know them when I see them. I suppose that when speaking of simple knives what I really mean is uncomplicated. Uncomplicated in that they are basic with a part that one grasps to hold and a part that does the cutting. Of course knives exist that are composed of just these two parts or sections and others exist that have several parts but are still what I would call uncomplicated.

An excellent example of the type of knife that I am talking about is the French made Opinel folding knife. Opinels have a blade, a handle which is just a slotted piece of wood, a rotating collar that locks the blade open or closed, and a pin that the blade pivots on. No springs, fancy handle scales, or handle liners, but still it is capable of performing the same tasks as most if not all other single blade folders. And it performs these tasks more inexpensively that most of its glossier relatives.

Opinel folding knives come in a multitude of sizes and some different blade shapes including a folding saw. The knife pictured in this post is a number 10 which is not a small knife. The blade on mine is 3 7/8” long and about .088 thick at the spine just ahead of the handle. The knife is about 9” overall when open. It’s uncomplicated but it works just fine for cutting up something for a snack, a whole meal or most anything else that needs cutting around my house.

copyright Bill North 2013

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