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Looking for budget EDC. <$30

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by jason41987, Jan 8, 2019.

  1. DB_Cruiser


    Jul 17, 2018
    A few members here have taken the clip point of an Opinel and modified it to a nice drop point. Of course modifying the wooden handle is about as easy as pie. As far as the pivot moisture issue, I would treat it properly with oil, wax, or your water resistance potion of preference (again, Howard's Butcher Block conditioner is my personal favorite, as it combines oil, beeswax and carnuba wax) when you get it.
    I don't discount the people who say they have had the pivot swell from moisture, I can accept that it happens. In my own experience, this can be avoided by initial treatment and a little maintenance. I use my 8, 9 and 10 pretty hard for outdoor stuff and never had trouble. Perhaps a little spot of rust here and there which became beauty marks. I use a (real) copper penny to scrape it off and then some oil. Of course, the Inox models would be less prone to rust.
    A thread in the pass around forum may be of interest to the OP.
  2. Reitwagen


    Mar 2, 2009
    The blades on the Slims have a different clip point, but are overall the same profile. The plastic handled knives have 420 HC blades and the micarta and G 10 knives are S30V. I assume that the rocker bar and spring are the same parts as the classic 110 and 112, but I can't speak with certainty.
  3. pinnah


    Jul 28, 2011
    For hunting, I strongly prefer the Buck 110. Weight is not an issue when I hunt. The 110 was designed as a hunting knife and it's great for that purpose.

    For backpacking, I strongly prefer the Opinel #9. It's super light, does great with food (better when refiled to a drop point) and does better with fire making than a hollow ground blade like on the 110 or Dozier (at least for me). I use mine in the New England woods which have a deserved reputation for being wet. As many of us have noted, treating the joint with some wax and a heat gun effectively manages the issue of the wood swelling when wet.

    For backpacking when I'm counting on making a fire, I'm increasingly carrying a light fixed blade like the Mora Companion. The downside for me is that I find fixed blades to be more of a hassle to carry, as my Opinel goes in my fanny pack (carried at 12 o'clock) while the fixed blade ends up in my backpack, usually in my food bag.

    If you're looking for a knife that can be used for EDC and for backpacking/hiking, I think the Opinel 9 (or 10 is the way to go).

    Flickr is down right now. Later I'll post a link to my tutorial on how to modify and retreat an Opinel along with some pictures of the results.

    WARNING: The Opinel has a deep tradition of use, common knowledge tricks of the trade and modification.... IN FRANCE. If you don't live in France and don't have access to neighbors and friends who understand how to modify, tune and operate an Opinel, you may find it to be a frustrating knife. This forum has a lot of helpful Opinel users and if you seek information on how to use them, what their limitations are and how to manage them, you may be amazed how well they perform.

    User27 and DB_Cruiser like this.
  4. jason41987


    May 9, 2012
    Well, I have narrowed it down to the Opinel 8 and the Buck 110/112 slim. I'll get both and see what I like more.
  5. rogatsby


    Jun 19, 2018
    Good choices. If you go with the Opinel, don't worry about the wood swelling issues mentioned numerous times here. You don't need any fancy solutions. Vaseline and a hair dryer will work fine. In fact, between those two, I would go with the Opinel due to the light weight and ease of carry.
  6. jason41987


    May 9, 2012
    I have ideas to design my own knives based on both the platforms selected so I have a greater interest in the two for their mechanisms as well.

    And watching the video with the Irish guy in it. When he showed the knife at the end of the video it looks like the shoulder of the blade had buried itself back into a peened section of the locking collar which I have seen people do to other Opinels too.
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2019
  7. smilk327


    Apr 14, 2016
    After reading through the forum this is what I was going to suggest. I think you are making a wise choice based on your desires. Good luck and keep us posted on the customizations you do.
  8. pinnah


    Jul 28, 2011
    I'm having problems parsing this. Can you explain what you're seeing? All I see is gunk.

    Here is a post with a good picture of the typical sort of wear that you see on an Opinel from repeated hard cutting.

    Note the small divot on the inner collar. Eventually, this will deepen, allowing the blade to "open" more, which then allows the lock ring to turn further. Eventually, it is possible that the lock ring will no longer fully tighten as the angle of the blade in the open position continues to rise. Realistically, a knife with this much wear will likely have significant blade loss. Opinels are made to be used up and replaced.

  9. jason41987


    May 9, 2012
    Why couldn't someone make an Opinel with a thicker collar to it? It doesn't have to be a spring in order to slip over the rivet or pin if you bolt the pin in place from the opening in the collar after slipping a thicker, heavier collar into place.. and you could make the inside piece that slips over the wood out of a thicker gauge and have a far more rugged Opinel type knife. That is sort of the idea I had for making something based on the Opinel, but stronger.
  10. pinnah


    Jul 28, 2011
    Google for Cold Steel Twistmaster
  11. JimMD

    JimMD Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 6, 2017
    I just got the Tangram Santa Fe for $25 on sale for Christmas. I think currently they're $29.99 on Amazon. Very well constructed, comfortable handle, and useful blade shape.
  12. jason41987


    May 9, 2012
    That is interesting. If someone was going to modernize an Opinel type locking collar, I wonder if it could be used with a spring, to automatically lock, and to keep tension on the back of the blade and maintain a rock solid lockup.
  13. pinnah


    Jul 28, 2011
    Opinels generally lock up very solidly. The locking collar acts as a cam which jams the blade in place. If the blade rocks, it's almost always because the collar hasn't been fully turned.

    I've only handled one Opinel that didn't produce rock solid lock up. The bottom edge of the locking collar hadn't been finished flat and no matter how tight you turned the collar, the assembly rocked. This is one out of a whole lot.

    Lock rock in lock back designs is almost expected by me at this point.

    IMO, what you want from a lock ring lock like on the Opinel is the proper amount of tension on the lock ring, so that the lock ring doesn't travel and move during use. I've learned to adjust my lock ring where I can keep track of it with my thumb as I'm working. So long as the ring is in the right position, the knife won't close unexpectedly. With lock backs, I'll often keep my thumb on the back of the lock bar to feel for the lock bar lifting, which can telegraph an unexpected closure. I don't use liner locks or frame locks so I'll let others speak about how they monitor lock up.

    As for automatic locking, one thing I like about the Opinel for outdoor use is it's simplicity. Our family has had a camp on a sand beach for my entire life and I do a lot of work up there. The Opinel is the first knife I've had that I have zero worry about in terms of its joint/lock getting fouled with sand. Sure, the ring can get gritty, but a) I can visually see if the ring closes and b) even if the ring is entirely jammed, I can still use the knife with care as a pure friction folder. Big slip joints like a Sodbuster are my next favorite up there but I've tired of hosing out the sand to get the grit out of the action. And lock backs are worse because I really don't want them fouled with sand. Anyway... I wouldn't want a spring loaded Opinel. It's simplicity is one of it's primary attractions for me.
    Henry Beige likes this.
  14. jason41987


    May 9, 2012
    What is the outer diameter of the inner collar of the Opinel 8?
  15. SALTY

    SALTY Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 19, 2000
    I too am a fan of budget folders.

    You have good choices mentioned thus far. The RAT-1 (and 2) cannot be overlooked in this catagory though in respect of your preference for lockbacks, the Cold Steel Triad lock is a serious contender. Despite their over-the-top advertising, they make good, rugged knives that provide value.

    I have the Buck 110 Lite as well as the KaBar Dozier and would not hesitate one bit to recommend either of those.
  16. jason41987


    May 9, 2012
    It's just hard to take Cold Steel seriously as a company when they release so much gimmicky crap. And I've bought some of their stuff before and found it to be poorly made.
    Makael likes this.
  17. katanas


    Jan 6, 2012
    WOW! :rolleyes: You might know people you dislike (Lynn) but you sure don't know knives. :thumbsdown:
    GlockMonster30 likes this.
  18. jason41987


    May 9, 2012
    Uuh, what?
  19. herisson

    herisson Knuckle dragging and mean minded Neanderthal Platinum Member

    Mar 11, 2013
    Cold Steel is a go to brand for excellent budget knives. Despite the antics of the owner...
    SALTY and katanas like this.
  20. herisson

    herisson Knuckle dragging and mean minded Neanderthal Platinum Member

    Mar 11, 2013
    [WARNING: The Opinel has a deep tradition of use, common knowledge tricks of the trade and modification.... IN FRANCE. If you don't live in France and don't have access to neighbors and friends who understand how to modify, tune and operate an Opinel, you may find it to be a frustrating knife.]
    Actually, no. The tradition in France is "throw it in your toolbox, your car trunk, your tackle box, your pocket or your backpack and don't care about it". It's literally the "don't care about" knife. It is loved however. Some even swear it's the only knife they will ever need. Come on, it's a very cheap budget folder, quite elegant indeed, but that's about it.
    Pilsner likes this.

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