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Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by jason41987, Jan 8, 2019.
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And to answer the OP, my two pence :
- Case Sodbuster is a solid choice
- Svörd Peasant is also a good choice (if you can do with the Piemont lever in your pocket)
- Cold Steel : Pocket Bushman and Lone Star Hunter are impressive tools in quality / price regards. A bit over your price target but you will get a lifetime of use out of them.
Look some from Real Steel or Ruike
I don't think we're saying contradictory things. I agree with you 100% about the ubiquity of the Opinel in French culture. It is so commonplace, it largely doesn't even register, just as you describe. But two things...
First, I think it is easy to underestimate the level of "common sense" knowledge about "don't care about it" objects. Very, very few Americans would know how to tap a stuck Opinel open and have never heard of the "Coup de Savoyard". The fact that the French have a term for this common place knowledge and Americans do not, indicate a dramatic difference in the degree the Opinel is simply not understood in America. Note: the interplay between cultural groups and their machines/tools is a subject of sociological research. A common theme in this literature is how the knowledge transfer about the use of the machine often happens "invisibly", outside of the bounds of written manuals. "Talking About Machines" by Julian Orr is fascinating, as is the work of Lucy Suchman - both out of Xerox Parc originally. The title of one of Suchman's papers, "Making Work Visible" hints at the difficulty in recognizing how common knowledge is generated.
Second, while not common place among all French people, France certainly does have a deep tradition in Opinel modification at least compared to here in the states. Opinel sells extra large handle blanks for carving but that's not something you see here in the states except rarely.
This sort of thing has NOT caught on big time over here:
Lastly, let's not miss my larger point. I'm less making a point about France and Europe. I'm more making a point about America. You can't simply hand an American an Opinel and expect them to be able even open it. Likely, it is the very first time they've ever held one in person. It is a foreign knife in American hands and confusion usually ensues. My point to OP was that if he goes with Opinel, he'll have to learn about it to get it to work for him.
You certainly have better knowledge of American knife culture / common sense than I. I just happened to grow up with Opinels and we loved / hated them. Just waited to have enough dough to buy a Laguiole ! Now, that's a knife ! Kids' stuff, of course. Still... I'm always amused, and flattered, by the love the Opinel gets in America. Nothing wrong with that, the Opinel is a brilliant piece of gear. Dirt cheap, simple, effective... No wonder the company has thrived for 130 years and will probably just keep on doing so. And my understanding is that the Svörd Peasant is a way better budget option than any Opinel. Simple (thick) blade, simple handle and no flimsy lock, just an ample Piemont lever. Safer, sturdier but a bit annoying in the pants pocket, I must concede.
I do not think I would want the Svord in my pocket. I was looking at them, but I figured that blade would easily pop open while carrying it and stab me in the leg. So what is the American version of the Opinel and the peasant knives? Sodbusters?
I carry a Svörd in my pocket often. It is really easy to adjust the tension that is placed on the blade by the handle and make very pocket safe. Plus, with the tang, you'll be carrying it tip down and drawing it from your pocket using the tang as a handle. I was leery about it at first, but with a little adjustment, I have no concerns about it any more.
If comparing a Svörd to an Opinel, the Opinel is clearly the more refined of the two. Svörds are, how shall we say, more... rustic. The blades have a messy grind and the final edge, though sharp, is seldom symmetrical. For all that, they beg to be used and used hard. They can be disassembled and thoroughly cleaned in 90 seconds.
Opinels are a work of art by comparison. Larger sizes use thicker stock, which is not the case with the Svörd. No. 9 or 10 is a good trade off between size and blade thickness for heavier use. It is interesting to how well Opinel's blade shape scales through the sizes. The larger you go, the more robust it will be.
Kershaw Injection 3.5. Around $15 at many retailers. Nice liner lock with great thumb studs for easy, one handed opening.
Great minds think alike. If I didn’t already have more knives than I could use I’d order one just for its cost/value ratio.
Always check out second hand stores and antique malls.
I just found this old Opinel 10 for $8.
Couldn't pass it up.
I think that has changed over time.
Large Barlows (<- English immigrant)
Large sodbusters (<- German immigrant)
Large clasp knives (aka folding hunters)
Large lock back hunters (e.g. the Buck 110 and the like)
The Spyderco Worker and all its descendants
The liner/frame lock and all its variations
Just for the sake of conversation of budget folders, has anybody tried the ABKT Scavenger? It looks like a decently made liner lock with a flipper and D2 blade.
Lol You must not know any Americans from the south.
Opinels are great low end knives, and barrel locks aren't rocket science.
I paid $8 for this one earlier today
The only Frenchman who would sing the praises of Opinel against a better engineered, less temperamental folding knife, would be exactly the sort of intractable French farmer who insists you sample his gut rotting, eye sight endangering Eau de Vie. His neighbour will produce an admirable distillation, from what at a glance seem to be similar fruit trees. But, mon Dieu! They are not the same.
This same individual might well take out his badly cared for Opinel and vehemently argue that it is better by far, mon ami, by far, than your American knife. And he will enumerate the reasons why and fill them full of garish colour.
He is, thank goodness, in the minority of Frenchmen. Everybody can see the virtue in Opinel, well almost everybody, and I certainly can too. But there are many other knives that I prefer to use, pace intractable French farmers.
OP, try a Mercator K55K. It beats the holy crap out of an Opinel.
That was a fun read!
I’m really getting into Opinel recently. I’m not very good at sharpening but I can get a great edge on an Opinel. I have an 8 and a 10. Getting ready to try a 12.
I am actually looking at stuff a bit higher budgeted right now. Looking at the Rat 1, Tenacious, and Cryo II.
Go with a Kershaw Emerson colab. I like the cqc 6 or 7 and the 4KXL. 4k is a little big prob for your needs.
I made a green g10 scale for mine It would make a fun afternoon project for you. Its nice that you only have to make one scale.
This is just an eyeglass case with a stitch run up the side and the excess trimmed off to make a narrower pouch.
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I live for this kinda stuff...lol
I've seen this done as a handgun magazine holder.
Haha excellent post!
Truth be told, I'm buying a No.6 for my wife as a craft knife so she will stay out of my Knife drawer.