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Looking for budget EDC. <$30

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

  1. marchone

    marchone Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 13, 2013
    Good luck with that. Let us know how it turns out.

    The quirkiness of the Opinel knife is matched only by the Citroen 2CV. A jack knife of a car if there ever was one. Both designed with French farmers in mind.
    Pilsner, pinnah and Bad Ninja like this.
  2. pinnah


    Jul 28, 2011
    @Pilsner , @herisson and @Bad Ninja , out of curiosity...

    At what age did you see your first Opinel and at what age did you use your first Opinel. Trying to get a better gauge on how common they are in different regions.

    I was in my mid forties.

    @Pilsner: I'm still chuckling about your post.
  3. pinnah


    Jul 28, 2011
    I might argue that the quirkinesses of the Opinel is matched by the quirkiness of the Buck 110. Seven solid ounces of scoliosis inducing brass, frail easily broken tip, comparatively weak peened pivot. And by noting this I've just called in artillery fire on my own position from the American Buck equivalents of Pilsner's French farmers.

    Regardless, the Buck 110 and Opinel remain the 2 primary knives in my EDC bowl.

    @Pilsner, I don't think I would recommend a knife with a super thin handle for "outdoor/bushcraft" type uses as the OP asked about. The Mercator is arguably a better EDC knife for pocket carry but doesn't have the ergonomics for making wood shavings IMO.
  4. Bad Ninja

    Bad Ninja

    Dec 19, 2018
    Probably 12-13.
    I'm past 50 now.

    I was much older when I realized normal people actually had safe queens.
    I couldn't believe people had new knives they paid huge sums for and never used.
    Just seemed weird to me.
    It was like paying $500 for a wrench and keeping it wrapped in cloth.
    marchone likes this.
  5. Bad Ninja

    Bad Ninja

    Dec 19, 2018
    Back in my youth, I preferred a Schrade LB7 over a Buck.
    pinnah likes this.
  6. pinnah


    Jul 28, 2011
    I'm stunned, actually. Could you say more about the context?

    Was it an actual Opinel or a Colghan's rebrand? How common were they and could you say more about who all used them? You're somewhere in the southern US, no?

    I spent my childhood in the mid-west and New England, most of life in New England and several years in CA. Wasn't until I got a #8 as part of a bike parts trade that ever saw one.

    In the cycling community, we call the bike equivalents "garage queens". When I was a ski instructor (different lifetime it feels like) our saying was "All skis are rock skis". Similar to "all bikes are riders" and "all knives are users".
  7. Pilsner

    Pilsner Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Oct 28, 2017
    Hiya, I used to have them growing up. They are very common, and well regarded, throughout Europe. We just saw them as a good, cheap cutting tool, whilst lusting over fancier, more solid looking stuff. It depends on one's exposure, I suppose. Don't get me wrong, that thread the other day when somebody's wife gave him a beautiful case of Opinels was really nice to see. They are excellent for what they are!
    pinnah, Bad Ninja and marchone like this.
  8. marchone

    marchone Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 13, 2013
    I can’t recall the first time I saw an Opinel knife. It seems they were always around. OTOH, I didn’t buy one till on holiday in Malta in the late 90s in my late 40s. Great picnic lunch tool.
    pinnah and Bad Ninja like this.
  9. jason41987


    May 9, 2012
    I have never seen an Opinel in person.
  10. Bad Ninja

    Bad Ninja

    Dec 19, 2018
    I grew up in southeast Georgia, in a very small town.
    I don't recall which model but it was an Opinel. Relative kept one in his fishing tackle box.
    I remember thinking the barrel lock was neat, but my Schrade put it to shame. Back then, American made quality was king, and the French weren't exactly known for high quality tools.
    Opinels were not all that common, but not really an oddball piece.
    It was a beater knife, abused and used hard.
  11. Bad Ninja

    Bad Ninja

    Dec 19, 2018
    They are okay by today's standards, and a great value.
    Good beater knives.
    You can get them for $12 or so.
    Much better knives than some of the Chinese made crap in the same price range.
  12. pinnah


    Jul 28, 2011
    And you're in Europe, correct?
  13. pinnah


    Jul 28, 2011
    You're in the states, yes? Can you provide some more context like which region and general age?
  14. marchone

    marchone Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 13, 2013
    Nope. NYC.

    Maybe because I’d been in the restaurant biz for so long and Opinels were always available at the pro cookware shops here. Lots and lots of French products. I have long thought New York City was culturally closer to Europe than it was to the rest of the US.
    Bad Ninja and pinnah like this.
  15. jason41987


    May 9, 2012
    32. And I have lived all over the US.
    Bad Ninja and pinnah like this.
  16. jason41987


    May 9, 2012
    I may change my mind on the Opinel and the Buck and combine the costs of the two and buy something nicer. So that is why I am currently looking at the Rat 1 in D2, the Spyderco Tenacious, and the Kershaw Cryo, also the US made Kershaw Link.
  17. pinnah


    Jul 28, 2011
    This thread needs pictures...

    Opinels aren't "nice" knives. Out of the box, they're crude but effective.

    The Buck 110 is a plenty nice knife, IMO. Even a Walmart special 110 is a beautiful knife compared to a Rat (also available there often). The choice between a Buck 110 and a Rat is going to your personal presence on style and features, not whether one is nicer than the other.

    I generally recommend sticking with less expensive knives till you develop a strong preference for style, features and blade grinds, but regular visits to online communities may leave you feeling inadequate compared to the eye candy you see and the glowing love letters written by their owners.

    Here is my take at eye candy...

    Opinel can be made nicer with some modification. These have drop point blades, rounded handles and lanyards.
    [​IMG]Opinel by Pinnah, on Flickr

    I think the Buck 112 is the prettiest production knife made. It doesn't fit my hand and carry preference well but I think it's just great looking. Here it next to a refinished Opinel 8, which carries in the front pocket better, imo.
    [​IMG]Buck 112 &amp; Opinel #8 by Pinnah, on Flickr

    The Buck 110 is a complete "no excuses" type of knife. It weighs 7 ounces. No crying about it. Carry it or don't. Here it is next to an Opinel 10 modified with an easy open handle.
    [​IMG]Buck 110 and Opinel #10 by Pinnah, on Flickr

    None of this eye candy should matter to you, really. You should carry a knife that makes you happy. Pretty much any knife will handle outdoor activities like hiking and backpacking provided you have some knowledge. Having peace of mind is more important than which knife you have.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019
    Pilot1 and herisson like this.
  18. herisson

    herisson Knuckle dragging and mean minded Neanderthal Platinum Member

    Mar 11, 2013
    I think I said it, I grew up with them Opinels. We had them, we used them... It was the poor man's knife. Not a bad knife, at all. But we all dreamed of something better... and if you could get a hold on one of those American knives : like a Buck. That was heaven and you were king of the heap ! Today, it's still a tool box staple and quite liked by knife aficionados for the (almost) endless possibilities of modding. The rest is small talk.
    Pilot1 and pinnah like this.
  19. NoF


    Oct 15, 2018
    Like Owen K mentioned before, the Kershaw Emerson collabs are definitely worth considering. The CQC-4KXL in can be found for $20 now.

    Personally I find the Tenacious to be a little pricey for the material and the build quality (especially the build quality), but if you like the design it still functions fine.
  20. rogatsby

    rogatsby Basic Member Basic Member

    Jun 19, 2018
    Hi Pilsner, that guy who got that great gift from his wife would be me :) I normally carry a Spyderco Delica or Dragonfly for EDC. But I really love Opinels. I always have. And they are the best picnic knives ever. And I still take out my wife's gift every night after Christmas to look at my new Opinels haha.


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