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Opinel, new ring, with problems, so better buy a few of the old ones, if you can still find them.

Discussion in 'Traditional Folders and Fixed Blades' started by jacktrades_nbk, Jun 25, 2018.

  1. davek14


    May 30, 2009
    I wonder how many "non-knife folk" would buy an Opinel.

    Might be better divided into those who want to tinker with it and those who don't. I'd be willing to bet there are a fair amount of tinkerers, especially with people who own a few.
  2. Bartleby


    Oct 28, 2005
    Quite a few are sold as folding picnic knives by places that focus on kitchen wares, I first saw a bucketful in a culinary shop in a shopping mall. They are by no means a knife collectors only specialty item.
  3. Henry Beige

    Henry Beige Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 1, 2015
    LOL. The fix was in about twenty years before I saw my first Opinel. In any event, a guy who wants a pure friction Opinel has only to twist the snap ring pliers. Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2018
  4. davek14


    May 30, 2009
    Ya, I've seen that as well. I wonder what the percentage would be. I didn't actually mean knife collectors speciality item as much as a knife often bought by someone with a few knives already and some basic knowledge.

    Another market is campers since they are pretty light, there's prolly some overlap there.

    And I've seen them touted as a "hipster knife" due to the old timey look.

    I got my first Opinels from a catalog which sold various military surplus, much non-USA. They were billed as "French army(?) knives". (military surplus?... ne'mind)
    Bartleby likes this.
  5. Bartleby


    Oct 28, 2005
    Or buy one with the "improved" lock ring, which merely adds friction (and a false sense of security). As for myself I switched to the Okapi Biltong for all of the purposes once assigned to the Opinel 7, and haven't looked back.
    Henry Beige likes this.
  6. Bartleby


    Oct 28, 2005
    LOL! I recall that ad!
  7. Henry Beige

    Henry Beige Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 1, 2015
    For me, the Biltong complements the Opinel. Many days it will be one or the other, more often the Biltong. Today, both.
    Bartleby likes this.
  8. supratentorial


    Dec 19, 2006
    I think the award may have been for the entire display of pocket knives, kitchen knives, pruners, razors, etc. The description of the 1911 award seems to vary on the web. It would be fun to read the actual award (with the help of Google translate) but I haven't seen it online. The description on the Opinel website says:

    "In 1911, Joseph Opinel took part in the Alpine International Exhibition in Turin. For the occasion, he got made a beautiful carved wood display case in which he presented his famous pocket knife in its twelve different sizes, but also the expanded collection of table and kitchen knives, razors, scissors, cheese borers, pruning knives and corkscrews. Bowled over and visibly impressed, the jury gave him the gold medal! The 1911 display case is now on show at the Opinel company headquarters, the diploma is carefully stored in our archives."


    After 1955 they also received honors and expanded their factory.

    The new Chambery site
    The prosperity following the war increased the demand and at the beginning of the 70s, the factory was cramped on Cognin's main street on the outskirts of Chambery. It was then decided to build a new, larger modern production site a few kilometres away on an industrial estate in Chambery, at La Revériaz. At first, it was dedicated to wood working, assembly and conditioning activities, it became the main site and headquarters of the business in 2003."

    Opinel: a design icon
    The Opinel is a popular object used on a daily basis. Its aesthetics and functionality have convinced several generations of users. Unchanged for over a century, its design is one of the most successful of all times. For this reason, Opinel is recognised by the “Victoria and Albert Museum” as being among the 100 best designs. This list includes the Porsche 911 and the Rolex watch."

    More at the following link: https://www.opinel.com/en/the-brand/opinel-story
    Bartleby likes this.
  9. Mo2


    Apr 8, 2016
    You could try this

  10. jstrange


    Mar 31, 2012
    Has anyone gotten one recently that actually worked correctly? This is bumming me out.
  11. Astronaut FX

    Astronaut FX

    Apr 8, 2018
    I have two, both of which were purchased new, within the past year, so I assume they’re both the latest version. Although I’ve not seen an old and new side npby side to compare, so maybe I have two old stock knives.

    Both of them work fine, so I was surprised to find out (from this thread) that there had been different variations, and that there were problems with the latest iteration.

    Both of mine lock, both in the closed and opened positions. No problems.
  12. jstrange


    Mar 31, 2012
    If you can lock it by turning it either direction it’s the old design. If you can only turn it one way to lock it then it is the new version. I am talking about while the blade is open not closed.
  13. Halfneck

    Halfneck Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 30, 2005
    Just checked and the Opinel Ebauche I bought recently has the old style lock.
  14. afishhunter


    Oct 21, 2014
    Actually, even after 1955 they didn't put the lock ring on any size below the Number 6.
    As far as I know, the No. 5 and smaller still don't have the lock ring.

    At least we can still take the lock ring off. :)
    willc likes this.
  15. zolthar

    zolthar Basic Member Basic Member

    Feb 9, 2015
    I got curious about the new lock and bough a no 6 a few days ago to check it out myself. The store owner didn't know the design had changed, no other customer had ever commented about it. I think the change will only be noticed by knife knuts and especially those that modify them. I can see the new lock is a step backwards if your used to turn the lock in the direction that is not available any more, but mine functions just fine and I've never paid much attention to which way I turn to lock. I just jook at the knife and turn in the right direction. YMMV

    P.S. I forgot how sharp these knives are 'out of the box', wow! :)
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2018
    sitflyer and hughd like this.
  16. scrteened porch

    scrteened porch Basic Member Basic Member

    Feb 19, 2012
    So my latest is the previous generation because it turns either way to lock open. (I'd thought it was the latest because none of my others lock closed.)
  17. Pomsbz


    Jul 31, 2015
    I always turn to the right (when holding the knife edge down). Is that still available? Wouldn't be as easy to turn the other way.
  18. Astronaut FX

    Astronaut FX

    Apr 8, 2018
    Based on that explanation, both of mine are the new design. With the blade open, and the lock engaged, neither of mine show any signs of being able to force the lock to disengage by trying to close the blade without unlocking.

    Perhaps I just happen to have two examples of the new design that work, and granted, I’ve not personally handled one with the older design, but I’m not seeing a flaw.
    Camillus and jstrange like this.
  19. zolthar

    zolthar Basic Member Basic Member

    Feb 9, 2015
    This is how it looks now:

    This is my old no 8:

    So if you lock it in the same direction open and closed, you're good.

    The new version can also be recognize by this little indent in the locking collar:
    Bartleby, hughd and JohnDF like this.
  20. Bartleby


    Oct 28, 2005
    This is the source of the problem.The little indent rides in a slot on the bolster, effectively preventing the ring from being twisted past the ramped section of the twist ring. The blade will not lock until it is clear of the ramp, as any pressure on the spine will cause the blade to rotate the ring open. I purchased a half a dozen of the "improved" number 7 knives as gifts for a group of fellow travellers, all of the knives would not rotate far enough to lock securely. As the blades wear, this issue gets much worse (rather than being compensated for by turning the ring a little farther as was previously possible).
    GABaus, Bob W, zolthar and 1 other person like this.

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