Opinel has been one of our choicest knives for a while now. I often use their knives for utility jobs due to their versatility. One such knife is the Opinel Carbon Steel Folding Pocket Knife. If you are considering it, this review will give you a detailed overview of it.

THE LOOKS

Though traditionally made for men the new design looks and feels simple enough to be suitable for those outgoing and handy women. If you are a handy person or like the big outdoors this is definitely a must have in your pocket. The handle is made from hard Beechwood from France, this handle really looks good with a light brown clean classic finish. Its blade is made from strong carbon steel however this is not the most eye-catching feature, the Virobloc safety ring is. 

The Virobloc safety ring locks the blade while it’s open such that it doesn’t accidentally close thereby increasing safety while in use, the newest feature is you can now lock the blade while it’s closed thereby increasing safety on the go. The Opinel pocket knife comes in only one colour which is a classical light brown with just the brand name written on the side. It however makes up for the lack of colour variation in the size department as it comes in an astonishing 10 size variations. The first 4 smallest knives do not feature the Virobloc safety ring and will also cost you less.

Pros 

  • Virobloc safety ring
  • Ambidextrous hand orientation
  • Comes in a variety of sizes
  • Comes with a guarantee
  • Lightweight 

Cons

  • Blade can rust
  • The blade is flat with no shoulder 
  • Moisture will cause the handles to swell

WHO IS IT FOR

This knife is suitable for everyday use so I would not like to confine it to a certain group of people apart from not recommending it for younger and less mature people in society. It is a must-have though for people like ranchers, landowners, tradesmen, hunters, carpenters, campers, outdoor people, and everyone in-between. With its various sizes and lightweight, I can safely say all hands will find a comfortable size, and all uses will find dimensions suitable for them, not to mention that the hand orientation is ambidextrous.

BLADE

The blade is made from high-quality carbon steel with excellent cutting quality, good wear resistance and is easy to sharpen. The tip of the blade is Yatagan style, this shape is inspired by a traditional Turkish saber and it makes it easy to cut where you have limited working space. The blade needs to be washed or wiped clean after use and needs to be kept dry all the time, this is because it is prone to corrosion by moisture meaning it will rust if not kept dry.

DURABILITY

The Opinel company has been in business since 1890 meaning they have evolved to produce some of the best products in the industry. Though the product comes with a limited warranty it is very durable. The metal parts, including the Virobloc locking mechanism, need to be greased on a regular basis depending on how often you use your knife. If the blade feels stuck, use the “Opinel knock” rapping the end of the knife on a hard surface to loosen the blade slightly. The handle is made from hard, durable Beechwood from France. In addition, Opinel products are guaranteed and exchanged in case of manufacturing defects.

ACCESSORIES

This knife does not come with any accessories but it comes in a wide range of sizes from as short as 2 inches blade length to as long as 4.82 inches blade length. For those handymen, it might be wise to get a couple of sizes to make sure you have just the right size blade for each and every task.

Our Verdict

Opinel really did a good job of releasing such a wide range of sizes for the same product but I feel they could have done more in using material more resistant to corrosion and another thing some people might really need that shoulder which is missing. The swelling of handles means you will have some stress if you happen to drop your knife in your backyard on a rainy evening. I give the Opinel Carbon Steel Folding Knife 3 stars out of 5 and strongly recommend it for those handymen who know how to take care of their tools.   

David D. Hughes