Opinel’s folding pocket knives are known for being simple, yet functional. They’re inexpensive knives that are versatile without frills or special features. Opinel knives are nothing special, and that’s what people love about them.
Opinel knives are available in a wide range of sizes, with each size designated with a number. The original No. 9 knife, which is priced at $15 shipped via Amazon, is a good size for everyday carry.
Opinel has come out with the DIY knife, a new No. 9 variation that features a built-in magnetic bit holder that works with standard 1/4″ hex screwdriver bits, wire cutting and stripping notches in the blade, and bit storage recesses. It weighs just a measly 2.80 ounces.
The Opinel No. 9 DIY knife is about 8″ long when open and has a 3-1/4″ blade. The blade is made from Sandvik 12C27 stainless steel, while the handle is made from tough and durable polyamide. Like other Opinel knives, the DIY knife comes with a blade locking ring for safety.
Made in France
There are two handle color options – bluish grey and yellow.
Buy Now(Grey via BladeHQ)
Buy Now(Yellow via Blade HQ)
I have two Opinels, and hardly use them. One is keychain-sized, and the other is pocket-sized. That’s not to say I don’t appreciate their simplicity and inexpensiveness, but they’re a little bland for my EDC tastes.
The new No. 9 DIY knife, on the other hand, has a little extra utility, which is enough to renew my appeal for the brand. For under $30, you get a decent stainless steel knife blade, a tough handle material, a built-in screwdriver bit holder, and separate wire cutting and stripping notches. Despite the DIY knife’s added functionality, it’s not at all ostentatious, at least in my opinion.
I really like this concept – especially as a reasonably inexpensive and lightweight, but still decent quality tool.
Opinel knives have never really appealed to me, but I don’t dispute their use and utility. This may be the first one that I own.
It looks like the tubular shape would lend itself to being a pretty comfortable screwdriver. Many other multitools / knives with screwdrivers don’t function that well or aren’t comfortable due to rectangular handles and “offset” bits/tips. It’s hard to tell in the pic, but it looks like you would spin the body centered along the axis of the screwdriver bit (if that makes sense).
I have to agree with you. I’ve always had one or two in the arsenal for some reason or not but tend not to use them for several reason. Outside of the novelty there just not that great. The blade metal I find is soft and kind of a pain to sharpen because of the blade shape. We’ve have always had one in a drawer growing up because of sailing and hiking but it mostly just sits as other knives get utilized. I don’t hate them but I rather spend $10 more on a better folding knife that will gladly be used more often and still stay sharp longer even though a $30 knife will not be the knife of all knives.
I will comment, that we also had a German or Austrian military sandwich/breakfast knife that was/is awesome. It doesn’t fold and had a blunt nose but it was so practical and stays razor sharp it must have a high HRC. It was always in the same handy drawer as the Opinel and was always the preferred knife to grab from cutting rope to making a sandwich. I take it everywhere now when sailing, camping or road trip.
It’s sort of like this one: http://www.messer-mit-tradition.de/windmuehlenmesser-details.php?artikel_nummer=2020.450.07
Sorry I digressed and talked about a different knife, hopefully someone will find the info helpful.
Koko the Talking Ape
Opinels have a few advantages over most folding knives:
– They have a very simple but strong locking system. Some might call it elegant. It always locks up tight. It is easy to manufacture since there are no tight tolerances. There are no rubbing surfaces that must be polished to make the action smooth and light.
– They are generally very light, since the handles are just wood or plastic, with no metal liners. The blades are thin and flat ground, so there is not much beef to them.
– (This might be the biggest advantage.) They are just about the least threatening pocket knife there is. They are visibly old fashioned, even quaint (some may substitute “French”), and the round handle is somehow less purposeful-looking, especially made out of wood (they are available engraved with leaves or snowflakes and the like.) And pulling it out and locking it is not a fast process. They almost shout, “I am useless for hurting people, I am only good for cutting fresh roses and slicing a nice aged Gouda.”
– Also they are cheap.
Actually the blade is quite easy to sharpen with crock sticks. The carbon, non stainless, blades in particular take a very sharp edge with little effort. Also the blade lock absolutely, positively keeps the blade from folding. They even make a kid version with a rounded tip. Made in France.