Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Opinel No.8 Review - Guest Post by Kernow Outdoors

Opinel No 08 Outdoor Knife 

Opinel are a French maker of knives. With several sizes/styles. 08 being the specific size of the knife in question today.

I have always been a fan of the traditional Opinel knives, ever since I bought my first in a French supermarket 20 years ago. They use a very high carbon content blade. This is similar to some high end chefs knives. They do not use stainless steel, and as such the blades do tarnish, look dull and can rust. However look after it and clean it correctly after use, and it is one hell of a sharp knife. The edges these things are able to hold are astonishing.

I was after something similar to the traditional one, but different. Something perhaps a little more outdoors oriented.

A few years back when I was living in Morzine, I walked past a hardware shop daily, and spotted the Opinel No 8 Outdoors knife. I walked past it day in, day out for months. Contemplating the knife. Nothing became of it, until I saw it more recently. The knife is the classic folding Opinel design, it has a metal "virobloc" locking system, used on all of Opinel’s knives. Simple but effective.

So I bought the knife. It has a loud survival whistle built in to the handle, a partially serrated blade, and the thumb nail-knife pull-out is hollow, and can be used as a shackle key (Something to do with boats I believe). 

So the knife feels good in hand-exactly the same geometry as the traditional beechwood handle. The knife is sharp. Sharper than I thought being stainless “Inox” steel. 

To test the knife I thought I would do some bushcraft styling, and do my best to create a fire drill kit. Normally a fixed tang knife is tougher for this kind of wood re-shaping, but hey. The outdoor knife is a survival knife-so I gave it a go. 

I have never started fire with a fire drill before, but am aware of what is required. I found a big lump of wood-, and managed to split it, using the knife as a chisel/wedge. Locked with the locking bit. The wood turned out to be an old seasoned hardwood branch-from either Ash or Beech. The wood was hard, really hard. However the knife, it took some effort, but it did what it does. The serrated bit sliced as a plane, and the sharp end, used as more precision. It was a joy to shape the wood. I got quite obsessed, to the fact I started wanting to decorate my drill spindle. I decided not too, as my first careful blade sweep cut deep in to my thumb, and sent blood dribbling all over the gorgeous pale wood. The knife is a corker. I have created all parts of the set now, and am simply looking for a specific cord to string the bow with. The set has darkened from working it, so I am confident it will light. However I may have to give it a few days, or at least until i can use my left thumb again.

So the knife I was impressed with. Even now, the blade is sharp. I have done my best to blunt it, but it is still incredibly sharp. So I was very impressed. The only one part I was not so keen on was the lock. On my knife, even when fully locked the blade moved a mm or two. Although this isn't a problem, as it is still locked, and as such cannot fold on your fingers, I felt the lock should be absolute-like their traditional Beech handled ones. Perhaps it is an issue with the moulded mana made handle-who knows. Despite this I like the knife a great deal. Even though it hurt me. It folds up small, it is light and comfortable to use.

Highly recommend!!

This post was kindly supplied as guest post from the good people at Kernow Outdoors writers of independent outdoor gear reviews and stories of their travels around the world.

If you enjoyed this article and wanted to read up on the specs of the Opinel No8 knife you can find it on our website HERE.

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