• Leon Pantenburg | Survival Common Sense


Review: Opinel #10, an excellent inexpensive folding knife

600 400 Survival Common Sense Blog | Emergency Preparedness

An Opinel can be an inexpensive beginner’s folding knife or a hard-working tool for experts. 

by Leon  Pantenburg

Disclaimer: I bought these knives to use. There is no commercial or affiliate relationship with Opinel at the time of publication. All opinions are my own, and nobody had any input in this review.

A consistent question I get involves knives. Specifically, “What is the best knife for ____?”

The answer, of course, depends on the individual, since needs and uses vary. But another big consideration is price. What if you don’t have a large budget for knives, but still need a quality tool? Here are two suggestions.

The Opinel #10 is a reasonably-priced, quality knife. 

I bought my first Opinel #10 at a Jackson, Wyoming outdoors store during a backpacking trip. I was impressed with the light weight, solid construction and low price. I used that Opinel off and on for years, whenever I needed a good user knife that could become an outing casualty. (Think canoe trip with rapids.) As knife enthusiasts do, I started collecting different sized Opinels as I came across them. They were great gifts, since at the time, most cost less than $20. Today Opinels are still reasonably priced. For the same cost as a piece of Chinese junk, you can get a high-quality European knife with a wooden handle.

Opinel Knives were founded by Joseph Opinel in 1890 in France as a working man’s knife.

Traditionally made of Beechwood handles and XC90 high carbon steel blades, you can now find Opinels in new steels such as 12C27 Sandvik as well as with handle materials such as olivewood, hackberry, and genuine horn. Sizes range from the keychain-sized #2 all the way to the large #13 (#11 has been discontinued as has #1 all other models currently available.) In addition to the standard line of knives, there are now kitchen, fillet and numerous limited edition models. Opinel exports to five continents and has sold over 200 million knives in its history (current production, according to the Opinel website, exceeds four million units annually).

One of the my favorite aspects of Opinel Knives is their sheer simplicity. All they consist of is a blade, handle, metal clamp band, pivot pin and on larger models a Virobloc locking collar. There are no springs, liners, rivets, bolts, screws, etc that can fail or fall out.

Here are the Opinel #10 specs

  1. Overall Length: 9″
  2. Blade Length: 3.92″
  3. Blade Steel: XC90
  4. Handle Material: Beech
  5. Pocket Clip: No
  6. Lock Type: Safety Ring

The #7 is for folks who want a smaller knife for a pocket or a purse.

The Opinel #7 is for users who prefer a more compact knife.

Opinel #7 Specs

  1. Overall Length: 7″ (178mm)
  2. Blade Length: 3.07″ (78mm)
  3. Blade Steel: 12C27
  4. Handle Material: Beech
  5. Pocket Clip: No
  6. Lock Type: Safety Ring
  7. Country of Origin: France

    The good stuff:

    Blade thickness: A thin-bladed knife is best for overall use, IMH. If you anticipate ever having to use an Opinel for prying things, get a small crow bar. If you need to baton fire wood, get a hatchet.

    Blade length: You can get an Opinel with any length of blade you might need. I find the #7 and # 10 lengths are most useful for me.

    Blade lock: On some inexpensive knives, the most expensive part is the hinge and blade lock. This limits the amount that can be invested in the blade and handle. The Opinel lock is simplicity itself – it is a twist ring, and it secures the blade. No lock blade folder is as secure as a rigid blade knife, though, so if safety is your main concern, consider a rigid blade. Here is an inexpensive, quality rigid blade knife.

    Handle: Made of wood, the handle is well-formed to fit most people. It is long enough I can get a four-finger hammer grip on it, and the diameter is large enough it won’t twist in your hand.

    Cost is $21 for the #10.  Prices vary on the other models, but they are very inexpensive considering the quality and reliability you get. Order an Opinel #10 here.

    Do you need an Opinel?

    If you want an inexpensive, quality folder an Opinel is a really good choice. I’ve used mine for years and have no complaints. Investing in an Opinel is money well spent.

    Please click here to check out and subscribe to the SurvivalCommonSense.com YouTube channel – thanks!


    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published.