Opinel No. 8 Folding Knife ReviewMay 13, 2016
- Classic Design
- Virobloc Locking Ring
- Compact Size
- For light duty only
- Lock jams with sand, grit, etc.
Coming in under $20, the Opinel No. 8 knife is light duty knife that you won’t mind using, abusing, or even losing—but you will end up replacing it with the same knife over and over again. It’s just a classic, comfortable, and traditional type of folding knife that’s easy to use and care for. If I had to put the No. 8 in a scenario: it’s a lazy Sunday knife that you’d sit on your front porch and peel and apple with, or maybe whittle some wood but it’s not the knife I would solely rely on for backpacking and camping—it’s not designed to be.
CONSTRUCTION & MATERIALS
Like most Opinel folding knives, the No. 8 is built off of a single piece of Hornbeam that has been slotted and shaped to accept the Inox 12C27 stainless steel blade. The balance of the construction is a steel collar, retention pin and Virobloc locking ring. The construction and materials are simple, yet satisfactory enough to go unchanged for more than 100 years.
EASE OF USE
The Opinel No. 8 is a two-handed knife, meaning that it requires two hands to open, close, and lock or unlock the blade. It’s lightweight enough to go unnoticed when being carried which also aids in how smooth it moves through material—especially fruits, vegetables, and meat. One note, the Virobloc lock ring, though super effective, gets jammed up easily by grit and sand—but does clean out fairly easy with canned-air.
STEEL QUALITY/EDGE RETENTION
Sandvik 12C27, referred to as INOX here, is a stainless steel that has a hardness of 55-57 HRC. It’s fairly abrasion resistant and will hold a decent edge for an extended period of time—it’s also fairly easy to sharpen when the time comes. As far as corrosion resistance, I wouldn’t leave it in a puddle or out at sea for extended periods of time, but based on its molecular composition, any rust that does form would be on the surface of the steel and would easily polish off.
The Opinel No. 8 is a traditional folding knife made for light duty tasks. The minute you step outside of that realm, you’re risking failure. This knife isn’t designed to chop wood, but to whittle it. However, that’s not to say that it isn’t a reliable knife for day to day tasks.