Opinel needs very little introduction. The Opinel knife is one of the strongest and most iconic knife brands in newer french cutlery history. Opinel has manufactured and marketed a line of self-named wooden-handled knives since 1890 from its headquarters in Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne, Savoie, France.
Originally sold as a working man’s knife, an Opinel knife has become emblematic of French culture – Pablo Picasso reportedly used one of the company’s knives as a sculpting tool.
So why review a classic? Because Opinel took it up a notch with the Trekker (called bushwhacker in the states). The Opinel trekker comes in bright colors, and with the alpine sheath that has a loop and a snap hook, which makes sure this knife will follow you everywhere.
The snap hook makes securing the sheath to a belt loop or backpack very easy, this is by far one of the best sheath options we have seen for a folding knife in a while. The leather is thin, but very well stitched.
It’s a simple and very utilitarian knife from great materials which will last for many years to come. Its perfect for the bushcrafter or for the shorter day hikes in the forrest. The Opinel Trekking No 8 has a 8,5 centimeters blade forged from modified 12C27 Stainless steel from Sandvik in Sweden. We really like the added layard hole and leather strap which makes drawing the knife from the sheath and pocket very easy. The No8 has supirior ergonomics due to the generous palm swell, even with wet hands its stays secure in the hand. The knife does tend to rotate a little in the hand due to the geometry when putting alot of pressure behind the blade, again – this is not a knife ment for heavy duty work. The painted handle makes the Trekking knife very resitant to moisture, in combination with the 12C27 stainless sandvik steel you will get a knife that stays very stable in humid enviroments. The piviot can corrode under wet conditions so make sure to dry your knives and give it a drop of oil after use under wet conditions.
The thin blade is easy to get sharp and slices through meat and vegetables like butter. The blade is not recomended for heavy duty work due to the thickness, it would properly break from twisting and prying, but it is a great compromise and could do well with light carving and cutting feather sticks. The tip is ground to a feather thin point, this makes it usefull for alot of thing, like removing splinters but also makes the tip prone to breaking.
One thing we found on all samples is that the knife can be hard to open due to the painted wood which creates a lot of friction around the piviot pin, handle and blade. This will break in over time as the knife is opend and closed several times to smooth out the painted layer between the handle and blade.
As with all opinel knives the locking ring is very secure and keeps the knife locked on both open and closed position, its a simpel design very resistant to faliure.
Overall the No8 Trekking knife is a safe bet for anyone wanting the “mora” of folding knives. Its a great option for the outdoors when on a budget. We love and highly recomend this knife.
Visit opinel at http://www.opinel.com/
Recomended retailer: http://www.friluftsland.dk/knive/opinel-trekking-n08
Opinel No 8 Trekking Knife
Functionality (maily because of stifness in opening)6/10
Price vs Function10/10
- Simpel but very durable lock design
- Feels great in hand
- Very affordable
- People friendly in most situations
- Bulky in the pocket
- Thin blade
- Can be hard to open