Things a Gentleman Carries: The Opinel Knife #8
This is a guest post by W.T. Hatch
A gentleman should never leave the house without several basic items on his person. A clean handkerchief, lighter, cash, and watch serve innumerable needs throughout the day. One of the most basic and essential gentleman’s tools is a reliable knife. With so many knife manufacturers in today’s market, one is left to ponder which knife to choose? The Opinel #8 is a much more logical choice than some of the giant blades you see clipped to peoples belts, unless your profession places you in harm’s way, pulling out a 6″ tactical folder in a boardroom, classroom or the neighborhood pub sends the wrong message altogether. An Opinel, by way of comparison, is a far more “polite” knife.
First manufactured in the charming Savoie region of France in 1890, the Opinel knife rapidly grew in popularity due to its simplicity, elegance, and reliability. The knife is virtually unchanged from its genesis, remaining true to the original – and highly functional – design. The 8.5-centimeter blade is made of high-quality Swedish Sandvik 12C27M stainless steel that takes and retains a sharp edge quite well. The ergonomic handle is typically fashioned from beech wood although other materials are available including olive wood, black oak, and high visibility polyamide. Wooden handles easily customized for those wishing to add a corkscrew, pocket clip, lanyard or other personalization to the knife. The patented rotating lock provides both stability and safety to the user. The Opinel Company offers a wide variety of models with differing blade lengths, handle materials and additional accessories for a wide variety of tasks.
I have owned a wide variety of pocket knives over the years including Columbia River, Ka-Bar, Benchmade, Victorinox, and Gerber. While each knife had its high points, none came close to meeting Opinel’s performance. I carry an Opinel #8 stainless steel knife every day and found it perfect for nearly every need. Lightweight, and comfortable in the hand, the Opinel #8 is perfect for dining or cooking tasks, office chores, and even basic field craft. Opinel knives work equally well as a first pocket knife or in the hands of a more experienced user. Their price makes them attractive as gifts marking life’s milestones including anniversaries, birthdays and graduations.
Do you carry a knife with you? If so, what kind? Let us know in the comments.
You can pick up the Opinel No.8 Pocket Knife in the Culture Carton store.