This evening my Mother and Brother came for supper. As is always the case my Mom brought me a special treat to eat. She is diabetic too, probably inherited it from her, and so she makes good low sugar baked treats. Also they brought a small something for me to fix in my shop, this time a new handle for a hatchet. And they brought the knife that my father used to have in the glove box of his car.
In this case I think I gave him the this knife 25 years ago. My Father valued quality knives highly and he had several, he also introduced me to the value of a sharp knife and started me on the long journey of learning how to sharpen blades.
I remember seeing these knives at a Lee Valley store, buying one for myself and then buying this knife for my Father.
I admired this Opinel knife for several reasons. I like carbon steel blades on knives because they are easier and faster to sharpen than stainless steel, which is harder. I used to buy Old Hickory kitchen knives for the same reason. Yes, carbon steel dulls quicker but I always felt that the trade off of sharpening more often but faster was worth it. I also found that I was willing to sharpen more often when it was easier.
Another aspect of the Opinel knife I liked was that it was a single bevel edged blade. It made it even easier to sharpen and super easy to hone.
This particular knife has a story, a story that I actually can share because my Father has passed away and so can’t be embarrassed by its telling. As I said my Father kept his knives sharp and well cared for. This knife comes from the store pretty sharp, but with room for improvement. My Father had never dealt with a single bevel edged knife and I will never know why he choose to invest the time and effort to reshape the blade to a double bevel. When I was mad at him I used to think it was because he was dumb. I know he wasn’t dumb so I guess he was just so tradition bound that he couldn’t get comfortable with a new blade shape, so he worked this knife’s edge until it is two sided. I am not going to change in back, not now.
I took the knife down to my shop. Cleaned it up a bit and sharpened it with a diamond stone, it is so sharp and so easy to sharpen. (even with the reshaped blade). And the other bonus, these knives are still very reasonably priced. For a straight knife I love my Frost knives from Sweden,
but for a folding knife Opinel is super value.