French Opinel pocket knives, inexpensive, lightweight, and made from superb steel, are the standard knife of French farmers, hikers, foragers and cyclo-tourists. In fact, almost everyone who spends time in the countryside seems to have one. They've been made since 1890 in the town of Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne in the Rhône-Alpes.
We love the simple rotating ring that locks the blade either open or closed; there is no need for a spring with this lock ring. The handle is beech, a light but tough wood. This makes Opinel knives quite light and great for cyclists and hikers.
The stainless steel version stays shiny and won't rust, but experts say it is a tiny bit less sharp. Both are great knives, choose the stainless if you're around salt water or if not careful to alway wipe off your knife. Choose the carbon version if you appreciate that cool old-fasioned patina and are careful not to let it rust.
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