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Opinel 10 review shows an all purpose folding knife born in the Savoie region of France. The brand grew dramatically in popularity since 1890 due to it’s undeniable reliability.
With over a century of reputable claims to it’s consistent simple and durable design, Opinel is no brand to pass over.
This particular knife is a bit bigger compared to other knives I have reviewed which are specifically for wood carving. Unlike those, the Opinel 10 review reveals an all purpose knife, but does not fall short in performing basic whittling techniques.
Opinel 10 Review Detail Specs
These Opinel knives share most of their distinguishing features with each other aside from their size.
The Opinel 10 review acknowledges a 4″ XC90 carbon steel blade with a convex grind which is 3/4 of an inch longer than the Opinel No 8 that I just reviewed, it’s total length extends to about 9″.
Needless to say this is a pretty decent sized knife.
Much like it’s siblings, the handle is made of beechwood that fits comfortably and lightly in my hand, net weight is 3.9 ounces. Very light for it’s size.
The engravings you see on the blade are the genuine Opinel trademark symbols of main couronnée (crowned hand) next to lettering which says “Opinel Carbone”. The early models contained the popular logo, but it wasn’t until later years that the company started adding lettering like “FRANCE” and “OPINEL“, as well as “INOX“. (comes on the Sandvik 12C27M stainless steel blades, from “INOXidable, which means “non-oxidizable”)
Most Valued Qualities
Aside from the main purpose of the knife, which is ambiguous due to it’s diversity, I had to observe carefully and test it’s limits thoroughly.
Here are a couple of my favorite features I feel bring this knife to a higher tier of value and quality.
When I say simplicity when writing the Opinel 10 review, I am referring to two things:
Design and Functionality.
How is the design different from other folding pocket knives?
Tell me something, when you initially saw this knife, did you think it would be a folding knife? No?
Neither did I.
In fact, I actually didn’t believe the description and went to look up a video of the tool being put to use.
It is the handle design which makes it not only deceiving in that way, but satisfyingly comfortable to hold. I believe a lot of it’s deception lies in the fact that most folding knives don’t gravitate toward a cylindrical shape handle. Actually, most folding knives adopt a different shape, usually the tapered thin rectangular shaped.
As for it’s functionality, this is primarily enhanced because of the Opinel 10’s locking mechanism, which actually happens to be my next most valued quality.
A small rotatable stainless steel locking collar, also called a Virobloc, sits where the comfortable beechwood handle and the carbon steel blade meet.
The rotatable collar works very simply, here’s how to use it:
Step 1: Rotate the metal sleeve
And there you have it, pretty easy to use.
There is a thin slot for the blade to pass through when the metal sleeve is twisted to align with the blade, only then can the blade be moved.
By twisting the locking mechanism after the blade is extended or retracted ensures it either stays inside the handle or keeps the blade engaged firmly for cutting. This allows a fluid functionality for the blade to be stored properly or extended tightly. The mechanism is so simple and effective, you won’t have trouble with it becoming loose during carving.
I’m sure there’s some skepticism before purchasing a product on it’s durability, but I carved a wooden spoon with this knife and other than honing it every so often it gave me no fuss.
As I mentioned before, before writing this Opinel 10 review, I purchased was used to carve a spoon.
The knife came sharp, but I have read that people have had their Opinel come a little duller than they expected. Which really isn’t that disappointing to begin with considering the knife is pretty cheap.
With consistent honing of the blade, it performed as well as I had needed it to. A little unexpected from a multipurpose knife but hey no complaints at all. It has served me well so far.
I don’t have many bad things to say about this knife, but there is an issue with the blade metal that everyone wants to be addressed.
No worries, I have solutions.
Carbon steel rusts if it’s not taken care of properly, AKA getting it wet and not cleaning it off or picking a poor storage spot.
Here’s a helpful hint to prevent rusting:
Soak the metal in vinegar. By doing this it gives the knife a thin layer of oxidization on the outside of the blade which helps protect it from rusting.
Opinel does sell a stainless steel type, but I prefer the carbon steel because it tends to be better for wood carving.
Personally, I feel the knife is worth purchasing considering the price AND the fact that it is a multipurpose knife. The Opinel 10 review can even be used as a kitchen knife, but I believe it’s meant more for outdoor activities, although I wouldn’t use it for batoning.
The 4″ carbon steel blade is a bit excessive for wood carving, especially any type of detail carving. I would use it more for less delicate projects, like spoon carving. If you’re looking for a pocket knife with a smaller blade to do those types of carvings then check out some other Optimal Tools I have reviewed.
The rusting issue isn’t such a big deal since a lot of wood carving knives use carbon steel so really it’s become best practice to make sure rust doesn’t destroy tools.
The knife is good, but not specifically for wood carving, more of a camping knife you carry around on a trip or while hiking. It’s one of those knives to keep with you while you carve random shapes from branches found on the ground which is actually pretty fun.