Something New from Opinel!Posted by Whole Earth | 10.27.2022
Something New from Opinel
Whole Earth has been offering Opinel knives for several years. You may have seen them in our Gear department. Made with wooden handles, they have a rotating Virobloc collar that keeps the blade locked in place when open or closed. Originally distributed as a knife for farmers and train conductors, Opinel became so popular that it is now a generic word for folding knife in French.
Here's something new from Opinel - the Picnic Plus Collection! You can now carry a reusable fork and spoon set for hiking, camping and picnics as well as ditching plastic utensils when eating out. There are two versions of the Picnic Plus: the Complete Set and the Insert Set.
The Picnic Plus Insert Set, which includes a fork insert, a spoon insert, and a dual-use microfiber napkin that doubles as a carrying case, can be added to any wood handled No. 8 Opinel folding knife equipped with the Virobloc safety ring manufactured since 2000. Alas, there are a few exceptions: the No.8 Slim knives and the No.8 Gardening knife cannot be transformed with inserts.
How does it work? When attaching the fork or spoon, the knife blade is closed. Rotate the locking ring to the open position. Attach the fork or spoon by settling it into the slot guided by the extensions on the lower edge. Rotate the ring to lock in place and, voilà - your fork or spoon is ready for use!
Opinel has been making knives in the French Alps for 132 years. Joseph Opinel, the company’s founder, was born into a blacksmithing family and had a passion for machines and innovative technologies. Despite his father’s disapproval, he spent his free time refining the shape and then manufacturing the pocketknife that we now know as the Opinel No. 8.
Joseph Opinel’s goal was to make a knife that was simple, comfortable in the hand, and could be carried easily in a pocket, ready for use at any time. In 1955, an impressive improvement was added to Opinel knives – the Virobloc. Created as a safety feature, the Virobloc is a rotating locking collar that allows the blade to be locked into position when open or closed. At first, it was a special feature, and since 2000 it has been found on all but the smallest Opinel folding knives.
Most Opinel knives have beechwood or hornbeam handles that develop a rich patina with use. Some Opinel knives have dyed wooden handles in vibrant colors and designs. The blades are made of stainless or carbon steel. Carbon steel blades are easier to sharpen but require more care as they have a tendency to rust. Stainless steel is more difficult to sharpen but can be easily cleaned with soap and water. When cleaning your Opinel blade keep the wooden handle out of water and then let the blade dry completely before closing the knife to prevent warping.
There are many ways to use an Opinel knife. We like it for camping and picnics. It can cut, trim and whittle as well as slice, dice and chop for meal prep and then be used as a dinner knife. At home, it opens packages, harvests vegetables, and right-sizes boxes. For the minimalist, a folding knife can substitute for a handful of other tools. And carried in your pocket, it’s always at hand ready to be used.
We think you’ll like the beauty, simplicity, and usefulness of Opinel knives and the Picnic Plus fork and spoon inserts. Stop by one of our stores and see for yourself!