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Since 1890, I learned before writing this article about the Opinel No 9 review, it has been manufacturing uniquely designed pocket knives which have received much of its recognition by Pablo Picasso, the French people, and eventually the world when their knife was placed alongside the Porsche 911 and Rolex watch in the Victoria and Albert Museum, the world’s leading museum of art and design.
The Opinel No 9 Review
is one of the top selling knives produced by this company. Other Opinel knives differ in size which is a major deciding factor when purchasing any of these knives, as well as not having the trademark Virobloc locking system that doesn’t come on the smaller Opinels.
Fortunately, the Opinel No 9 review shows it DOES include the stainless steel Virobloc to keep from hazardous accidents.
It opens up to 8.25″ and closes to 4 5/8″, perfect size to slide into your pocket but long enough to remember it’s there.
|Steel:||XC90 Carbon Steel|
|Length Closed:||4 5/8"|
|Locking Mechanism:||Stainless Steel Virobloc|
|Type:||Multi purpose folding knife|
The Opinel No 9 review reveals sharpness, made with quality carbon steel, simple, and incredibly effective. Get YOURS today!
The opinel no 9 is made with a beechwood handle with a tapered end, popularly known as a fishtail end, that creates a comfortable support edge for your hand. Some people find it uncomfortable if their grip is awkward or their hand is too big.
Attached to the handle is the XC90 carbon steel. There isn’t an offical Rockwell hardness rating but the average tends to be between 55-60, not only that but the blade holds an edge very well. Edge geometry (convex) is sometimes more valuable than Rc hardness.
A knife this affordable doesn’t have its reputation for no reason. Many of Opinel’s customers habitually buy their products because of the Virobloc, handle shape, and the blade steel. I will go further into detail about each of these and what makes them so unique:
Opinel’s trademark locking mechanism is called a Virobloc. It works as a twisting mechanism that tightens the hold onto the blade and locks it into place in order to keep it in position when it is engaged. It allows you to twist the locking collar tight when it is folded to prevent accidents in your pants.
The Virobloc is the stainless steel collar that is seen between the handle and the blade with the engraving “N09 Made in France” on it.
Beech Wood Handle
This tends to be an overlooked quality when purchasing knives, but something I have personally never enjoyed, along with many others, when using a knife is blisters.
Blisters don’t form from handle construction, instead they are caused by how it conforms to your hand. Acute transition, unnatural contour, and needless design are the root of chafing that develop blisters. Lucky for you, more often than not, customers favor the fishtail handle because it conforms to their hand well. Meaning there is a very low risk any chafing or blisters developing.
Swelling can occur to a wooden handle that can potentially ruin the knife, so here’s a word of advice:WARNING: DON’T PUT WOODEN KNIVES IN MOIST ENVIRONMENTS.
That type of carelessness can only be blamed by a person’s negligence of their own equipment.
XC90 Carbon Steel Blade
Carbon steel is probably one of the most reliable and durable steel types to have on a knife. Typically, steel type is more of a preference depending on what you’ll be using the knife for, but hands down I pick carbon steel every time.
Wood carving is best with carbon steel blade because they simply hold an edge LONGER. The steel doesn’t chip or fold as easily as some other steel types and on top of that it is incredibly easy to sharpen.
XC90 carbon steel is a performer of it’s kind, reliable, simple, and effective.
That being said, rust is known to happen to this material when left in a moist environment, but by forcing a patina it will reduce the risk of rust.
Before writing this Opinel No 9 review, I inspected and tested the edge, and feel it may need a few custom improvement in case you run into any one these problems with your Opinel No 9:
Convexing the edge and re-profiling the point.
Out of packaging, it was sharp but a little rugged so I actually ended up re-profiling the point and sharpening the edge to my preference.
Huge difference. Mission accomplished.
File the spine of the blade to eliminate sharp edges.
Thuimb-push cut is usually the method I use to carve. While using this basic whittling technique before writing this opinel no 9 review, it became apparent that the spine was digging into my thumb. The spine of the blade has an oddly sharp edge, it’s not meant to be that sharp. The spine is supposed to be the thickest part of the blade.
Filed it and made the spine nice and flat with more surface area to support my thumb without any pains.
Hammer hing pin for a rigid friction action.
Added pressure to Virobloc to keep it from slipping.
This was for my own safety, not in anyway trying to imply the locking mechanism doesn’t work because it is a reliable system. I have had too many slip ups to count and made it a habit to take the extra step to ensure my own safety.
That being said, I do think that you should also take extra precaution. Better to be safe than sorry.
A carving glove is always smart to have as a resource also.
Sand the fishtail handle.
Having big hands or knife gripping can have its limitations with this handle style. The pointed tailored butt, fishtail, can sometimes dig into your palm based on those two factors.
A good way to avoid further discomfort is to simply sand down the handle and get rid of the point. Tailor it to your hand so that you can be comfortable cutting with it.
Force a patina to avoid rust.
This process is very simple and it is to avoid any rust that carbon material might endure.
The easiest way to add patina to your blade is it soak it in a mild acid, such as vinegar, for an hour or so. The longer you leave it in vinegar the deeper the protective patina will be which results in darker colors that form on the blade. After you’re finished soaking it, wipe the blade completely clean until it is dry.
Your knife will now be much more resistant to rust, but not completely. Patina will wear off over time, more quickly if you use the knife often, so be sure to do this again and take care of it.
What is the Opinel No 9 used for?
This completely depends on what YOU want to use it for because the reason I use it can be different from your intentions with it. Here are a couple things to utilize this knife with:
- Food Preperation
- Filleting a fish
- Wood Carving
- Carving a spoon
- Utility work
- Garden work
- Cutting meats
Of course this is only a few, but there is no limit for its purpose.
The performance was impressive and even more so after a couple modifications. Overall a very satisfying knife to use. Too much strenuous activity could potentially be bad considering the limitations of this knife, so I would not recommend using it for heavy work.
Dimensions of the knife are great as a pocket knife, certainly wouldn’t mind it being slightly smaller either.
Overall, a very impressive knife for any age.