Limited Edition Opinel No. 8 Pays Tribute to Hand Forged Knives

Well, well, well, we’ve got some news out of French knife titan Opinel this week. You don’t see a ton of new models from the company, but they’re getting ready to foll out the No. 8 Forge, a limited edition take on their flagship folding knife.

Underneath the eye-catching cosmetic differences, the Forge is very much the No. 8 that users all over the world (even those who would not consider themselves knife people) know and love. If you’re not in the know, the number in an Opinel folder’s name indicates the approximate length of the blade in centimeters; a No. 8 is 8.5cm long, which translates to 3.25 inches. The traditional blade steel on an Opinel is XC90, a carbon steel not too far off from something like 1095; if you’ve been around the knife block you’ll know what you’re getting with steels like these, namely, solid edge retention, great toughness, but higher susceptibility to rust than stainless stuff.

Nothing to say about this image. It’s just a good picture

The standout element on the Forge isn’t the blade steel, but the way it is finished. This is the ‘brute de forge’ look, which means the primary flat is left with a raw texture and a hammered finish, to evoke fully forged knives of yore, which bore the physical imprint of the hammers used to shape them. All of which is to say, the Forge’s blade looks cool. Expect performance on par with a standard Opinel, and of course you’ve got the Virobloc ring lock mechanism too, an Opinel original with a rotating collar that is turned into place underneath the blade to prevent it from closing during use.

An ebony wood handle drives home the Forge’s handsome monochrome look. The finish allows the wood to showcase a ring-like grain of crests and dips, lending it an almost topographical look that pairs nicely with the hammer finish on the blade itself. As is tradition with the Opinel folder line, there is no clip here; this is a knife designed for loose carry in the pocket or in a pack.

If you’re carrying it at all, of course, because the Forge is a collectible model, limited to 6000 pieces worldwide. Opinel says that it will be available in the spring, so you’ll have something else to look forward to besides the warmer temps.

Knife in Featured Image: Opinel No. 8 Forge

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