I’m not quite ready for a full-blown midlife crisis. But I am ready for a change. We’ll start small, with the things I carry around each day.

Opinel No. 6

I like simple things that are made well. I’m not afraid of progress, but I don’t think that every new thing is necessarily an advancement.

The Opinel Pocket Knife is a good example of a simple design that doesn’t need to change. Opinel gets it. They’ve been making it for over a century now.

It’s a clip blade tucked into a wooden handle. The collar rotates to lock the blade open or closed. Simple.

It’s not a fast knife by any means, and I wouldn’t want to rely on it for self-defense if I were being menaced by an angry pigeon or a particularly quick koala. It might work if you were being charged by a ferocious tortoise but, in that situation, I think it would be best to try to outrun it.

I picked up the Number 6, which is about 6.5 inches open. I’m not entirely sure what kind of steel it is, but the blade says Carbone which I’m assuming is French for “There’s bone in it.” Regardless, it’s not bad for a cheap knife. And it’s easy enough to give it an edge. This is good since I find it a great knife for whittling. I’m thinking of getting another, smaller one for the task.

I picked this one up for $14 at Amazon. That in itself feels pretty remarkable. The blade is solid, the design is classic, and all for under $20.

Check it out. 

Edit: The steel is 12c27 Sandvik Swedish Steel and probably doesn’t have any bone in it.