So, it turns out, for the first time in several years, I have to make a trip on a plane. This makes me unhappy, but I really have no choice. It is beyond reasonable driving distance. I just don’t feel like two very hard days on the road each way.
I started looking at what I might take along. Some recent prudent additions seem like good choices. I’ll discuss the first one which is, of course, a blade. I’m not going to try and sneak anything by in the carryon, but because I’ll be gone for a week, I’ll check one bag and just carry my laptop with a few essentials in it. I was thinking about what knife might be appropriate for a bag that could end up getting lost or ripped open and certainly abused. I have several typical tactical folders I could include that it wouldn’t kill me to lose, but I settled on something a little different.
That’s the classic carbon steel Opinel folder with birchwood grip and the locking ring. The overall folded length is just a tenth under four inches. The blade is three and one-quarter inches, and it is incredibly light.
You can see the locking ring in place above. The Opinel is a working knife, a farmer’s knife. The blade is flat-ground and, because it is carbon rather than stainless, it takes an edge easily and holds it well. This is not a terribly strong knife, but it is innocuous, which is a plus in the area I will be visiting.
The blade was sharp when it arrived in my hand, but it lacked polish. After a short turn on the fine ceramic stone and the strop, I neatly sliced my thumb checking the edge. It’s easy to get this little “Carbone” Opinel literally razor sharp. The locking ring is hardly “tactical” in nature, but it will keep the blade from closing on one’s fingers in use.
I paid $6.99 for a nice, light, compact carry knife that isn’t going to scare anyone, cuts clusters of grapes and eggplant stems better than a box-cutter, and has “France” on the grip instead of “China”. These are classic, useful tools, excellent for general applications and food preparation. If you get in a jam and need to use it as a weapon, it will work. As I said, it is not terribly strong, but it will probably hold together to do some damage to an attacker. It is less than ideal, but you use what you have.
I review another item that might serve for self-defense in the next post.