Amsterdam airport security confiscated my beloved Opinel #6. Despite a low replacement cost, I was sad to see this one go. It was purchased from the now defunct George & Son cutlery in Portland, Oregon. For whatever reason, the knife lacked a proper locking mechanism. Tom’s Dad was nice enough to fashion a leather toggle that kept the knife safely shut during pocket carry.
Here is grainy evidence of the knife in use during my recent visit to London (actual location: Snarebrook Travelodge). Despite concerns about TSA confiscation, I always bring an Opinel along on International trips to facilitate my austerity dinners of salami and cheese.
For variation, Tom suggested that I try out the Mercator cat K55K folding pocket knife. The design is over 75 years and is still made in Solingen, Germany. The Mercator features a carbon steel blade, black coated steel handle and lanyard loop. I’m a little intimidated by the all around sharp edges of the knife so I’ve been sheathing it in the original (non Archival) plastic packaging. Here’s a great short video showing Mercator blades being stamped out in the Solingen factory. I bought the knife because of this video.
I’m already shopping for my next replacement knife. I’m tempted by this club sized Opinel photographed at Columbus Cutlery by Puck Ananta.
On an aspirational level, I’m in love with this red handled model by G. Wiseman for Kaufman Mercantile. Friend and frame builder Eric Estlund recommends another domestic model made from quality steel at more of an Archival pricepoint:
Here is my original August 2010 post on shopping for pocket knives