[NAFEX] favorite grafting knife

HDessureault inter.verbis at videotron.ca
Fri Jan 30 14:51:37 EST 2004

I agree wholeheartedly with you, Tanis, that the best tool is the one you
feel comfortable with.
I personally use Opinel knifes, in the kitchen, as a pocket knife (or purse
knife, sometimes) and of course as a grafting and budding knife. Not fancy
but very good for the job.
First of all, the Opinel knifes comes in different sizes, from the smallest
(no 1) to the largest (no 14) I believe, with the extreme sizes being more
show pieces than really fonctional. The blades are steel with carbon, so
they have to be wiped and kept clean not to rust. They do remain very sharp
for a long time, though. The blade is also thin and BOTH sides are the same,
which is a great advantage for people who happen to use their left hand. No
one mentioned this yet, but those of you who are south paws will know what I
am talking about!
 Last but not least, Opinel knives are reasonable cheap so if you loose one,
it is not a disaster. Just in case, I keep a piece of bright red tape around
the handle of my favorite one, so I can spot it easily, if I drop it. For
general purpose indoors and outdoors, I have a no 6 (6 1/2 inches long from
the tip of the blade to the end of the handle when opened) which is the
right size for me for general purpose. I have used a no 5 for grafting which
felt like a good size. I lost my no 4 that I used for budding two years ago
and I have not been able to find another one. That small size was my ideal
knife for budding, making very delicate but very clean cuts while being
large enough to get a good grip on.
Opinel also has a line of more fancy knifes with stainless steel blades for
the kitchen. I have a no 8 ( 10 1/2 inches long when opened, the blade is
slighly curved, fine and strong and extremely sharp. Even though it is very
good for fine slicing, the size would make it cumbersome for grafting. I
have not seen the other sizes in that category but maybe a smaller one would
be very good for grafting.
Opinel is made in France, and the steel blade with carbon cheaper version
can be purchased in Lee Valley and Mountain Coop stores. One sometimes finds
them with wood carving tools, as well.

Hélène, zone 3-4

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