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Thread: Opinel knives

  1. #1
    Samuel Hearne happybonzo's Avatar
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    Opinel knives

    Are Opinel knives illegal under current UK legislation?
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  2. #2
    Ent FishyFolk's Avatar
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    The Opinel knives has a locking function so I believe that is a yes.

    Her ein Norway all blades are illegal to carry in a public place. But there is a loophole if you carry the knife for a so called honorable reason. I.e a man was arrested and fined for using a little folding knife to peel an apple outside the main court house in Oslo a few years back, but the court found him not guilty as his purpose for the knife carry was evidently for peeling fruit as that was what he was doing when apporaoched by the police.

    Another one would be fishing, hunting, work etc. Any legal activity where it is reasonable to carry a knife. But you cant carry a knife into a shopping center, bank or walk around with it in town. But you may transport it to you activity, buthave to be ready to prove that what you are doing. I've been fishing at the quay in the middel of town, and used a knife. But nobody here will question a dude standing with a rod, having a knife on him. But if I was drunk, and just loutering at the same place with an obvious knife on me, I would be taken in...

    I am babling, and talking about the wrong country...lol
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  3. #3
    Samuel Hearne Bernie's Avatar
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    My understanding is that it's very much the same in England Fishy. There's legislation and there's common sense. I've not had many dealings with the police, but I reckon they'd understand the purpose of the knife I carry if I was doing an activity that required (or benefited from) one. It's also very much about attitude. Give the cops some attitude and you can bet your bottom dollar (or Sterling pound) that they'll take the hard line of the law rather than just tell you off.

    I quite often have my SAK on me, but it has so many tools in it that I think I could argue it's use as a tool rather than a knife.

    I find it very sad that what we consider a tool, a versatile and sometimes essential tool, is perceived as nothing more than a weapon by some.
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  4. #4
    Ent FishyFolk's Avatar
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    It also helps if it is not a black, serrated edge tanto tacticool sharpened prybar, but rather a sensible, traditional looking blade like an Opinel, a Mora, a traditional Puukko or or a brittish bushcraft knife that Ray Mears would have used...
    Victory awaits the one, that has everything in order - luck we call it
    Defeat is an absolute consequense for the one that have neglected to do the necessary preparations - bad luck we call it
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  5. #5
    Tribal Elder Tigger004's Avatar
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    I have carried one since I was a child ( A present from my Parents ).
    Opinel locking knives are technically illegal due to the locking collar, I would suggest you could carry one and never get searched, but if you do it's a game of chances. A lot depends on where you are and what you are doing at the time.

    the collars are removable if you don't want to take the risk ( just remember they close easier than a typical folder when the collar is off ) if worried get a legal knife if not go ahead with an opinel they're great
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  6. #6
    Tribal Elder Humakt's Avatar
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    No, Opinel knives are not illegal under UK law.
    Flick knives, butterfly knives, and those kinds of things are illegal.

    Since an Opinel is a locking knife it falls under the same restrictions as other locking and fixed blade knives - you can have one on you so long as you have good reason. It will be up to the Police officer on the scene to decide whether you have good reason and, if he doesn't think so, it could go to court where the magistrate will get the final say.

    As others have said, a bit of common sense goes a long way. If you are in the woods/countryside then the overwhelming majority of people will think a small locking knife is perfectly acceptable. If it looks inoffensive and modest (like an Opinel, for example) then so much the better. It is fair to say that a Police officer may feel a bit dubious about someone sitting there with a sod-off huge Rambo knife in matt black because 'I fancy doing a bit of carving'. Yes, said Rambo knife and an Opinel are both subject to the same laws and restrictions, but if you show a bit of restraint and common sense then so will the officer on scene.
    No one is going to care if you have something like an Opinel in your pack. If you're running down a country track, waving it at dog walkers, shouting 'Soul-Biter demands blood!' then you can expect a different reaction to the same item.

    If you are doing things that require a stronger blade than a little Opinel, and if you are on public land, then you may want to hold off. Or at least get the land-owner's permission for what you are doing.
    But if all you are doing is going for a walk in the woods, and will need a knife for preparing lunch, and maybe a bit of whittling (and will be doing said things discreetly and putting the knife away when not in use) then no one is going to bat an eyelid at an Opinel. If you are a middle-aged male with a friendly face who doesn't look like he could say 'boo!' to a goose so much the better. Teenagers in hoodies behind the back of the local Co Op won't have such a good time of it. Context is everything.

    The law requires you to have good reason to have the tool you do and for those purposes an Opinel is reasonable. A samurai sword less so.

    Likewise, walking into a pub or through town with it is also likely to be frowned upon.

    The decision will have to be yours. But I wouldn't waste time tying yourself in knots over it if you can use a bit of common sense.
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  7. #7
    Tribal Elder Tigger004's Avatar
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    Looks like you are correct Humakt, it's all in the wording,

    Attachd from the gov.uk wbsite:-

    Selling, buying and carrying knives
    The maximum penalty for an adult carrying a knife is 4 years in prison and an unlimited fine. You’ll get a prison sentence if you’re convicted of carrying a knife more than once.
    Basic laws on knives
    It is illegal to:
    sell a knife to anyone under 18 (16 to 18 year olds in Scotland can buy cutlery and kitchen knives) unless it’s a knife with a folding blade 3 inches long (7.62cm) or less
    carry a knife in public without good reason - unless it’s a knife with a folding blade 3 inches long (7.62cm) or less
    carry, buy or sell any type of banned knife
    use any knife in a threatening way (even a legal knife)
    Lock knives are not classed as folding knives and are illegal to carry in public without good reason. Lock knives:
    have blades that can be locked and refolded only by pressing a button
    can include multi-tool knives - tools that also contain other devices such as a screwdriver or can opener
    Banned knives and weapons
    It is illegal to bring into the UK, sell, hire, lend or give anyone the following:
    butterfly knives (also known as ‘balisongs’) - a blade hidden inside a handle that splits in the middle
    disguised knives - a blade or sharp point hidden inside what looks like everyday objects such as a buckle, phone, brush or lipstick
    flick knives (also known as ‘switchblades’ or ‘automatic knives’) - a blade hidden inside a handle which shoots out when a button is pressed
    gravity knives
    stealth knives - a knife or spike not made from metal (except when used at home, for food or a toy)
    zombie knives - a knife with a cutting edge, a serrated edge and images or words suggesting it is used for violence
    swords, including samurai swords - a curved blade over 50cm (with some exceptions, such as antiques and swords made to traditional methods before 1954)
    sword-sticks - a hollow walking stick or cane containing a blade
    push daggers
    blowpipes (‘blow gun’)
    telescopic truncheons - extend automatically by pressing button or spring in the handle
    batons - straight, side-handled or friction-lock truncheons
    hollow kubotans - a cylinder-shaped keychain holding spikes
    shurikens (also known as ‘shaken’, ‘death stars’ or ‘throwing stars’)
    kusari-gama - a sickle attached to a rope, cord or wire
    kyoketsu-shoge - a hook-knife attached to a rope, cord or wire
    kusari (or ‘manrikigusari’) - a weight attached to a rope, cord, wire
    hand or foot-claws
    knuckledusters
    Contact your local police to check if a knife or weapon is illegal.
    Good reasons for carrying a knife or weapon
    Examples of good reasons to carry a knife or weapon in public can include:
    taking knives you use at work to and from work
    taking it to a gallery or museum to be exhibited
    if it’ll be used for theatre, film, television, historical re-enactment or religious purposes, for example the kirpan some Sikhs carry
    if it’ll be used in a demonstration or to teach someone how to use it
    A court will decide if you’ve got a good reason to carry a knife or a weapon if you’re charged with carrying it illegally.
    Last updated: 27 March 2017
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  8. #8
    Moderator jus_young's Avatar
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    I read that as they are illegal to carry without good reason. Fair enough it's not a button you press but they are lockable. That takes them out as an option for EDC. I carry one though, it is used when hiking and at Scouts, but not as a EDC.


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  9. #9
    Ent FishyFolk's Avatar
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    Her it does not matter. There is nothing in the law regulating what knives are legal, illegal. Carrying any form of knife, fixed, locked, unlockackable is in principle illegal in public...unless you have that honorable intention...i.e use it in your job and are at work, or on your way there. Or other purposes like bushcraft, fishing, hunitng, or other activity where it is reasonable to belive you would need a knife. But like in the UK that is up to the police officer to make a judgement. So they wont nab you for carrying while you fish...but the 16 year olds terrorizing the neighbourhood may have to cough up a very good explanation for that tactaical tanto folder in their pocket...
    Victory awaits the one, that has everything in order - luck we call it
    Defeat is an absolute consequense for the one that have neglected to do the necessary preparations - bad luck we call it
    (Roald Amundsen)

    Bumbling Bushcraft on Youtube
    Nordisk Bushcraft - The Nordic bushcraft blog and forum

  10. #10
    A quick short answer is no ones with the lock ring are not legal and the non-locking ones are. After that it is all down to justification, carry one for your job, fine, going camping, fine etc Going down the boozer - no, no, no.. Football matches - expect to see the inside of a police cell etc

    Just use a bit of savvy peeps

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