If you were to line up our tested knives, the Opinel No. 8 would immediately stand out visually. The simple, light-colored wood handle is clearly something different. Look closer, and you see even more differences. First, the price belies the overall utility and construction quality. Next, the design optimizes camp kitchen and household use, while the modern trend in pocket knives is to lean towards more robust "tactical" style uses. Most of us who carry a pocket knife use it far more frequently to cut an apple than we do to slice our way out of a cargo net booby trap. For "normal" use, the Opinel hits the sweet spot. For its excellent functionality at a bargain-basement price, we grant the Opinel our Best Buy Award.
For more modern design and slightly improved materials, all at a surprising (but still several times more than the Opinel…) price, check out the other Best Buy winner, the Kershaw Leek.