Twenty years ago they were no digital caméra and I used my video caméra and extract one frame. Hey, this is Fred, in 1998 and this is a review kept in JD archives when it was first displayed on Geocities, a true blast of the past ! More to come soon… 😉
The other pictures are taken from the Sharpfinger PITS comparaison review.
So let’s see that old review and tone we use to employ back then:
SHARPFINGER and WOLFERINE
152OT 152UH by Fred Perrin (and Nemo)
An extension of your finger that was good
for skinning large squirrels and small elephants”
If the definition of a knife is a sharp piece of steel and an handle, these both models are pure knives.
I mean its a simple concept but simple ideas are the “highest” ideas.
Created in 1974 by Mr. Henry Baer, to be a skinner, this knife is now a Classic amongst the Classics. (what will be in 25 years all these tactical models of today ?).
But who cares about a $30.00 knife ($19.95 at Walmart…)?
The main difference between both models is:
The Sharpfinger is 1095 Carbon Steel and the Wolferine is Schrade Plus (440A stainless steel).
The 3.5″ is curved like a bear claw with sharpened back (the back of the claw not of the bear !)
This is unique design has been used by many other brand factory.
The handle is bowed and the ricasso forms a finger stop and prevents the hand to slip on the blade.
On the back of the blade there is a place for the thumb.
The handle is thin on the side of the blade and thick at the butt: the grip is secured and confortable.
The great control of the blade makes the 152’s an real extension of your hand. Like a sharp finger in fact.
The handle is made of plastic. It’s very confortable for hard uses.
There is a lanyard hole. And that’s an important detail !
The shape of the blade is really polyvalent and not striclky confine in capping and skinning purposes.
You can eat with it, cook with it, work on wood, clean fish etc etc…
The blade is flat grounded on both sides for a better resistance and incredible polyvalence.
To resharp the blade is really a piece of cake with both steels. Dulling the blade is not so easy as the blade got an excellent edge holding.
As far as we are concern, we really appreciate that knife because it’s a utilitary knife and the all around fixed blade archetype.
In his book ” Knives, Knife Fighting and Related Hassles”, Marc “Animal” Macyoung shows his Sharpfinger as his utility knife and main self defense blade.
You can be shocked by this concept but it’s true.
It’s a small knife with gutts but let’s be clear, Marc and my friends strongest cuts are made in Pizzas or Quiche ! We don’t remove sentries everyday and we try to avoid gang war.
But anyway for a low price you got a low profile self defense and utility blade.
Light sharp with good balance, this is all about.
Back In 1974, they was no tactical fashion. The prime design of the Sharpfinger was surely not self defense but as a very well made tool, you can turn it as a very well made weapon.
For example the Machette is made as an agricultural tool but in a lot of countries it is the poorman sword.
There is no shame as turning a good utility knife into a good self defense knife.
Compared to all the “tactical” knives hype around, it’s strange why the152 and many classical designs are ignored by TK afficionados. Cheap doesn’t mean crap.
(Imagine a 152 with g-10 handle and kydex sheath, and with its blade bead blasted…enough tactical for you ?)
Don’t forget the “tactical knife” is the knife you got in your hand and the right moment…
Marc said to us:
“Be warned, the purist get real unnerved when you use a “fighting knife” as a tool. I beat the hell out of my knives. They look at them and say (in horrified tones) “What have you been doing with this knife ?”
That’s why bladesmiths consider me such a savage.
I got over that the day that I climbed a cliff and halfway up I discovered it turned to shale. I ended up hacking new hands holds with my knife and moving up a foot at a time. I don’t care how much that knife cost, it was either ruin it or fall.
The Schrade 152 is one of the few knives I haven’t been able to break despite seriously abusing it.”
Judicious Marc Macyoung. His books are a kind of “checkpoint” for anyone interested in self defense.
A “must know” .
The sheath of 152 is made of genuine leather. It’s old fashioned but nice “a la” scout.
Great for the price.
By the way, if you lose yourself in the jungle of your supermarket, take a look at that Schrade knives.
You will perharps notice one of that original 152 and perharps, again, you will adopt it. Definitively.
The 152 ?
A Real utility knife.
Fred Perrin & Nemo
So here I’m in Southern Bretagne near Lorient, city of Eric Tabarly with my Paramillie Exclusive Run in 52100 Ball Bearing Steel.
For those who don’t know Sal is a fan, this is why Eric is named Eric. 🙂
The moisture and salt are present and cars got a serious tendacy to rust just by being parked outdoor.
The knife has been used on food and for all the chores around another anniversary preparations. The Patina is a real surface protector as no pit or coloration has been noticed during that 4 days week end.
It eventually has been used to pop the remaining balloons after the party.
No oil needed. The edge did not rust. It was used daily. Very happy with that knife.
This is a very robust folder, with a strong blade.
It was still shaving hairs after 4 days of mild but constant uses. I did not process a lot of cardboard for example, but a lot of meat ! Duck for the matter.
The 52100 makes a beautiful blade with its mirror convexed edge. It was noticed.
(You can notice the factory edge is a mess… Easy to fix !)
I have been using Opinel since my very childhood. I was 8 years whe I was throwing my Opinel N°8 in the dirt figuring I was James Coburn in the Magnificent Seven. The blade was dull like a butter knife and black of stain but it was a constant companion.
Later when I had started to really use it I had discovered that it was really easy to get really really sharp and even to get it to razor sharp and keep it that way with just a steel sharpener. It was with an Opinel paired with a Glock knife (The Field Knife 78 (Feldmesser 78)) that I was living my first bushcraft adventures: building a shelter, making fire and cooking, making bows and arrows, sleeping in the woods…
I was buying some plants for the garden when I saw at the cashier some Opinel N°8 for 8 euros. It was the occasion to buy a new one just for the fun of using it.
I got a stainless N°10 somewhere and a filet… This Tradition Carbon is welcome.
As you can see the factory edge needs some work. But it’s so easy and fun to do.
Locked once closed.
Manufactured in the heart of the french Alps since 1890, Opinel N°8 hasn’t changed much. It got a new rotating ring which works also to block the blade when closed and this is a really great improvement in my own opinion.
“In the 90s, the Virobloc® system was modified to allow the blade to be locked in its closed position. ”
The con: a round handle which not help to know in which direction the edge is. You need two hands (or your teeth and one hand) ton open the blade. Two hands to lock the blade. No clip, so the knife will disappear in the pocket. Carbon blade which can rust. But that not a problem if you know how to keep your tools oiled.
The pros: 8 euros !! This is a bargain. Half the price of Douk Douk. A very confortable rounded handle.
To quote them : “To protect our handles from external aggressions, there are two available finishes: buffing and varnishing.
Handles shaped from rare and precious tree species are buffed with wax applied with a cotton disk. For every other wood, we apply a varnish which has been selected for its highly protective properties against moisture and staining.
The varnish is tinted for the carbon range and clear for all the other ranges. To create coloured handles, we first apply a water-based wood stain before the varnish.”
The lock is reliable and easy to check.
A full flat ground blade with a thin edge. 40mm made by hand. German steel with 0.90% carbon heat treated in France at 57-59 HRC. (The Stainless version is Swedish 12C27).
“When it was first designed, the OPINEL blade was made from carbon steel. We still use a similar grade today, with an approximate carbon content of 0.90% which is still better than stainless steel. Our carbon steel is first produced in Germany and finalised in France before being worked by OPINEL.”
And this is where the Opinel is so fun to use. In all my knife it’s with my Opinels (stainless or not) that I got the best results in cutting plastic. Of course the steel won’t last like one of the new super steel but it’s so easy to go back to a very high sharpness: it’s fun.
The crowned hand.
Thinner and thinner !
I’ll keep my new Opinel in my kitchen drawer. Sometime I will pocket it for going into the woods.
Compared to many modern folders, I know its performance are incredible and shows how thick the edges tend to be especially in the “tactical” scene. Strider comes to mind…
My Opinels wer beaten in wood work by the Dodo ! The Dodo got a belly which does miracle on cutting wooden rods.
I have read in a magazines some years ago that a famous hunter guide in Scotland was using an Opinel N°8 Carbone as his main hunting knife. He was using one knife by hunting season.
Anyway my good old new folder provides me “The original Opinel steel, the famous high quality cutting edge, easy to sharpen.”
Coke bottle are getting thicker at the butt, certainly a new manufacturing using more material and my new reprofile Zero Tolerance 0562CF cannot not cut through when she can still cut easily mineral water bottle’s butts.
The Opinel still can. Thin edge powaaa ! But you notice the 4mm thick plastic at the center.