Opinel or Alaskan Ulu Knives to Cut Plugs and Ropes?

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64alex

Senior Member
May 10, 2016
386
8
So what is the best to cut plugs and ropes between Opinel and Alaskan Ulu knives and why?

 

davek

Senior Member
Mar 20, 2014
319
13
My impression would be that the Ulu would be best for a push cut and that the Opinel would be best for a saw cut, while doing a push cut well also. My SWAG (Scientific Wild A** Guess) would be that a plug, and maybe a rope, could be saw cut efficiently. I smoke whole leaf and a common processing method for me is to roll into a tight cigar/rope, a rope without twisting, and then slice with an Opinel. Then I turn the coins sideways and slice again. So, that's a saw cut. Any big pieces left I dice with a French knife. That's a push cut and an Ulu would work as well.
Either one would be a fine "hipster knife". ;)
I'm partial to Opinels. They are knives you can have here and there with a decent blade.


 

armonts

Member
Jan 3, 2018
161
2
France
the Opinel with carbon blade cut much better than those with stainless blade,

Obviously ills can rust, but you really have to do it on purpose ...

 

davek

Senior Member
Mar 20, 2014
319
13
I am a big carbon steel fan myself, but try the Opinel 12c27 stainless. It is why I'm a fan. It is a fine grained stainless which will take an edge near that of the carbon while retaining it better, and for cheap. They are both good.

 

madox07

Preferred Member
Dec 12, 2016
1,425
53
Opinel are pretty good knives, I bought mine in normandy a couple of years back and I am quite happy with it. The blade is a tad on the thin side, but other than that light, sharp and easy to upkeep. Not sure if using an opinel for rope is optimal :lol: or any other sharp knife will do the trick. I personally use a Swiss army folding knife.

 

pipebuddy

Preferred Member
Jul 24, 2015
522
29
I don't own an Alaskan Ulu but do own an Opinel and it does the job just fine.

 

civilwar

Preferred Member
Mar 6, 2018
1,389
1
For plugs I like cut plugs Alaskan Ulu. For ropes I like Fiskars Softouch Micro-Tip Pruning Snip

 

thesmokindragon

Preferred Member
Jul 12, 2011
3,819
2
I use a mezzaluna - https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B005D6G71W/ref=mp_s_a_1_sc_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1520688528&sr=8-1-spell&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_FMwebp_QL65&keywords=kitchebaid%2Bmezaluna&th=1&psc=1
Only $12 bucks and handle is perfect for two step process I use for cutting plugs; first to slice off flake and second to chop to my desired cut

 

armonts

Member
Jan 3, 2018
161
2
France
Davek wrote :

"but try the Opinel 12c27 stainless. It is why I'm a fan. It is a fine grained stainless which will take an edge near that of the carbon while retaining it better, and for cheap. They are both good. "
Yes, quite, what to avoid in reality is the shiny stainless steel models called in French "éffilés", the thin blades for fish, I find their blades worse ...

 

davek

Senior Member
Mar 20, 2014
319
13
Davek wrote :

"but try the Opinel 12c27 stainless. It is why I'm a fan. It is a fine grained stainless which will take an edge near that of the carbon while retaining it better, and for cheap. They are both good. "
Yes, quite, what to avoid in reality is the shiny stainless steel models called in French "éffilés", the thin blades for fish, I find their blades worse ...
My "tobacco knife" is a carbon Opi. Great steel! I am most definitely a carbon steel fan. I have way more knives in carbon steel than stainless. :) The old USA made Schrades are grail carbon steel.

 

armonts

Member
Jan 3, 2018
161
2
France
Here in France in the kind of carbon there is also the Douk Douk, and more rarely the Mercator (German), but they do not have the same quality of cut as the Opinel. :)

 

akfilm

Senior Member
Mar 2, 2016
310
0
I use an ulu, I believe the ulu is one of the best knife designs ever. I have 3 different ones in the kitchen, 2 in my hunting and fishing kit, 1 in the shop, 1 for pipe tobacco.

 

npod

Preferred Member
Jun 11, 2017
2,813
181
I use a mini field cleaver, similar in style to a Ulu knife for plugs, ropes, blocks, etc. Any sharp knife will do, but this little guy just works great. It is now dedicated to my tobacco and no longer used for hunting or fishing. I posted this picture in another thread, but here is a re-post. It's a Benchmade Nestucca.



 

warren

Preferred Member
Sep 13, 2013
7,448
234
I suppose if those are the only two blades you have available, you'll have to choose. I'm fortunate to have others available. I find anything sharp will work if handled correctly. For plugs, at home, I use a large, eight inch chef's knife rocked through the plug.

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
26,313
544
It's a luxury to have a really sharp knife for this purpose, and a good carbon steel blade sharpens very well. Opinel makes a carbon steel blade that sharpens well and is not expensive. I assume any good sharp knife will do.

 

pipesticks

Senior Member
Jun 29, 2016
335
1
Chicago
I use a thick carbon steel Morakniv 731 from Sweden. Very stiff blade. You don't want anything that flexes when cutting plugs. Super sharp brand new and hones to razor sharp. And the carbon steel holds the edge a long time. The only drawback is carbon steel will stain and/or rust if not cleaned right away. I pickled my blade in white vinegar, turns the blade a "gun blue" which is a form of corrosion but actually gives the blade a level of rust protection besides lookin pretty badass 8)