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Opinel or Alaskan Ulu Knives to Cut Plugs and Ropes?

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    64alex

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    So what is the best to cut plugs and ropes between Opinel and Alaskan Ulu knives and why?

    Posted 1 year ago #
  2. anthonyrosenthal74

    anthonyrosenthal74

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    Any well sharpened knife will do. I use a cheap pocket knife. Use the knife you are comfortable with.

    Arrrrr, shiver me timbers! International Talk Like a Pirate Day is September the 19th!!!
    Brothers Of The Black Frigate
    Posted 1 year ago #
  3. chasingembers

    Embers

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    I use a sheepsfoot blade on plugs, and a cigar cutter on ropes as they are easy to use.

    Damnation seize my soul if I give you quarters, or take any from you.
    -Edward Teach
    Posted 1 year ago #
  4. davek

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    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.

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    armonts

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    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 ...

    Posted 1 year ago #
  6. davek

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    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.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  7. madox07

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    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 or any other sharp knife will do the trick. I personally use a Swiss army folding knife.

    Sea Wolf Pipers

    "Like the mariners of old, a loner is acceptable but a pipe is best enjoyed in a pack"
    Posted 1 year ago #
  8. pipebuddy

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    I don't own an Alaskan Ulu but do own an Opinel and it does the job just fine.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  9. civilwar

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    For plugs I like cut plugs Alaskan Ulu. For ropes I like Fiskars Softouch Micro-Tip Pruning Snip

    Posted 1 year ago #
  10. thesmokindragon

    thesmokindragon

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    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

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    armonts

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    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 ...

    Posted 1 year ago #
  12. davek

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    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.

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    armonts

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    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.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  14. akfilm

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    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.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  15. upnorth1

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    I carry an Opinel carbon in my tobacco pouch. It's a pretty handy knife overall.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  16. npod

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    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.

    Neal
    Posted 1 year ago #
  17. warren

    warren

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    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.

    A man without a shillelagh is a man without an expedient.
    Posted 1 year ago #
  18. mso489

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    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.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  19. pipesticks

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    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

    Posted 1 year ago #
  20. leacha

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    Posted 1 year ago #
  21. btp79

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    Personally I'd say use the knife you are most comfortable with that you can use safely. The Ulu is a great knife and I use it almost exclusively when skinning deer and hogs, but I would and do use straight knives for cutting plug.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  22. kcghost

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    I use an ulu without any problems.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  23. papipeguy

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    I've been using an Ulu from Alaskan Cutlery for 2 years and I'm very happy with how it slices plugs.

    Blowin' smoke since 1970.
    Posted 1 year ago #
  24. mawnansmiff

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    When it comes to Opinel knives, the carbon steel version is way better than the stainless version. It takes a better edge and keeps that edge far longer than its shiny brother which just looks pretty.

    Regards,

    Jay.

    ...take up thy stethoscope and walk...
    Posted 1 year ago #
  25. snagstangl

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    Isn't all steel, carbon steel?

    Posted 1 year ago #
  26. davek

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    Isn't all steel, carbon steel?

    Steel being an alloy of carbon and steel, you might be right. The term is usually used in place of "high carbon steel". And actually stainless knife steel is high carbon steel, so you are doubly right. "Carbon steel" is a misnomer usually used to mean a simpler, non-stainless steel with no Chromium.

    Most stainless knife steels will not take as fine an edge as "carbon steel" due to the formation of carbides with Chromium and Vanadium. They are harder to sharpen as well due to the same carbides. Carbides are like microscopic chunks of very hard material. They will give the stainless better wear resistance, but unless you are using diamond plates which will actually cut the carbides they will tear out as you refine the edge and you can only achieve an apex as small as the size of the carbides.

    There are stainless' which have very fine carbides and thus you can get a fine edge but they are pricey. You still need better sharpening tools as carbides are so wear resistant.

    12c27 as used in Opinels is a stainless which does not form appreciable carbides and sharpens easily to a fine edge. That is also helped along by the fact that it is a fine grained steel, but that's another factor.

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    armonts

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    Yes is very exactly.
    And the 12c27 depends a lot on its manufacture and its temper, that of the Opinels is very good.
    But their simple "carbon steel" is thinner and harder, while becoming more easily.
    (The too carbonized steel would become brittle at a time, the thread would break with micro breaks ...)

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    64alex

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    Thanks everybody for the info suggestions. I am going for now ordering an Opinel n8 Carbon knife and I'll see how it will work. I think it will be fine with plugs. For the ropes it might work or not in which case I will go with an Alaskan Ulu or a cigar cutter.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  29. mawnansmiff

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    Carbon steel is not dissimilar to crucible steel, much harder and finer grained hence its ability to take and hold a good edge.

    When was the last time you saw stainless steel wood chisels? You wouldn't because it just doesn't take or keep a keen edge.

    Regards,

    Jay.

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    armonts

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    Nor the cobbler's trenches for leather either ...

    Posted 1 year ago #
  31. davek

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    I am very much a carbon steel fan. I wouldn't want to spend the money on PM steel, it has the micro-chipping problem armonts mentioned, and you can sharpen carbon steel on the bottom of a coffee cup :). I am a big fan of 12c27 as well though, it's the carbon steel of stainless'

    Don't know if it could even used as a tool steel though. It's only about .6% carbon.

    https://www.materials.sandvik/en/products/strip-steel/strip-products/knife-steel/knife-steel-knowledge/different-steel-types/powder-metallurgical-steels/

    From the manufacturer so a little biased I am sure.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  32. krizzose

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    I wonder if this thread might prompt Kevin to secure the rights to http://www.carbonsteelknivesmagazine.com

    Posted 1 year ago #
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    armonts

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    [quote]DavekI am a big fan of 12c27 as well though, it's the carbon steel of stainless'
    Don't know if it could even used as a tool steel though. It's only about .6% carbon. :

    "Opi stainless steel. is the modified Sandvik developed them renowned for its sharpness and ease of maintenance.Capable of undergoing the heat treatment that gives it its good toughness is called martensitic. It has a carbon content of at least 0.40%, which makes it possible to obtain a very satisfactory cutting edge without being sensitive to corrosion."

    Say at Opi. himself
    ( just 0.40% !)

    Posted 1 year ago #
  34. pipesticks

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    A double edged quality cigar cutter is perfect for processing ropes into coin flakes....can't beat it.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  35. 5star

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    I have quite a few knives of various types. (Yes, I'm a 'knife knut' - but Knife Acquisition Disease was kicked a few years ago for the most part.) Any adequately sized + sharp knife should work just fine for cutting plug & rope baccy. I have an ulu around here somewhere,and at least a half dozen Opinels- but will likely just use one of the chef's knives from our kitchen. The main requirement is that it's sharp. Most home kitchens that I've visited don't have sharp knives.

    "You are remembered for the rules you break." - General Douglas MacArthur
    Posted 1 year ago #

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