French Opinel pocket knives, inexpensive, lightweight, and made from superb steel, are the standard knife of French farmers, hikers, foragers and cyclo-tourists. In fact, almost everyone who spends time in the countryside seems to have one. They've been made since 1890 in the town of Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne in the Rhône-Alpes.
I've used Opinel knives since I was a boy. I love the simple rotating ring that locks the blade either open or closed, eliminating the need for a spring. The handle is beech, a light but tough wood. This makes Opinel knives quite light and great for cyclists and hikers.
They are available with either carbon steel or stainless steel blades and in a number of sizes. The #8 (8.5cm blade) is considered the standard and most versatile size. Like most traditionalists, I prefer the #8 carbon blade version. The carbon blade can rust if not wiped after use, but it develops a beautiful patina. The carbon blade is also easier to sharpen and takes a better edge--experts compare it to blades costing 10-times more.
This is the #8 carbon steel knife.