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; there is no need for a spring with this lock ring. 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. The carbon blade can rust if not wiped after use, but it develops a beautiful patina. The stainless steel version stays shiny and won't rust, but experts say it is a tiny bit less sharp. Both are great knives, choose the stainless if you're around salt water or if not careful to alway wipe off your knife. Choose the carbon version if you appreciate that cool old-fasioned patina and are careful not to let it rust.
This is the #8 stainless steel knife.