Opinel shellfish and mushroom knives

Kit, Clothing, Tools, etc
Arzosah
Posts: 3900
Joined: Fri Jun 22, 2012 4:20 pm

Opinel shellfish and mushroom knives

Post by Arzosah » Fri Feb 08, 2019 9:23 pm

We were mentioning Opinel knives on here recently, but I can't remember what thread, sorry. This is a general question, really, as I was looking at my listing of potential buys on Amazon, and the Opinel mushroom knife at £19.95, and the Opinal oyster and shellfish knife at £14.95, are both on there.

I understand that they're quality, I do. I'm just wondering whether a generic good quality knife wouldn't do as much. I'm really thinking of my own kitchen knives - Kitchen Devil, and a really, *really* sharp little ceramic knife. But these are typical ones from Lakeland: https://www.lakeland.co.uk/18519/Victor ... -Blade-x-2

And in fact this fish scaler and set of fish tweezers from John Lewis also look more useful https://www.johnlewis.com/browse/home-g ... vbZ1yzsgkx

Or maybe I just just save up for the solar generator equipment ... but I'm interested in knowing opinions on here about whether specialist mushroom and shellfish knives are useful.
My blog (all mended now) www.preparednessfactandfiction.co.uk
There are some Amazon affiliate links in this blog

jansman
Posts: 6895
Joined: Thu Dec 30, 2010 7:16 pm

Re: Opinel shellfish and mushroom knives

Post by jansman » Sat Feb 09, 2019 4:09 am

I have an Opinel mushroom knife.I bought it because I could! Up until then,I just used a little plastic handled veg knife,3 for a quid.If I lost the Opinel,I would use whatever.My attitude to all knives is that they are just sharp pieces of steel.
In three words I can sum up everything I have learned about life: It goes on.

Robert Frost.

User avatar
Jamesey1981
Posts: 914
Joined: Fri Sep 12, 2014 11:46 pm
Location: A Postbox on Baker Street.
Contact:

Re: Opinel shellfish and mushroom knives

Post by Jamesey1981 » Sat Feb 09, 2019 8:21 am

I have the mushroom knife, it's nice.

No reason that you couldn't use any old pocket knife and a cheap toothbrush to do pretty much the same job, but it's nice to use a tool that has been designed for the job that you're doing.

If you do go for the opinel mushroom knife it is a little awkward to sharpen, you can't use a flat stone because of the concave cutting edge, so do bear in mind that you will want another sharpening option and if you don't already have something that will do it then it will be an extra cost.

I don't know the shellfish knife but looking at it it seems to be for opening oysters and isn't sharp. You don't want a sharp knife for opening oysters as you're essentially using it to pry them open and a sharp edge is dangerous.

If you want a knife for opening oysters I would suggest a traditional style one with a guard like this Tescoma Oyster Knife Presto Seafood, As ... xCbBV78CGC they're blunt so they don't need to fold away.

I think the guard is important, it stops your hand slipping down the blade and getting your knuckles cut, not on the blade but on the oyster shell.

Go for one with the narrow but very thick blade like the one that's in the link, I've opened a lot of oysters (over a thousand in a day once!) and used a lot of oyster knives and that's the nicest to use.

Arzosah
Posts: 3900
Joined: Fri Jun 22, 2012 4:20 pm

Re: Opinel shellfish and mushroom knives

Post by Arzosah » Sat Feb 09, 2019 8:53 am

Thanks both! Jansman, I think it was you and I originally talking about the mushroom knives - what you're saying makes sense, you use what you've got.

Jamesey, I couldn't open the link, it currently comes up to a blank UK Preppers page, so I googled Tescoma oyster knives, and Tescoma's own website describes it as sharp ... not sure what's going on there. The guard sounds really important - I can't imagine opening that number of oysters in a day, but its got to be good to have a guard! Been looking at more on Amazon, and oyster knives are apparently some of the most over-designed pieces of kit in the world :lol: Narrow but thick blade, as you say. I'm off on an exploratory prep shopping trip this morning, to a big local shopping town which has a proper looking Asian supermarket, looks a really good size. I'll keep my eyes open, I'd like to see what's what before I buy, now that I understand the design a bit better.
My blog (all mended now) www.preparednessfactandfiction.co.uk
There are some Amazon affiliate links in this blog

Arzosah
Posts: 3900
Joined: Fri Jun 22, 2012 4:20 pm

Re: Opinel shellfish and mushroom knives

Post by Arzosah » Sat Feb 09, 2019 2:21 pm

I thought I'd find time in my shopping explorations to find at least one shop that stocks them. No deal, so its for another time.
My blog (all mended now) www.preparednessfactandfiction.co.uk
There are some Amazon affiliate links in this blog

User avatar
Jamesey1981
Posts: 914
Joined: Fri Sep 12, 2014 11:46 pm
Location: A Postbox on Baker Street.
Contact:

Re: Opinel shellfish and mushroom knives

Post by Jamesey1981 » Sat Feb 09, 2019 6:37 pm

I obviously mangled the link when I was posting it, bit of a struggle on my phone sometimes.

Must admit I didn't check whether that one was sharp, I was replying while drinking my tea before work so I didn't have a whole lot of time, that's the blade shape that I like best though, mine is kind of a flattened lozenge in profile and the edges are completely rounded. Reasonably sharp point though, you want it pointy but not too pointy as it is likely to snap off.

The guard is certainly a must have for me, it gives you another point to apply the pressure and means that its not all on the butt end of the knife in your palm, and it's safer too.

That wasn't a good day when I had to open 1000 oysters, went off them for quite a while afterwards! My hand was literally like a claw the next day, could hardly move my fingers.

Such is the life of a (not very senior at the time) chef.

I can eat them again now, oyster tempura is really tasty if you've never tried it.

Arzosah
Posts: 3900
Joined: Fri Jun 22, 2012 4:20 pm

Re: Opinel shellfish and mushroom knives

Post by Arzosah » Sun Feb 10, 2019 9:29 am

Input is much appreciated, Jamesey, thank you, especially when you have that level of experience! It sounds like its the kind of activity that genuinely does need a specific type of knife.
My blog (all mended now) www.preparednessfactandfiction.co.uk
There are some Amazon affiliate links in this blog

User avatar
Jamesey1981
Posts: 914
Joined: Fri Sep 12, 2014 11:46 pm
Location: A Postbox on Baker Street.
Contact:

Re: Opinel shellfish and mushroom knives

Post by Jamesey1981 » Sun Feb 10, 2019 7:00 pm

I have opened them with a Swiss army knife before, screwdriver to pry them open and then the knife to separate the shell, it can be done but you wouldn't want to do more than one or two like that!

Definitely easier to use the right tool as you can need a fair bit of force sometimes and it gets a bit iffy.

Arzosah
Posts: 3900
Joined: Fri Jun 22, 2012 4:20 pm

Re: Opinel shellfish and mushroom knives

Post by Arzosah » Sun Feb 10, 2019 8:14 pm

I have a catsitting gig in London soon, so I'll be having a look for a few specialist shops, to get a feel for the shape of the blade that you describe.
My blog (all mended now) www.preparednessfactandfiction.co.uk
There are some Amazon affiliate links in this blog

User avatar
Jamesey1981
Posts: 914
Joined: Fri Sep 12, 2014 11:46 pm
Location: A Postbox on Baker Street.
Contact:

Re: Opinel shellfish and mushroom knives

Post by Jamesey1981 » Sun Feb 10, 2019 9:53 pm

I can't tell you where mine came from unfortunately, I've had it twenty years and I was given it by my old sous chef, he was Italian so I suspect he brought it with him.

Nisbets do one with the blade the shape I like, but I can't see any as nice as my one unfortunately, it wasn't especially expensive I dont think but as it's old it was made differently, rather than a flat blade stamped out and ground a bit on the edges like they all seem to be now, even the expensive ones, mine looks like the blade was machined from a thicker piece of steel which means it's a much more convex blade, that makes it slip into the shell a lot more smoothly and with less damage to the shell, and damage to the shell means crunchy bits in your oyster!

Don't bother getting a chainmail glove like they use in oyster bars, by far the better way of doing it is to put the oyster flat side up on a board and hold it with a folded cloth, the folds of the cloth will protect your hand from the shell and the knife if you slip, and doing it this way means you lose less of the juice.
Using the glove you spill a lot of the juice and it still hurts if you stab your hand, which is a lot more likely if you're not working on a board.

Good luck with your hunt, if you happen to be going anywhere near Knightsbridge there's a shop there called Divertimenti, it used to be near the hotel I worked in before they relocated and a lot of my knives came from there so could be a good bet.
Last edited by Jamesey1981 on Sun Feb 10, 2019 11:35 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Post Reply