Tools of the Trade: Opinel & Unior From issue 88



When it comes to a great pocketknife, don’t overthink things. The Opinel No. 8 is lightweight and gorgeous—London’s Victoria and Albert Museum has named the knife one of the 100 most beautiful products in the world—and does most everyday tasks with ease. Its 8.5-centimeter (3.3-inch) Swedish stainless steel blade folds out of a handsome beechwood handle sourced from French forests. And the handle locks into place with a simple twisting mechanism that has remained unchanged for some six decades. Now you can have this classic knife with a Tour de France-sublimation-printed handle. Keep one in your tool kit, with your camping gear or at your desk—it’s simple and sophisticated enough to go anywhere (although that argument probably won’t work with airport security after you forget that this useful blade’s in your carry-on bag). $49.50 (Tour de France limited edition);


If you could only have one tool to fix your bike for the rest of your life, it should be a three-way hex wrench. Probably 80 percent of common adjustments, from saddles and brakes to stems and headsets, can be handled by a 4mm, 5mm or 6mm hex wrench. Having them together in one convenient tool has been one of the simplest and most ingenious ideas ever in bike tools. Pop into any bike shop and we guarantee the mechanics will have one living in their shop aprons. Unior didn’t invent this concept, but we like the ergonomics of the Slovenian manufacturer’s version the most of any we have tried. And with strong and true-to-size, black-oxide-tipped ball-heads, you have a tool that can service hard-to-reach bolts at difficult angles. Don’t be surprised to find yourself buying a second one to keep in your car for pre-ride adjustments. $16;

A version of this story originally appeared in issue 88.

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