This is the Old Bear, from Antonini
We don't have claws like an old bear so we need one of these.
Antonini turns 100 in 2025. A company with a great provenance of making great knives. These are simple, every-day-carry (EDC) items. So when your kid needs a slice of apple your slicer is there and ready to slice.
How do they compare with an Opinel? Well they are fairly similar, but the Antonini Old Bear has a few nice touches:
- First you can lock the knife with one hand, as the locking mechanism is Antonini's own patented thing. We like that.
- Also the wood is a smoother finish and really it is jolly nice - there are two options from us, the Italian Pear or the darker American Walnut
- There is a brass bolster which is quite a lot thicker than the chromed plate used by Opinel. It's really nice and the finishing where it meets the wood is better
There are two blade choices - the easy to sharpen carbon steel, and the easier to clean stainless steel. We like using the carbon a lot as it takes an edge so nicely, stainless of course stays nice a clean so it's a bit easier to look after. They look similar initially but the carbon blade will dull over time.
Sizes? The medium is very similar to the Opinel number 8 which is their most popular and versatile size. The small is very handy as well, just a little smaller, great for turning in the hand for peeling an apple for instance, and for smaller hands it's perfect. The large we recon is a bit big for most things but would be a good companion in the camp kitchen.
We're offering our own modification of drilling a hole in the handle and adding a small paracord lanyard for $10. That's a pretty crappy hourly rate but we don't mind, it's just nice to add some value to small things. And the lanyard is easier to find in the grass or you can clip it to your bag or belt buckle.
We've also sourced some nice pouches for these, made in Tasmania by Bill from Huon leather.
Note: this product has been manufactured by submitting all the used raw materials to manual treatments and processes that make every single knife unique. Any irregularities on the knife surface are because of this manual processes and they do not affect the knife functionalities.
HANDLE: American Walnut
CARBON BLADE: Hardened C70 carbon steel - HRC 54/56
STAINLESS BLADE: Hardened Aisi 420 steel - HRC 54/56
SAFETY RING: Brass with locking (patent n.1187282)