We came across L’Econome’s perfect paring knife years ago in a kitchen ware store and have been in love ever since. They’re inexpensive – about $10 each – feel good in the hand, sharpen easily, AND look good, even as they age and weather.  Since EVERYBODY needs a good paring knife, we’d buy them in different colors to keep in our “gift” drawer, just in case. Fortunately,  Opinel, another great knife maker started selling their version just as L’Econome stopped making them. Whew!

New York Times food editor Melissa Clark told us that when you give someone a knife, they should give you a penny, otherwise it’s bad luck. We we wrap our gift knife WITH a penny so the giftee can give it back to us toute suite.

You can order the knives in a variety of colors online at Opinel.com. Amazon sells Opinels as a set with a vegetable peeler. (Beware of cheap-o knock-offs like the brand MIU France made in China —four for $13.99; the colors aren’t as good, the rivets stick out too far, and they don’t feel – or look -quite right.)

Here are our beloved, used-daily, left-in-the-sink, sharpened-many-times, years-old knives.

Sally Schneider/Improvised Life
Sally Schneider/Improvised Life



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4 replies on “Favorite Gift to Give and Get: $10 French Paring Knife

  1. Why not give us a link to the products you recommend. I haven’t been able to find this item anywhere.

  2. Hi there. I’m really sorry you you’ve had trouble getting the knives. I did give the links — Fantes and World Knives — and double-checked that the knives were in stock (I even ordered some) . Apparently, there has been such a run on the knives, that both stores have sold out. Fantes has a note up that they’re getting a rush order from France.
    I just got an email from the owner of World Knives who said they put an emergency order to France that they expect will be in by December 18th. They’re taking back orders and will send the knives out as soon as they receive them, so they should reach you by Christmas.

  3. SO GLAD. It’s a favorite.

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