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My friend Joe Brown tipped me to this just in time for last-minute gift-giving: These folders served as French army and Foreign Legion-issue pocket knives. And they still make great daily-carry knives now, some 70 years later. They meet all our standard requirements, too, including a standard drop-point blade and a nice thin profile, and checking in at under $25 total.

But what really turns us on about these is their durability. The blade snaps out of the steel case with a comforting snick, reassuring you that jamming the point into a recalcitrant cardboard box isn’t a problem at all. And even better, the Douk-Douk is much thinner than it looks — about the same thickness as three stacked credit cards — which means it’s comfortable pocket-fodder for the office or shop.

The small version’s blade is just 2-1/2″ long, and runs $19. The 3-1/8″ large is just $23. This would make a killer stocking stuffer — especially if the stocking is for me.

The French “Douk-Douk” Knife [Garrett Wade]


12 Responses to French Douk-Douk: Fancy Simplicity

  1. Chris says:

    I’m an ignoramus when it comes to knives, so someone explain: what’s the purpose/benefit of the drop-point blade over, say, a standard Swiss Army-style blade?


  2. Michael says:

    I used to have a knife very similar to that, the blade was different, but the handle was almost exactly the same. It was decent, but I didn’t care for the really thin handle. It was nice in the pocket, but less so in the hand.

  3. Tetsubo says:

    I’ve always wanted one of these. If for no other reason than to add to my collection.

    And that is more of a ‘clip point’ blade. Purpose? It has a slightly more pointed tip but I think it’s mostly looks.

  4. PutnamEco says:

    Chris Says:
    what’s the purpose/benefit of the drop-point blade
    The clipped point has a finer tip for more delicate work. This is usually found on larger knives, like hunting or Bowie knives, rather than pocket knives.

  5. Brice says:

    When working in wood, I like a nice clip point, it makes it easier to turn corners when whittling. When working in deer, I like a nice drop point, less likely to snag the guts when dressing. When working in people, I like a nice centered tip that won’t break off. Uhh, just ignore that last part.

  6. rg says:

    It has a real “Ubu Roi” look to it. Neat.

  7. David Bryan says:

    I’m kind of curious about one thing: are you sure about these being French army and Foreign Legion-issue pocket knives?

  8. Will Atwood says:

    yep these really were and are French issue knives.

  9. David Bryan says:

    Will, I wish you’d give some more information on that.

  10. MJH says:

    I always thought the Opinel was the knife of the French foreign Legion. That I have read about and have seen photos.

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