> For the Delica/Griptilian there are a lot of used ones on ebay but it is hard to tell how much wear is not worth the price. Are the Opinel carbons just okay?
Hi Brett. The two stainless knives you've mentioned are both popular quality knives from reputable companies. It takes an awful lot for a quality knife to "wear out." To wit, even though I own hundreds of knives (and have even addressed military audiences on knife steel selection--but that was a decade ago) I tend to carry one knife about 80% of the time. It's the knife that I bonded with, hard to say exactly why, a Spyderco Caly. Riding in my pocket for most days of the past 8 years, and getting frequent use, it still functions like a new knife. I'm confident that most competing quality brands would be just as durable. The wear-out factor is relatively low.
Opinel carbons, IMHO, are better than OK, they are good. A quality carbon steel gets wonderfully sharp and sharpens easily and even retains its edge well. Carbon steel will of course corrode/rust much faster than stainless, so takes more care. Some try to keep the blade oiled. Most folks I know who use a carbon steel blade seek to oxidize it as quickly as possible, either with a vinegar or mustard treatment, or farmer-style which is to thrust it into a raw potato overnight. The steel darkens, it no longer looks "new," and the oxidization protects the blade somewhat. Of course, micro-rusting on the edge will functionally dull the blade, but touchups are quick and easy, especially if you have a good ceramic stick (or other type of) sharpener. Touch-up before you go on a trip, and unless you're leaving your blade in the rain or fog, or exposed to the ocean, you'll likely be good for the trip. Remember to wipe your carbon blade dry after use, and give it a touch of oil or wax if you can.
If I were in your position, I'd select either an inexpensive carbon steel, or increase the fundage and look for a used quality stainless (or new if I could afford it). I'd skip right over the soft inexpensive stainless steels.