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‘Sturdy, rustic, practical – the most simple knife in the world’

The firm OPINEL employs today 95 persons, all based in Chambery.

Through this 100% French production, OPINEL S.A manufactures 4 million units per year of which 40% are exported to the 5 continents.
In one century 210,000,000 knives have been sold in the world…

Today, OPINEL offers to the hobbyists and to the professionals, a set of closing tools, made of wood and steel, robust and reliable, ingenious in its creation and easy to use.

1890 Family workshop

Edgetool maker at Albiez-Le-Vieux, a small village near Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne in Savoie, Joseph Opinel manufactures the first Opinel knives.

1901 First factory

Joseph Opinel builds his first factory at Pont de Gévoudaz and produces a machine to make the handles.

1909 The crowned hand

Joseph Opinel registers his first cutlery trademark and chooses “The Crowned Hand” as its emblem.”

1911 Gold Medal

Gold Medal at the Alpine International Exhibition in Turin (Italy).

1915 Moving to Chambéry

Joseph Opinel buys an abandoned tannery at Cognin (outskirts of Chambéry), along with its waterfall, the Hyères canal, to set up his factory.

1920 Family business

Installed in the new factory, Joseph, ably assisted by his two sons, Marcel and Léon, expands Opinel both industrially and commercially.

1950 Third generation

Maurice Opinel joins father Marcel, uncle Léon and grandfather Joseph in managing the business.

1955 Safety ring

The safety ring is invented, a simple and effective system which greatly improves the original knife.

1985 Recognition for Opinel

Opinel finds fame in the Victoria and Albert Museum among the hundred best designs in the world alongside the Porsche 911 and the Rolex watch.

2000 Virobloc system

The Virobloc system is altered to ensure transport safety (the blade can be locked in the closed position))

2003 Head office

Building and opening of the new head office on the Chambéry la Révériaz site.

2006 Phaidon Design Classics

In “Phaidon Design Classics”, Opinel is recognised as one of the most successful 999 designs of all time by a panel of international designers

2009 Gourmand World Cookbook Award

The book “La Cuisine à l’opinel” (Cooking with Opinel) receives this international award in the Corporate category. The book unites 25 starred chefs and celebrates the 150 years of French Savoie through recipes, “Opinel” emotions and anecdotes on Alpine gastronomy.

A Symbol of Tradition

Many people, since 1890, are fanatics of OPINEL, because of its reliability and simplicity.

Known or unknown, artists and craftsmen, adventurers or just walkers, for every body, to have an OPINEL is not ordinary: it is a way of life and genuineness.

So, Pablo PICASSO used it to carve little stones like women’s profiles and heads of bull…

In 1959 it saves Pierre PAQUET’s life, mountain guide, Roger FRISONROCHE had it always in his pocket, even in Paris …

In 1986 it is again thanks to the OPINEL that Alain COLAS, the famous navigator, could release his leg and save his own life. Eric TABARLY declared to be a supporter of the “crowned hand”…

In 1986 the knife is the faithful companion of Jean-Louis ETIENNE, during his expedition to the pole…

The most famous names of French cooking consider the OPINEL as being an object that never leaves their pocket…

The OPINEL, it is also an object that symbolizes an atmosphere, a way of life which has inspired every kind of literature (novels, adventure stories, detective novels, essays) and so many famous writers…

The first article about OPINEL has been published in 1913 and from this moment, a lot of others have been counted in France and all over the world (Japan , Russia , and United States)…

In 1985, the VICTORIA and ALBERT MUSEUM of London selects the OPINEL to appear in the “The Good Design Guide”, an anthology of the 100 most beautiful objects in the world.

OPINEL has been quoted in the catalogue of the Modern Art Museum of New York. It is known in the United States as the French Country Knife…

In 1989, the OPINEL is listed into LE LAROUSSE among the registered names. it is officially part of the French heritage…