Opinel history

Since 1890...

In 1890, Joseph Opinel worked in the family workshop in Albiez-le-Vieux, Maurienne, and invented the pocket knife that bears his name today. His knives, with their wooden handles and incomparably sharp blades, were soon a great success, and in 1915 the company moved to Chambéry (Cognin). It was here that Joseph and his sons Marcel and Léon developed the company, inventing new, ever more efficient machines and exporting the Opinel to many countries.  In 1955, Marcel Opinel improved the knife by inventing the safety ring to lock the blade in the open position.

Still made in the heart of the French Alps, in Savoy, according to the original principles, but with modernized techniques thanks to a sophisticated industrial tool, the Opinel pocket knife remains the same as it was in the beginning. Simple, durable and clever, it is the indispensable companion that is given and passed on. Unique and timeless, it has become a familiar object that crosses centuries and generations from pocket to pocket.

Loved by the greatest artists (Picasso sculpted his figurines with an Opinel N°05, Paul Bocuse always carried it in his pocket) and adventurers, the Opinel has become a design icon, an object of French heritage, without losing any of its simplicity. Quoted in numerous literary and musical works, it is also selected by the Victoria and Albert Museum as one of the 100 most beautiful objects in the world, cited in the catalog of the Moma in New York, entered in the Larousse French dictionary in 1989, and features in the "Phaidon Design Classics" as one of the 999 most outstanding products in world design.

Today, with the same concern for simplicity and reliability, Opinel celebrates the French art of living with other lines of knives and tools for the kitchen, the table, the garden, DIY, outdoor activities... Opinel is synonymous with the right balance between design and authenticity, attachment to ancestral know-how and the desire to always offer the best tool for the job. 
Headed by the descendants of Joseph Opinel, the company is still based in Chambéry. Today, it employs nearly 150 people and is committed to a production process that respects natural resources.

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