OPINEL: A BRIEF HISTORY

Founded in 1890 in Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne in France, Opinel took the simple need of a working man’s knife and started a revolution. This legendary French knife has been made from sustainable beechwood since the 19th century, with the brand still run by Joseph Opinel’s descendants.

Opinel garnered more attention at the start of the 20th century, as Joseph utilised peddlers to sell the knife to individuals and local shops. Unique because of their safety twistlock mechanism, Opinel knives can lock in both the open and closed positions. It has been said that Pablo Picasso used an Opinel to carve some of his sculptures, while French mountaineer Roger Frison-Roche never made an ascent without one by his side. Today a museum dedicated to the brand exists in its hometown of Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne.

 

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