Hard-wearing & great quality folding pocket knives & outdoor tableware sets for camping, hiking & trekking.
In 1890, in a small Savoie village in Maurienne, Joseph Opinel invented the pocket knife that, more than a century later, has grown to become a cultural icon. The Opinel company, located at Chambéry in the heart of the Alps, is still run by the descendants of Joseph Opinel. Though the collection has grown, the heart of the Opinel design remains unchanged for over a century. For this reason, Opinel was recognised by the Victoria and Albert Museum in 1985 as one of the 100 best-designed items in the world, right alongside the Porsche 911 and the Rolex watch.
Hailing from a family of 'edge-tool makers', Joseph Opinel followed his father and grandfather into the family business. With his passion for machinery and modern manufacturing processes, Joseph decided to invent an object utilising modern techniques. This idea took the form of a simple pocket knife, ranged into different sizes; suitable to different hand sizes or used for various tasks. in 1897, Joseph developed 12 different sized knives numbered from 1 to 12. The smallest knife, named No. 1, included a ring so that it could be attached to the chain of a pocket watch. Nowadays, the smallest Opinel, No. 2, has a 3.5cm blade and the largest knife, No. 12, a 12-cm blade.
The original Opinel knife was comprised of four components: blade, fixed ferrule, rivet and haft. The fixed ferrule was required to firmly rivet the blade to the haft. In 1955, the safety of the knife was improved with the invention of the Virobloc® system. This added a rotating ferrule which slid onto the fixed ferrule, closing the groove and thus locking the blade in the open position. In the 1990s Virobloc® was modified to lock the blade in the closed position. This new approach to safety was added to all models in 2000.
The Opinel collection now contains knives and pocket tools for DIY, sport, outdoor activities and gardening as well as kitchen knives and table knives. The Opinel knife is a popular everyday item whose aesthetics and functionality have won over generations of users and continues to grow thanks to its combination of simplicity and high-quality construction.