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Brands We Work WIth - Opinel

Brands We Work WIth - Opinel

Brands We Work With – Opinel

A family brand with a rich heritage, Opinel, has been crafting and perfecting the art of making high-quality tools since 1800. In 1890, Joseph Opinel, with a passion for new machines and innovative technologies, realised his vision to create a simple, durable and functional knife that could be used by everyone. Joseph spent his free time refining the shape and manufacturing process of a small pocket knife and the Opinel was born.

Production began in the French town of Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne. By the early 20th century, Opinel had already curated a collection of 12 different sized knives, numbered 1 to 12, and it had become a household name synonymous with practical knives for everyday and specialist kitchen use. In 1565 the King Charles IX of France ordered that each master cutler affix an emblem on their manufactured items to attest to their origin and quality. To follow in this tradition, Joseph Opinel chose the Crowned Hand as his emblem in 1909. The blessing hand is that of Saint John the Baptist, taken from the coat of arms of Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne, the nearest town in Albiez-le-Vieux, birthplace of the Opinel family. Joseph Opinel added a crown as a reminder that Savoie was a duchy. All the blades on Opinel knives and tools have been stamped with The Crowned Hand ever since.

Originally the Opinel knife had four components; the blade, the fixed ferrule, the rivet and the haft. The fixed ferrule was needed to firmly rivet the blade to the haft.  In 1955 Joseph’s son Marcel Opinel, who had been working on improving the safety of the knife, invented the signature Virobloc® system.  He added a rotating ferrule which slid onto the fixed ferrule, closing the groove and thus locking the blade in the open position.  The idea was simple enough but hard to achieve.  In the 90s the Virobloc® system was modified to lock the blade in the closed position.  Initially it was only used on a few models, but then was included on all models as a safety feature from 2000 onwards.

The Opinel knife is a popular everyday item whose aesthetics and functionality have won over generations of users. It has remained unchanged for over a century, with a design that is one of the most successful of all time. 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. In the beautiful three-volume "Phaidon Design Classics" collection, the Opinel pocket knife is recognised as one of the 999 most successful designs of all time by a jury of international designers.

'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'.


Today the company is run by Joseph Opinel’s great grandsons in Savoie, and all their products are still made in France. Featuring sustainable, natural wood handles, precision-shaped blades, and signature innovative safety locking mechanism, these knives are intended for a lifetime of use. The brand's classic design is instantly recognisable, and each knife is crafted with meticulous attention to detail. With a collection that now includes the classic folding knife, the mushroom knife, oyster knife and the high-end range of kitchen knives  - Les Forgés 1890, whether you are an avid camper, hiker, or chef, there is an Opinel knife to suit your needs.

At Farrar & Tanner we select the brands we work with based on a strict criteria, Opinel products are the winning combination of brand heritage, innovative design and production techniques, premium quality and also highly customisable, making them the perfect personalised gift. Our in-house team of expert engravers will add your personalised message to the blade of your chosen Opinel knife, making the it truly one-of-a-kind. Personalised engraving is a great way to add an extra touch of sentimentality to your gift and make it wonderfully unique

Discover our carefully curated collection of Opinel products today…