Working out of his father's blacksmith shop in 1890, Joseph Opinel began manufacturing pocket knives for local villagers and farmers in the Savoie region of France. His design's robustness, functionality and simplicity resonated with with his market, and demand increased quickly. 125 years later, the Opinel Company is still owned by the Opinel family and still manufactured in Savoie. Joseph Opinel's first design established a course that the company follows to this day, guided by the original values of simplicity and efficiency. And in 1985 London's prestigious Victoria and Albert Museum deemed the Opinel knife one of the 100 best designed objects in the world, side by side with the Rolex® watch and the 911 Porsche®.
Opinel cutlery employs a variety of materials and metals for their culinary lines including traditional carbon steel, a modified Sandvic 1227 High-Carbon Stainless Steel (for very sharp edges with good stainless properties) and thoroughly modern X50CrMoV15 (for the most anti-corrosive performance). But every blade is stamped with Opinel's "Crowned Hand" trademark. They also love to use natural wood handles, particularly premium-grain beech although their line does include a variety of other hardwoods. Hardwood handles feel wonderful in the hand and will wear for many years of dependable service, but they should be washed and dried by hand to protect the handles from the harshness of the dishwasher.