Explore the manufacturing secrets of the famous Opinel knife. Manufactured entirely in Savoie, your Opinel passes through different workshops - wood, steel and assembly - before reaching the sales shelves. You can follow the different manufacturing stages here and explore the Opinel knife grinding service.
An Opinel is bought somewhere in the world every ten seconds.
This simple, everyday object is complicated to manufacture. Over twenty operations are needed and every stage is inspected meticulously.
"Shape gives birth to function": the new Opinel models retain the values established by the Opinel founder, Joseph Opinel: simplicity, reliability, efficiency.
All our products (traditional penknives with carbon steel or stainless steel blades, thin-bladed penknives, garden tools, table knives) are manufactured in our Chambéry factory in Savoie, except for the large kitchen knives which have been developed by Opinel but are manufactured by a partner in Portugal.
Specialists like the Relais Opinel and specialist cutlers can regrind your knives and advise on their servicing.
A practical sheet on servicing and grinding your knife is available for download.
Opinel also offers two specialist services by our technicians in our workshops.
Expert Sharpening Service
Operation = recreate the wire, the cutting edge of the blade (height of treated blade = 1 mm)
Cost = 8 euros all-in price (including return shipping)
Timescale = two weeks from receipt of knife
Full expert Grinding Service
Operation = recreate the wire _ the blade profile over a height of 1 cm
Cost = 20 euros all-in price (including return shipping))
Timescale = three weeks from receipt of knife
To take advantage of this service please proceed as indicated below :
1/ Print out (PDF file), fill in and send the Expert Service shipment sheet with the knife
2/ Include a cheque made out to OPINEL for the amount of the selected service in the package.
3/ Caution! Pack your knife very carefully to avoid the tip poking out.
4/ Send to:
OPINEL - Grinding Service - 508 bd Henry Bordeaux 73000 Chambéry France.
To avoid negative environmental effects from distant supplies (transport-related pollution, forest clearance, etc.), 95% of wooden handles come from French forestry holdings. The logs are selected for the quality of their wood.
Mostly beech, Opinel are also available in olive, oak, walnut, box, hornbeam, wenge, bubinga and, for limited editions, in ebony, rosewood, zebrawood, cocobola, etc.
The handle is made from timber sections using shaping machines: cutting to length, hooping, shaping, bevelling the ends, sawing the slot, sanding.
The handles are then varnished.
Two types of steel are worked:
Our carbon steel is extremely hard, thereby ensuring that the cutting edge is maintained, little wear and easy regrinding.
The carbon is not very corrosion-resistant: we advise you to avoid damp environments and to wipe and oil the blade after use.
Our stainless steel is Swedish - 12C27 modified (Sandvik). The addition of chrome makes it highly corrosion-resistant. Its carbon content of at least equal to 0.40% gives it an excellent cutting edge.
Cut out from a strip of steel, the blade is heat-treated to alter the internal structure of the steel, making it very hard. This raw blade then passes through a series of specific grinding wheels in the fully robotised grinding-polishing machines. They give it the unique domed Opinel profile which ensures unrivalled strength and cutting edge.
Invented by Marcel Opinel in 1955, the Virobloc safety ring was improved on all Opinel ranges in 2000. In addition to the blade in the open position (safety in use), the blade can now be locked in the closed position (safety in transport). The virobloc has two parts: a fixed part and a sliding part. It is cut out of stainless steel and then shaped.
The first operation on the production lines is to assembly the handle, blade, fixed hoop; the second is pad printing the logo on the handle. The handle is then drilled and riveted and the rotating hoop is added.
The final operation is hand sharpening the blade, a meticulous finish, a unique gesture which give Opinel is legendary cutting edge.