They are Opinel: Charlène Bellot

"My team is like my family, we have a very good understanding, a good atmosphere."
Learn about the grinding workshop today with Charlène Bellot, machine adjuster.

 

Interview du personnel Opinel portraits des employés meulage lame acier

Can you introduce yourself in a few words?

My name is Charlène Bellot. I started working in the steel workshop in Opinel after professional retraining two years ago. I was initially an operator, then I followed a one-year in-house training course to become an adjuster.

What does your job consist of?

I take care of the machines that produce the blades. I adjust them, I troubleshoot them and I check the quality of the blades they produce.

What are the different stages in the production of a blade?

We receive the raw blade, which goes to the spine machine to grind the spine of the blade. Then it goes through a machine that grinds the two sides. And finally, we check the quality of the blade when it leaves the machine.

Are some blades easier to work with than others?

Stainless steel blades are much easier to adjust than carbon blades. Carbon blades often require touch-ups.

How many blades are produced per hour?

It all depends on the machines and the blade type, but generally 300 blades per hour.

Is it a team effort, or do you tend to work alone?

Teamwork, operators and adjusters work together, one cannot function without the other.

What do you like best about this job?

The mechanical aspect of the job, troubleshooting machines, changing components... I find that very interesting.

How do you feel about the fact that your work, your expertise and your emphasis on quality will contribute to the cutting convenience of millions of knives?

There is a certain amount of pride to think that everything that comes out of the workshop is of good quality, because we spend a lot of time checking the blades. This sometimes creates pressure since nothing must slip by, we must be vigilant. It's also something that I see in everyday life, when I see knives in a shop I tend to check the quality of the blade: is the thickness right? Is the tip good?

Can you sum up your job in just one word or one phrase?

I would say family, because my team is like my family, we have a very good understanding, a good atmosphere.

In this still very masculine field, did you find your place easily as a woman?

Yes, very easily. I was made welcome and it didn't take long for me to find my place. There is myself and one other woman in the steel workshop, and I think it is important to have diversity, and also to mix ages. I'm the youngest on the team and I learn a lot from people older than me.

What values would you say that the company holds?

Family values, mutual aid, listening and quality. It's a living business. 

What does working at Opinel mean to you, or to your loved ones?

Opinel is the Savoie brand, we are all proud. I'm from Reims, and although my family and I knew the brand before, we didn't use Opinel knives. Now we eat with Opinel, it's part of the family!

Which is your favourite Opinel knife? Which one do you like to give as a gift?

I really like the slim line! It's thin, elegant and has a very good cut quality. It's versatile, you can use it for everything.

To give as a present, I would choose black oak! It has character and a unique design.

Photo credits : Thierry Vallier, Kalice Studio

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