The Timeless Design of the Opinel Knife

The Opinel knife has a simple and timeless design. The knife has great user affordabilities, constraints, and it’s simplicity and intuitiveness are top notch!

Opinel Knife

It seems like the knife is made of five components: a handle, a blade, a pin (attaching the blade to the handle), a reinforcement ring, and a twisting collar.

  • The blade folds open and closed due to the pin attaching the blade to the handle;

Opinel Knife Closed and Locked

  • The ring provides reinforcement for the pinholes and tightens split of the wood handle in place;
  • The collar opening and corner cutout at the bottom give a physical constraint to stop the collar from doing a full 360 degree twist by its placement height. The collar has its bottom corner cut out to help lock the blade into the handle.

Opinel Knife folded and locked

  • The twisting collar is a locking mechanism for when the blade is folded into the handle or folded open.
  • The groove, or curved bump (not sure what to call it), on the collar appears to be decorative at first but it serves some very practical purposes:
    • It wraps over the area where all the pieces come together.
    • It makes it harder for the handler’s grip to slide up towards the knife’s blade.
    • It provides enough space to twist or spin over for the pin, keeping the pin in place and keeping the collar from sliding off the knife.
    • The v-neck shape of the collar looks like it was made by making the “bump” gradually larger. It serves as a way to lock the blade open, avoiding it to fold on itself and cut the handlers fingers.
    • This larger size of the collar’s “bump” on the opening of the collar also makes it easier to twist itself clockwise or anti-clockwise.

Opinel Knife open and locked

The design elements are multi-functional, effective and material use is efficient. I can’t say enough positives about it. The knife itself is extremely sharp, handles well, it’s super light, and living in a rural/forested area of BC it’s always in my pocket.

Opinel Knife

According to Wikipedia, the design is over 100 years old and there are/were 13 different Opinel knife sizes and I have No.8.

Opinel’s website has more photos and things if you’re interested.

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