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!
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;
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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.