Joseph Opinel began his knifemaking career in 1895 in the Savoie region of the French Alps. The local population of shepherds, farmers, and artisans were the first to put the knives to the test but by the 1940s over 200 million had been sold. The success of the knife rests on the simple strength of the design itself, earning it a place in everyday French culture and design museums alike. Commonly used to cut fruit, bread, and cheese (mais oui!), each knife features the brand mark which depicts the hand of St. John the Baptist and the crown of the Savoie Dukedom. Only the genuine article will bear this mark, guaranteeing each knife's quality and authenticity.
Carbon steel retains an edge longer, while stainless steel is more corrosion resistant.