Frequently Asked Questions
1. How should I take care of my
Avoid leaving it in damp environments for too long.
Grease the metal parts regularly.
Dry the blade using a dry cloth after each use.
2. Why is my Opinel folding knife sometime difficult to open?
Humidity, atmospheric condition and the wood used for
the handle can all affect the folding mechanism of your Opinel. As wood
contract and expand due to humidity it will hold the blade tighter or
looser, this is why the function of your Opinel is not always consistent.
Please review FAQ #10 to solve your opening difficulties.
3. How do you sharpen an Opinel knife ?
or other fine-grain natural stone on a dry, degreased
As if you wanted to cut the stone, move the blade from
the base towards the tip, at an angle of 18/20
degrees. A wide angle will thicken the cutting edge:
it will be more resistant but less sharp. A small
angle will thin the cutting edge: it will be less
resistant but sharper.
A burr forms on the opposite side of the blade. Remove
this by passing this side over the stone, without
pressing. To finish off, pass both sides over the
4. Can I put my Opinel in the dishwasher ?
Folding knives are not designed to be washed in the
dishwasher. You can wash them by hand, being careful
never to leave them soaking in the water and to dry
and grease them properly afterwards. Fixed-blade
kitchen knives with stainless steel blades can be
place in the dishwasher.
Make sure you use washing and rinsing products from
the same brand.
Place your knife in the cutlery basket with the blade
Once the washing cycle has finished, dry your knife
and put it away.
5. What is the difference between a carbon blade
and a stainless steel blade ?
The carbon blade has an unparalleled cutting quality
and sharpens very easily. However, it must be
regularly greased and dried after each use to prevent
the formation of rust.
A stainless steel blade will not rust. The stainless
steel used to manufacture Opinel blades is12c27 Sandvik Swedish steel. 12c27
steel is consider by most to be the best Stainless on
the market. Visit visit our "Steel"
page for more info.
6. The blade of my Opinel has rusty bits on it, what's happening ?
Please visit our "Steel"
7. I have a retail store, where can I buy
Opinel wholesale in the US ?
You may apply for a wholesale account
8. What is the "Crowned Hand" stamp ?
In 1565 King Charles IX of France had ordered every
master knife-maker to place an emblem on his products
to guarantee their origin and quality. “In order to
prevent counterfeits, the stamps had to be registered
in a ‘safe place’, in the Police Lieutenant’s registry
for Paris , at the guild headquarters or the home of
the oldest Master or Juror for knife-making centers.
They had to be stamped on a slab of copper, lead or
silver, as proof of registration and in order to keep
an imprint in the event of dispute”. Respecting this
tradition, Joseph Opinel chose as his emblem "The
Crowned Hand”. This right hand, known as a hand raised
in blessing, with three fingers straight and two
fingers folded, figures on the coat of arms of the
town of Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne . "A silver hand
raised in blessing, on an azure background, clad in
the same". Since the 6th century, the cathedral has
housed a shrine, where the faithful may worship,
containing three fingers from the hand of Saint John
the Baptist, brought back from Alexandria in Egypt by
a young girl from Maurienne, named Thecla. The crown
placed above the hand recalls the fact that the Savoie
region was once a Duchy.
9. Where does the wood used for the Opinel knives'
handles come from?
95% of the wood used comes from France. For further
information see "The
10. What is the "coup du savoyard" ?
The blade unfolds easily thanks to its groove.
However, those practiced in the art can tap the heel
of the handle hard on the table once and the blade
will come out of the slit slightly.
11. What is a Opinel Slim knife?
The blade & handle of the slim models are very
different from the "Classic" Opinel models. The handle
is tapered to a point for a comfortable fit. The blade
is flexible like a "fillet" knife, this knife is not
recommended for heavy duty usage. If you like the
shape of the handle but need a stiff blade you will
like the No 8 Garden knife.
11. Why don't you have Opinel "Pear
Opinel stop making pear wood handles in the 1950s.
However, some retailers are using "Pear wood" instead
of "Beechwood" in product descriptions.
12. I noticed that the beechwood handle of the
Opinel Carbon and Stainless steel models look
different, is it the same wood?
Yes, Opinel use the same wood, the difference is that
the carbon models have a varnished handle and the
Stainless steel models are left untreated / natural.
13. How do you pronounce Opinel?
So many people called and ask this question that we
felt the need to add it to our FAQs. Opinel is
14. What type of metal Opinel uses to make blades?
Although most Opinel blades are made of Stainless
steel (Sandvik 12C27 modified) a
few models are made of Carbon steel (XC90). Please visit
steel page for
15. Why and when did Opinel stop offering the No 1
& 11 models?
The #1 Opinel was taken out of production in 1932, it
was just to small. The #11 was taken out in 1935, its
size was too similar to the other large knives.
16. The blade of my Opinel is not level with the
handle, it appears that the knife does not open fully.
Is this normal?
Yes! The classic Opinel folding knife was designed
17. Why does Opinel do not offer a wider range of
carbon blade models, why just beechwood handle?
Several reasons are at play here. Some woods like
olive wood for example contain oils that are very
corrosive and simply would deteriorate a carbon blade
regardless if you take care of it or not. The other
and probably most understandable reason is that many
of us would not know how to take care of a carbon
blade or even realize/know what it is. In the grand
scheme of things expanding the carbon blade
range would be detrimental to the brand as it would
simply create more issues then good.