Beginning life in a family of blacksmiths in Savoie, France, Joseph Opinel designed a knife that could be made using machinery rather than wholly handmade. That was in 1890. In 1897 this small pocket knife turned into a series of knives to suit different hands and uses. Since then the business has expanded into gardening and kitchen utensils, cutlery and other areas while remaining in the Opinel family. Opinel remain known first and foremost for their pocket knives which are virtually unchanged from inception and remain a favourite worldwide.