Opinel's classic wooden folding knife gets a contemporary update

Emma Tucker
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Swiss studio Big-Game has designed a table-friendly version of a classic folding knife by French manufacturer Opinel.

The Bon Appétit knife is modelled on the French company's folding pocket knife, which was first designed in 1890 for hunters, fishers and campers.

The original wooden handle has been replaced with a non-folding plastic alternative, making the knife more durable for use in restaurants and the home. It also has the advantage of being dishwasher-safe.

"With its subtle texture, the polymer gives a nice warm touch to the handle," said Big-Game, which has previously designed adjustable children's furniture and a set of mirrors made from car windscreens.

"We also worked on the weight to make it feel right. Finally this kind of polymer ages gracefully, which is a very important characteristic for Opinel."

While the studio retained the chamfered handle – a signature detail of Opinel's original design – it slimmed down the stainless-steel blade for use at the table. The updated knife is available with grey, red, blue or black handles.

"We wanted to retain the most important elements that identify the traditional Opinel knife, but at the same time make a comfortable eating tool for everyday life," added Big-Game.

Norwegian designer Per Finne also updated a classic knife design when he created a utensil that blends Japanese tradition with contemporary Norwegian aesthetic.

Other interesting knife designs include a knife cut by water jets to create an irregular serrated edge, and a stainless-steel utensil based on tools used by early humans.

Opinel's classic wooden folding knife gets a contemporary update

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