Cyclist and product designer Jesse Herbert had an unexpected, knife-centric hit on his hands when he began making and selling a belt sheath for the Opinel folding knife.
Herbert’s company, Oopsmark, may not be a name knife users are familiar with. It is primarily a brand for cyclists who want to kit out their bikes with things like a wine rack or custom pedal straps. But Herbert’s work on these projects gave him a general knack for design, which he eventually applied to his favorite camp knife.
“I do a lot of bicycle touring and bike packing,” Herbert explains. “To travel light, the only cooking utensil I bring is an Opinel knife and a frisbee for a plate.” This ultralight setup was stymied only by a lack of convenient carry for the clipless Opinel. “Either I cook directly on the coals, or eat picnic style,” Herbert continues. “Either way the Opinel is an essential tool and I wanted to have easy access to it, so I designed a belt holder.”
Herbert’s sheath works exactly like you’d expect: it slides onto a belt (any belt up to 1.58″ wide), and accommodates one Opinel folder. There are two sizes on offer, for the No. 8 (the most popular Opinel), and the No. 9. “Since we haven’t had any requests for other sizes, we don’t have any immediate plans to produce other sizes,” Herbert notes, but does say he plans to offer the two sheaths in a second material. “We’re working with our suppliers to hopefully be able to provide the Opinel sheath in a cork version.”
In fact, Herbert remarks that the Opinel sheaths have become his best-selling product, surpassing even the aforementioned wine rack, which became a viral marketing success some years ago. Seeing this knife-related project success strengthened Herbert’s interest in sharp things generally, whether or not we’ll see them on sale through Oopsmark. “I’ve always been inspired to work with knives,” he says. “For my end-of-year project for mechanical engineering, I built some titanium handled folding knives using CNC machines. I’ve also build sets of throwing knives from saw blades….complete with leather holsters of course.”
Featured Image: Oopsmark Leather Opinel Sheath