OLFA has been a pioneer in the utility knife industry for more than half a century. We want to take you back to our roots and tell you the origin story of the OLFA tools you know and love today.
Believe it nor not, the snap-off blade cutter in your back pocket was inspired by a bar of chocolate!
In postwar Japan in the late 1940s, a young boy named Yoshio Okada left school to become an electrical apprentice to better help his family. As you can imagine, he was introduced to a variety of hand tools that were part of the job. One of these tools was a blade cutter. Over time, he noticed that blade after blade would quickly dull and have to be replaced, which added up fast in terms of both time and money. He knew there had to be a better way.
He eventually switched jobs and began working in a printing factory, where he experienced even more roadblocks with cutting tools. Inspired by the idea of breaking off pieces of a chocolate bar, Yoshio began to make prototypes for a new kind of blade cutter. He also studied the edges of broken glass as he worked to revolutionize the blade. With efficiency and safety as top priorities, he eventually created and patented what would become one of the top selling products in the hand tool world – the world’s first snap-off blade cutter!
“Olfa No. 1” revolutionized efficiency in the professional trades. Rather than having the traditional two edges of a trapezoid blade, the snap-off blade offers 10 fresh edges to stay sharp and efficient through even the toughest jobs.
In 1967, Yoshio launched the OLFA brand as the one you know today. He chose a warm yellow tone to represent his company – he liked that it was easy to find in dimly lit spaces or a messy tool box, and he believed the color represented one of his highest priorities – safety.
The length, shape and angle of Yoshio’s snap-off blades have set the standard in the cutting tool world. Thanks to his drive, creativity and originality, snap-off blade cutters are now used across the globe – making your life easier, one cut at a time!