Turning idea
into an invention

Do you know how the first knife with snap-off blade was made?

The history of the tools that the whole world uses today



The history of OLFA begins with its founder, Yoshio Okada (1931-1990), an inventor in search of a solution for blades constantly loosing their edge and dulling. In his quest, he observed the clean, sharp cutting edge produced when glass breaks or when chocolate bars snap into segments.




The world's first knife with a snap-off blade

His observations inspired him to invent a revolutionary new type of cutting tool with a “snap-off blade”, a design that allowed users to quickly restore a sharp blade edge by simply snapping off a scored segment.



In 1959, Yoshio Okada founded OKADA & Co. In the following years, the sale of tools grew steadily and in 1967 the Okada brothers decided to transform the company's name into OKADA Kogyo CO LTD





The world's first rotary knife

The rotary cutter’s ingenious design was introduced by OLFA in 1979, and over  the past 30 years, this simple but brilliant tool has revolutionized the arts and  crafts industry. At the time it was introduced, quilters and sewers discovered  immediately that this novel craft tool could reduce cutting time by half or even  more. And with the new cutter, multiple layers of fabric, regardless of weight, cut  quickly and easily, with little pressure and without pulling or distorting fabrics  or pattern lines. 


World standard

The growing popularity of snap-off cutters and the growing demand from satisfied customers have led to the company's intensive development. As a result, the solutions proposed by OLFA were widely accepted, and the shapes and dimensions of the blades developed were considered a worldwide standard.





OLFA - what does it mean?


In 1984, Okada changed the name of his company to the OLFA Corporation, one  that incorporated the essence of the founder’s invention. OLFA is an abbreviation  of two Japanese words which translate: “to brake a blade”.The OLFA logo itself,  a parallelogram, is in the shape of a typical OLFA snap-off blade. 




OLFA today

From heavy-duty and specialty cutting tools and scrapers for the building industry to safety tools for industrial applications to rotary cutters, self-healing mats, art knives and rulers for the crafting industry, OLFA has set a standard for excellence. Its exceptional handles and unsurpassed blades are examples of Japan’s centuries-old legacy of flawless blade-making. This uncommonly fine craftsmanship is embodied in all OLFA tools and blades-qualities that builders, contractors and do-it-yourselfers as well as quilters and crafters have come to expect of OLFA products which they recognize as the OLFA  ADVANTAGE.

Produkcja, Higashi - Osaka