As a right of passage going back generations in french family, the day a jeune garcon received his first Laguiole is a special moment in any childs life. In many cases this elegant pocket knife is passed on from father to son. The first step in the path to adult hood was a sign up respect and responsibility that is even today a respected rite of passage in most tradition gaulic families.
The Laguiole is the place in France where Laguiole knives and Laguiole pocket knives are made. The knives were traditionally made for shepherds and local farmers. That’s why traditional and natural materials can be found in the splendid Laguiole folding knives. Laguiole has become the generic name of the knives and those knives are only made by a small number of knife makers, but the story of the laguiole is engrained the country’s heritage.
Laguiole knives: art at pocket knife size
Laguiole is the place in France where Laguiole knives and Laguiole pocket knives are made. The knives were traditionally made for shepherds and local farmers. That’s why traditional and natural materials can be found in the splendid Laguiole folding knives. You can also buy various Laguiole kitchen knives and table knives. Laguiole has become the generic name of the knives and those knives are only made by a small number of knife makers.
How do you recognise a Laguiole pocket knife?
The Laguiole knives have a typical shape and are hand crafted. Of course there also are fake Laguiole knives or non-traditional Laguiole knives. You recognise those from their bright colours and too modern influences. The standard Laguiole pocket knives are slightly longer and narrower than a normal pocket knife. Half of the Laguiole pocket knife looks like a woman’s leg. The knives have the little axe, which is an element of the steel mechanism that opens and closes the Laguiole folding knife. A number of Laguiole pocket knives also have a block in the mechanism. Laguiole knives must be very sharp and have natural materials in the handle. With some wood types you can really smell the wood. Many French men have their personal Laguiole knife as a gentleman’s knife.
The name Laguiole
The name Laguiole has a long and beautiful history. You buy a Laguiole pocket knife also for the tradition and the extremely high quality. At least, if you buy the knife from reputable knife makers. Laguiole is not officially protected and is also not a deposited trademark. That means a lot of bad quality and fakes find their way onto the market, to the great frustration of the ‘Laguiole brand. Knivesandtools.com stock the Forge de Laguiole and Fontenille Pataud. Both are real traditional Laguiole knife brands who make their product with traditional methods and a lot of care. The knives are very functional and really superbly finished. Laguiole folding knives are hand crafted and are a real asset when you want to buy a pocket knife.
We make an handcraft production which distinguishes it from industrial production.
The manufacture and assembly of the knife requires more than one hundred operations performed by the craftsman’s hand. Each step is done by Master craftsmen who control the quality of their work at each stage of the process.
The materials used are of French origin.
The blades are made of stainless steel 12C27, or if you want it, made of carbon steel. That steel is cut out through pressing
They are punched to our brand.
The blades receive a heat treatment which is done in two steps.
Tempering: The blades are heated to 1030 ° and cooled down suddenly in order to give the hardness to the metal.
Heat treatment: The blades are once again warmed but cooled down slowly for provides flexibility to steel. The hardness obtained is 52/54 Hrc
The shaping of the cutting edge is provided to the blade by grinding, to ensure them a perfect cutting edge.
The blade shall ensure a perfect planarity.
They are then polished.
The plates of knives are made of brass or stainless steel.
It is the backbone of the knife. They provide rigidity and strength of the binding of the sides of wood or horn.
These plates can have bolsters. They are made of solid brass or forged steel.
The front bolster supports the hinge axis of the blade.
The back bolster protects the handle against shocks.
The spring and the bee are forged as one piece.
The ornaments, engravings of the letter are made at this stage because the steel has not its final hardness.
It is then heated in an oven at more than 1000 ° and tempered. He comes from the tempering covered with calamine. It is polished for the first time.
The Bee is welded into the spring.
It is then heated in an oven at more than 1000 ° and tempered. He comes from the tempering covered with calamine. It is polished for the first time.Fly or bee?
The end of the spring bears a flat part, Fly (technical term of cutlery). The first Laguiole knives had no decoration. Later, flies have been decorated with a bee. It became symbol of the Laguiole knife.
The bladestop is a small piece of metal is placed into the closing system in order to protect the blade from the shock This prevents the blade from dulling when the user snaps it shut too fast.
Laguiole knife handles are hand crafted. A thin cross-shaped nailing decorates the handle . This is the shepherd’s cross. Indeed the legend tells that the shepherds prayed before this religious symbol when they were isolated in the mountains.
Handles made of horn or bone
The first Laguiole knives had handles made of bone or horn, the materials most available at the time.
Bone looks like ivory. It becomes lightly yellow in the time
Horn’s color changes, as hair’s color. You can find blond or black horn
Although this material provides a wide range of natural colors and patterns, there is a great difference in quality between the material taken from the tip of the horn, and the lower hollow section
– Tip of horn: only the tip of the cow’s horn is used
– Pressed horn: The lower hollow section of the horn is used
Handles made of wood
Wood completed the choice of materials for knife handles very early on.
Only very hard woods are suitable. The high shine of the handle is achieved by patiently polishing through soft and gentle rubbing.
Wooden handles are never varnished.
The types of wood used include the following precious wood species:
Ebony, palisander, olive, rosewood, violetwood, snakewood, stamina wood, wenge. Please note that handles made of wood and horn are not water-resistant. They are not therefore safe in the dishwasher.