How to recognize a Laguiole knife ? How to be sure that you are buying a well-made knife? It’s not so easy making heads or tails of all the information that can be found on the Web.
Knowing how to recognize a blade, identify the origin of a knife, decipher the codes written on a blade…. All these clues will allow you to reliably establish the origin of your Laguiole knife, the solidity of its blade, its composition and its manufacturing process ?
We are often asked ‘how can I check the authenticity of a Laguiole knife?’…
There is so much to say… This video sums it all up efficiently and concisely.
With the advent of industrial cutlery-making in France, soldered bees began to appear, as they are simpler and quicker to produce.
A forged fly / bee will always be more resistant than a soldered fly / bee, the technical qualities of a piece of metal made out of one block are much superior to those of two pieces welded together.
Thus, it can be said that a soldered bee usually goes with your average range of pocket knives. However a forged bee can be found on high-end knives with refined finishing touches.
The best known steel for knives blades is 440 steel which our grandfathers, who liked their Opinel and Laguiole knives knew very well and really appreciated. Such steel is easily sharpened, however a classic 440 blade sadly blackens over time and it needs to be polished, lustered, never washed in water and regularly wipe it with a cloth to ward off oxidization.
Nowadays, steel alloys are more evolved. Thus we can find steel which is better suited to our everyday uses : 440C steel aka 440 Stainless steel, is the modern version of our forefathers’ steel. 440 stainless steel does not get black, it requires more sharpening technique but this downside is nothing compared to the quality increase.
Some knives are also made with 12C27 steel, an alloy which offers the best of both previously mentioned steels but without the drawbacks (easy maintenance and no oxidisation problem.)
Note : As far as Laguiole pocket knives are concerned, 440C steel is always a sign of very high quality for frequent and daily use.
And now for THE question that many of you are wondering about: Are real Laguiole knives only made in Laguiole?
Nowadays, some Laguiole knives are indeed made in Laguiole, but one has to say that most of the Laguiole blades are made in Thiers. So no, real French Laguiole are not exclusively manufactured in Laguiole.
Beware of deals which seem too good to be true. If you find a very cheap Laguiole knife, it probable comes from a far-flung plant. Quality has a price and machines will never compare to a craftsman’s skills : if a knife is cheap, it’s probably worth exactly its price!
Don’t buy your knife in seaside souvenir shops, or pop-up shops in tourist hotspots – chances are you’d buy an industrial knife with an inflated price tag !
Of course a knife’s price can also vary according to the various elements it is made of. Thus it’s easy to see why a knife with an aluminum handle would be cheaper than an abalone-handled one, similarly, a damask blad will be more expensive than a plain one.
Did you know : All the items sold on our site are 100% made in France.
Our company is audited every year by certification leader Bureau Veritas. Therefore our Laguiole knives are labeled ORIGINE FRANCE GARANTIE.
In our Actiforge e-shop or at a well-known cutlery maker – in Thiers or Laguiole of course !
Consumers cannot just trust a brand or a label on the blade or on the packaging.
a) Simple commercial mentions:
- Any self-respecting manufacturer should be proud of its products and sign its knives with their name or logo, which are protected.
An anonymous manufacturer is never a good sign.
- The warranty certificate shipped with the knife should mention the manufacturer’s full address.
- Common sense concerning price levels : it is foolish to think that you can buy a very cheap quality knife made by dedicated craftsmen in.
b) Technical quality indicators:
- There are no plastic éléments on the knife and it has an adequate weight and feel.
- The plates which make up the handle are well fitted.
- When the knife is closed, the blade is in the middle of its folding space.
Club Laguiole brings to you relevant and reliable information on cutlery-making thanks to the knowledge and know-how of blade enthusiasts. Thanks to our craftsmen’s culture and the know-how passed down through generations, you can finally access information you can trust and understand.
To get rid of any doubt before purchasing a Laguiole and to uncover the secrets of the famous ‘bee’ brand, join Club Laguiole and become an expert on the subject.