We have a a large selection of Laguiole Knives and other French knives you cannot find anywhere else.
To see our unique selection of French knives simply scroll down.
Knife making has been a long tradition in France. Probably the best known center of the cutler's craft in France is the town of Thiers. Knife making has been an economic and creative staple in Thiers for more than 400 years.
But the roots of the most famous French knife, the Laguiole (pronounced "Lie-yole") comes from the Thiers neighboring namesake town. Laguiole is a small mountain town of 1500 or so residents and lies about 600 km South of Paris. It is known for it's agriculture and cattle, but predominantly for it's cutlery.
At it's beginning the town was built around a small rescue chapel. In fact the origin of the name Laguiole is translated as "La Gleisola" which means little church.
Laguiole is in the Aubrac region in Southern France that is made up of 3 departments: Aveyron, Cantal and Loz�re. These departments meet at a junction marked by a cross called The three Bishops Cross. It was said that Sheppard's' would stick their knives in the ground at this spot and pray.
The knife that we have come to know as the "Laguiole" was developed starting sometime in the early 1800's. It is said to be inspired by the Spanish Navaja knife which had a distinctive pistol grip handle, and was also probably influenced by a French dagger called a Capuchadou.
The majority of quality Laguiole knives are made in Laguiole or the neighboring town of Thiers.
Many people think that Laguiole is the name of a knife company. But it actually refers to the style of the knife developed in this small town. There are many mediocre or poor quality knife companies (many that are not even French!) who use the name Laguiole only to capitalize on the name and the history.
There is some disagreement about what constitutes an "authentic" Laguiole knife. But experts do agree a knife bearing the Laguiole name should be made in France by hand and be constructed of high quality materials. There are also some features that are traditional to this style of knife.
The Laguiole "bee" (or fly) is a small decoration on the spring head which the base of the knife blade folds into in the open position. In the knife makers trade this decoration this part of the spring is called a "fly". So, there is some debate about whether this is a "fly" or a "bee".
Either way, it is one of the elements that defines a Laguiole knife. The fly or bee is a more modern aspect of or Interpretation of the simple triangle that adorned the original Laguiole knives.
One of the important aspects of a traditional Laguiole knife is what is called the Sheppard's cross, a cross design made with rivets in the handle of the knife honoring the cross mentioned above, marking the junction of the three departments of the Aubrac region.
Look for a knife that has the makers name proudly stamped on the blade. Many of the lower quality knives don't have their name on the blade. Also check that the country of origin is on the blade. If it is not France or absent of a country name it is likely a lower quality knife.
Many of the nicer examples of Laguiole knives have impressive hand file work on the backspring.
Look for the thickness and solidity of all metal components including massive, and not hollow, bolsters at the tips of the handle. Make sure the manufacturer is using the best possible steel for the blade.
440 steel is widely used and is a good quality steel. Traditionally, though, the most common and preferred steel is Swedish "Sandvik" steel (or 12c27).
This is an excellent steel that can attain a razor sharp edge but is not so hard it can't be sharpened. Some producers will also use damascus, a beautifully textured blade material made from numerous layers of steel. This is a very expensive blade material and very desirable among collectors.
Request a complete guarantee allowing you to exchange the product or obtain a full refund. Do business with people that are able and available to answer all of your questions.
These words from one of my distributors of authentic Laguiole knifes are important to consider:
"An interesting, but sorrowful fact, in my opinion, is that in order to fill production quotas based on ever increasing demand, many manufacturers have gone from handcrafting to machine manufacturing. But there is still hope since a small number of dedicated craftshops have resisted this trend and persisted in the purest form of tradition......where a human hand is involved! And, at the same time, not hesitating in using the highest quality materials available in a modern society."
We represent a growing number of Laguiole knives. We guarantee that our Laguiole de L' Artisan, Coutelleriei Chambriard, Fontenille-Pataud, Therias & L 'Econome and R. David knives are all handmade and of the highest quality.
In addition to Laguiole style knives there are several knives that are traditional to France and reflect its history. Take a look at our growing selection of knives from Fontenille-Pataud. They specialize in several styles of traditional French knives like the Auberac, Vendetta, Roquefort and Yssingeaux. The also offer the Basque Yatagan knife.
The knives of Cottellerie Chambriard are a modern twist on traditional French style. They are highlighted by modern lines and form. They have an elegant simplicity. There petite model is the perfect size and shape to disappear into your pocket.
Another very fine French Cutler with a rich history is the firm of Jaques Mongin located in Biesles France. The majority of Mongin knives can be readily identified by their exterior back springs (not unlike our Okapi knives in design) and their very refined fit and finish.
One of the most recognizable French knives worldwide is the Opinel knife. Opinel knives are made in the town of South East Cognin, France in the Savoie region. These knives are not only universally sold in France and every European country in great numbers, but have become common here in the United States. The simple elegant design with a simple twisting lock ferrule make the knife useful and inexpensive to produce. Although Opinle produces some fancier models, most of the basic models can be acquired for under $10.00.
The Vendetta knife is not a company namesake, but a style (like the "Laguiole" knife). This knife has a tradition in both France and Italy and shares a similar design. Tthe Vendetta is traditionally a Corsican knife. Many makers both French and Italian make one or more versions of a Corsican knife. Fontenille-Pataud offers a new version with a locking blade. Therias & L 'Econome offers a reasonably priced Vendetta knife with a celluloid handle.
Where are all the French sheath knives? There are actually very few to be seen. Unlike Germany for example, the French cutlery tradition is very much one of folding pocket knives. Of course the French have made (and still make) some very fine culinary knives. But as far as hunting and knives go there are very few examples.
At this point the Laguiole knife is probably the fastest rising star in the French cutlery world. Ten years ago using the term "Lagioule knife" would draw a blank stare from the great majority of knife enthusiasts. In our experience, in 2007, we see many more people who not only know the name "laguiole", but have a basic understanding of its design and history.
Laguiole knives are a good example of a high quality import knife. Laguiole is one of the the finest knife France has to offer. They are like no others and will always have a special place on our web site. We love French knives.
If you have any questions please contact us at:
WORLD KNIVES, LTD.
2103 HARRISON AVE. NW, STE. 2-646
OLYMPIA WA 98502-2607
Toll Free: 866-862-5233
E-mail us at: [email protected]
|Chambriard Compact Ebony Wood Pocket Knife - 1730|
|Chambriard Compact Light Horn Tip Pocket Knife - 1725|
|Chambriard Compact Olivewood Pocket Knife - 1709|
|Chambriard Ebony Compagnon Theirs Folding Knife - 1830|
|Chambriard Horn Tip Compagnon Theirs Knife - 1825|
|Chambriard Juniper Corkscrew Folding Wine Knife - 1750|
|Chambriard Leather Belt Sheath for Compagnon - Black - 1400BLK|
|Chambriard Leather Belt Sheath for Compagnon - Brown - 1400BRN|
|Chambriard Special AmouretteTrappeur Knife - 2711|
|Chambriard Special Palisander Trappeur Knife - 2701|
|Cognet Le Montpellier Traditional Nautical Knife -Horn- DD267CB|
|Douk-Douk French Carbon Steel Folding Knife - Black - DD815|
|Douk-Douk French Carbon Steel Folding Knife - Small - DD815PM|
|Douk-Douk French Carbon Steel Le Tiki Knife - Silver - DD829GM|
|Forge De Laguiole 11cm Rosewood Folding French Knife - FDL1211RO|
|Forge De Laguiole 11cm Horn Tip Folding French Knife - FDL1211B|
|Forge De Laguiole 11cm Juniper Wood Folding Knife - FDL1211GE|
|Forge De Laguiole 11cm Pistacchio Wood Folding Knife - FDL1211PI|
|Forge De Laguiole 11cm Snakewood World Travel Knife ROUTARD|
|Forge De Laguiole 11cm Thuya Wood Folding French Knife - FDL1211TH|
|Forge De Laguiole 12cm Horn Tip Folding French Knife - FDL1212B|
|Forge De Laguiole 7cm Olive Wood Folding Knife - FDL127OL|
|Forge De Laguiole 7cm Snakewood Folding Knife - FDL127AM|
|Forge De Laguiole 7cm Thuya Burl Folding French Knife - FDL127TH|
|Forge De Laguiole 9cm Acrylic Folding Knife - Green - FDL109WINFLGRN|
|Forge De Laguiole 9cm Acrylic Folding Knife - Mauve - FDL109WINFLMAV|
|Forge De Laguiole 9cm Acrylic Folding Knife - Red - FDL109WINFLRED|
|Forge De Laguiole 9cm Briar Burl Knife - FDL129BR|
|Forge De Laguiole 9cm Ebony Knife - FDL129EB|
|Forge De Laguiole 9cm Olive Wood Knife - FDL129OL|
|Forge De Laguiole 9cm Rosewood Folding Knife - FDL129INRO|
|Forge De Laguiole 9cm White Bone Folding Knife - FDL129INOS|
|Forge De Laguiole Lou Bure Black Horn French Butter Knife - LOUBURE|
|Nontron Boxwood Ball End Ferrule Box Wood Lock Knife - NON25BO|
|Nontron Boxwood Oyster Shucking Knife - NONOYSTER|
|Nontron Custom Ebony Ball End Ferrule Lock Knife - NON25BOEBC|
|Nontron Custom Ebony Ball End Ferrule Lock Knife - NON25BOROC|
|Nontron Ebony Ball End Ferrule Lock Knife - NON25BOEB|
|Nontron Ebony Double Ferrule Lock Knife - NON25DVEB|
|Nontron Large Violin Folding Pocket Knife - NONPP|
|Nontron Medium Violin Pocket Knife - NONP3V|
|Nontron Navette No.38 Three Part Pocket Knife - NONNA38|
|Nontron Navette No.68 Six Part Pocket Knife - NONNA68|
|Nontron Small Clog Folding Pocket Knife - NON12|
|Nontron Tiny Clog Pocket Knife - NON10|
|Nontron Tiny Miniature Boxwood Knife - NONCNX|
|Nontron Turning Ferrule Carp Tail Knife - NON25QC|
|Nontron Turning Ferrule Clog Pocket Knife - NON25|
|Opinel Carbon Steel Paring Knife Set - OP1222|
|Opinel Four Piece Colored Kitchen Set - OP01452|
|Opinel Four Piece Colored Paring Knife Set - OP01381|
|Opinel Giant Folding Show Knife - OP22136|
|Opinel Hawkbill Beechwood Pruning Knife - OP13140|
|Opinel Les Effiles Folding Fish Fillet Knife - OP00011|
|Opinel Les Effiles Folding Fish Fillet Knife - OP00013|
|Opinel Miniature Folding Picnic Knife - OP11020|
|Opinel Miniature Key Ring Knife - OP00065|
|Opinel Miniature Key Ring Knife - Red - OP01093|
|Opinel Mycology Mushroom Hunting Knife - OP01252|
|Opinel No. 8 Outdoor Folding Survival Knife - Blue - OP01576|
|Opinel No. 8 Outdoor Folding Survival Knife - Gray - OP01579|
|Opinel No. 8 Outdoor Folding Survival Knife - Green - OP01578|
|Opinel No. 8 Outdoor Folding Survival Knife - Red - OP01714|
|Opinel Oyster & Shellfish Knife No. 9 - OP01616|
|Opinel Stainless Steel Garden Knife - OP33080|
|Opinel VR17 Folding Knife - Blue - OP01424|
|Opinel VR17 Folding Knife - Bright Green - OP01425|
|Opinel VR17 Folding Knife - Plum - OP01427|
|Opinel VRN6 Carbon Steel Folding Knife - OP13060|
|Opinel VRN8 Beechwood Locking Knife - OP13080|
|Opinel Wine Opening Corkscrew Knife - OP01410|
|Therias & L 'Econome Le London Sailor's Knife - LE3460|