Many of you must have heard the name of Laguiole, which is associated with a well-known knife made in France. However, it may surprise you to know that there is no single manufacturer with this name, nor Laguiole is any brand name of knives.
This is a small village in France, where this unique cutlery style was first made. Unfortunately, the name Laguiole was never registered.
Therefore, just anyone can freely use this name and stamp it on their cutlery related items irrespective of it being a genuinely manufactured item which is made in France.
Hence, if you are looking for a genuine piece of these french knives, then you must read the following tips, provided by laguiole-french-knives.com, to make sure that you are buying an authentic one.
Whether your Laguiole knife is genuine?
Traditionally, this is a pocket knife that was originally produced in a village called Laguiole, which is in the region of Aveyron, lying in the southern part of France.
However, today this word is taken as a generic term for describing the style of cutlery, which is not restricted within any single maker, brand, company, trade name, or any place of manufacture.
Therefore, there is nothing like real or fake but only good quality and bad quality.
I have already got Laguiole, then how can I make sure that what I will buy will match?
You will find several makers who manufacture Laguiole, and all have their proprietary design, styles, and quality standard.
So, if you want to match your existing set, then while buying any additional sets, you must buy from the same maker of Laguiole.
Where is Laguiole generally made?
You will find only a few makers who manufacture in the original place. There is one known as “Laguiole en Aubrac.”
Any single piece of this cutlery, like only one knife, will cost around $200. These high-end manufacturers are also manufacturing in a few other countries.
Though any Laguiole set, which is packaged in France, will be stamped “Made in France,” but possibly it is made in any other country like Hungary, USA, China, India, or Thailand, and it can be high, medium or any low quality too.
So, a mark of “Made in France” may not be any statement of quality but simply tells you about a country where it’s manufacturing was perhaps completed.
It is not like a Swiss watch that is made to follow standards imposed by the Swiss government. No standard rules exist for manufacturing Laguiole, but by looking at the price, you may know its quality.
Should we buy a knife which has a pressed horn handle?
It is not preferable to buy any pressed horn handle type of Laguiole pocket knife, particularly if you want to keep it for a very long time.
From wherever you buy, you must be sure that its handle material is always made of ‘horn-tip,’ and not ‘pressed horn.’
That is because only the last 4”/5” of a horn will be solid like any piece of metal or wood. The rest will be hollow. For using the hollow part of the horn, it should be half-cut, steamed, and compressed for making it flat.
The basic problem with this process is that the horn has got “shape memory,” and, after a few years, the horn may try to get back to the original rounded shape. Due to this, the knife’s handle may lose its shape and start showing gaps.
Usually pressed horns can be cheaper to buy, and hence the cheap Laguiole knives will use such material. Usually, retailers who sell such knives are not aware of this, or they are least concerned about your long-term interest in your knife.
Why are handles made from horn-tip better?
Usually, horn tips will come from the massive noblest of the last 4”/5” of the horn. From the horn, small bars will be cut, fixed, and then worked directly on its handle.
Horn tip will not undergo any heating constraint as the pressed horn does. Horn tip will be tougher and densest part of the horn. Only two knives are made from a single horn tip.
Things to consider while buying Laguiole?
Now we are going to talk about the most important things that you need to see while you are buying any Laguiole knife for your use. The following are a few things to see.
Often price will reflect the quality. If Laguiole cutlery is priced under $3 per piece, then it is sub-standard quality and must be used infrequently, because these pieces may end up disintegrating after frequent usage.
2. Stainless steel
If the stainless steel is thicker then, it is better quality and will also last longer and will resist breaking. Below 1.5mm thickness may flex while using and possibly may crack the handles.
Thicker stainless steel will also give a deeper mirror-like polish. Ensure that the minimum stainless-steel gauge is usually 1.8mm or more. A few good quality Laguiole knives may have stainless steel thickness of 1.8mm to 2.5 mm.
3. Laguiole bee
On every piece of Laguiole knife, bee insignia will represent Laguiole. These bees usually come in many different styles and sizes. Few may even be laser-etched onto a single piece.
Few Laguiole items may also have a poor quality of bees. This is another indication of a poorly made knife. Any high quality of Laguiole pieces will have molded bees.
4. Food safety standard
Any cutlery or knife used for serving food must qualify FDA standards or any other equivalent test for food safety.
5. Handles type
- Acrylic (ABS) handles
All ABS handles are usually molded, and there will be no trace of any joins of mold or cracks found in the ABS.
The joining between the ABS handle and stainless-steel blade must be smooth, and there should be no gaps present.
- Timber handles
Any timber handle being an organic item will be unique for each piece of knife and cutlery, and there must not be any kind of flaws present in the timber.
Also, the joining between timber handle and stainless-steel blade must be smooth and also without gaps.
All high-quality Laguiole cutlery sets will come with a full replacement warranty for a minimum period of 24 months.