It is believed that French pocket knives making started at the beginning of the 13th Century in the village of Nontron. Today French cutlers are producing replicas of the originals as well as modernized versions. The models below are from manufacturers we trust for their ethical manufacturing process, part outsourcing and efficient warranty/repair services. Sadly, many French knife manufacturers are cutting corners in an effort to churn-out cheap pocket or steak knives. It is also important to know that many Laguiole knives are not even made in France at all. Laguiole Imports do not offer French knives that are not 100% made in France.
French Pocket Knives
Laguiole Pocket Knives
Pierre-Jean Calmels, a blacksmith in the village of Laguiole, conceived the first Laguiole knife in 1829. Calmels built two models, the capuchadou, knife of the ordinary peasants of the Aubrac and the Spanish Navaja, brought back from Catalogne by seasonal workers.
The hardest steel tempered in Laguiole purest natural spring, a spring to close the blade, a handle fashioned from the local Aubrac Oax's horn... an exceptional knife was born. Over the years, Pierre-Jean Calmels perfected his art by adding a Trocar in 1840 to meet the needs of herders and farmers.
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Le Thiers Pocket Knives
Le Thiers Pocket knives by Fontenille Pataud bears the name of the city of Thiers, the French capital of cutlery. Coming from the reflection of a whole profession, it is subject to the respect of a charter (juranda) which implies the respect of strict specifications. Unlike Laguiole knives, the "Le Thiers" name and patented design are strictly protected by the city of Thiers and the French government. The "Le Thiers" series of pocket knives all feature an easy opening and locking blade system making it safer to use. The flexibility of the precision mechanism makes the knives easy to open and close. As with all Fontenille Pataud pocket knives, the cutting edge of the blades is protected by a solidly fixed blade stop. Each knife in this collection features our "This is It" option. In Other words the knife on the photos is the one that will be shipped. Take a look at the series
Other French Knives
Before the development of the Laguiole in the early 19th century, other French folding knives could be found, such as the "Capuchadou" (or "capujadou"). This knife was used for all daily tasks, from preparing lunch to care for their flocks of sheep. Fontenille Pataud offers a multitude of original French knives as well as some contemporary models, they are all considered by many to be some of the best French pocket knives money can buy.
All French knife from Fontenille Pataud features our "This is It" option. In other words, the knife on the photos is the one that will be shipped. Take a look at the collections
The Corsican series offer by Fontenille Pataud were created with Antoine Zuria and Robert Beillonnet (Awareded skillest custom French knife maker in 1997 and 2000). These knives feature an easy opening and locking blade system making it safer to use. The flexibility of the precision mechanism makes the knives easy to open and close. As with all Fontenille Pataud pocket knives, the cutting edge of the blades is protected by a solidly fixed blade stop. The Fontenille Pataud collection of knives are considered by many to be some of the best French pocket knives money can buy. 100% Made in France. Each knife in this collection features our "This is It" option. In other words, the knife on the photos is the one that will be shipped. Take a look
Nontron Pocket Knives
The Nontron knife shares the name of the French village of its birth located in the Dordogne department. This knife's history is filled with so many legends that it is difficult to date its exact origin; however, most experts agree that the Nontron knife is the oldest French folding knife dating back to the 13th century.Today, the cutlery that bears its name since 1928 produces handmade knives using ancestral methods. The procedures used to conceive todays' Nontron pocket knives are nearly the same since the fifteenth century.
The Legend: The wood burned patterns, whose origin and meanings are still not fully understood, are made from “flies,” a kind of reversed V surrounded by 3 points and rows of small dots. Religious symbols? Perhaps a reference to the Freemasons' compass or the Compagnons du Devoir? No one really knows.