A particular brand-name engraved into the knife is no guarantee of quality, nor is an expensive-looking style of packaging! Examine your purchase carefully and ask the vendor about its qualities. If your vendor knows his/her stuff, you'll find out all you need to know.
The most genuine Laguiole knives are made in the village of Laguiole. If you see a Laguiole cutlery item sold for a low price, that means that it is "mass produced" in France or sadly some other countries. There are more knockoffs on the market than truly French handmade Laguiole knives.
DON'T BE FOULED!
Shopping for French knives from a French website doesn't guaranty its origin or quality! With that say, please be very careful and ask your self the following questions:
Can I return it if I don't like it? and How much will it cost me to return it?
A good knife maker will include his/her name or company logo. This marking is on the blade of the knife: it may also come with a certificate, or will at least clearly show the name of the cutler and the place where it was made. An anonymous piece is not a good sign of quality. Remember! - Labels like "genuine," "best quality" etc. are not necessarily a sign of quality! A blade the is only stamped with "Laguiole" is a sure sign that it is a poor quality knife most likely made in China or Pakistan.
FIND OUT WHERE THE LAGUIOLE MANUFACTURER IS LOCATED.
A retailer that does not know the answers to your questions or is not willing to find out the answers from the manufacturer does not deserve your business.
Please email or call us at 860-245-2211 with any "Laguiole" questions.Some manufacturers use hard-sell terms like "the genuine Laguiole," but do not give any details about the real background and quality of the product they are trying to sell, or indeed whether or not they have even made it themselves! Saying " we’re making/selling genuine Laguiole knives because they print "Laguiole" on the blade does not guaranty the origin of the knife.
Judging the technical quality of a knife is harder if you're not used to it, but checking it over carefully is a good idea anyway. If the knife has a pleasing aesthetic appearance (without any plastic embellishments!), "weighs" in hand and has a nice feel to the grip, you're on the way to buying a decent product. Look for the thickness and solidity of all metal components including massive, and not hollow, bolsters located at the extremities the handle. Next, check that the blade opens easily and that it is perpendicular to the spring (hold it up in front of you and squint upwards along the length - you should see a straight line).
When you close the blade again, it should not knock or catch against the base of the spring and should slide easily back into place. The blade should be centered when closed.
The plates covering the sleeve of the knife should be well-fitted. Check that there aren't any little spaces between the plates and the bolsters corners (the metal edges at the top and tail of the knife), which are a sign of a bad fit. The decorated part of the spring should be well embedded in the crux of the blade so that your finger doesn't catch on it when the knife is open. The decoration of the spring should be slightly different on each knife, even if they are of the same design - these small irregularities are a good sign that the knife is hand-made. It doesn't necessarily mean that the knife you want to buy is not a good one if it doesn't check out against any of the above: but it does mean that the knife isn't of the highest quality. Precise and made-to-measure fitting of the handle with the plates and bolster. The high-performance mechanism (interaction of the spring with the blade). Blade stop (the blade top does not contact with the spring).
The Laguiole knife should open and close with a nice "click" - this shows that the calibration of the mechanism has been fine-tuned.
There should not be any sign of a sideways "shift" in the plane of the blade. The "fly" or "bee" motif should form an integral part of a spring which has been "fly forged" and should be hand-chased, without any welding process.
Note that the "fly forged" knife is no longer a sign of the highest quality manufacture because this method has been appropriated by foreign mass manufacturers as a marketing technique. Look carefully for the other signs we've mentioned here.
The logo of the manufacturer will be engraved on the blade of traditional Laguiole folding knives and straight-bladed table crafts. A stamp that only shows "Laguiole" is a sure sign of a poorly made knife, not that such knives are not always cheap.