The making of Forge de Laguiole's blades and other metal components


First we need to make one thing clear, most modern knife manufacturers - including Forge de Laguiole - do not forge blades with a hammer as demonstrated above.

Forge de Laguiole blades are made of T12 steel, either from XC75 (carbon steel), damascus stainless steel or carbon. Produced exclusively for Forge de Laguiole, T12 steel combines durability, rust resistance and ease of sharpening. Forge de Laguiole’s unique methods of forging combined with tempering, give the blade a perfect cutting edge. The steel comes from the Isère region of France and is forged in the village of Laguiole. The first stage is to cut the “skeleton” of the blades before placing them in the induction oven

The first stage is to cut the “skeleton” of the blades before placing them in the induction oven

These are then heated until they are cherry red (to 900/1000ºC for 6 seconds in the induction oven). The blades are then forged using a sledgehammer (300-ton pressure). This gives us the first blades with the shape of the back, the cutting edge and the heel.

The blade is then shaped when cold using an awl (the 'lifetime' of a single awl is between 15-20 000 blades), and stamped with the Forge de Laguiole logo.

After that the blade is cut with a guillotine, using molds and a 60-ton press (the waste material is melted down).

Once the blade is cut it is slightly bent, so before tempering it in oil we straighten it to restructure the metal. To achieve this we heat the blades in a basket (200 blades per basket) to more than 1000ºC for an hour, then immediately drop them in oil to cool them down. Once the blades are cold they are then reheated to 200ºC for annealing. The blades are shaped to give them their V-edge angle using a special machine to grind the blade.

Annealing: The metal is heated to a temperature near fusion point then slowly cooled to give the steel a homogenous structure.  

Tempering: Here the metal is heated to a high temperature then quickly cooled in oil to give a highly resistant, but more brittle steel.

Hardening: Once the steel is tempered we heat it gently to reduce the brittleness, which is how we choose the resistance of the blade.

If it is heated for too long or too quickly, the surface of the steel tends to swell. This has an adverse effect on the cutting quality of the blade.To maintain the surface we have to ensure the line at which the status of the metal changes is only crossed slightly, and for a very short length of time. The difficulty comes when this line changes position (height) depending on the content of the steel. This is why we need to achieve temperatures of around 900º-1000ºC.

Making the bolsters and liners

Bolsters and liners are available in two kinds of steel.
1) T12 steel (forged at high temperature)
2) Brass (forged without heating / cold forged)

The T12 steel bar is heated to 900°-1000°C then forged.

Then the bar is cut off  

and the bolsters cut out

The liners are then pierced and polished before being assembled.

The springs are cut without heating.

The end is heated, then flattened with a press. This gives us the flat part of the spring where the bee will be forged.

The bee and the top part of the spring are then sculpted (the decoration on the spring is known as the guillochage.

Just like for the blades the spring is heated to 1000°C, then tempered in oil and followed by hardening.

Shipping schedule

Free Two-Three Day Delivery

We hope the schedule below makes sense if not, or you simply need reassurance, please call us at 860-245-2211 between 9 am & 5 pm EST Monday through Friday, and we will clarify. Please keep in mind that we do not ship Saturdays and Sundays.

We offers FREE 1 to 3 business days delivery on all U.S orders $39 and up. Orders under $39 are shipped Free via first class mail.

In most cases, you will receive your order within 2 business days from shipping day. Additionally, our international customers can receive orders within 2 to 3 business days by selecting our FedEx International Priority option at checkout ($35 flat rate fee), Free with orders $300 USD and up.

A tracking number is provided with all shipping options; it will be provided as soon as your order ships.

All orders placed to be shipped non-express, engraved or not ship same or next business day (mostly same day depending on order time). All orders placed by 3 PM EST to be shipped express (UPS, FedEx or USPS) engraved or not ship same day. 

All orders are shipped from zip code 32246, Florida, USA. We do not use drop-shippers, we own, store and ship our products directly from our Jacksonville location.

  • Priority Mail  (free shipping over $39 order) has significantly improved and now offer very reliable turnarounds. 1 to 3 business days can be expected depending on destination. In many cases, this service will be three days faster than UPS to the far western states. See USPS map commitments below or visit the USPS website for a specific address. Use shipping from zip code 32246.
  • USPS first class (free shipping under $39 order) is reliable but a little inconsistent with a targeted delivery day. 1 to 5 business days (mostly 2 to 3) can be expected. See USPS commitments here.

USPS Express Mail. Mostly overnight but could be two days depending on location. See USPS commitments here - Use shipping from zip code 32246.

Other shipping solutions/carriers are available at checkout.

International Shipping

FedEx and UPS are both available. Choose "FedEx International Priority" or "UPS Express Saver" for 2/3 business days delivery (Local customs dependent).

International shipping costs do not include any customs taxes or fees your government agency may charge on receipt of the package.

 

International Shipping - FREE on all order over $300

FedEx and UPS are both available. Choose "FedEx International Priority" or "UPS Express Saver" for 2/3 business days delivery (Local customs dependent).

Freight Forwarding/Holding Policy

Due to the elevated risk of credit card fraud, customs issues, damaged shipments, and warranty issues, Laguiole-Imports.com does not allow shipping to freight forwarding services. We reserve the right to cancel all orders shipped to freight forwarders/holders without notice.
Any order shipped to freight forwarding or holding facility will not be eligible for any support.