One Artisan, One Knife


Laguiole knives workmanship respects the ancestral tradition of the original Laguiole knives. It takes over 100 operations for a "1 piece" Laguiole knife to be complete. Note that when a manufacturer makes the claim that each knife is "hand made" by the same crafts person it should be understood as " assembled, shaped and finished". The individual does not forge his or her own blade or bolsters nor does he or she stamp the liners. In fact, the artisan gathers all the"raw" parts needed for the knife project and carefully assemble them and shape the handle material. For the "collector" series the spring and bee will be entirely hand chiseled (around one hour for those two tasks).
When a Laguiole knife is finished, the foreman controls its quality and erases any imperfections. The knife is then polished and labeled.

In mass production, men's role is reduced to the lowest degree. Factory tasks are fragmented, the knife goes from one unskilled worker to the other, each of whom does one operation before he or she passes the knife onto the next worker resulting in the nonexistence of ownership and pride for the finished product. Mass-production goes along with outputs and thus the cutler's skill is replaced by numerically controlled machines. Most "bargain" Laguiole knives are mass-produced in China or Pakistan in sweatshop conditions and, yes sometimes by children. France also has a mass-producer of very low quality Laguiole steak knives, we will not name that brand but trust us, you know it for sure. Note that such knives - usually steak knives with very colorful plastic handle - are easily found in very reputable department stores; most of the time the buyer of such store know less than you do (after reading this article of course) about the Laguiole cutlery business. Ignorance is to blame here not the retailers as we are convinced that if "Mr. or Mrs. big department store owner" was aware of some of the above fact they would immediately stop retailing the items in questions.