What is a laguiole 3 piece knife and what is the Awl for?

Antique Laguiole 3 Piece Pocket Knife


One of the hardest Laguiole knives to find are the 3 piece models, the only ones that features a "Trocar" or Awl as most people call it. The 3 piece knife was first introduced in 1880; that is when the corkscrew was added to the handle.

To understand the true purpose of this tool you first need to know that the Laguiole knife was a Cattlemen's tool. As most retailers will make you believe by ignorance or for marketing purpose, the Awl sole purpose is not to punch holes or to take knots out; it is a rudimentary "Trocar".

Most of us who did not spend years in medical school do not know what a Trocar is; it is a surgical instrument that is used to puncture body cavities. Now, you may ask your self why a cattlemen would need such an instrument, here is why: Herds of cattle do not always stay in their assigned fields, although the dogs usually keep them put, they do escape from time to time. The worse fields a cow can escape too are the ones that contain "Luzerne" AKA "Alfalfa"

Luzerne is a legume or a plant that produces nitrogen by means of its root system. This is what contributes to an animal's suffering from "bloat" if they eat too much of it, or eat it at a particular time, i.e., when the grass is damp and young (young grass contains proportionately more of the toxin).

"Bloat" is the technical name for what happens, i.e., the animal "blows up" or "bloats" from the gas produced in its rumen (which is one of the four compartments of its digestive system). If the bloat is not relieved on time the cattlemen will loose his herd as most animals will succumb to internal stomach pressure.

The only way to save the animal was to puncture the stomach to relieve the pressure, so the French shepherds used whatever was at hand, including pieces of barbed wire, nails, or sharp sticks until the Awl was integrated to their knives.

The Awl's shape and size was designed to assure that the cattlemen would not injure the animal by inserting the awl too deep, the tapered triangular angles of the awl are made to create a "clean" whole, not a slash. The notches often found on various models are purely decorative.


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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.

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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.
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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).

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