There are many reasons a Laguiole knife can retail for much more than another model of similar size and material. The finish of the metal, the construction of the spring and bee, and above all the chiseling and filing of the spring & bee all contribute to the added cost. Most mass-market Laguiole knives have a soldered bee and rarely a hand-chiseled spring top and bee. This collector's knife also features the iconic Shepherd's cross as well as a blade stop to prevent the blade from making contact with the bottom of the spring.
The art of chiseling a "one of a kind" folding knife is very time-consuming, sometimes over 1 hrs to complete the spring & bee alone. Additionally, only the most skilled cutlers/artists are able to achieve this very complicated task. You can view the chiseling and filing stage on this YouTube video.
Handmade in the village of Laguiole, France Forge de Laguiole knives are truly and by far of the highest quality offered in the market today. Additionally, each one of this master piece is entirely handmade by the same craftsman to ensure pride in the completed piece.
Handle Material: Horn Tip from domestic cattle. The tip of the horn is the hardest and most durable, Inferior horn handles are made from the bottom of the horn which will warp with time. Spring & Bee: One piece forged T12 (no soldered bee). Blade: 3" / 7.60 cm long - 3 mm thick made of forged T12 alloy. Size: Handle 9.4 cm - 3. 3/4" Weight: Approx. 56 grams (2 oz.) Bolsters & Liners: Forged T12 alloy.
What is a Forged Bee? You can recognize a forged bee when you look just below it, where it meets the decorated spring. If you do not see any gaps, it's a good sign that the bee and spring were forged from the same piece of metal. You can also recognize a soldered bee by noticing a straight gap/ridge where the bee meets the spring.
Many Laguiole pocket knives from all most manufacturers, including Forge de Laguiole (7 cm knives) offer "soldered bees" models. Most Laguiole knives found on the market are solder bee models. The process of adding the bee to the spring by soldering it saves time and money, this is why the cost of soldered bee knives can be substantially less. The original Laguiole knives had forged bees.