This is a Laguiole Corkscrew knife with Awl, also called a Laguiole 3 piece: One of the hardest to find and misunderstood Laguiole knives. To understand the true purpose of this tool, you first need to know that the Laguiole knife was a Cattlemen's tool.
So, what is the original function of the awl?
As most retailers will make you believe by ignorance or for marketing purposes, the Awl is not a punch or a tool 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" 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 in time a the cattlemen will loose is 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 they used whatever was at hand, including pieces of barbed wire, nails, or sharp sticks until the Awl was integrated into their knives. The Awl's shape and size are made to assure that the cattlemen would not injure the animal by inserting the awl to deep, the triangular angles of the awl are made to create a "clean" whole. The notches often found on various models are purely decorative.
The corkscrew was added to the Laguiole knife in the 1880s. This addition was the result of the sale of corked wine bottles in urban society, but also in response to the request by the people of Aveyron who had left to find work in the cafes of Paris. Cafe owners and waiters were to remain loyal to their traditions.
This Laguiole knife is entirely hand made in the village of Laguiole and features a forged T12 steel blade. 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: Dark Horn Tip from domestic cattle. The Horn tip 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 (no soldered bee). Blade: 3.25 / 7.90 cm long - 3 mm thick made offorged T12 alloy. Size:Size: 12 cm / 4: 5/8 in (closed) 21.7 cm / 8.5/8 in (open) Weight: 3 oz - 84 g 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.