Objet d’art | Forge de Laguiole

08 Jun 2020
3 min read
‘Laguiole’ is a term that refers to both the provenance and style of a knife. A knife whose history dates back to 1828 when the first cutler settled in Laguiole and began his novel work, producing the region’s original folding knife. This marked the beginning of the Forge de Laguiole story, one which is rooted in tradition and craftsmanship. 

Originally a peasant’s knife with an arched line, fly and a spring decorated with a guillochage pattern, the now internationally-recognized Laguiole knife is a symbol of quality and time-honored handicraft. Produced entirely in its birthplace in the quaint French village of Laguiole, the soul of the knives is strongly influenced by the picturesque nature of the Aubrac region. Perched on a 1100-meter high plateau of volcanic and granitic rock, the knives draw upon their mighty surrounds, while paying homage to their proud heritage.

Carefully crafted by master knifesmiths whose inspiration is fueled by the region’s majestic beauty, the Laguiole knives behold a truly unique spirit. With their exceptional design, expert production and use of high-quality materials, the Forge de Laguiole knives heighten the dining experience. The blade’s exceptional sharpness preserves every ounce of flavor, enhancing the tasting pleasure of food with every bite – regardless of whether it is served raw or cooked.

Over the years, the original Forge de Laguiole knife has also become a source of inspiration for famous artists, creators and designers. Used by the world’s best chefs, many of whom are Michelin-starred, these knives are tools of absolute perfection which cooks and diners alike take delight in using. Many creatives visit the Laguiole knife’s place of origin and are moved by its story, bringing forth new, innovative and beautiful interpretations of the traditional Forge de Laguiole knife. These include visionaries such as Philippe Starck, Andrée Putman, Jean-Michel Wilmotte and Christian Ghion.

There are 4 types of Forge de Laguiole knives – table, folding, sommelier and signature – each of which are produced to the highest standards and possess remarkable durability. Their flawless blades are hot forged from French stainless steel and can have a shiny or matte finish. Various accessories are also produced by Forge de Laguiole’s master craftsmen, including impressive cutlery and tableware.  

The bee, one of the symbols of an original Forge de Laguiole knife, is hand carved in each knife with a file and an engraver. As the legend has it, this Napoleonic imperial symbol was attributed to the citizens of Laguiole by Emperor Napoléon himself as a tribute to their courage shown in the services to the emperor. Now, it is honored with pride in each of the Forge de Laguiole knives.

As a further homage to its heritage, each Forge de Laguiole knife bears the signature of the cutlers that first produced it. The knives’ mastery is an expression of the power and beauty of the landscape and environment within which it was founded. Each and every one of the Forge de Laguiole knives are produced in the Laguiole factory, according to these manufacturing principles:

The Forge

The blades are constructed of a superior quality French T12 steel, created exclusively for Forge de Laguiole. This specially-formulated stainless steel has the perfect combination of carbon and chrome, ensuring a stellar cutting edge while guaranteeing increased durability. In the manufacturing process, this superlative metal alloy is heated to 1000 degrees Celsius and forged into a blade, further reinforcing the unmatched sharpness of the cutting edge.

The knives’ excellence can be attributed to the company’s meticulous manufacturing process, which results in an easy-to-shape product that has all the best qualities: a good cutting resistance, sharpens well and corrosion resistant. It is a difficult task to obtain these properties simultaneously, but Forge de Laguiole’s experience and expertise has resulted in the ideal combination of constituents needed for the blade to possess these important features.

Selection and Sawing of the Handles

The handles, whether made of the traditional wood, horn, bone, or of other more rare materials such as mammoth tooth, pearl, coral or stingray skin, are carefully hand-sorted, then sawed, sculpted and individually set by master knifesmiths. After the initial cutting in the sewing workshop, each side is adjusted perfectly to fit between the two bolsters. For Forge de Laguiole, such precision is a sign of the brand’s unwavering commitment to quality.


Each knife is chiseled, assembled, and shaped by hand. The end of the folding knife’s spring is forged after being heated, and this forms the base from which the emblematic bee is created.

Assembling and Shaping

Each individual part of every knife is assembled, inspected and adjusted by the Forge de Laguiole craftsmen. The fabrication and shaping of every knife is carried out entirely by the same master knife maker.


The blade and handle are carefully polished using cotton discs. Each knife is then quality checked and certified as a unique Forge de Laguiole product. This ensures that buyers receive only the best-in-class knives from the Forge de Laguiole factory, and that they can be confident of the product’s authenticity, high caliber and longevity.


The precise sharpening of the original Forge de Laguiole knives ascertains a superb cutting edge, making every meal a true delight – time and time again.

Visit Forge de Laguiole’s website to discover more about their knives and the traditions used to craft these objects of beauty and skill.