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Laguiole Arbalete G David

Discussion in 'Traditional Folders and Fixed Blades' started by benyaM95 Ranger Knif, Aug 7, 2009.

  1. Hi guys
    Does anyone have any experience with those?
  2. Berkley


    May 5, 1999
    They have a well-deserved reputation for quality workmanship and materials, as well as the unusual but effective design. As someone posted recently, it's a slipjoint that feels almost like a lockback. Blade is 12C27 (.6% carbon), a Scandanavian steel used in Finish puukkos and Norwegian knives. I found this one on eBay for under $20US, so they don't have to be pricey, though you can spend a lot more.
    Fodderwing likes this.
  3. yobbos1


    Mar 29, 2002
    Have two Laguioles by other makers (French) and they are very nice knives, surprisingly tough too considering the artistic appearance. The only thing about the damn things that bothers me is the French never figured out the idea of a blade kick saving the edge from contacting the back of the spring. Just a little effort to stone out the dings but a pain nonetheless.
  4. airyq


    Nov 10, 2003
    These are decent user grade Laguioles. If you are looking for some thing much nicer, look at Fontenille Pataud. These come with a blade kick too.
  5. muddy672

    muddy672 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 26, 2006
    I'd recommend looking at the knives still made in Laguiole being Forge de Laguiole, Couteau de Laguiole and L'Artisan de Laguiole. There is one or two others that escape me at the moment. Current Calmels are made outside the region but excellent quality.

    Look for older Calmels with just the Calmels stamp (vs Hors Concours). These can command a high dollar though.

  6. muddy672

    muddy672 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 26, 2006
  7. mshambone

    mshambone Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 5, 2005
    Good afternoon. I don't have any experience with the Laguiole Arbalete G David knives. However, I have in the last couple months acquired two F. Patauds and a R. Chazeau, Theirs. (by selling alot of my other tradtionals!)The R. Chazeau (11cm) is an excellent everyday user with very aromatic olivewood handles. Solid lockup, alligator snap, and overall am very pleased with it. Decent price point for me too.

    I bought the 9cm F.P. and am pleased with it as well. Afterall you get what you pay for, right? It is my "good, Sunday, dress up" knife with walnut handles. Steel is O.K. but I am partial to good ole fashioned carbon blades.

    I decided to splurge and ordered a 11cm F.P. with juniper handles and carbon blades. Holy smoke!! It's been my EDC for work, play and everything inbetween. My other EDC's are extremely jealous of the pocket time this one gets!

    All 3 of my Laguioles have the blade stops which is important to me because many times I don't gently fold the blade into the handle the way your supposed to.?.? The handles are all wooden and very aromatic too.

    If you read the various stuff out there about "authentic" versus "replica" Laguioles, you could spend hours because of how much info is out there.

    So back to your original question about experience with Laguiole Arbalete G David, No I don't have any experience with them, but the ones I do have experience with are very, very favorable. Try it an see. I'd be interested to know as well.

  8. Yosemite Sam

    Yosemite Sam

    Dec 17, 2001
    I love my L'Artisan de Laguiole with snakewood scales and brass bolsters. It sits on my dinner table, ready for use.

    You do have to be cautious buying them off of eBay. I have seen many fake Laguioles there, often for large amounts of money.

    -- Sam
  9. texasflyfisher


    Aug 17, 2007
    I don't have experience with Laguiole Arbalete G David but the Forge de Laguiole knife I got last year as a gift from my brother-in-law is really nice (he liked it so much he went back and got one for himself). This is starting to become my fishing knife. It opens very smoothly and has a serious snap when it closes. Comfortable in the hand and great blade geometry. Well made and the T-12 blade take a seriously sharp edge.

    Fodderwing and meako like this.
  10. schwep


    Jan 4, 2017
    I wasn't around on BladeForums in 2009, so... yep, I have a G. David Arbalete, the Extra model with a corkscrew and punch. Horn handle, carbon steel blade. I have carried and used it daily since December 1989, thus 29 years, 7 days a week. And I still love it. I probably made small corrections to about half the wall planks in my home with this thing, and practically every screw in wooden objects has been pre-drilled with it. The punch also makes a great scraper - it is huge, presumable to be used by farmers to punch a hole in a cow's belly to let gas escape when the animal has a colic and could die...
    The slipjoint is still tight after all these years, no play at all. True, there is no blade stop so you have to get into the habit of closing your knife calmly. Do not consider such a knife as an alternative to a one-hand opening, automatically locking 'spyderco' style flick knife. This is not a plaything where you use the opening/closing action as a fidget spinner. It is a valuable tool to be respected, for repairing fences, opening bottles, building a house, opening bottles, scraping mud from your boots, opening a bottle, cutting bread, spreading paté, opening a bottle... (do I need to mention that Laguiole corkscrews are considered to be among the best in the world, and that the dedicated sommelier Laguiole knife, no matter the brand, is the ultimate tool for serious wine lovers?).
    G. David (today called Genes David) claims to be the oldest manufacturer of Laguiole-type knives. The company as it exists today goes back to 1922, and it seems that about a century before that, their founding family already made knives. A less known fact is that David, situated in the city of Thiers, has for a prewtty long period been the essential supplier of knife blanks to knife makers in the town of Laguiole - often small workshops where they added their own handle scales and such. The modern 'Forge de Laguiole' is not a company with a long history where 'Laguioles are still being made'. In fact, for a while there has been a period when no knives at all were being produced in the town of Laguiole, until someone decided to set up the modern Forge de Laguiole to restart knife making activities there. So Forge de Laguiole is in fact pretty young, certainly compared to G. David and a few others who just continued to produce Laguiole-type knives in Thiers, the French knife-making capital. Which means that if you are looking for a Laguiole made by a company with a truly long and uninterrupted history of making these knives, you go to Thiers. Just sayin'.
    There may be others (FP) that make Laguioles even more refined, yes with a blade stop and with all sorts of luxury finishings, thus way more expensive, but if you want the best workhorse Laguiole knife that will earn you respect from farmers in any rural village café, go for a G.David Arbalete. If you can convince them to get you one in carbon steel, even better - a real heirloom Laguiole knife must have a patina.
    Soem details that some people may not notice: the bolsters are brass, and so are the metal scales of the internal knife structure. You don't make a carbon steel knife with a carbon steel inner structure that will get horribly rusty. The slipjoint spring along the back, however, is steel. The small brass pins in the side of the handle scales are supposedly used to symbolize a Christian cross - stick the knife upright in a chunk of wood and you can pray. Or maybe ward off vampires. A century ago this may have been important to traveling farmhands.
    Finally, Laguioles are legal to carry in France, after some court cases where judges decided that 'Laguiole knives are not to be considered weapons but traditional culinary tools'.
    Get one, you won't be disappointed. As long as you don't try to baton a 6-inch hardwood log with it of course. ;-)
    Elgatodeacero likes this.
  11. schwep


    Jan 4, 2017
    In fact, I have just been looking at a tv documentary on the Laguiole knives, where at the end they show the manufacturing of a fantastic custom Laguiole from damascus steel with hearts forged into the blade, for a very rich German collector. Comment of one of the makers (there were several people involved including the smith who specializes in 'programmed damascus' and the knife maker who actually ground the blade and finished the various pieces from the damscus blanks provided): 'This knife cuts very well because it's made from very good steel, and it has a corkscrew - so it's a survival knife.' Wink at the survival knife community. Of course the horribly expensive blade ended standing upright in a chunk of paté, as the rich collector (who must have invested the equivalent of a fair part of his Porsche) graciously used it during the festive meal with the makers to celebrate the finishing of his knife. ;-)
  12. Jolipapa

    Jolipapa Basic Member Basic Member

    Jun 4, 2015
    @swchwep I always thought Calmels was the first maker. http://www.calmels-laguiole.com/pierre-jean-calmels (sorry, no translation)

    Laguiole is not my prefered pattern, there are so many much more appealling to my eyes. Arto before his demise had a straight Lag, the old pattern was imho more sexy.

    About Genès David, this is an honest, not expensive, well made sturdy tool. If you want more bling see Fontenille-Pataud, Chambriard, Laguiole en Aubrac and the like, as said earlier. The price will be a tad different, of course.

    Worth noting, there is an other David, Robert David .
    Here the one @Willpower sent me, with new horn sides.
  13. Will Power

    Will Power

    Jan 18, 2007
    Double, sorry.
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2018
  14. Will Power

    Will Power

    Jan 18, 2007
    They did a very good job on the old David, JP:cool: I still have its counterpart, a small 9cm David Lag both bought in a wondefrul old knife shop in Perigeux in 1989. The year LeMond should not have beaten Fignon for Le Tour and the 200 th anniversary of the Revolution:cool: As for cycling, I remember a gruff Perigord hotel keeper giving me his earthy opinion of cycling- translated as "If they're not yet dead then they're all drug-addicts" This long before the famed Lance Armstrong (and others..) :D
  15. Will Power

    Will Power

    Jan 18, 2007


    Here's a couple of shots of the old Lag, been a trusted companion for near 30 years.
    Old Engineer, Fodderwing and Jolipapa like this.
  16. lonestar1979


    Mar 2, 2014
    Robert David makes very good Laguioles,but Fontenille-Pattaud is the best in my opinion.Laguiole en Aubrac is another one thats very good and in same price range as R.David.
  17. Elgatodeacero

    Elgatodeacero Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 5, 2014
    i recently ordered a traditional French knife from Yanne Nomine/Les Couteliers de Fountainbleu. i will post pics when it arrives in a few weeks.

    my research convinced me that Laguiole en Aubrac, L'artisan Laguiole, and Laguiole Fontanille de Pataud, and Les Couteliers de Fountainbleu seem to have the best finish.

    i do think the Fontanille de Pataud locking mechanism in the Nature line, combined with the blade stop, is the most advanced technically and probably the best designed laguiole knife.
  18. Jolipapa

    Jolipapa Basic Member Basic Member

    Jun 4, 2015
    @Will Power nice little one, very representattive of the old Lags, no frills, pressed horn handle(corne cachée).
    You know, that old guy was maybe not wrong, Fignon was a very sympathetic guy and a great champion ( though for me "the badger" Hinault was the best - and a clean one) sadly he died of cancer. Since how many winners of the Tour have been caught red-handed!

    :thumbsup: Excellent choice, I love his work, he has some of the best value for buck and amazing rare covers (blue giraffe bone, walrus ivory are on my list, someday:rolleyes:).
    He is not in Thiers or surrounds, in fact he is in Fontainebleau, a mere 60km South of Paris. My intention is to pay him a visit someday. Luckily I met him 2 years ago. In fact he plays in the same league as Renaud Aubry.
    I understand you ordered a Lag, in what material?
    Will Power likes this.
  19. Elgatodeacero

    Elgatodeacero Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 5, 2014
    Will Power likes this.
  20. Will Power

    Will Power

    Jan 18, 2007
    @Jolipapa Thanks JP it's a little Lag and a bit rough&ready but there's an honesty there I've always liked. As for Le Tour, well there's always been suspicion over The Big Mig, nothing proven of course. and Pantini got killed by drugs plus Contador and Landis getting stripped of titles etc etc:( But despite all that it is an epic race and I enjoy watching it to see the beautiful regions of France. Its early history fascinates me as it was so violent and with immense stages and at night!

    I like the look of those modern Davids in stainless, think I need a new French knife but a smaller 9cm one, got any non Lag suggestions as well? You can e-mail them if you prefer.

    Regards, Will

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