Being at least 2 times a year in france, i started collecting them quiet early. I've got about a dozen Laguiole's in my collection. Quality is very inconsistent, because Laguiole is just a name for a certain knife style and like, say, bowies, there are cheapo taiwan POS knives as well as beautifully done pieces from master craftsmen. It depends largely on how much money you are ready to spend on such a knife.
There are 3 different classic styles of Laguiole knives. Single blade folder, single blade folder with a marlin spike and single blade folder with spike and corkscrew.
I have found that when I buy a Laguiole made in France that, for the money, they do not disappoint. They are not the best made, unless you to a custom maker, but are a lot of fun. These knives are working knives that are capable of doing many things well.
I purchased a knife likely similar to what you are referring to. It's made in Laguiole, France by Pradel-Brossard. In 1997 it was in the $35-$40 range from Magnum Knives. Here's my opinion:
Looking at it it's a beautiful knife. It's a one blade folder with a buffalo horn handle and brass bolsters and liners. There's fancy engraving with a bee on the back of the spring. Additionally, each knife is serial numbered.
The only use it gets is being openned and closed, so it took a while to discover the knife's flaw; when closed, the blade edge hits the interior of the spring. After a few hard closes the blade now has a dent.
I don't know if this is a common problem, but that's my experience. Hope it's helpful.
Well thanks for replying to my question.
I've been looking at several different websites for the Laguioles.As you have pointed out there are several different versions and makers.I've been interested in them for awhile so have to order one now.
Thanks alot for your info gents.
I have gotten several Laguiole's from Laguiole Elite in Canada. Excellent knives in my opinion. I had one like you described with the backspring not fully finished so the tip of the blade closed on it. Sent it back, it was replaced, no problem. I have an ebony with stainless bolsters and satin finished 12C27 blade. I like it and it hold an edge very well.
Bob, I've had a similiar experience with my Pradel Brossard knife. it has no kick, and I ended up epoxying a bit of silver to the choil. anyone know of a better way to add a bit of metal to a blade withoug 1)ruining the temper,2)scorching the handle, or 3)dissassembling it?
Well just finished ordering my first Laguiole. I ordered a 11 cm.rosewood handle standard knife from Lagiole-elite in Quebec.I really am anxious now to see one in hand.
May have another knife monkey on my back now
Bob W, I don't know if the edge damage during snap closing is a common problem in ALL Laguioles, but it is common problem in many traditional European folders. To be honest, if you know that, you close the knife gradually, holding tight the blade, and there is no problem. Sometimes the shapes of the blade and the handle just do not allow the safe snap closing. These knives are primarily cutting tools and the edgesafe closing was not an issue at all when they were designed several hundred years ago. That is the price to be too traditional, which I think is not a big price in this case: Laguioles are such a beauties.
Sorry to jump in so late, I just spotted this thread.
My question is this: I recall seeing a Spyderco in Laguiole style (it was probably in a magazine), with the handles made of thermo plastic of some kind; does anybody have one or ever handle one? If so, I'm interested in seeing a scan or so, to complete my picture library. Thanks in advance.
PS. I'll let this float for a couple of days, if I get no response, I'll move to Spyderco forum.
Anyway. Folks, the tip that touches the spring is NOT a flaw. It was designed without a kick for a simple reason : The blade can't, by sharpening it a lot, become open and tear up your pockect, or even worse, your skin.
And, for the original users (sheperds), a spot not sharp near the tip was no problem, they used the tip only to stab as a weapon in emergencies, so they didn't care if it was sharp or not. They always used the lower edge to cut, like when you are peeling potatoes, when you draw the knife towards your tumb. Most laguioles become recurved knives after years of use.
I find it annoying too, since I like perfect edges, but I think there is no folder even close to the elegance and beauty of a laguiole. A Laguiole can be had with 13 cm ( 4 inch) blades, and still not be something to scare the hell out of everybody.
Pradel-Brossard is one of the lower end makers, along with G.David.
I'm not taking the POS things from pakistan or somewhere else in consideration.
The middle class are Rossignol, and some others, the higher class are Aubrac, Forge the Laguiole (said to be the omly real one)..
And the best are the customs.
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To get a low price first class custom Laguiole look for Ceccaldi. He's a knifemaker from Corsica, France.
The best serial Laguioles in my opinion are made by Laguiole hors concours. They are not cheap.
Well, recieved my new Laguiole today in mail from Laguiole-Elite in Quebec. Even tho it had to be shipped from France only took days.
Anyway, I am quite pleased with the overall looks and finish of it.
Thanks to all of you for your info.