The classic cutlery item Laguiole knife found on tables all over the world is an integral symbol of French-cutlery. The glistening knife gets its name from its village of origin. Its elegant colored handles, polished stainless-steel body, and the distinctive bee symbols make it stand out. Owing to its popularity, other countries mimicked its look and started producing counterfeits.
Tracing the history of this classic French cutlery:
Around the 19th century, shepherds and farmers residing in the mountain village of Laguiole made their own pocket and table knives. The knives are 12cm long when closed. There are silver pins (resembling a Christian cross) near the handle, which shepherds used as their personal cross to pray when they are away in the mountains.
Unlike other knives with backlash-free and centered blades, the blade here is narrow and tapered. The blade isn’t too sharp and is designed to be sharp enough to neatly slice a steak. There is only one person involved in the entire manufacturing process of one knife. Today, these knives are made only in small-scale numbers in small workshops located in Laguiole and Theirs.
Wading through the counterfeit market:
All the knives you find in the market marketed with the name Laguiole doesn’t necessarily imply that it is original. The term ‘Laguiole’ isn’t a protected brand name and only refers to the village of origin. There is no violation if manufacturers around the world use the name. Anyone can use the name ‘Laguiole’ which has caused a steep rise in the number of counterfeits.
These counterfeited ones look a lot like the original to an untrained eye, and unsuspecting people believe it’s an authentic one since the manufacturers make the packaging look like it is from France. Check out laguiole-french-knives.com for a vast selection of authentic Laguiole French Knives handcrafted to perfection. Their knives are made from scratch in France.
Their manufacturing plant is located near Theirs. Each knife is made with the highest quality raw materials. Avoid falling prey to the counterfeit market. The replicas you find online may be equally pricey as the original one but are miles worth the quality and excellent craftsmanship. The last thing you want is to pay more for a duplicate.
Marketing tactics used by duplicate Laguiole knife manufacturers:
Many people believe the duplicate ones are authentic since the manufacturers and sellers make it look like one and try to make you believe its authenticity. Their tactics include:
- A picture of the French flag included on the box
- A certificate of authenticity displayed in the website to prove the authenticity
- A French-sounding brand name
- The website claims their product to be ‘World-renowned French cutlery’
- The website goes in details about the history of French cutlery
None of this necessarily means the product is a genuine one. As you can see, these manufacturers try hard and go the extra length to make their products seem like an authentic one. The French companies that manufacture authentic pieces would brand their country name on the knife blade. The disappointing part is you’ll be paying more for a duplicate.
If you look at an authentic Laguiole knife closely, you’ll find that it has ‘Made in France’ written on its blade. The duplicate ones don’t have this. Neither do they have the country of origin mentioned in the authenticity box. Some retailers may even claim that the knife is from France. Request them to show the certificate of authentication and confirm it’s an original.
Counterfeit knives originating from France:
Not all knives that come with ‘Made in France’ or ‘Made in Theirs’ are genuine either. There are many knife manufacturers in France who don’t manufacture these knives in an authentic way. Under close inspection, it will come to light that the knife isn’t indeed an original. There could even be a number of discrepancies from the original.
So why do many knives that come from France still turn out to be a duplicate? There are many small companies in and around the areas of Laguiole and Theirs who do only assembly works, and the main parts are produced elsewhere. These knives can even be found in popular departmental stores, which make people believe it to be an original.
Tips for identifying a counterfeit Laguiole knife:
The original ones come only from Laguiole and Theirs and last much longer than the duplicates. Nothing beats the quality of an original Laguiole knife. Use these tips to avoid accidentally purchasing a counterfeit Laguiole knife.
Craftsmanship: An original Laguiole knife stands out due to its perfection in artisanal craftsmanship. With a distinct slim and sinuous outline, its popularity comes as no surprise. The original knives are made with nice heft material.
- Handle materials: Buffalo horn, juniper, pistachio wood, olive wood, or juniper wood.
- Blade materials: mammoth, damask steel, ivory or silver
The counterfeit ones are usually made with less-sturdy materials like stamina wood, epoxy resin, composite material, or even plastic, which accounts for its slashed prices in some cases.
No lock: The original knives lack locks. They are equipped with slip-joint springs that create resistance when we attempt to close the knife. You’ll have to close it carefully, making sure the knife’s blade doesn’t come in contact with the spring to prevent damage.
Price: Each Laguiole knife is handmade from scratch by one single person. There is no mass production involved, which explains why it is pricey and renowned all over the world. The ones who find less than 10£ are mass-produced in Asian countries. At least in the case of these knives, it’s true that you get what you pay for.
Colour: The authentic knives are made with elegant colors and aren’t flashy. If you find one with a colorful/bold-colored handle, it is no way an original.
Serration: The blade of an original isn’t serrated and has a smooth finish. Serrated blades are definitely a replica. You can confirm the authenticity by checking the blade for serration.
Avoid disappointment by getting hold of a duplicate. Paying little more attention to minor details would help you differentiate an original from a duplicate.