Laguiole knives forged in the small town of Laguiole, France, sport a trademark brass bee at the junction of blade and handle and have a fine reputation as quality cutlery based on a old locally developed workman’s design. The Sabatier Laguiole knives in this set aren’t those knives. Laguiole knives are still made with traditional quality in the town of Laguiole. Sabatier makes cheaper knockoffs a few provinces to the northeast in Thiers.
The difference is obvious and doesn’t even require a close look. Instead of the professional ground tapered bevel of Laguiole blades, the edge of this Sabatier version is a coarse short bevel ground into the edge of the carving knife. The blade and fork of this carving set attach to the handle with a notch and pin method as opposed to the solid bolster and triple riveted design of Laguiole. Sabatier’s Laguiole knives include many gaps and mismatching of components, while the Laguiole knives are a gap-free build with a polished seamless construction.
As a souvenir this set makes a good choice but if purchased for use the stainless steel Sabatier Laguiole 2-Piece Carving Set will be disappointing. If you ever visit the town of Laguiole, you’ll have a chance to buy both versions — the real thing in the factory showroom at a fair but daunting price, and this set which you’ll see through the bus window as street hawkers try to close a last minute deal. Sebatier makes good knives, but these aren’t the good ones.