Laguiole is located on the Aubrac plateau in the southwest of the Massif Central and is well-known for the knife that bears the town’s name. A local cutler developed the Laguiole knife in 1829, following the pattern of the Navaja, the traditional Spanish pocket knife. It was very popular with carters as well as shepherds and cattle breeders. Since the 1980s, the Laguiole knife has experienced a tremendous renaissance, with many small workshops springing up since then.
The "Forge de Laguiole" dominates the local knife production, being the only company on site that produces every single component of the knife. Knives made in Laguiole are sold at high prices, thus allowing cutlers to meet high quality standards. Since the Laguiole knife has never been legally protected, it is crucial for local cutlers to share the authenticity of the manufacturing process with the visitors in order to outrival low-cost competition. That’s why most of the smaller workshops let visitors watch them at work. The "Forge de Laguiole", designed by star designer Philippe Starck, has adopted this concept from the outset. A central aisle offers insights into all individual work steps of the still largely handcrafted Laguiole knives.