The Laguiole knife, both in its craftsmanship and the folding mechanism used, requires regular maintenance and frequent sharpening to ensure it can be used in the best condition. It all begins with the maintenance of your knife's blade.
First, you need to know the type of blade on your knife because the maintenance can be slightly different depending on the type. If it has a Carbon blade, it tends to turn gray with use and may even rust. To prevent this, regular maintenance is necessary. For ideal preservation, clean this carbon blade with a sponge or a damp cloth and make sure to wipe it dry thoroughly. Rust typically results from inadequate drying after use.
Laguiole knife cleaning
Here's a handy tip to restore your gray blade: take a moistened cork and dip it in cold wood ash. Then, apply a little elbow grease, and the original gray will magically reappear, at least until it encounters more acidic foods.
On the other hand, if your knife has a stainless steel blade, such as the 12C27 type, you won't face the same issue with your blade. As the name suggests, Laguiole knives with stainless steel blades don't require the same level of maintenance as other blades. You simply need to wash it with a damp cloth and dry it thoroughly to maintain the blade's original appearance.
If your knife has a Damascus blade, you will need to perform very regular cleaning (ideally after each use) to maintain its original appearance. If you only use your knife occasionally, you can apply neutral grease to keep the blade looking as it did originally.
Now, let's move on to blade sharpening with sharpening stones
Beyond the blade's appearance, a knife is used for cutting and, ideally, cutting effectively. To achieve this, there are two operations:
The first involves sharpening the knife. For sharpening a Laguiole knife, it is recommended to use a water stone. Before using the stone, it is necessary to soak it in cold water with a dash of vinegar for about 10 minutes.
You should perform a movement similar to what you would do if you were trying to cut a thin slice off the stone, maintaining the same angle between the stone and the blade (between 20 and 30 degrees). If possible, you can fix the stone to a workbench, which will allow you to have both hands free.
For the finishing touches, you can carry out what is called honing. This is done using a quality honing steel, preferably around 25 cm in length. To hone your Laguiole, you should perform the same movements as with the water stone you used earlier, starting from the top of the steel and the heel of the blade. Repeat the movement on each side of the knife and the honing steel.
You will then have a sharpened knife ready to cut anything you need. Enjoy the pleasure of a truly sharp knife, and one last thing, be careful with your fingers!
You can discover our Laguiole sharpeners and honing steels here!