A cutler is a knife specialist or an expert in any sharp object: table knives, professional knives, including surgical instruments, razors, or even manicure tools, etc. The cutler we are interested in here is, of course, the specialist in table knives or luxury knives, such as the Laguiole knife, for example.
The making of a knife involves various stages: from the production of the blade (forging, polishing, sharpening) to the assembly with the handle. Artisan cutlers craft their knives from start to finish, but this is not always the case (especially in large industries).
The region of Laguiole and Thiers provides nearly 70% of knife production in France. Thanks to its history, this region offers the main training for the cutler's profession: CAP cutting and surgical instruments, continuous training or apprenticeships in cutlery and forging. The profession requires special training, but, above all, qualities such as manual dexterity, precision, and if the cutler becomes an artisan, creativity to create their knife designs. Typically, a cutler starts with a professional who may have both a workshop, a retail store, and a business for maintenance, sharpening, and restoration... Later, the cutler may set up their own business by acquiring an existing one.