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The FORGE DE LAGUIOLE uses differnt steel-blades for their knives.
Here is a short introduction to the several blade-steels of our LAGUIOLES:
The steel XC 75 is a classic carbon steel having been used for generations by knife cuttlers.
This steel is oxidizing and is being preferred by amateurs and collectors because of its tradition
and its excellent quality. Sometimes we use this steel for some of our collectors knives.
INOX steel (not oxidizing) A 440 is also called surgeon steel because of its sharpness. The
FORGE DE LAGUIOLE developed it approx 15 years ago with its partner the French steel works
BONPERTUIS. It has a Rockwell hardness of 56 and more (depending where measure is taken).

The process of forging is very complex and thus very expensive. Every single step of the forging
process must be strictly observed in order to get the optimum quality. It is important to keep the
temperature at exactly 1060 C while tempering (incandescent treatment). The required furnances
are a considerable factor in the cost of production. The durability of the furnances is prolonged
ten times when reducing the temperature by 30 C. However, even a minimum variation of the 
temperature has an enormous negative effect on the quality. The steel carbonises on the outer
parts of the blade as well as at the top and on the edge. Consequently the steel will be so hard
on these parts that grinding and resharpening is very difficult.
The raw material used by different LAGUIOLE manufacturers may be the same, the quality of the
blades, however, often differs, as the steel is forged at temperatures far too low in order to keep
costs low.
The FORGE DE LAGUIOLE has always guaranteed to observe each singular step regarding the
optimal forging quality. Thus it has also established the excellent reputation of the blade steel.
However, this legendary steel is not being forged any longer. In the year 2002 it was replaced
by a new blade steel the T 12. T 12 is even harder than A 440 and has also been developed
in cooperation with the steel work BONPERTUIS. It has a Rockwell temper of 57-58 but it
does not loose any of its flexibility or suppleness. Furthermore it is easier to grind and it is
more true to dimensions than its predecessor. It is also stainless.
T 12 will be used exclusively by FORGE DE LAGUIOLE within the next 2-3 years. Obviously
the ingredients remain secret. In future the licenses might be sold in order to enable other
forges to produce the steel.
Damascus steel (damast steel) is produced by welding two steels differing in their alloy and
temper and then forging them. The forged blade shows a material completely structured by
Damascus steel. At first glance one does not recognize the blade being made of different
"layers". Only a special corroding procedure makes the different layers visible. It is possible to
produce blades by manual labour being folded into more than hundred layers (even up to 1000
layers). No blade resembles any other, each has an individual character. The FORGE DE
LAGUIOLE buys the raw billets from the Swiss Damascus steel specialist DAILLENS. The
billets of carbon damast have 288 layers. The steel is oxidizing.
The INOX-Damast not having been developed for a long time is being produced in the same way.
However, its alloy is not oxidizing which makes a difference. It has about 160 layers and an-
other pattern than carbon Damascus steel.