Which Laguiole flatware is best?

The tradition of fine dinnerware is well-known across the globe — full china place settings are still a staple on many wedding registries. What might be less well-known is the tradition of signature artisan flatware tied to a specific region. Laguiole flatware is one of the best examples of fine, artistic craftsmanship in tableware.

When you want authentic Laguiole flatware that is the best example of this tradition, look for beautiful, timeless Dubost Olivewood Laguiole Flatware.

What to know before you buy a Laguiole flatware

Authenticity

The first and arguably most crucial feature of Laguiole flatware is verifying that it is authentic. Laguiole is not a trademarked name or style, and many different companies make knockoffs that resemble traditional Laguiole pieces without the high-quality standards of that region.

Type of flatware

Laguiole flatware is available in a variety of different types. Some of these include: 

  • Full place settings 
  • Serving piece
  • Dessert sets

You can use Laguiole as accent pieces or as full sets of everyday flatware.

Budget

The most respected makers of Laguiole flatware charge accordingly. If you are shopping on a budget and want to gradually build your collection, you might want to start with serving sets or individual pieces. Just be sure to add to your collection with pieces from the same manufacturer, as designs can differ slightly between makers.

What to look for in a quality Laguiole flatware

Thick stainless steel

Thicker stainless steel is going to naturally be more durable and hold more substantial weight. Laguiole flatware measuring 1.5 millimeters or thinner is considered substandard and will not stand up to regular use. 

At a minimum, look for flatware that is 1.8 millimeters thick or more. This is the same thickness as a key. Very high-end Laguiole flatware will be 2.5 millimeters thick.

Molded bees

The bee insignia is the mark of Laguiole flatware. Even this simple symbol can indicate whether or not your flatware is of the highest quality. Look for bees that are molded onto the flatware rather than simply etched.

Best-quality handles

Whether your flatware handles are made of acrylic, timber or stainless steel, they should be the best quality of either material. Acrylic handles should be molded with no cracks or visible seams. The place where the acrylic handle and the stainless steel flatware meet should not have gaps. 

Timber handles will naturally have minor natural inconsistencies, but there should be no flaws and the connection between timber and stainless should also be smooth without gaps. 

Stainless steel handles can come in a variety of colors but should be colorfast and triple riveted to the stainless steel blade of the flatware. 

Made in France

You can find high-quality Laguiole flatware made across the globe, but the highest quality (and highest price tag) comes from France. 

At the very least, look for Laguiole flatware from reputable retailers so you can be sure that it is crafted to the European standard that marks French-made pieces.

How much you can expect to spend on a Laguiole flatware

Poor-quality Laguiole flatware can be had for around $3 per piece. Although this is much more affordable than the $10-$15 per piece of high-end Laguiole, it will not last nearly as long.

Laguiole flatware FAQ

What is the origin story of Laguiole flatware?

A. Laguiole began in the village in France that bears its name. In 1829, Pierre-Jean Calmels, a blacksmith, designed a simple spring-loaded pocket knife with a handle of ox horn, adding a trocar to the knife in 1840 for herders and farmers. By 1880, a corkscrew was added to this basic set.

In the early 1900s, serving pieces and place settings were added to the collection. Ivory and other precious materials were used for the handle, and various symbols — a diamond, a Fleur de Lys, a four-leaf clover and a leaf — were added to the bolster of each piece as the mark of Laguiole until designers settled on what today is the sign of Laguiole: a bee. 

How do you care for Laguiole flatware?

A. To properly care for your flatware, check with the manufacturer’s directions for the type you have.

In general, acrylic and stainless steel flatware can go in the dishwasher. Take care not to use harsh detergents or any with citrus in them, as these can discolor the handles.

Wood-handled Laguiole flatware should be washed by hand to preserve it. Do not use any abrasive cleaners, scrub the handles vigorously or use citrus-based cleaners.

The highest-quality Laguiole flatware comes with a warranty against defects in craftsmanship, but taking good care of your set will help it to last a lifetime. 

What is the best Laguiole flatware to buy?

Top Laguiole flatware

Dubost Olivewood Laguiole Flatware

Dubost Olivewood Laguiole Flatware

What you need to know: This beautiful set is everything you’d expect from Laguiole flatware.

What you’ll love: Olivewood handles are rich and have beautiful natural features. The set has four place settings to carry you through dessert. This set carries the signature of Jean Dubost-France, one of the most respected makers of Laguiole flatware.

What you should consider: It’s a pricey set for everyday use.

Where to buy: Sold by Sur la Table

Top Laguiole flatware for money

French Home Laguiole 8-Piece Steak Knife And Fork Set

French Home Laguiole 8-Piece Steak Knife And Fork Set

What you need to know: Start your collection with this set of forks and knives.

What you’ll love: The stainless steel steak knife blades are 1.8 millimeters thick and serrated. The handles are well-balanced and ergonomically designed. Look for the bee on all of the pieces.

What you should consider: This does not set the table every night — you’ll need to eventually add spoons and butter knives at the very least.

Where to buy: Sold by Sur la Table

Worth checking out

French Home Laguiole Stainless Steel Flatware

French Home Laguiole Stainless Steel Flatware

What you need to know: This is an affordable, high-quality everyday set.

What you’ll love: This 20-piece set has four full place settings with knives, soup spoon, dessert spoon, dinner fork and salad fork for each. The handle has three rivets for security and features the bee on the bolster.

What you should consider: Some users report discoloration of the handle.

Where to buy: Sold by Sur la Table

 

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Suzannah Kolbeck writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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