The grinding stage is essential to the sharpness of a Laguiole blade. It consists of grinding down the edge of the blade to create the V-shaped edge characteristic of knives. It’s the grinding that gives the quality of the cutting edge, while maintaining the thickness of the back of the blade to ensure its strength.
In the past the village of Laguiole didn’t have a strong enough stream to power a waterwheel, so the knife-makers devised a system of grindstones pulled by dogs.
The grinder lay on a wooden board and used his entire bodyweight to push on the blade. Water from the stream was used to lubricate the grindstones and keep them cool.
Nowadays we grind the knives with stones set to the nearest micron, which gives a quality and precision that guarantee a uniform sharpness of the blade.
The grinder adjusts the machine and loads the pieces to be ground. The machine is cooled with water in a closed circuit. A magnetic disc extracts the metal from the water – the waste material from the grinding process.
Once assembled, the blade is sharpened to give it its definitive cutting edge.