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French regional knives by Arbalète Genès David

France regions map - Paul Vidal de la Blache

France regions map – Paul Vidal de la Blache

The Arbalète G. David factory makes a wide range of regional knives.
There are two kinds of regional locking blades. Firstly, we find regional knives made like the original or classic way. Besides, Arbalète Genès David develops an exclusive range of new edition of unique regional knives with high quality finishing touch.
1-1-Regional “Classic” Knives:
here are the model from the region made by Arbalète in their “original” version:

Capucin knife

The name of this knife comes from the shape of its handle which refers to the hood profile of a monk.

This very rustic model would be born in Saint-Etienne region, in the 17th century. In 1772, Fourgeroux de Bondaroy, the famous historian of cutlery, introduced the Capucin knife in his book.

Le Capucin is a classic knife with a handle and an axle which allow you to swivel the blade. This knife has no platinum and no spring. The Capucin’s blade in open position bases itself on a second nail. The traditional Capucin is made in carbon steel and in a handle made with horn. Its simplicity made it successful for centuries.

The Capucin was sold widely in several regions as Forez, Normandy, Poitou or Brittany regions. It was sold under the name “shepherd’s knife”.

Today, Arbalète G.David perpetuates the manufacture of Capucin knife in the greatest tradition of this rustic model.

2-New edition of regional knives – upmarket range:
here are the regional knives models that Arbalète’s manufacture has entirely reinterpreted these local and traditional products to produce them as exceptional model today:
-Le Pradel
-Le Roquefort
-Le Vendetta

Aurillac knife

Aurillac knife by Arbalète G. David

Aurillac knife by Arbalète G. David


Several craftsmen were based in Aurillac (Cantal capital) since the beginning of the 20th century. Then, they produced a little regional knife: l’Aurillac.

According to an article written by the historian of brands in cutlery industry M.LEMASSON, the birth of Aurillac knife would go back to the 19th century.

It has a round handle, curved at the centre which makes it handy. Its blade has a chiseled grind. Aurillac knife “original” had a white horn with three rosettes with a stainless steel bolster. The horn tended to “redden” getting old.

L’Aurillac existed in one piece but it could also be made with a grind and a hallmark. L’Aurillac by Arbalète G. David, original version made by Genès David in the 20s-30s had a model with a hallmark.

At this time, this cheap knife had loyal customers as cowherds, shepherds and people from Cantal.

Aurillac knife knew a new rise in the 90s with other French regional knives following the footsteps of Laguiole knife.

Today l’Aurillac by Arbalète Genès David is an exceptional new edition of Aurillac knife. The knife from Cantal is also made with a full handle, shaped by hand with high quality raw materials, carefully chosen such as flamed solid horn, or juniper burl. On the handle, 2 thin trims are shaped next to the grind, suggesting a bolster. The spring and the grind are delicately carved by hand, giving to this upmarket new edition of Aurillac knife its unique personality.


Pradel knife


First of all, Pradel knife is a generic model. This brand went into public domain. At the beginning, this robust and cheap knife designed in the 1870s was a useful knife. M. David used to say: “Pradel knife is a tool”.

Quickly, Pradel knife became part of rural vocabulary.

The “real” Pradel is a robust knife shaped with a beautiful white horn held by 5 rivets. The square grind’s heel leans on the internal side of the spring. A flange avoids to the grind to touch the spring when it’s folded.

This product was very successful in the Western part of France, especially in Normandy and Brittany. It was one of the symbols of the seriousness and the quality of hand-made manufactures from Thiers.

Pradel brand from Arbalète Genès David factory is the brand “TH. PRADEL”, means Thouly Pradel.

Today the Arbalète Genès David’s manufacture perpetuates the production of this legendary handmade knife from Thiers. Le Pradel by Arbalète G. David is a full handle product with noble materials such as solid horn or juniper with a chiselling on the spring and on the blade.


Roquefort knife 

Photo of Roquefort knife 

Photo of Roquefort region

The Roquefort knife was created with this long and large blade in order to realise the “revirage” operation. In the work of cheese merchants from Roquefort , the “revirage” is a process in which they raise the rind. In fine, the blade shape of Roquefort knife was adapted for this purpose.

Originally, this knife was very often used by the shepherds and cheese merchants from the Roquefort region in Aveyron.

This knife, like numerous regional knives is made in Thiers Bassin. However this original model from Aveyron is also made in Aveyron (French department).

As a part of its upmarket new collection of knives, the factory Arbalète G. David makes Roquefort knife with a finishing touch on the full handle with materials of quality such as solid horn or Juniper burl. The spring and the blade are delicately carved by hand.


Vendetta knife



The origin of the knife is uncertain, Maltese or Napolitain. Cutlery makers from Thiers worked a long time for Mediterranean region. This knife was then developed and produced in Thiers; which is still the case today.

Be careful, unfortunately the Vendetta (as many handmade knives) has been counterfeited in China and in Pakistan to be sold in France.

This knife has a sage leaf blade, thin and straight; the handle is a triangle extremely thin which base is on the guard. The typical model is made up with stainless steel bolsters which usually goes with a handle made with horn or bone, where we can find Moor’s head engraved.

Le Vendetta by Arbalète Genès David follows on from the range of new editions of other regional knives such as blond solid horn and Juniper burl. The handle is delicately shaped on the top. The spring and the blade are hand-crafted.