Goyon-Chazeau knife from Thiers Auvergne France
F1 Carbon and Le Thiers Wacholder knife series
We visited the Goyon-Chazeau company in the famous French Messerstadt Thiers. The place is idyllically situated in the Auvergne on the river Durolle. Thiers in France is comparable to Solingen in Germany. It is the hot spot of national knife production.
For centuries, small, handicraft manufacturers, blacksmiths and grinders have settled along the Dorole. The raging river provided the power to drive mill wheels and hammer mills.
Today, the most important and also the largest French knife manufacturers are located in Thiers.
We received a very friendly welcome at Goyon-Chazeau. Magali Soucille is the third generation to run the company. The company started out as a polishing shop.
The knife manufacturers based in Thiers needed high-quality polishes, especially for silver cutlery. As the next service, Goyon-Chazeau offered the welding of steel and cutlery.
This specialization then made it possible to be the first European company to bring all-steel knives onto the market. The series was launched in 1992 under the name Laguiole GOYON-CHAZEAU.
Today, Goyon-Chazeau is one of the most important and innovative knife manufacturers of France.
Madame Soucille led us through the workshop where knives of various functions and designs are created in many manual steps. Not much has changed in traditional knife manufacture.
Automation makes little sense in a crafting profession. Digitization has found its way into the measurement of blades and grinds. The logo is now engraved using laser technology.
But the experts are still sitting at the bench grinder and giving the kitchen knives the finishing touches with their experience and instinct.
When we arrive in the sales room, we are surprised by the variety of products. We immediately realize that Goyon-Chazeau is always trying out new things.
Combinations of the classic Laguiole pocket knife shape with modern handles and handle materials. Special knives for very special applications, champagne sabers, sommelier knives and much more.
Two knife series immediately appealed to us. F1 Carbon, a kitchen knife series with a futuristic-looking carbon fiber handle and the LeThiers knife series with a fantastically beautiful long bolster and juniper handle.
The F1 series by Goyon-Chazeau has a very special grip. It is made of Kevlar, a carbon fiber composite. The so-called aramid fiber is the basic building material of this synthetic plastic.
It is one of the high-performance fibers. It is an infusible high-temperature or flame-resistant fiber with best mechanical properties. In addition, Kevlar is resistant to acids and alkalis.
So ideal for tough kitchen operations. But the blades of this kitchen knife series are in no way inferior to the handle. High-tech paired with manual work. The blade consists of X50CrMoV15 stainless steel. A steel which the additions of chromium, molybdenum and vanadium make both corrosion-resistant and hardenable.
The knives of the F1 Carbon series have a hardness of 54 to 56 HRC. The pleated process and the hand honing give the blade its extreme sharpness. The F1 Carbon series is highly modern in terms of materials but classic in design. Blade, strong bolster, dark handle with two sturdy stainless steel rivets.
This is the recipe for a functional, kitchen-ready knife. But it’s much more, it’s simply shapely and elegant. With all the high-tech that this knife combines with good design, it is an attractive, elegant and future-oriented top-class kitchen knife.
Le Thiers Juniper
The knives in the “Le Thiers” series are characterized by the highest quality workmanship and French elegance. The blade is made of stainless steel. The X50CrMov15 alloy has proven to be the best knife steel. Its composition of iron, carbon, chromium, molybdenum and vanadium make it absolutely corrosion-resistant.
The steel achieves a hardness of 54-56 HRC through complex hardening processes. All knives in the Le Thiers series are first drop-forged. The blade is then forged by hand. The knife owes its smoothness and extreme sharpness to the pleated process.
Pliesten is a grinding process with grinding pastes that requires tremendous experience and craftsmanship. In addition, there is the perfect manual deduction. The bolster is seamlessly connected to the handle scales.
The unusual length and shape of the bolster give the knife-wielding index finger support and enable an exact cut. The knife is ergonomically balanced. The handle scales are made of seasoned juniper wood. Juniper has very fine fibers and is therefore suitable as a handle material.
Not only does this wood have a beautiful grain, it is also hard and resists moisture. The wooden shells are seamlessly connected to the tang with two strong stainless steel rivets.
The grain is different for each knife and makes it unique in this way. A real one-of-a-kind. The design is classic French. That means it has been a convincing combination of functionality and elegance for centuries.
The shape canon blade, bolster handle and rivets are ideally matched. One of our favorite knives.