French knives manufacturing
Many people are given their first knife by their father or grandfather. As a traditional gift, often given to a son or daughter, the artisanal pocket knife is an integral part of our culture. Since when ? Let’s see.
The oldest example dates from 500 BCE. With a fixed blade, its small size nonetheless resembles a pocket knife. The friction folding models came with the Romans. At the time they created their own version of today’s Swiss army knife. The Viking era popularized the folding knife in a variety of forms : friction, with clasp or latch. These were followed by the famous Gully, Penny knives, the precursors of the Opinel. By 1660 the invention of the spring brought us the famous front lock knife, then the Navaja, henceforth offering a locking system. Then came the hand-forged Japanese knives. At the start of the 20th century, France (Thiers) created more popular models still in vogue today.
At the 25th edition of the international knives of art and tradition exhibition, the regional daily Ouest France titled “the pocket knife is the soul of the regions”.
Thiers opened the way, then came the navette, the kenavo, the Laguiole, the Corentin of Quimper, the Clermont, the Cantal, the London (pronounced French-style), etc. No, these are not the names of cheeses but actually models of regional folding knives specific to each terroir.
Like its counterparts, the Morta knife forms part of a strong cultural legacy. With its handle made from a wood of Brière, it is entirely handcrafted in the workshop in Saint-André-des-Eaux. At the Atelier JHP cutlery, you encounter several professions: prospector of (black) gold of Brière, blacksmith, metal worker, cabinetmaker. The artisan cutlers (men and women) dig, then they extract, etch (guilloche), oil and ship. In short, the traditional know-how is showcased by uniting top quality materials.
What exactly does top-of-the-line mean when discussing knives ? This charming adjective evoking luxury is based on several criteria :
As the heart of the Morta Knife, this oak from the Bhrearière marshes makes up the handle of all Atelier JHP’s knives (fixed, folding, table or chef’s), whether the blades are forged, stainless or Damascus steel. Morta turns these works of art into the original regional knife par excellence. This most noble wood can only be combined with top quality materials, noblesse oblige !
All products leaving Atelier JHP proudly bear the stamp, indicator of their authenticity and reputation: quality pocket knife, yes or no ?
Speaking of high quality materials… Spoil yourself and add three small mammoth ivory inlays, enhancing the historic character of your pocket knife.
A composite material from cotton or cellulose, the blue vulcanized fibre foil adds a luminous glow against the black Morta.
Giving others or yourself a customized knife is also part of the tradition. Engraving the owner’s initials makes the knife unique. This personal detail will make it exceptional. The “crème de la crème”, some will say. Quite aptly, we would add, after having cut the mushrooms, sliced the dry sausage or a fillet of sole.
Choose the letters from three typefaces.
The answer is in the question. Let’s stay with star materials. Atelier JHP makes its knives with three types of steel, all of high quality and hardness. Which blade will tempt you ?
Known for its exceptional sharpness, carbon steel (90mcv8) is hot forged. It has 60 HRC Rockwell hardness, in other words very high quality resistance. Don’t be afraid to cut an overdone steak, the blade will not move. And don’t worry when faced with truly tough material. We must stress the fact that it is not stainless. So it must be cleaned with a soft, dry cloth.
See the As-Forged product line
As the name implies: a real plus for anyone who works outdoors. That notwithstanding, we must keep it away from water: like all natural materials (wood or horn), the aesthetic properties of Morta wood may alter on contact with water.
Here we refer to Sandvik steel (14c28n) with 59 HRC Rockwell hardness. So we are dealing with the same quality as carbon steel. All opinions are clear on this point.
Admire the stainless steel chef’s knife and set of paring and table knives
With a hardness equivalent to the other two, Damascus steel adds a historic dimension to your traditional folding knife. Thanks to powder metallurgy, the modern era has reproduced a process once lost over the ages. The sintering of RWL34 and PMC27 steels produces an alloy, making the Damascus blade shiny with mat hues. Its dark, marbled arabesques recall the blackness of Morta wood.
I am just discovering the Damascus product line and I want to know everything about this steel
Widely democratized, the pocket knife is available to all and in all circumstances. As we have said, by tradition the elders used to give the young, often boys, their first knife. An age for scouting, outings with friends, holiday camps, communion, national service, there was no lack of occasions.
Nowadays, the little pocket knife is not just for boys. Boys and girls fix things, cook, camp and set up bivouacs. So perhaps the more delicate or old fashioned (as the case may be) will prefer a more streamlined model for ladies. A folding or fixed Damascus blade adds originality and transforms the pocket knife into a real little gem. Please note that the modern world has nothing to do with this. In the past, women used to carry a knife for safety and everyday tasks.
You choose the length of the blade according to the intended use. Long blades slice large pieces of meat or fish fillets, while shorter blades are better for flowers, shrubs and aromatic herbs. They are all designed to fit into pockets or bags. These are nomad knives that follow you everywhere, most discreetly. Like their varying size, they vary in weight from 100 to 175 grams, depending on the models. Super light in their mini version.
Reminder of blade lengths (in cm) and weight of pocket knives (in grams).
|Product line||Weight||Knife folded||Knife open||Usable cutting edge|
The opening (nail nick) and locking (frame lock) systems make it usable in complete safety. The blade (forged, stainless or Damascus steel) inserts into the wooden handle. It folds up and unfolds with a simple gesture.
It is common to carry a knife. Coming soon on our blog, an article on knife carrying regulations in France.
What’s the question ? Everything ! The pocket knife is multifunctional and multitasking. Compact with an ergonomic wooden handle, it becomes not just practical but essential. Far from being sectarian, it performs all the tasks you give it to do :
Did you know ?
It features in the ‘safety’ category on the list of essential items to have in your hiking backpack, according to a major specialist brand. Question of survival ?
See our e-store for all the details about prices, items in stock, delivery times and charges. You’ll also see the accessories (cases, sheaths and belts). Better still, come and visit the cutlery and discover the local heritage and the love of ‘made in France’.