Vintage Sabatier Knives

Vintage knives are prized by cooks and collectors, but when is it time to retire the knife from use and buy new?  

That is a question a Sabatier Knife Shop customer recently faced. He sent us this photo of the old knife on top of the new 8 inch carbon steel chef knife and wrote,

“They are 40 years apart in age.  I have been able to continually hone and sharpen the older blade to maintain an excellent cutting edge. With the quality that made this last for 40 years, there was no question that I would replace it with an identical model, once the blade curve became concave.  I expect this is the last one I will need to purchase in my lifetime.”

You can see clearly how much the shape of the knife has changed over time, becoming narrower and with no rounded blade area for continuous chopping.  However, the Sabatier **** Four Star marking on the resilient black nylon handle is still distinct.  

One of our favorite vintage knives is this 1960s era Jeunesse chef knife with a rosewood handle. Due to a dispute between two brothers in the K Sabatier family, the younger brother started his own line that lasted for around 10 years. You can still see the bunch of grapes imprinted on the handle, but any markings on the blade are lost. There is still some of the classic Sabatier shape, but the point of the knife has narrowed over the years and there is some pitting on the carbon steel blade. 

While it may be a difficult choice for some to stop using a knife that has served them well, it’s good to remember the goal is to prepare food efficiently and safely.  But, thankfully, you don’t have to sacrifice quality when purchasing a new knife.  

After over 135 years in business, Thiers-Issard uses modern machinery to make their Sabatier knives.  But unlike most knives made today, these Sabatier knives are still finished by hand with no automation. The craftsmanship rival the knives of the past, with even better control over the quality of metal used for the blades.