About Sabatier

What does Sabatier mean?

Since the Middle Ages, the area of Thiers, France has been associated with the cutlery industry. Two separate families, Jean Sabatier of Le Moutier (lower Thiers) and Phillipe Sabatier of Bellevue (upper Thiers), began using the name in their maker’s mark. Over the years, many makers began using Sabatier in their branding. In general, it implies a high-quality knife made in the Thiers region of France using a fully forged process.

As intellectual property standards were established in France, manufacturers were required to include a second word or symbol along with SABATIER and many marks were registered. In 1979, when one of the trademarks was sold and the brand began to be used on inferior products, the various trademark holders formed an association to protect the brand name and reputation. Only knives manufactured in Thiers, France from well established manufacturers from the 19th century are considered “genuine” Sabatier knives.  

Unfortunately, you can now see knives stamped Sabatier made cheaply in China and are clearly inferior.  Our knives are guaranteed authentic Sabatier knives made in France by Thiers-Issard.  

How are Sabatier knives made?

Generally, knife blades are either forged or stamped. Stamped blades are punched out from a thin ribbon of steel and then tempered and sharpened. Most of this work is done by machines. Forged blades are made when a steel bar is heated at high temperature, hammered into a die to form its shape. Then tempered, sharpened and finished. Forging is the oldest method of construction and uses hand craftsmanship to produce the strongest and sharpest blades. While stamping may produce a consistent product, forging has traditionally been considered superior.

 Our **** Elephant Sabatier knives are fully forged.

How can I tell if it’s from Thiers-Issard?

Sabatier logo closeup

All Thiers-Issard knives are stamped with their trademark **** ELEPHANT SABATIER logo. This mark indicates you are receiving the finest quality French Sabatier knives in the world. These are among the last of the Old World Master Craftsperson hand-forged knives.

What does INOX mean?

From the French acier inoxydable, INOX is a synonym for stainless steel.

What are stainless steel knives?

We carry stainless steel knives with a higher amount of carbon, intended to incorporate the better attributes of both carbon steel and stainless steel. The blade is easy to maintain and resists tarnishing and is the most popular choice in the kitchen. 

Our high carbon Stainless Steel **** ELEPHANT SABATIER knives are made from Stainless 4116 norm Americain AISSY, a product superior to the Z40C13 used in most kitchen knives. A higher percentage of carbon and chrome; the addition of vanadium (0.9%) and molybedenum (0.3%); hardening at 1050/1060 degrees centigrade; and, tempering at 310 degrees centigrade make this steel more resistant to corrosion, deformation and wear.

What are carbon steel knives?

We carry knives with Carbon Steel (Carbon C60 or "Full Carbon") blades for knife enthusiast who are seeking an even sharper cut and are meticulous about caring for their knives.  These knives are slightly thinner and lighter and can be honed more finely for precise cutting.  

Carbon Steel knives require special care.  Hand wash with mild dish soap and dry fully after each use, especially after cutting acidic foods such as lemons or apples. To repel moisture, apply a light coating of mineral oil on the blade before storing.  See Knife Care for more detailed information on caring for carbon steel knives.

Like a vintage knife, over time a carbon steel blade will eventually develop a patina.  

Why buy **** ELEPHANT SABATIER knives?

Time tested and refined

French craftsmen have been making and, famous French chefs have been using these knives since 1615. These knives have been adored in American since the 40’s and continue to be a favorite among culinary professionals and students alike.

Hand-made

Individuality is the trademark of a hand-made knife. Each knife is a compromise between forging, grinding and honing. Thiers-Issard’s master craftspeople are trained to achieve the perfect balance and create a one-of-a-kind work of art.

Weight

**** ELEPHANT SABATIER stainless steel knives weight 20% less than German equivalents. Lighter weight means less fatigue. Combined with the other precision design features, these knives will have you cutting and chopping like a pro!

Balance

When gripped properly, our Sabatier knives are designed to be perfectly balanced in your hand. Precision instruments are the mark of a master craftsman and our knives will have you feeling like the master of your kitchen!

Edge

A secondary intermediate grind and an “effile” (final edge) hand ground by only a few of the highest trained master craftsmen ensure that your **** ELEPHANT SABATIER knives will be the sharpest you ever own. Higher quality steel requires finer sharpening material. Be sure to use a professional hand sharpening service and use your sharpening or honing steel frequently in between professional sharpening. 

Bolster

The round bolster with fine quillon (or guard) makes it easier to sharpen the blade all the way to the heel. The design also allows for a better grip creating greater comfort and control.

Handles

White Micarta and Red and Green Stamina handles are impregnated with epoxy resin and pressed at high pressure, making them more resistant to heat and moisture than regular wood.

Thiers-Issard’s skilled artisans take pride in making each handle, affixed with polished brass rivets, into a work of art.
Color Choices

Olive Wood  - natural olive wood 
Red Stamina – beech wood tinted red
Green Stamina – beech wood tinted green
White Micarta* – layers of linen
   
     * White Micarta handles are the most difficult to make commercially, but we believe their stunning beauty is worth the effort. Due to the dimensions of the handle, the rivets are fully polished on one side only. 

 

Sabatier Knife Shop is the foremost distributor of White Micarta Sabatier Four Star Elephant knives in the United States.

A Brief History of Thiers-Issard

Knife-making in the city of Thiers, France dates from at least the 12th century. In 1884, Pierre Thiers established his own knife-making factory, which he named Thiers-Issard (a combination of his own name and that of his wife). His knife production thrived and became highly respected.

In 1958 the third generation of the Thiers family, Louise and Pierre, purchased the mark of **** ELEPHANT SABATIER in order to continue the family heritage of producing fine French knives. After worldwide success, the business was sold in 1985 and is now operated by Gilles Rayenwaeter.  Gilles has already secured the continuity of the Sabatier tradition, with his son-in-law Eric as the factory manager and his daughters Marie Laure and Sandra also managing the business. 

The present factory is in the center of the knife-making district of Thiers, France and employs about 40 people. These master craftspeople make the finest French knives available.

In addition to kitchen knives, Thiers-Issard is renown the world over for their straight razors. Their craftsmen are so skilled with their hands that they are often asked to make special tools for the defense industry, for the automobile trade, and for the medical trade throughout the world.

Although there are modern machines in the Thiers-Issard factory, there are no automated machines doing the work. Each knife is hand made by a master craftsperson.

More Information:

If you’re not sure which Sabatier product you have, you might want to check out this link on Wikipedia for further information:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sabatier

To learn more about the history of Thiers-Issard, check out their Wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thiers_Issard

To see inside the factory, check out this video of our visit:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JLSwhOes_mI

and this video in by Thiers-Issard in French:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZH-YmZ9MJD4