For other uses, see Sabatier (disambiguation).

Sabatier is the maker's mark used by several kitchen knife manufacturersby itself it is not a registered brand name. The name Sabatier is considered to imply a high-quality knife produced by one of a number of manufacturers in the Thiers region of France using a fully forged process; the knives of some of these manufacturers are highly regarded. However, the name "Sabatier" came into use before intellectual property laws and is not protected; knives legally bearing the name range from high-quality knives made in France to cheap mass-produced products of poor quality from France and other countries; a registered logo or full name, or both, such as "65 Sabatier Perrier", is necessary to establish origin and quality.


The name originated in Thiers, France at the beginning of the 19th century. The area of Thiers has been associated with the cutlery industry since the Middle Ages.[1] With the advent of the industrial age manufacturers began to consolidate their crafts or trades by creating brand or trade marks.

Early controversy

Two separate families began using the name Sabatier to market their knives. The families do not appear to be related except by name and craft. Jean Sabatier of Le Moutier (lower Thiers) and Phillipe Sabatier of Bellevue (upper Thiers). There is much dispute who registered the trademark first with each citing evidence.

Brand names

The use of the Sabatier name is an anomaly of "branding" because the name was used by many different companies before intellectual property or trademark laws were fully established in France. In order to distinguish between the various makers of Sabatier knives, manufacturers are required to include a second word or symbol along with SABATIER. Over the years many marks were registered. In 1979, after the sale of the Moutier Sabatier brands to Cuisinox, the various holders of the brands formed an association to protect the brand name.

  • SABATIER frères
  • France SABATIER Jeune K Garanti
  • SABATIER Jeune Garanti with a bunch of grapes
  • SABATIER Acier Fondu Garanti with a bunch of grapes
  • France SABATIER Acier Fondu couronne K Garanti
  • Véritable SABATIER France
  • Professional SABATIER
  • SABATIER Professional
  • V SABATIER France
  • V SABATIER Acier Fondu Garanti
  • V SABATIER Extra Fin
  • SABATIER 689 Couronné
  • SABATIER Couronné
  • SABATIER 589 Couronné
  • SABATIER Trompette
  • SABATIER****
  • SabatieR
  • SABATIER Trumpet France
  • Sarry SABATIER
  • Le vrai SABATIER
  • Le seul SABATIER
  • L’unique SABATIER 1ère qualité
  • SABATIER with a stylised slicing disk
  • SABATIER Diamant
  • SABATIER Elephant

Manufacturing process

Among the many Sabatier manufacturers in Thiers, France, most provide high quality cutlery using traditional forging techniques that were developed in the area in the early and mid-19th century. Most of these manufacturers use a "fully forged" technique and a hand shaping and sharpening process using local skilled labour.

Fully forged means that three of the four knife parts (blade, bolster, tang and handle) are forged from a single piece of steel. In this process, a single cylinder shaped steel billet is heated where the bolster will be, and squeezed from the ends to create a bulge. The entire piece is heated again and forged to the shape of the blade, bolster, and tang using forging dies in one operation. Afterward, a clipping tool is used to cut the forged piece to the rough shape of the knife. Finally, the handles are riveted on, and the final shaping and sharpening is done by hand. The alternative way to manufacture knives is stamping; forging has traditionally been considered superior, but from the late 20th century some knives of excellent quality have been produced by stamping.

Confusion continues

While there are many knife manufacturers using Sabatier as their brand, some Sabatier manufacturers are considered authentic, and some are not. Generally speaking among connoisseurs of fine cutlery, only knives manufactured in Thiers, France from well established manufacturers from the 19th century are considered "genuine" Sabatier knives.

Many other manufacturers, both in France and elsewhere, use the Sabatier name on their knives; however, they are usually mass-produced, and of poor quality.[2] Neither words such as vrai or garanti, nor "Made in France", ensure a good knife.

Companies selling Sabatier knives

Sabatier brands have been sold on to many companies over the years. The following list is an attempt to link the present day owners to the brands.

ETS Sabatier Aîné & Perrier

Sabatier Aîné & Perrier claim to be the oldest Sabatier knife maker still in existence and operated by the descendants of Phillipe Sabatier of Bellevue, Thiers, France. They have operated for more than 150 years and have sold under the brand name [Sabatier-k] since 1834. First references to the mark "K" can be found in the town archives, engraved on the Silver Tablet of Cutlers, dated 7 June 1813 under number 231.

Company website

Thiers Issard Sabatier

Thiers Issard Sabatier have manufactured the Sabatier****Elephant knives in Thiers since 1958.

Therias et L'Econome

Therias et L'Econome claim to have been manufacturing knives in Thiers since 1819. They sell Sabatier knives under the brand L'Unique Sabatier as well as Mexeur & Cie.

Company Website

Rousselon Frères

Owners of the Mexeur Lion Sabatier make of knives since 1991, manufactured in Thiers. They claim the make was officially registered in 1812.

Company Website

Sabatier Diamant

Manufacture the Sabatier Diamant brand in Thiers.

Company Website

Amefa Couzon Cuisinox

In December 2005 Dutch company Amefa bought France's second-largest cutlery company Couzon, the owner of Cuisinox. They own the Sabatier Trompette (trumpet) brand, but have dropped the Sabatier name. Amefa in 2007 took over Richardson Sheffield, which owns the V Sabatier and R Sabatier ranges.

See also


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