The Laguiole knife originates in a short knife called the capuchadou used by shepherds in the region of Aubrac in the 14th century. They were worn around the waist and served to whittle wood or cut bread and cheese. It is said that at the end of the workday, these shepherds would stick their knives into the ground and then recite their evening prayers in front of them.
The contemporary Laguiole knife was invented by a cutler from Laguiole named Jean Pierre Calmels in the early 19th century. At that time many Catalonians worked in this area as pit sawyers. They carried a curved folding knife called a navaja. Calmels combined the traditional capujadou with this navaja to create a knife that was both beautiful and functional: the Laguiole.
At the beginning of the 20th Century, the handmade Laguiole knife was being replaced by mass-produced knives. An association was founded in 1981 to revive the local tradition by setting up workshops for the production of Laguiole knives.