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Thiers: an important cutlery hub and manufacturing location of “Made in France” knives

For over six centuries, the city of Thiers has played a pivotal role in writing the most beautiful pages in France’s cutlery history. Auvergne is considered to be the cradle of knife manufacturing in France; this town has forged a place of prestige in cutlery history. Auvergne has coupled its traditional heritage with the region’s ancient knife manufacturing skills, further perfecting and preserving its early production techniques with innovative technology in order to propel the region into the limelight of the knife-manufacturing scene.

Thiers: an important cutlery hub and manufacturing location of “Made in France” knives

Thiers and cutlery: An ever-enduring love story

The historical fief of French knife manufacturing since the 15th century!

Over the past six centuries, the city of Thiers has forged its reputation as France’s unparalleled knife manufacturer.

Auvergne is rightfully considered to be the birthplace of French-made cutlery and can be proud of the fact that it is presently responsible for manufacturing 70% of France’s knives.

When visiting this cutlery city, a stroll through its streets reveals the palpable presence of the role Thiers played in the history of knife manufacturing. The streets are enchanted with little reminders of what was: faded hand-painted signs, street names such as Forger’s street and Cutlery Road. Meandering along the banks of the Durolle River, one can catch a glimpse of the city’s first industrial forges and their hydraulic paddle wheels. Ever since the early 2000s, this once-booming cutlery industry has been subject to competition from Asian knife manufacturers.

Meteoric success

According to Thiers’ town census, by the mid-1400s approximately thirty cutlers had already set up workshops along the river. One hundred years later, their numbers expanded to more than 200 individuals.

Since the 17th century, the cutlery industry in Thiers has been particularly successful thanks to the international export of goods destined for Spain, Italy and Japan shipped by boat from the ports in Nantes and Bordeaux.

By the mid-1850s, the knife manufacturing industry had reached its pinnacle; approximately 25,000 individuals worked in the sector.

A well-organized manufacturing chain had been established in which specific tasks where assigned to different groups. This specialized method of manufacturing increased the rate of production. This mass-production of high-end knives attracted French and foreign ironmongers and wholesalers. The French-made cutlery produced in Thiers had earned worldwide recognition.

Manufacturing the high-end “Made in France” cutlery collections

Thiers’ cutlers have powerful imaginations!

Nothing about the natural resources available in Thiers seemed to have predestined Thiers to become synonymous with French cutlery. The city lacked iron and steel mines and had no stone quarries.

In Thiers, the artisanal cutlers had ingenious ideas

Thiers’ greatness as France’s cutlery capitol was due, in part, to the ingenious pioneers who harnessed the energy of the Durolle River’s gushing rapids, using its power to make the factories and their mills function.

Today, the artisanal cutlers working in Thiers have left the banks of the Durolle. Nevertheless, they sill manufacture a large majority of France’s kitchen knives, table knives, pocketknives and professional-grade knives.

Evercut®, Furtif®, Auguste®

Perfect examples of the quality of TB’s “Made in France” knife collections

Over the past few years, TB Groupe has launched various lines that are part of their “Made in France” knife collection. These new additions are perfect examples of Thiers cutlery at its finest, reflecting unrivalled, superior quality cutlery.

It may be impossible to make an all-inclusive presentation of each line’s seemingly endless list of quality key features, but we can list a few:

  • The “Made in France” Evercut® knives: considered to be the best knives in the world, the Evercut® knives are manufactured using TB Groupe’s latest-generation technology, which fuses titanium carbide along the blade’s stainless steel cutting edge.
  • The Furtif® knives: have an extremely contemporary design and a phenomenal cutting capacity. Their ergonomic handles guarantee optimal comfort.
  • The Auguste® table knives: their classic and modern design has generated attention at France’s greatest restaurants and hotels. They have very high-end blades made of a stainless steel that has a very high chromium content, making them extremely rust-resistant.

Feel free to browse our e-shop and find more details about our other “Made in France” knife collections!

Even though Thiers’ knife manufacturing techniques are not the same as they once were, the city has held onto its reputation as France’s knife capitol. TB Groupe and the GDD are prime examples of companies in Thiers that have learned to diversify the artisanal and industrial products they produce (forging, metalworking, surgical instruments, collectable pocketknives, etc.) in order to play their part in keeping Thiers’ reputation intact.
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