Which Sabatier is Which Sabatier? What's a Sabatier Anyway?

Joined Aug 25, 2009
Chef BDL,

I went back to website again this morning and took "another good look" and you are right. I had to ask myself a few questions .....Is this a knife I would "use" everyday ? NO
Cutting ribs and things.....well , I have my butcher do most of my cuts.
So , that would mean "not" a good choice for my needs. Chef de Chef is out unless you suggest another knife ???? (which I don't mind)

On the other hand, I am glad you looked at the site, there was a quantity option in the box but no picture so I was not sure if they were out of stock or what ? I will call them up just them same and get the 10" Chef "Nogent"

I was "relieved to say the least" when you mentioned that the French carbon are very light as well....it was getting to be a bit frustrating switching between knives so this will really make a difference for me.

As far as maintaining them, I will "have" to do so. Later today when I get back I will take another look at the "K Sabatier" line.

The feedback on their service was excellent.

Un gros merci,
à plus tard....

Duckfat: thank you for the link, I will check it later today when I get back.
Joined Nov 9, 2009
This is a very interesting thread! I remember when I was a small boy in the late 60s/early 70s, we lived in France, and my father always told me that Sabatier knives were better than German knives.

I have two questions.

First, I have some knives purchased from Dehillerin in Paris. A chef's, a couple of slicers. Any idea who made these? Their only markings are Dehillerin (and those markings are wearing off).

Second, I'm thinking about buying a Sabatier Nogent 10" chef's. Suppose I am fortunate and get a straight one. To what angle(s) do you recommend I profile the edge? I ground my Victorinox/Forschners, Henckels, and "Dehillerin" knives to 20 deg each side, just a single bevel. Would that be okay for the Sabatier?
Joined Feb 13, 2008

You wrote, No idea whatsoever. They rebrand cutlery from all sorts of makers. You could write them, I suppose, with a lot of other information such as whether the knife was stainless or not, the handle POM or wood, the bolster French or German, the profile French or German, the date the knife was bought -- and you'd get a shrug for a reply, with maybe a whiff of Gitane smoke.

The Nogents are old carbon. Over the years the steel sort of "settles in" and the surface and interior hardnesses actually increase. They'll hold a more acute edge than a Forschner, fo sho.

I've got my 7" chefs and 6" slicer (petty) sharpened to a "V" edge at around 10* edge flat bevel, with a slight right-handed asymmetry on the little chef's (Linda righty, me lefty), and roughly 50/50 symmetry on the petty. Yes, I'm as surprised as you are that the edge doesn't collapse immediately.

Still, that's probably too actue for a chef's you'll (depending on technique) pound on the board everyday. I'd try 15* edge angle (30* included angle) to start with. Then if that works, go a little more acute.

When my knives arrived, one was kind of sharp out of the box and the other wouldn't cut jello. The edge geometry was pretty lousy on both, too. So I thinned both knives down to about 10*, then sharpened a 15* primary bevel over that. This worked well on the petty; but the chef's seemed to have a carbide crystal caught right on the edge. When it eventually came out -- after three or four aggressive profilings and sharpenings -- the knife got very sharp.

I really like both of mine, and hope you like yours as much.

Get a really good, fine "steel" if you don't already have one. The knife will need frequent truing, and you'll want to preserve as much of the polish as possible.

Speaking of which, you'll want to take your knife to somewhere around 5000# or 6000# polish. In oilstones, that's the equivalent of a black or translucent Arkansas; and there are a lot of really good waterstone choices too.

Joined Nov 9, 2009
Good to hear, on the feasible angles. I'm looking forward to Santa.

I think I will get the stone you mentioned, and also a smooth (ungrooved) steel. My steel is grooved but I usually use the ungrooved bit right after the handle.

My first baby step into Japanese knives is planned for next year, too. So I will do a lot of learning in the coming months!
Joined Sep 18, 2009
I've got a Mercie & Cie. chef's knife that is about the same weight as the lighter of the Japanese gyutos. I've only got T-I nogent parers, but I'd think they'd also be in the same weight-league as the Japanese equivalents.
Joined Sep 18, 2009
Chef BDL,

Thanks for the great info on the TI nogents. Your theory on how and why they were "lost" actually makes them more interesting, if a little less old.

Does anyone know anything about the stainless nogent knives from TI? Did they produce anything larger than a paring knife? I see that K-Sab has some olive wood handled ones now, but only parers.
Joined Feb 8, 2010
More on brands...

I'm looking at stainless (I already have some carbons, but I can be a bit absent-minded), and ran across the Diamant Sabatier lines.


Does anyone know about these, and how they compare to K-sabs? On a side note, the Constance line looks just like the old Cuisine de Chef commercial line.
Joined Jan 5, 2010
Hi all.

First of all, thanks to BDL for this explanation on Sabatier knives. This is a wonderfull slice of knowledge you're giving us. I was just wondering, where you get all those informations ? When I spoke with the TI boss, he told me he sometimes went to the US, on knives demonstrations I guess. Did you somehow meet him or some other Sabatier house representatives and get those things out of them ? Anyway, thanks a lot for all this, it's a real pleasure to read you !

Now, and I'm in a hurry so it will be a quick one, I'm sorry, I just wanted to come back on this:
I recently ( 3 weeks or so ) bought one of those canadian chef knife (8", even though I regret now it was not a bit taller ) and the last 1/5 of the blade was slightly out of the axis. Also one of the rivet (to hold the handle) was scratched. The knife went back to the factory this morning. I spoke to the seller for France ( not TI directly), and he told the company should take care of it. So actually yes, make sure your reseller gets it clear you want a straight knife, because it -could- be bended somehow.
I'll let you know how the knife came back (in a month or so because I won't be home before that. )

Joined Feb 13, 2008
'allo GK,

Here in the states recent history has broken Sabatiers into two groups -- good (the best French manufactured knives) and bad (often manufactured in China or another Asian country). Not all Sabatier marques are widely sold here -- so often when we give advice we limit it to those companies which are not only good but available. If for no other reason, I restrict my recommendations to ETS Aine & Perrier (K-Sabatier), Thiers Issard (Sabatier ****Elephant, "Nogent," "Massif", and Sabatier Mexeur et Cie (Therias et L'Econome).

Diamant are among the "good Sabatiers" for sure. That said, I'm not a big fan of Sabatier stainless. In the US, you can get decent Japanese stainless for the same price, and excellent Japanese stainless for not too much more. An irony is that a lot of Japanese stainless, is actually Swedish steel, manufactured into French profile knives in Japan.

Additionally, most of the Diamant lines have square German (don't like) rather than cylindrical French style (like) bolsters, and one of them -- the one which is made from X50CrMoV15 is German profiled (really don't like) as well. So, if you have definite tastes about either like I do about both, you'll want to go carefully.

Joined Dec 16, 2011

in my search for sabatier knowlegde i have stumpled upon you several times.

thank you for posting so much great stuff!

I resently went to paris, where I soon found E. dehillerin, one of the best shops to visit ever! I bought a small carbon paring knife, nogent style and I like it a lot.

It has made me regret that I did not bring home a chef's knife as well.

The nogents are not available of the nogent style, but as carbon steel with bolster.

Does anybody know about these? What kind of Sabatier are they? K-sab, four star of other? Of course they are only fitted with the Dehillerin name, but seemed like really neat knifes. I just hope to scrape a little money together during the holidays to buy one, ot two...

thanks in advance.


David, Denmark
Joined Nov 15, 2012
6 years and this thread is still getting some mileage.

Take your pick, depends only on what you want.  I think the K-Sabs are still relatively soft, so 15+ would be the practical range in that case.  I think that, in the case of professional level use/abuse, many would recommend you sharpen to 15 then give [about] 30deg microbevel on the side you are handed, ie, right side for righties.

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Joined Nov 7, 2015
Cool, Thanks guys. I have a "High-Carbon Stainless Steel" I did thin the edge out a little bit, It is now SUPER sharp, and real nice. It feels like i could remove a spleen with it. Also, What do you guys have to say bout adjusting the bevel of a Japanese carbon Gyutou? Should it be done? Im just wondering. I have no problem with the bevel of mine at 70/30. I'm just curious, and learning about professional grade knives. 
Joined Nov 7, 2015
Im not planning on adjusting the bevel.  Like I said, I'm just curious. Like whats the intention behind such a bevel?  What I do now about Japanese knives is that the knife flat on the back side to allow the chef more precision, and accuracy. (in which case I may have just answered that part of my question)  But, can it be adjusted by the user, for whatever the reason, OR will it render the knife useless? 
Joined Apr 25, 2014
What I do now about Japanese knives is that the knife flat on the back side to allow the chef more precision, and accuracy. (in which case I may have just answered that part of my question)  But, can it be adjusted by the user, for whatever the reason, OR will it render the knife useless? 
Nobody on this thread is talking about single bevel traditional japanese knives. If you are not cutting fish or paper thin veg, get it out of your mind. Btw they are not flat on the back side, they are concave.

Asymmetric double bevel knives you can adjust the asymmetry but it can cause problems as Benuser said. Then again adjusting the angles is also the solution to those problems sometimes...

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