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Nontron, France


Nontron Pocket Lock Knife 1914-1918 Model Desert Ironwood

The Nontron knife shares the name of the French village of its birth located in the Dordogne department. This knife's history is filled with so many legends that it is difficult to date its exact origin; however, most experts agree that the Nontron knife is the oldest French folding knife dating back to the 13th century. Today, the cutlery that bears its name since 1928 produces handmade knives using ancestral methods. The procedures used to conceive todays' Nontron pocket knives are nearly the same since the fifteenth century.

Handle type: Early 20th-century antique reproduction of the 1914-1918 model.

Locking system: Yes. Ring pull / External spring knife. This archaic 19th-century locking system was usually found on Navaja and Laguiole folding knives. Why did Nontron adopt this system during the first world war? Perhaps the lack of ring supplies forced Nontron to adopt an old proven locking device temporarily? It is also worth noting that the handle's shape resembles both Navaja and Laguiole styles knives. 

With the knife open, pull the ring and push on the blade. The blade doesn't snap back and is held by a cranking mechanism. Push the blade back in the handle. It is important to note that although this locking system is easy to use, it does take a little practice to get comfortable.

Take a look at video #1, especially starting @ 0.42 seconds. This is our basic way to release the lock; use the way that works for you or use ours.
Take a look at video #2 to learn how to close this knife with one hand and, at the same time, impress your friends ;-)

Safety evolution: Early Nontron knives did not have a locking mechanism; the blade was held open by the wood's pressure. The first locking device was composed of a simple hole and a nail.

Open size: 21.5 cm (8.45")
Blade Size:
 9.2 cm (3.62")
Blade Type: Drop-point
 Forged T12 alloy
Handle Size: 12.2 cm (4.80")
Weight: ~ 39 grams (1.4 oz.)