L’Indispensable Knife


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Custom Flat Knife and Brass Scabbard

When I asked Blanchard what tools were sold most often, I was surprised to hear that this little guy made it to the list. It’s built like an Xacto knife but with a thicker high-quality steel blade that runs the entire length of the handle meaning that you can sharpen and re-sharpen this blade for a long time and never run out. You can use this knife as a straight clicking knife or clicking blade to cut patterns and cut into corners.

The most common things that happen to your primary leather cutting knife are snapping off the tip and rapidly dulling the blade. Since this is a small blade, you can re-sharpen it fairly quickly and its length means you can grind the edge back often to get a new sharp tip.

Sharpen after every use to both maintain the tools but also for good practice in preparation for sharpening trickier blades like skivers and head knives. A traditional simple tool, the brass scabbard has two small screws to adjust the blade and a contoured body for a perfect grip.

A Customized Blade, Optimized for Edge Retention

The L’Indispensable knife has been a useful knife in many leatherworkers’ toolboxes. Its long blade that runs through the entire holder means that it will last you a long time. We have been offering this knife for a while but recently heard that, for our US customers, it was not being used as often. We did some digging and discovered that some people didn’t like the high-speed steel blade that came with the knife because it dulled too quickly.

There are always trade-offs in steel choice and the Blanchard blade favors ease of sharpening over durability. It is a softer steel that sharpens and hones easily but for the same reasons requires more frequent sharpening. The feedback we heard was that while people strop their blades often, they’d prefer to less frequently go to the sharpening stones.

We’re pleased to now offer a new L’Indispensable knife blade for leatherworkers wanting a blade with better edge retention and a higher potentional for sharpness.

This customized is made from a harder D2 steel that can honed to a very sharp edge with more durability. It has been professionally heat treated in a vacuum furnace to minimize inconsistencies and air hardened to RC58.

While harder steel will require more effort during your sharpening session, this new blade should need fewer trips to the sharpening stones and will stay sharp much longer with regular stropping.

Each blade has been sharpening by hand with water stones to prevent re-tempering the blade which weakens it. The edges are then honed and polished to a mirror finish. The result is an extremely sharp blade ready to use.

Right and Left Bevels

Choose a right bevel if you are right-handed. This will allow the flat part of the blade to be on your left and against a straight edge with the bevel on the right. If you are left-handed, choose the left bevel.

Fourreau Laiton “L’Indispensable”
14cm long (5.5 inches) brass scabbard
5mm wide, 20cm long (.2 x 8 inches) custom blade

Additional information

Weight 8 oz
Dimensions 8 × 10.25 × 2 in
Blade Shape

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