HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >


mystery knife - any thoughts?

I bought this knife (see pics) several years ago and, truth be told, I really was not, and am not sure what it is. It is marked on the blade:

Made in France

I know it is from the Professional Sabatier line and I believe it was made for the American market, mainly due to the fact that it says stainless on the blade rather than INOX. It is 5 1/4" long and 1" wide.

I do not think it was intended to be an oyster knife because it is quite thin and has a very sharp edge. It may have been made for clams, but usually they are longer and thinner. I wonder if there are any existing catalogs that document what it is for. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. It possibly could be a scallop shuckers knife. I saw commercial fisherman and their help using a knife similar to that out on LI. That was over 30 years ago, might be wrong.

    1. Is it a parmesan/grana knife?

        1. Looks like an oyster knife from a distance, but then like you said, it is thin, so maybe not. Not sure.

          1. Scallop knives are somewhat thin. We rented a beach house during scalloping season in Florida, and it was provisioned with a couple of these.

            This guy seems to have one a lot like yours, and he identifies it as a French scallop knife.


            1. Cheese wheel or hard cheese tool. The clam shuckers I've seen have a more roundy tip

              1. I vote a hard cheese knife also.


                1. Thanks for the replies, although I am not sure what to use it for now. Perhaps I will get some oysters, some scallops, and a giant wheel of Parmesan and put it to the test. :)

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Dalrymple

                    Hi, Darymple:

                    Sure, try it out. You say it's "quite thin", but your third photo shows a distinct distal taper. I can't tell from the other photos if the edges are convex-ground or whether there is a spine to the blade.

                    I've made a couple oyster knives, and they don't need thickness as much as: (a) a strong, supported point; and (b) enough torsional rigidity to part the hinge.

                    You might wear heavy gloves when you try it out on the 'sters--no guard there for your knife hand.


                  2. I think I have sorted out the mystery and believe that Kaleo is correct that this is an oyster knife. It appears, at least according to this website (http://www.amyglaze.com/oysters-with-...), that the variety of oyster found in France are best opened from the side, while the American ones are best opened from the hinge. This would explain the thinness and sharpness of the blade and also why when last in coastal France I broke a lot of shells by trying to open them at the hinge. Now I just need to get some French oysters....................