Knifewear's Knife Store (Hamono-ya) quietly opened in March 2008. The Knife Store has become a destination/hang-out for those who love Japanese steel and are addicted to sharp. We carry knives not found in any other shop in Calgary. We like exclusive, scary sharp, high performance blades.
We aim to offer expert knife knowledge, an enjoyable purchasing experience, after sale support and knife passion.
Kevin Kent’s fascination with Japanese knives began while he was working as sous-chef for the legendary chef Fergus Henderson at St. John restaurant in London, England. In 2007, he began selling handcrafted Japanese knives out of a backpack on the back of his bicycle, while working as a chef at River Café in Calgary, Canada. Kent is just as obsessed with Japanese knives as when he first held one, and a few times a year, he travels to Japan to meet with his blacksmith friends, to drink far too much sake, and to learn more about the ancient art of knife-making. Born and raised in Saskatchewan, he refuses to confess how many Japanese knives he owns….but he admits the number is rather high.
Follow Kevin on Twitter @knifenerd
Kevin's Knife: Mugen HAP40 Petty 150mm
Mike was a chef for 15 years and and has been a knife aficionado for most of them. His love of Japanese knives began, coincidentally, when Knifewear began. Mike decided that it was time to get out from behind the stoves and hanging out at Knifewear wasn’t paying the bills so he hired himself. We rehabilitated him into a life of knives and shaving in 2012. He loves to talk about food and cooking as well as knives. Mike is the General Manager of all our shops.
Mike's Knife: Masakage Kumo Sujihiki 270mm
Since early 2010 Kasumi has been bringing a bit of class to Knifewear. Though she insists she's not a knife nerd, we often catch her contemplating her next purchase. She makes bagels at home and ice cream too, how cool is that? Kasumi is now our Manager of both Calgary stores. We often wonder how she ended up with a bunch of misfits like us.
Kasumi's Knife: Takamura Uchigumo Sujihiki 270mm
Naoto came to Canada 7 years ago and we aren't letting him go back. After getting angry with his roommate's dull knives, he started to dream of sharp Japanese knives. Naoto graduated from University of Calgary with a bachelor degree of art, majoring International Relations and finds that selling Japanese knives is his own way of doing international relations. Naoto is our Head of Shipping and receiving. You can also see him in SpringHammer looking cool and holding it all together.
Naoto's Knife: Masakage Mizu Nakiri 165mm
Hailing from rural Victoria, Australia, Luke spends his days selling knives, axes and shaving gear. When not at work, you'll find him engaged in a variety of projects in the kitchen, or cruising around town on his bicycle (which he rides year round). He also claims with confidence that any meal can be improved with jam.
Luke's Knife: Masashi SLD Gyuto 240mm
Chantal likes horses and knitting and dying her hair and karaoke. She's originally from London Ontario. Her favourite colour is purple.
She hates the smell of patchouli. Her favourite food is tacos, least favourite is most seafood.
But especially tilapia (they're the racoons of the sea).
Chantal's Knife: Kotetsu R2 Ko-Bunka 130mm
Mason's job is to make Knifewear and Kent of Inglewood look cool. Which is an easier job than it looks (don't tell Kevin) since both are much cooler than Mason. He enjoys owning knives that make him feel like a much better cook than he actually is, and looking at razors that make him wish he shaved more than once every five years.
Mason's Knife: Masakage Yuki Gyuto 210mm
Hailing from Osaka, Japan, Yuji is no stranger to crazy Dotonburi nights, tako yaki and NIhonshu. He is a mad guitar player and one of his bands seem to be playing somewhere every week. If you hear a blues record playing at the shop it’s a sure bet to be something from Yuji’s collection.
Yuji's Knife: Masakage Kiri Nakiri 165mm
If you ask him how he is feeling, Spencer will tell you that he is feeling fantastic. Nobody quite knows how he manages to pull this off day after day, but we think it may be all the pizza he makes. Currently in training to become a professional marshmallow roaster, he has his sights set pretty darn high. For Spencer there is always one more knife to have, it just never ends. It turns out that having so many knives makes him that much more excited when someone comes in looking for one that he uses every day. He says he loves going out to new restaurants in the city to try everything, and with a list that he is constantly adding to, we believe him! Talking about food will make him a happy man.
Spencer's Knife: Fujiwara Denka Gyuto 210mm
Destin loves sharp knives and he's huge fanboy for Japanese steel. He cooks a lot of pasta recipes like spaghetti and lasagna. He gets creative with sauces and spices when it comes to creativity. When He's not in the mood for that he cooks latino foods such as papusa and empanadas and lots of tacos. He loves taco recipes, hope he masters tacos one day. If you have a weird obscure movie question Destin might just be your man.
Destin's Knife: Moritaka Ishime Gyuto 210mm
A veteran of many great kitchens, Kris spent over a decade chained to stoves cranking out fine dining. After easing back into civil society by cheese mongering he found his way to Knifewear in the summer of 2014. Kris has a soft spot for 210mm Gyutos and an affinity for the amazing Aogami Super. He believes that no kitchen is complete without at least one Koishi.
Kris' Knife: Fujiwara Denka Gyuto 150mm
After wrestling crocodiles and dingos for the first five years of her life in Australia, she moved to Canada to go into hiding as a Canadian. If you want to know about the benefits of a straight razor or a safety, she uses both and loves to wax poetic on the subject. You'll most likely meet Kate with a Doctor Who mug full of coffee in hand. She loves Doctor Who, classic rock, chocolate, and above all, dogs! Catch her on the right day, and she might even be nice to you.
Kate's Knife: Ironwood Handle Fujiwara Denka Petty 120mm
Jordan's hair is too big, and his pants are too tight, but he knows about knives so we keep him around. He started working at the Calgary store in 2011 after realizing there was no jobs in philosophy. He was the first guy on the block to buy a kamisori razor. Come give him knives to sharpen and talk to him about sludge metal.
Jordan's knife: Bob Kramer Euro Damascus Chef 150mm
The axe queen! Isabelle could talk all day about Wetterlings. A Shakespeare nerd to the core "is this a dagger i see before me?". Her first Japanese knife was a Moritaka Kiritsuke and now she thinks everyone should have one!
Isabelle's knife: Kotetsu R2 Migaki Bunka 180mm
Owen is another ex-chef among our ranks. he has been Chef-ing in Edmonton for around 12 years but gave it up to be a human being again! An avid music lover, he plays guitar, loves Radiohead, and has probably been to about 500 concerts. Oh, and he can most definitely beat you in a game of Street Fighter. come chat with him about football, and steel!
Owen's knife: Kitaoka Suminagashi Kiritsuke 240mm
Knifewear's first kilt wearer is our go-to guy for sharpening in the shop and at several restaurants around town. If you want something special ask for the "Shiba edge". When he’s not slinging knives you can find him behind a drum kit. Mark loves Guiness and poutine, in fact he has created the awesome ‘baked bean poutine'. It is a must if you've had too many pints.
Mark's knife: Masakage Koishi AS Gyuto 240mm
Leah embraces her morning hair and adores squirrels. You can often catch her milling over antiques and the legend of Zelda. She has fallen head over heels for Japanese blades and has recently discoverd her inner chef and is becoming a big Knife Nerd.
Leah's knife: Kitaoka Suminagashi Deba 180mm
Dylan is a metal head, horror fanatic, anime nerd, ex-WoW raider and reformed vegan. He has shaved with a straight razor for almost ten years. He loves imported beer, any kind of straight liquor and insanely spicy food. His cat's name Griswald is definitely a Diablo reference. Being a colourblind metal head, he wears black almost all the time. At least he thinks he does...
Dylan's knife: Masashi SLD 270mm Sujihiki
Chris is a relocated Maritimer that can be found slinking in and out the back doors of Ottawa's restaurants, often with his daughter in tow. Chris has been a fixture in the Ottawa food scene for the past 10 years and has recently laid down his apron to learn the ways of Knifewear. Chris loves cooking big pieces of meat over a live fire and spends his summer feeding wood into his BBQ, Lemmy Smoke-mister.
Chris's knife: Moritaka 240mm kiritsuke
Nic is an Ottawa native and Algonquin college culinary program graduate. After leaving the kitchen, he was drawn to Knifewear's rock and roll vibe. Nic can talk knives all day, and sharpen all night and be perfectly happy. He always has his knives on him, and is notorious for whipping out his 210mm Denka at any opportunity. When he isn't at the shop he is known to host fried chicken parties, and bus across the country for fun. Often seen out frequenting establishments with amazing beer and cocktails; however, he isn't above visiting a hole in the wall either. Nic's knife: Fujiwara Denka Gyuto 210mm
John came to Ottawa to study engineering. After graduating he realized Knifewear was the perfect way to nerd out about steel and handcrafted blades. He quickly got into classic shaving gear and sports a selection of safety, straight, and kamisori razors. His favourite knife is his Kotetsu, and he loves using it to cut fresh herbs for his home made phó soup. John can be spotted riding his motorcycle in the summer. Sharp knives and fast bikes make him a happy man. John's knife: Kotetsu R2 Migaki Gyuto 210mm
One is not simply born a 'punkrock assassin', for it is a title that is thrust upon him." Our man Eric hails from the East coast, born and bred in Moncton NB. When he's not dazzling literally dozens of fans with whatever band he's thrown together, he can usually be found at home alphabetizing, then chronologizing his record collection. Once quoted by Reader's Digest as being perhaps 'the most polite guy in Canada', Eric has quickly fallen in love with all things Knifewear, and Knifewear has quickly fallen in love with him. Eric's knife: Masakage Koishi 165mm Santoku