Last Updated: February 12, 2016

One of the most unique knives in the shops, a kamagata was traditionally used by shoemakers to cut rubber into the soles of shoes. After a bit of hmmming and hawwwing from the blacksmiths, they were convinced to make the blades thinner and give them the same amount of love that a kitchen knife gets.

It’s actually called a kamagata nakiri, and makes an excellent vegetable knife. Imagine slicing basil into a perfect chiffonade or chopping a shallot into a brunoise that is deserving of pat on the back from Marco Pierre White. Line cooks love these guys because they are shorter in length but capable of tackling most tasks that pop up during a busy service.

A kamagata is the perfect knife for someone I would call a “paring knife cook”, you know that person who drags a tiny knife through everything to cut it and is terrified of a longer knife.

Think of it like kitchen training wheels, short enough that no one is afraid but tall enough you can actually chop with it. I bought a Kumo Kamagata for my mom, thinking that she would get used to the height and eventually start reaching for a larger knife. So far so good.

Chris Lord

Chris Lord


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.