Knifewear – Calgary, Alberta

1316 9 Ave SE

As someone who spends time scouring the internet for information about food and it’s related items, Knifewear is just one of the many discoveriess I’ve been meaning to visit. Located in the beautifully gentrified Inglewood area just outside of the downtown core, this knife shop isn’t your average cookie cutter utensil emporium. Think of that scene in Crocodile Dundee, you know the ‘That ain’t a knife, this is a knife’ scene, and you might just start to understand what an amazing focus this store has.

I’d sent a few emails to Kevin, the man behind Knifewear, in the last few months as I tried to get a better understanding for the knife that may suit my purpose. See, I have knives at home, and while they aren’t your average knives, they are in no way, shape, or form close to what is available here. The knives here are brought in from Japan by Kevin and his crew of very knowledge staff (and some have an innate ability to grow mustaches), and they are very sharp. Don’t believe me, just walk in, take a knife and start slicing the pile of vegetables that are sitting on the counter. You’ll see…

When Kevin, who if I haven’t said is very likable, mentioned that the online store doesn’t do the actual space justice, I didn’t know what to expect. Walking into the shop, and actually seeing the truth behind these words was amazing…but, it screwed up any preexisting plans as to which knife I would walk out with. After introducing myself, his memory was jogged and we were off to the races in more ways than one. Not the kind of guy that will stay focused on you, he knows that selecting a high end knife will take some time..maybe even personal reflection.

In-between topics that included everything from photography to Led Zeppelin, I started to build a deeper appreciation for the artists that create these pieces. From start to finish, knives have a long history in Japan and the products here continue to pass along those famous genes. Kevin’s enthusiasm exploded when he showed me the first of his very own line of customer Knifewear knives. Designed and made in Japan, just for him.

Eventually though, after I’d sliced and julienned my way through countless vegetables, I decided to jump in. Feeling quite comfortable with a Nakiri knife, in the 165mm range, Kevin was quick to run the tables and display my possible choices. We discussed everything from care (I don’t need a crazy knife that requires babying) to handles and materials, before slicing even more vegetables. With a good idea in my head, I inquired about the price. Running the gauntlet from about $175 to $1000, I chopped a few of the options off the top, before finally selecting the knife.

Nakiri Heaven

I can’t tell you enough how sharp and wonderful this knife is. Slicing carrots into paper thin pieces just blew my mind when I got home. In fact, I can slice vegetables so thin that I swear they disappear. Nakiri’s are designed for vegetables, something I cut a LOT of, so to say I’m extremely happy with my experience, wouldn’t do the afternoon I spent at Knifewear justice. If you are in the market for a world class knife, I wouldn’t hesitate to point you in the direction of Knifewear. I already have a knife in mind when I come back to Calgary.

7 thoughts on “Knifewear – Calgary, Alberta

  1. Knives tend to be the most underrated tool in the kitchen. Most people are OK with run of the mill, cheapo knives. However, once you have used a really good one, your experience, as you mentioned, changes completely. You can chop faster, cleaner cuts and so on. Of course, be careful you don’t slice your own fingers! 😀

    But, here is the odd question: did you get a sharpening stone as well? 😉

    • Careful, that is definitely the name of the game right now. I may be chopping slower than usual for awhile, but it’s all in the name of safety. I did not get a sharpening stone yet, just a properly rated ceramic honing rod. The first sharpening is free, so as I get into the world of knives, I hope to learn a bit more.

  2. That store is fun, foodosopher took me there once. Nice selection of product. That tomato slicing station is pretty fun eh? There’s a shop in Vancouver that handles similar product I think, perhaps slightly limited in product line however.

    • The selection keeps growing too, so it’s becoming quite the store. Yes, the tomato slicing is awesome, and probably one of the best ways to sell people on how sharp a knife is.

  3. Aw, I really have to get down there. How cool is being able to try out the knife in the store?

  4. I remember when I got my new set of knives, I was amazed that I used my cheap old set for so long. You just get used to mediocre being what’s normal that your jaw really drops when you try new stuff.

  5. Pingback: Only Here for the Food » Blog Archive » Food Notes for April 12, 2010

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