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Nov 1, 2008 07:11 PM

Knifeware in inglewood!

Hey hounds.... anybody been in to the Knifeware inside Bite Groceria on 9th?


What a selection of crafted tools! We spent an hour in there today speaking with the owner and knife enthusiast Kevin, who was a wealth of information and so entertaining to visit with. After dicing and slicing we left with a nice hand forged Japanese veggie knife, which we have spent the evening using (for no good reason but to cut!) In any case it was a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon.. oh and the coffee at Bite isn't to shabby either.

If you think your Henkel is a tool.. time to visit Knifeware and ask for a tomato!

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  1. Kevin is great - i've had some knives sharpened by him and i'll probably be buying a christmas present there too - i just don't know what to buy, all his knives are so beautiful!

    2 Replies
    1. re: pants

      I've seen his webiste-Calgarians are lucky to have someone operating a shop like that!

      For those who don't own a real Japanese knife-nothing compares it makes cooking!

      1. re: Sam Salmon

        Yep. Lucky indeed. Nothing in Vancouver even comes close!

    2. yep, *knifewear is great. i've already spent too much money there on knives i don't really need.

      1. I love going in to talk to Kevin. I had a crush on his knives since seeing them online, but pictures do not do these blades justice. You must see them first hand to take in how beautiful they are!

        1. I went looking to get a new knife there and found that Kevin had moved location to his own store front about 1 block east of Bite. His new address is 100a, 1316 9th Ave SE.

          5 Replies
          1. re: Zydecopapa

            Just watch it guys. The knives are Japanese. Very beautiful yes...but useful no! Take a moment to think about this: What are the main components of Japanese cuisine? Rice. Fish. Veggies. Does the Japanese cuisine include meat? Answer: No.

            With that said... There is a huge discrepancy here. How do you expect a carnivorous rich society such as our own to find use in blades that were not designed in the least for cutting meat, meat with bones, birds, animals...etc. These blades, yes! Strong NO. They cannot hold an edge, and are less than adequate for carving proteins. I can tell you countless people who cook for a living ... all over the world who remain tried and close to their European designed and manufactured blades. They are strong, sturdy - will not break with the slightest tap to a bone. Sure, if you want a show kitchen invest in Japanese knives, but if you want to be sure that you are not going to slice open your organic rack of lamb or tenderloin to find a small piece of japanese damascus steel... Then with many years in the industry i suggest European knives are the way to go!

            1. re: cornstarch

              Funny how a major European knife manufacturer invested in a Japanese foundry to manufacture some of their highest end knives. Yes Henckels and their Twin Cermax line are made in Japan.

              With love and care, Japanese knives definitely do hold an edge. As well, there are many more blade designs than vegetable and sashimi knives. There are boning specific and meat specific blades made by the Japanese foundries.

              I have been more than satisfied with my Moritakas, which have outperformed the high end European knives that I have used in the past.

              Each to their own I suppose though.

              1. re: cornstarch

                What ARE you talking about? I'm really having trouble working through your logic.

                First you said Japanese knives are not good for meat because the Japanese eat a lot of fish then you implied Japanese knives are likely to leave a piece of metal in your fish.

                As far as Japanese knives go I offer you shabu shabu and the centuries of sword making expertise..

                "When do we (the average recreational home) require such a sensitive tool to slice a tomato?"

                Who mentioned thin slices of tomato? You did. That means you are presenting arguments against a position that hasn't even been raised.

                A sharp knife is less likely to slip and cause an injury. This is important to a home cook as well as the professional.

                I understand that you don't like Japanese knives. Fair enough. And I guess this is based on your own experience and that of your friends. Fair enough. Just leave the fish/meat/ thin tomato argument out of it, please.

              2. re: cornstarch

                I try to look at my knives as tools (as I'm sure you do also) - where you use the right tool for the right job. For example: would I use my Japanese steel to French a rack of lamb? No, I would use my European Boning Knife. Further, would I use that Boning knife to cut a sack of onions for Onion Soup? No, for that; I'll take my Japanese knife every time. In regards to cutting meat - I find my Japanese steel works very well on BBQ Brisket (note: no bone). Would I carve a turkey or break down a leg of lamb? Nope: back to the European steel. Right tool - right job.

                1. re: cornstarch

                  Last time I checked, North American also eat rice, fish and vegetables, (although I don't know why you would need a knife for rice? Do you think japanese people slice their rice??)
                  I know countless people who cook for a living who swear by Europen knives and countless others who swear by Japanese ones. But very few of these professional cooks use one knife for everything, and most of them have a variety of knives from different place and for different prep jobs.
                  Oh yeah, and i think they have some sort of fancy beef in Japan, wouldn't they need a knife to somehow slice that?

              3. There seems to be a lot of smack talk about Japanese vs. European Knives going on. I work in the industry and prefer to use only Japanese knives, mostly because I like the ability to finesse my ingredients rather than smash them. I like when my cuts are precise and exact. As far as the sustainability of the blades I butcher all my own meat from whole animals and I have never had a problem with any of them chipping or breaking, probably cause I try not to hack the bones. I guess the idea is: to each their own. I know some people that swear by the European Knives but I am really seeing a bigger movement towards Japanese Knives in the professional kitchens. I am really happy that there is a place like knifewear in the city and Kevin is a wealth of knowledge. Best of luck in your new store.

                5 Replies
                1. re: Geoff89

                  I agree, last time I was there, Kevin and my boyfriend and I had an hour-long conversation about boning knives over a couple beers (when he was still at bite). He's a cool guy and deffinitelly loves and knows his stuff.

                  1. re: Geoff89

                    I picked up a Tojiro chef's knife along with a boning knife last year and was thinking that the boning knife would get little use compared to the chef's knife. Boy was I wrong, the boning knife is so fun and precise to use on any meats (if you're gonna hack through a bone you wouldn't ever do it with either a Japanese or European knife). I even use the boning knife to fillet fish as it's better than my European fillet knife. I'm envious of Geoff, wish I needed to butcher whole animals :)

                    There's good and bad knives in each sector/region and everyone is different in how they use a knife, you can't really generalize anything. It's good to see an alternative to the generic Henkels (not that there's anything wrong with them) in our city.

                    1. re: slingshotz

                      ive had my eye one one of those boning knives for a while! lucky!

                      1. re: hungryungry

                        All this talk about boning is making me... hungry.

                        1. re: John Manzo

                          I'll add my voice to all the praise for Knifewear. I actually came up with an excuse to visit Calgary from Vancouver last week so that I could drop in and see what all the fuss is about and man! I wasn't disappointed.

                          Kevin has put together a world class selection of some of the best Japanese knives including a lot of custom made knives.
                          These aren't inexpensive but they are very competitively priced and this is honestly as good as any of the better stores in North America.
                          He also offers free shipping on any purchase over $200. and that's the way I plan to go.

                          The only minor complaint is his website which I completely understand is on Kevin's to do list and will wait patiently for him to update so that I can drool from a distance. I was there on two separate days trying knives, taking notes and just trying to get a sense of the selection so that I can start ordering in the next while.
                          Kevin is a cool guy and he's done Calgary (and himself) proud!