Gary Greer

Gary Greer

Gary lives in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and for as long as he can remember he’s had an affinity for knives. His first recollection is when, at 6 years old, his Dad gave him a jackknife. By the time he was 15 he had a collection of 7 knives.  But what drove him to make his own knives was when he was hunting with his Dad and the $30.00 Canadian Tire knife he was using to skin a deer lost its edge almost immediately.  He said to himself "there must be a better way to make a working knife". He always liked designing and making things with steel and wood, so it was a natural fit when he started making knives 45 years ago.  Little did he know that knifemaking would become his lifelong passion.

When Gary started in the 1980’s there were few knifemakers to learn from.  But he connected with two Saskatchewan knifemakers who made knives from used, large saw mill blades. Gary modeled his process from them but he didn’t have a grinder or a buffer so he hand-filed and satin finished the first dozen knives, not an easy task when the steel had been heat treated already. However, when the knives he made from carbon steel for friends came back covered in rust he realized he needed to learn about high quality stainless steel. He read articles in Knives Illustrated and Blade then tracked down the authors, mainly in the southern US, and he would “pick the brains” of anyone who would talk to him.

Over the following years he gained an extensive knowledge of metallurgy and heat treatments. He feels “the soul of the knife is in the heat treating”. Gary is a life-long learner, and even now he constantly challenges himself to be creative and learn new techniques. He says “in many cases, it was learning what not to do versus how to do it right the first time”.

Gary says there are hundreds of ways to make a knife and when making an art knife, he will often take several weeks just to design it. All his designs take into account ergonomic principles. Every knife he makes whether it is a sportsman, EDC (Every Day Carry) or art knife, is designed to be a useful, functional tool and in the case of his art knives, a creative piece of functional art. Some of his handles have 40 separate pieces. 

Gary always keeps in mind his reputation and refers to himself as a “meticulous knifemaker who pays great attention to fit and finish”. You could say he is a perfectionist. He scrutinizes each knife to make sure it has no obvious flaws.  If there is a flaw, that only he can see, he commits to never letting it happen again.  He wants every customer to feel the pride of owning a handcrafted knife that is unique and special. In the past he exhibited his knives in New York and Chicago. Now he focuses primarily on the Canadian market.

He often likes to do a Stonewash finish as an alternative to mirror polishing.  He does this by taking the blade to a 220 grit and then it goes into a ferric acid bath that blackens the blade. Finally, he puts the blade into a stone tumbling device he made himself. The result is an attractive etched blade finish.

When asked what he can pass along to others he said:   “A knife starts out as a spark of an idea … something I dream of making. Then I challenge myself to learn all of the techniques to make that dream become a reality.” Also "always remember that failure is the first step towards success and most times it takes many tries to get it right."

Contact Gary and view his website at:

Share this post...

Previous post Next post


Leave a comment