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Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada | Years Designing: 18
James McGowan of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, is an avid outdoorsman and Toronto Firefighter. He says, "I rely on knives daily. The limitations of factory knives became evident, and I began collecting custom-made knives. This led to my passion which is creating my own handmade knives. Learning from veteran knifemakers such as Murray St. Amour, Roger Toner and George Tichbourne, I developed my own formula for producing durable and aesthetically pleasing knives which can endure extreme conditions. The demands by friends and colleagues for my custom designed knives grew and through their encouragement I began offering my products to the public in 1998 as a member of the Canadian Knifemakers' Guild. My mission is to provide high-quality products for people who demand hard working knives." In his shop, J. McGowan Knives, he specializes in fixed blades using handle materials from the practical to the exotic. James is the designer of the CRKT M.A.K.-1 and Extrik-8-R.