Who I am?
Michel Cadieux, I’m 40 years old and living with my partner, Jen, in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. I have been making handmade knives out of passion for the past two years as a hobbyist, and in the past six months’ have become a full-time maker.
What do you think are the most important characteristics of your work?
Quality, reliability, form and function- definitely. I make user grade knives that are tested and used by real outdoor enthusiasts and professionals in expedition environments in wilderness settings worldwide. These are not knives that you would put on your mantle and admire- they’re meant to be used. I put my knives through more abuse than any reasonable person would ever need to put their handmade knives through in normal use, to ensure that they’re there when they’re needed.
How does your work history relate to the tools you produce?
I took a 13 month training program at a technical institute and became a Welder and Structural Fitter, which brought me to Alberta in Western Canada and worked in the metal trades for 15 years, in the last 5 years as a CSA (Canadian Standards Association) certified Visual Inspector and NDT (non-destructive testing) technician with the CGSB (Canadian General Standards Board). This training and experience has left me with a deep and thorough understanding of metallurgy way beyond simple heat treatment. I get the most out of the steels that I choose for my hand crafted knives and tools and my background as a welder has given me a steady hand that lends extremely well to the stock removal process in knife making.
Are you an outdoor enthusiast?
I grew up in the Gatineau Valley of Quebec, Canada, and am French-Canadian. I grew up in a very small town where my father, uncles and cousins would track, hunt, trap and fish as a way of life. I returned to wilderness when first exposed to the grandeur and beauty of the rocky mountains, the open west coast of Vancouver Island, and the haunting lakes within the Northern Boreal Forests of Alberta. I am a certified Nordic Ski Instructor with CANSI (Canadian Assoc. Nordic Ski Instructors), Assistant Overnight Guide with SKGABC (Sea Kayak Guides Alliance of BC), Guide trainee with ISKGA (Int’l Sea Kayak Guides Assoc.) and am certified in 40 hrs WAFAR (Wilderness Advanced First Aid Responder). I’m a hiker, tracker, mountain biker, cross country skier, and sea kayaker and love the wilderness more than most things in life. I have been fortunate enough to be on a sea kayak expedition in Southeast Alaska earlier this year, and am currently beginning training as an Ice Rescue Technician in preparation for several upcoming expeditions in the Canadian Arctic as well as Northern Norway/ Russia/ Sweden.
We make knives with painstaking, passionate attention to every detail, to make tools that will last a lifetime and longer and those that you can safely rely on in challenging, adverse conditions such as the expedition environment. I guarantee my tools for life.