Hi there. I'm DJ Urbanovsky. I'm the owner of American Kami, established in 2004. I'm also the sole employee. If you see it here on this site, then I'm responsible for it. The design and administration of this site, the design and handcrafting of every single tool you see within these pages along with their carrying systems, any destructive sequences or auditory mayhem depicted herin - it's all done by little old me. If you're looking for somebody to blame for all of this stuff, then I'm your man!
So what's in a name? What's the story behind "American Kami"? That's simple, really. A Kami is a Nepali knife maker. More specifically, they make Khukuris - these guys make knives from start to finish with the most rudimentary of tools, and end up with highly refined blades. I take that idea of simplicity and apply some modern equipment and techniques to create the best products that I possibly can. I've adopted the "Kami" in American Kami because I have the utmost respect for these gentlemen, because handmade Nepali Khukuris were what first introduced me to the world of custom, handcrafted blades, and because like the Kamis, I build my blades to be used. I've adopted the "American" in American Kami because, well, that's what I am. That's it. That's me. DJ Urbanovsky - The American Kami.
But who is DJ Urbanovsky, really? I'm just a guy who got fed up with his soul sucking day job and decided to take a chance on a brighter future for himself. I wanted to do something that engaged my creativity, something that was challenging and rewarding, and something that would make people happy. I've always had a lifelong infatuation with blades and steel, ever since I was old enough to know what they were. I decided that it was time to make my dream a reality. So I got on the Internet and read my ass off. I bought books and read those too. I contacted a ton of master knife makers and picked their brains. I was like a sponge, soaking up every bit of information that I could. Then, under the watchful eye of one of those masters, I took the plunge and ground my first blade. That was all it took - I was hooked, the gears in my head started turning, and the rest as they say, is history. Sure, knife making is dirty, dangerous work. But I think it's the best job in the world.
My philosophies when it comes to making both edged and blunt tools are pretty simple:
*** I'm a regular guy. I work hard for my money. I know that you do too. If you're going to vote for me with your hard earned cash, then I'm going to make sure that I deliver to you the best value and the best product that I can.
*** If you're paying for it, then you should be able to have exactly the knife that you want, and I'll always do my best to accommodate your requests. I've been known to make suggestions, though. :)
*** I'm a clumsy bastard, so I build everything like I'm building it for myself - if it survives me making it, then it will survive you. If it doesn't, then I'll fix or replace it.
*** Every single thing that I make starts out as the finest raw materials available. I'm a firm believer in the old adage of "Buy once, cry once." To that end, only the best will do. You can't polish a turd.
*** I stand behind everything that I make. If there's ever a problem with something I've made, CONTACT ME! I'll make it right.
*** Some of my blades may be pretty and shiny, but don't let that fool you. I don't build safe queens, I build users. Like the Kamis from whom I take my name, I want you to go out and cut stuff! Be that as it may, if you like one of my knives so much that you feel it deserves to be displayed on your wall or mantle, or you like it too much to use it, I won't be offended (unlike the Kamis).
*** Stagnation is death, and to that end, I constantly strive to improve my skills and my blades. I spend a great deal of time testing and trying out new materials, designs, and techniques. It's a never-ending road. I walk it with joy.
Please take some time and check out the site. It's a work in progress, so if something's under construction, check back soon. Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you enjoy my blunt and edged tools.
Be safe out there, brothers and sisters.
--DJ Urbanovsky, AK