Two would-be robbers, one armed with a knife, fled a Hamilton dairy after the shopkeeper activated a fog cannon in the store.

Waikato police Senior Sergeant Phil Ruddell said the two men went into Tui Dairy on the corner of Heaphy Tce and Howden Rd about 6.30pm on Sunday.

"One [offender] had a knife and the shopkeeper has activated the fog cannon and the two have run off.

"[Fog cannons] are proving their value," he said.

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There were currently no further details on what the two men looked like but police carried out inquiries in the area last night.

The pair were still being sought by police.

Anyone who noticed any suspicious activity around the dairy at the time is urged to contact Hamilton police on 07 858 6200.