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Dec 18, 2009 11:29 AM

Kramer Knife - What is this all about??

I thought maybe some of you folks might find this interesting, and might be able to explain this whole situation to me :)

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  1. What's to explain, a Maybach knife with a Maybach price.

    8 Replies
    1. re: wolfe

      Are these things coveted by chefs? That pricing just seems absolutely crazy. Not that it's overpriced as i'm sure it requires insane skill and comprises the best craftsmaship imaginable but crazy that there would be a market for a knife that expensive.

      Do people buy these things and use them, or do they end up in obscenely rich people's display cases? :)

      1. re: ryth

        Nope, chefs covet and use them. The wait list is insane. It's gotten worse (pricing and wait) in the last couple years. Kramer is one of the premier knife maker in the world. He actually makes his own damascus (as opposed to all the other damascus knives which are made from damascus clad stock).

        Even shun has made a commercial knife with his name on it.

        1. re: deeznuts

          Actually, he has closed his waiting list as his backlog is 3+ years. These auctions are about immediate gratification as well as status and performance. Kramer is one of the few custom knife makers who focuses on kitchen knives.

          1. re: Richard L

            Normally a kramer chef's would take you back about 3k..... Of course the recent news focus on his knives have only raised the ante. Regardless, his collaboration w/ Shun is a very close second for us mere mortals. They are hand made and offer the same benefits in the kitchen. The Shun colabs are still pricey ($340 for a chef's), they are much more obtainable. Although my friend's old boss just got notification by BK that his knives were made & ready for purchase after being in the waiting list for 2.5 years..... How annoying since the man doesn't even cook. Must be nice to be rich sometimes....

            1. re: marlow96

              Aren't Shun Elite and Shun Kaji more cost effective than the Shun Bob Kramer Meji knives? They are all SG-2 powder steel core anyway.

              Bob Kramer Meji Chef's is: $400 here


              where both Elite and Kaji are $220:



              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                Sure. But, <Insert Car Analogy with Honda and Ferrari here>

                Did you see the true damascus on that Kramer knife? It's gorgeous even for a manufactured knife

                1. re: deeznuts


                  I won't say Shun Kaji vs Shun Meji is like comparing Honda vs Ferrari. Afterall, Shun Kaji is not considered as affordable everyday knives. They are both upscale kitchen knives. If we are talking about beauty alone, then I would argue that Shun Premier knives are better looking with Tsuchime pattern:


                  Of course, there is the overpriced (in my opinion) Henckel 1731. I do not even understand who would pay for these, but people do:


            2. re: Richard L

              NO professional chef would ever dream of working w/ one of these knives in a busy kitchen! If it is used in a professional kitchen, someone should contact KPS!

      2. Bob Kramer is one of the few best knife makers. As such, his knives worth a lot. What you saw in eBay is considered a great deal which is why people are bidding on it. As of now, 26 bids.

        1. A couple of years ago, my dad was in a Takashimaya department store in Tokyo. He saw a pretty ceramic cup for green tea on display, casually picked it up, looked at the price on the bottom, and put it back down *very* carefully. The price tag read 2,000,000 yen (about $22,000 at current exchange rates).

          3 Replies
            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

              I agree. I work in a culinary shop & am one of the knife experts there. We sell some gorgeous knives, but they are truly meant only for home use &/or appreciation. I can spot a prof. kitchen employee as soon as they hit up our Forschners. On the other hand, should they be dumb enough to take their Kramers or Shun collaboration w/ them to work & get damaged (duh).... I know that Shun will honor their lifetime warranty & replace it.... Hopefully w/ a loud "tsk, tsk!".

              1. re: marlow96


                Agree. Shun probably provides the best knife warranty and service among Japanese knife manufacturer. I think that is the difference. In a Japanese professional kitchen, an employee bring his/her knives in. No one will touch another person's knives. Knives are much more personal in a Japanese kitchen. Heh, every cultures have their own version of privacy.

          1. These knives may be coveted by chefs, but they are more works of art than tools of the trade. I doubt very much you will ever find one being used in a restaurant, even if the executive chef owns one (probably only brings it out to impress the guests at home -- and I, for one, would be impressed). They may not all be in display cases , but are they used on the job? Not likely. Any chef who can afford a $4500 knife knows better than to bring something that valuable to work, and anyway, chopping onions is no longer part of their job description. If they need to cut anything they're probably using a $25 Forschner just like everyone else.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Zeldog

              Knifeforums is full of chefs/line workers who definitely do not use $25 forschners. Of course there are those who don't care about what knives they use, but it certainly isn't "everyone."

              In fact, I believe it was those who toil away long hours in the kitchen that helped fuel the search for and now popularity of japanese knives.

              1. re: Zeldog

                I agree, but the clear danger in bringing in your own high end knives is that you better have eyes behind your head. In a busy kitchen, there is not always time to search for the "proper tool" to use for a task.... hence the chef's knife gets used to pop open a can or slice into something rough...... Not to mention that there always stands a chance that a nice knife will grow legs and go AWOL. Why tempt fate?

                1. re: marlow96

                  Yes very clear danger. That is a concern. Someone is going to up and steal your knives. But just pointing out that there are those who use knives better than the Forschners grabbed at the local restaurant supply store. Some of these knives while having an unassuming look can be quite pricey as well.

                2. re: Zeldog

                  Kramer knives are workhorse not meant to be put in a display case. You use it and abuse the sh-t out of it and it continues to slice and dice as long as you hone them. Same as you would with a 30k race bike (ultra strong and super light). You don't pay that much to lock them up. Olympian and cyclist (at those Tour de France) abuse the crap out of their bikes and they continues to deliver. If you afraid it grows feet and disappears, leave it but use them at home.

                3. Some people pay a million for a Andy Warhol soup can and some $5,000 for real art. Think of labor that took to make this knife. I will guess about 3 to 6 months. The years of learning working damascus, many, very many.