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Michael Rader
05-11-2011, 08:41 PM
Sorry, but here is one for all those Kramer-haters. Just to put things in perspective - there are worse things out there than $12,000 damascus chef knives:

$1000 popscicle (http://www.foxnews.com/leisure/2011/05/11/1000-popscicle/?test=faces)

http://www.fototime.com/D5AE9DC4D38C2A4/standard.jpg

-M

heirkb
05-11-2011, 09:12 PM
I guess I don't drink tequila enough to really know why anyone would pay 1500 dollars for a bottle of tequila. Is it supposed to taste better or is it like vodka where it's supposed to taste more and more like water the "better" it is? If so, why the hell would you pay 1500 dollars to drink something that tastes like water? I'd spend that money on a Kramer over booze any day...

rockbox
05-11-2011, 09:23 PM
I don't think anyone hates on Bob. Bob is a cool guy. I think people are just a little peeved that the market price for his knives have been set by people that probably cook once a week for their friends in their high rise Manhattan apartment or McMansion.

Edit:

Not that there is anything wrong with cooking for your friend in a McMansion other than I'm not in that situation myself.

mr drinky
05-11-2011, 09:24 PM
Hey, don't knock booze -- especially vodka.

k.

Mattias504
05-11-2011, 09:52 PM
I don't think anyone hates on Bob. Bob is a cool guy. I think people are just a little peeved that the market price for his knives have been set by people that probably cook once a week for their friends in their high rise Manhattan apartment or McMansion

+1.

Potato42
05-11-2011, 10:16 PM
For $1,000, my popsicle better come with a super hot girl to sensuously consume it with innuendo in every lick. And for $1,000, she had better be hungry for more than a popsicle!

Tristan
05-11-2011, 10:34 PM
Hmm that's still alright. At least the ingredients are partially the reason why it costs so much. How about a $233,972 bottle of wine?

http://www.decanter.com/news/wine-news/505860/hong-kong-wine-insiders-call-sotheby-s-lafite-prices-insane

The newly minted billianaires in China are warping perceived values of the ultra luxuries in the world. Quite interesting for all those people who were formerly sitting on things that now can fetch even more ridiculous prices.

Michael Rader
05-11-2011, 11:16 PM
I wasn't sure if this thread was appropriate and might have even put it in the wrong place, but I consider Bob my friend and I want him to be successful. I want other custom kitchen knife makers to be successful and I want to be successful. The other day I had a customer who told me, after ordering a custom 10" Chef knife, that I was crazy for asking what I did and did not place the order. I know it's a lot of money, but this is what I do for a living, so when I find examples of $4000 handbags, $15,000 chairs, $1,000,000 cars and $1000 popsicle, it just makes me feel that I am right where I need to be. And a $233,972 bottle of wine... Yep, I'm good.
-M

p.s. you know, while I'm on a mini-rant here, I must say, of any small investment, a knife is really a good one. A bottle of wine gets drank (drunk?) most cars get junked, handbags get torn & worn, Popsicles get licked (by a hot woman - right?) but a knife can last a thousand years. Those $12,000+ Kramers will be in the family for generations. Kind of interesting to think about.

Salty dog
05-11-2011, 11:20 PM
You are. I consider every knife I've purchased from you a very good value.

Salty dog
05-11-2011, 11:21 PM
and the slicer was a steal.

Potato42
05-11-2011, 11:24 PM
Lol yeah I'm sure there might be some out there who would not scoff at a $1k popsicle, but I don't know any of 'em! Fortunately for us, there are many here who would not scoff at your prices Michael. Unfortunately for you, we can't all afford one (or two, or three!):laugh: A man of your talent should not be afraid to ask confidently for what you're worth.

Michael Rader
05-11-2011, 11:26 PM
Salty. Glad you like it. And, I'll have to make another one of those. Maybe I can auction it off? Should I start at, say, $5000? Let the bidding begin :-)

(Just kidding Dave, don't flush this thread... please.)
-M

Potato42
05-11-2011, 11:27 PM
p.s. you know, while I'm on a mini-rant here, I must say, of any small investment, a knife is really a good one. A bottle of wine gets drank (drunk?) most cars get junked, handbags get torn & worn, Popsicles get licked (by a hot woman - right?)

Right!:drool::lol2:

Salty dog
05-11-2011, 11:27 PM
I wasn't sure if this thread was appropriate and might have even put it in the wrong place, but I consider Bob my friend and I want him to be successful. I want other custom kitchen knife makers to be successful and I want to be successful. The other day I had a customer who told me, after ordering a custom 10" Chef knife, that I was crazy for asking what I did and did not place the order. I know it's a lot of money, but this is what I do for a living, so when I find examples of $4000 handbags, $15,000 chairs, $1,000,000 cars and $1000 popsicle, it just makes me feel that I am right where I need to be. And a $233,972 bottle of wine... Yep, I'm good.
-M

p.s. you know, while I'm on a mini-rant here, I must say, of any small investment, a knife is really a good one. A bottle of wine gets drank (drunk?) most cars get junked, handbags get torn & worn, Popsicles get licked (by a hot woman - right?) but a knife can last a thousand years. Those $12,000+ Kramers will be in the family for generations. Kind of interesting to think about.

There in lies the rub. True, that knife can last generations......if left unused or rarely used. The art isn't in the knife it's in the function.

Just as art isn't what the artist produces. It's the artist producing.

Michael Rader
05-11-2011, 11:33 PM
Hmmm. Good point, I forgot how much you guys like sharpening :-) I find my dull knives spread peanut butter better and that's why I don't like Burke's knives - they take too long to get dull.

(You owe me one, Bill!)
-M

Tristan
05-12-2011, 12:03 AM
Yeah, it only retains and grows continuously in value if the product is left untouched for the future owner to enjoy. Like that wine goes back to 1872 I think (i'm lazy to open it up and read it again, please don't hang me)... someone could have drank it prior to today.

Don't hate on the users. Kudos to the people who drive Ferraris in gentleman races, who put their Birkin bags on the floor as they read the papers at the bus stop, who sharpen and strop their kramers, and who drink the damn $233,972 bottles of wine.

mr drinky
05-12-2011, 12:05 AM
After watching Fowler's YouTube videos on making that knife a couple of months back, I feel every custom knife is a value.

k.

rockbox
05-12-2011, 12:24 AM
I wasn't sure if this thread was appropriate and might have even put it in the wrong place, but I consider Bob my friend and I want him to be successful. I want other custom kitchen knife makers to be successful and I want to be successful. The other day I had a customer who told me, after ordering a custom 10" Chef knife, that I was crazy for asking what I did and did not place the order. I know it's a lot of money, but this is what I do for a living, so when I find examples of $4000 handbags, $15,000 chairs, $1,000,000 cars and $1000 popsicle, it just makes me feel that I am right where I need to be. And a $233,972 bottle of wine... Yep, I'm good.
-M

p.s. you know, while I'm on a mini-rant here, I must say, of any small investment, a knife is really a good one. A bottle of wine gets drank (drunk?) most cars get junked, handbags get torn & worn, Popsicles get licked (by a hot woman - right?) but a knife can last a thousand years. Those $12,000+ Kramers will be in the family for generations. Kind of interesting to think about.

I don't think anyone here begrudges Bob for his success. We are talking about buying clones of his knife for near the price that he used to sell his originals for just 5 years ago. I think the displeasure stems from the fact that his target market isn't people like us anymore. How many guys who work in a kitchen for a living can afford a 12K dollar knife or 4k for that matter? The only bad thing about Bob fetching 20K for one of his knives on ebay is the fact that I can't afford it. I guess it sucks to be me. Fortunately, there are really nice knives from really great makers that can be had for a less discriminatory price point.

steeley
05-12-2011, 12:39 AM
Buster Warenski GEM OF THE ORIENT $850,000.00

http://img821.imageshack.us/img821/159/caf339.jpg (http://img821.imageshack.us/i/caf339.jpg/)

dough
05-12-2011, 01:27 AM
i like this thread...
the more i learn about the knife making process or the more different knife makers are kind enough to share the process with us... the more respect i have for custom knife makers. i think most people have no conception for what a custom knife can mean.
imo custom knife makers making kitchen knives gaining popularity works to make all cooks better. most cooks i know are used to yelling out shun or global or blah boring knives everyone owns... even fewer understand how to use stones much less to use them to finish the grind to suit their style... to me the bevel is a personal thing and no matter the maker the edge will become mine as i will use and sharpen my knives according to how i like to use them.
its been over the past few years but i hear more and more buzz about tryin to understand there can be more.
talking about dollar values here is silly because most cooks i know... meaning most people i know that use kitchen knives barely understand the $200 price tag for a kitchen knife.

bob
05-12-2011, 01:40 AM
I too think custom knives are not overprice, considering the time it takes to make one.

Mattias504
05-12-2011, 01:48 AM
People at work always ask me how much my knives cost. I hardly ever tell them and I just have them guess. One picked up my red bone Nenox suji and he started the guessing at $150. Way off dude. Some people's absurd is another's normal.

Potato42
05-12-2011, 05:55 AM
I know of one custom maker that I think is on the pricey side, and that's Jay Fisher. $2k+ for a 440C blade? No thanks. If you want to laugh/or cry, go read about his "philosophy" of knifemaking. His reasoning for using 440C on everything is laughable. Then again if you're a collector and not a user, you can rest assured it probably wont rust sitting in your safe.

MadMel
05-12-2011, 07:43 AM
Well I guess all that matters is if someone can afford it or not. Quite a while ago, I was in a love/hate relationship with my chef cos he could afford a Misono and I had to use some crappy stamped $15 knives. Now my peers are in a love/hate relationship with me cos I can afford J-knives and they are still using stamped $15 knives. It all depends on where you are in the world.

Justin0505
05-12-2011, 06:50 PM
... Certainly an interesting thread. I've often thought about this myself. I think that one of the things that makes knife value/prices confusing is that knives (kitchen knives in particular are tools) and, by most people, are viewed as such. Thus, their perceived value is seen as directly related to their performance. Like buying a cordless drill, there is a tangible, quantifiable, performance improvement with each level of price increase.

As with all tools, there comes a point of diminishing returns where the ratio of price to improvement becomes steeper and steeper. However, where knives are different is there becomes a point where they become an artistic, emotionally charged item and then their value becomes based on the perception and emotional experience of the buyer and not any real tangible improvements in performance.

Personally, I think that we can all agree (as Knuts) that makers like Rader, Thomas, Burke, Fowler ect are still basing their prices on tangible factors like thier time and material costs and the individualized performance of their knifes. However, as many have pointed out, there is very little tangible difference between their knives and thoes of Kramer. The prices that the eBay Kramers are going for are clearly based on emotional reaction.

I don't know exactly how to phrase my point other than by saying that while logically, you'd think that something that is BOTH art and a highly functional tool, would be more highly valued / understandable than something that is JUST art, it seems to me that it actually makes it MORE confusing to people who can't understand it as both.

So my question is this: at what price point do the tangible benefits end and emotional value totally take over?

The last thing that I'll add goes to the idea of the relative value of money that some other folks brought up:
The first kitchen knife that I bought as a kid was $20 and it was a HUGE investment: I had to save for a long time (poor family growing up). So if I extrapolate that out to my financial picture as an adult with a good job, an equivalent purchase would easily be in the 10's if not 100's of thousands of dollars.

mr drinky
05-12-2011, 07:14 PM
Whatever my functional versus emotional value tipping point is, the one thing I do wish is that the dollar were still worth more than the Canadian dollar so Pierre and Haslinger's knives would be cheaper.

On the other hand all the Norwegian, Australian, and Canadian forum members are getting discounted American knives.

k.

shankster
05-12-2011, 07:32 PM
Whatever my functional versus emotional value tipping point is, the one thing I do wish is that the dollar were still worth more than the Canadian dollar so Pierre and Haslinger's knives would be cheaper.

On the other hand all the Norwegian, Australian, and Canadian forum members are getting discounted American knives.

k.

There isn't that much difference between Can $ and U.S $
$1.04 U.S = $1.00 Can not that bad

If I order anything from the States,not only do I pay shipping but I also get slapped with duties/tarrifs.Not much of a discount...

mr drinky
05-12-2011, 07:53 PM
True, but you are just measuring it against parity. For someone who has been used to non-parity pretty much his whole life there is a big difference. In 2001 it was around 1.60 CD to buy one USD, in 2004 it was around 1.30, 2006 it was 1.15. And with the exception of 2009 where it shot up into the 1.20s again, the CD has been worth more or has been near parity.

k.

shankster
05-12-2011, 08:17 PM
True, but you are just measuring it against parity. For someone who has been used to non-parity pretty much his whole life there is a big difference. In 2001 it was around 1.60 CD to buy one USD, in 2004 it was around 1.30, 2006 it was 1.15. And with the exception of 2009 where it shot up into the 1.20s again, the CD has been worth more or has been near parity.

k.

ah,how the tables have turned...:biggrin:
just kidding.even with a stronger Canadian $ we still pay more than you for almost everything,cars, beer,knives all the necessities of life.:biggrin2:

Eamon Burke
05-12-2011, 09:46 PM
I often think about how long knives last. It really hit me when I saw a giant outdoor knife in 3V, with a stabilized wood handle. That thing will be dug up in 2,000 years, and people will make assumptions about how it must have been used, or why it was made so well. It was just made for fun, because a guy had a huge bar of 3V he didn't need.

The problem with these items, the reason people get upset by them, is because they bring up a class issue. Today, the classes divide where amounts of money stop mattering, and your wealth is a matter of how your money is moving, not how much it is. If you have $45billion, you don't have less things or quality of life than someone with $100 billion. But the world is finite, and that means that there is $55 billion dollars more that NOBODY else can have. It's like this:
Is a $20,000 knife providing you with $20,000 worth of tool? No.
Does it require $20,000 worth of time/effort to produce? No.
Do people spend that anyways? Yep.

Just FYI, I have a wife and 2 kids, and one of Bob Kramer's knives is worth my annual salary.

Tristan
05-12-2011, 10:12 PM
Well, you can cook a 3 michelin starred meal using ikea pots and ikea knives (the non serrated ones of course.) and an ikea chopping board. But you can also do it with a Bob Kramer knife, on David's board, using pure copper pans... The marginal utility is decided by the user/purchaser. But it isn't terrible because we only aspire to/lust after quality things, but we can make do.

Sometimes you can't make do, because you just can't get a good espresso out of a cheap supermarket superautomatic, but of course you can using some skill with a entry level boiler machine. Do you need the absolute best commercial machine? No... you just need something that can do the job.

We're lucky because in the knife world, almost all knives can do the job. Some just better or worse, but at a very low leve, a cheapish knife can already be made to do practically anything we need of it. In other hobbies, it really is a constant upgrade cycle to catch up to tech. That costs a lot more.

I could afford a Kramer if I really wanted to - but there is a big mental barrier that prevents me from wasting a big chunk of savings on another knife.

On a separate note, since Kramer switched auctions to his own proprietary site, it seems 5 of his knives on Ebay went at stratospheric prices to 2 different buyers. These two chaps are setting the price for the rest of the world. Fair? Well, depends on whether you're Bob, them, or us.

Salem Straub
07-29-2012, 02:33 PM
A very interesting thread. I too believe that several of the great kitchen knife makers on this forum and in other places make knives not tangibly "lesser" in quality as tools than any of Kramer's. BK got famous a little while ago, an early superstar of kitchen cutlery and arguably still the only one. You can see the dude on TV programs, I heard him on NPR, I've seen him written about in the big papers.

It seems a lot of folks are trying to follow in his footsteps up a ladder to mega success, by simply making nice knives and building a reputation the hard way. I think the only hope if you want to get that well known is to market yourself in a savvy way to the general public, using the mass media. Some guys like Joel Bukiewicz (sp?) have clued into this. A lot of the celeb chefs and food personalities you see on TV are not the greatest chefs in the world- technically skilled, no doubt, but also people who see themselves as a product and package themselves for the world.

I think it's about building a mystique and an aura of prestige about your work. Like it or not, a publicist may do more for you than the ability to make a knife better than anyone else.

Personally, I like thinking that I make knives that are still affordable to people remotely within the same socioeconomic strata as myself. The fact that I'm dirt poor allows me to sneer at the bourgeoisie- don't know if that'd change if I got super successful myself. I'll stop rambling now.

bkdc
07-29-2012, 03:03 PM
Price is what you pay. Value is what you get... and value is in the eye of the beholder. There is no way I'd pay the current price of a Kramer for the utility that I get. But others would. At that price, I'd never use the knife and display it as artwork. But there is a lot of effort put into a hand-made knife.

We all forget how massively devalued our currencies have become based on the cost of real human labor because we have for so long enjoyed the decrease in prices attributed to automation and productivity increases. You only see the massive currency devaluation when you look at hand-made artisan goods -- whether it's high quality furniture, benchmade shoes, or custom made knives.

ecchef
07-29-2012, 07:56 PM
+1.
+2