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deanb
06-01-2011, 06:05 PM
678679680681682

Got the new Kramer Zwilling knife today.:thumbsup: Some of the pics show it with the real Kramer 9" Chef's knife for comparison. I was very pleasantly surprised with the knife. I was prepared to be a little disappointed but not so. The F&F is excellent. The distal taper is comparable to the real Kramer and the choil and spine are nicely rounded. The OOTB edge is pretty good. Haven't had a chance to sharpen it yet. It's perfectly balanced at the bottom of the bolster and feels very much like the real deal in my hand.

I tried to get some shots of the choil and spine but the came out like cr@p.

rockbox
06-01-2011, 06:12 PM
Is the geometry the same?

deanb
06-01-2011, 06:27 PM
683

Here's another attempt to get the choil shot. The geometries are very similar.

rockbox
06-01-2011, 06:39 PM
I think Zwilling has a winner on its hands. Since its carbon, you can thin the crap out of it without worrying about the pattern.

tk59
06-01-2011, 06:58 PM
That's pretty damn close. How big is the gap between the ferrule and the blade?

deanb
06-01-2011, 07:14 PM
That's pretty damn close. How big is the gap between the ferrule and the blade?
I can't see a gap, if I understand you right.

mainaman
06-01-2011, 07:45 PM
That's pretty damn close. How big is the gap between the ferrule and the blade?

hm I think I see it too but may be it is just light reflection?

SpikeC
06-01-2011, 07:47 PM
Or shadow.

99Limited
06-01-2011, 08:05 PM
I think it's cool that you've got the real deal and one of its clones.

TDj
06-01-2011, 08:06 PM
on one hand, the real Kramer appears a little thinner ... on the other - the new one is longer ... looks pretty good, though! i'm impressed!

Noodle Soup
06-01-2011, 08:30 PM
Don't expect to see any real reviews in the media anytime soon. Henckels' US ad agency is willing to loan the press a knife for 10 days with a signed statement you will return it totally unused, in mint resellable condition including the box and any paperwork it contains.

SpikeC
06-01-2011, 08:40 PM
Pffft!!!!

Lefty
06-01-2011, 10:35 PM
That looks like a winner. Zwilling knows what they're doing again.

watercrawl
06-01-2011, 10:43 PM
Nice!! I want one now.

James
06-01-2011, 10:44 PM
It seems that they used leaded brass in those (or at least that's what the 6" model says on the site)...just an FYI; besides that, the knife looks great!

kalaeb
06-01-2011, 11:48 PM
Very nice Dean, keep us posted!

Cnimativ
06-02-2011, 12:16 AM
played around w/ the knife at my local sur la table yesterday. it has a very thick spine especially towards the neck area.

rockbox
06-02-2011, 12:57 AM
played around w/ the knife at my local sur la table yesterday. it has a very thick spine especially towards the neck area.

Spine thickness is not a great indicator of performance especially on a knife that is tall like the Kramer.

deanb
06-02-2011, 03:35 AM
played around w/ the knife at my local sur la table yesterday. it has a very thick spine especially towards the neck area.
The spine thickness of the Kramer Zwilling is actually slightly thinner than the real Kramer. I put the new knife to the stones tonight. The progression was 1k, 5k, 8k, and 12k. All Shapton Pros. Then to the strop loaded with CO2. Scary sharp, really scary.

Vladimir
06-02-2011, 04:47 AM
The spine thickness of the Kramer Zwilling is actually slightly thinner than the real Kramer. I put the new knife to the stones tonight. The progression was 1k, 5k, 8k, and 12k. All Shapton Pros. Then to the strop loaded with CO2. Scary sharp, really scary.
I want to see a knife in their work:)

Cnimativ
06-02-2011, 05:45 AM
Spine thickness is not a great indicator of performance especially on a knife that is tall like the Kramer.

No, but just pointing out my observations. It is significantly more substantial than any chefs knives i have experienced

Aphex
06-02-2011, 03:05 PM
I'm really suprised how much i like this knife, it looks like it could be a real winner.

It would be interesting to see some decent reviews on this one, i'm tempted to hand over some hard earned $ on this one.

mr drinky
06-02-2011, 09:31 PM
Yeah, I think I am wanting one now. Thanks deanb.

k.

deanb
06-03-2011, 12:02 AM
I'm really suprised how much i like this knife, it looks like it could be a real winner.

It would be interesting to see some decent reviews on this one, i'm tempted to hand over some hard earned $ on this one.

Are you saying my review was not decent?? Just kidding, or course it wasn't a proper review. Just my impressions. I can pretty much guarantee that if you buy this knife that you won't be disappointed. l was amazed at how close it came to the real Kramer. Good luck, however way you choose to go.:)

stereo.pete
06-03-2011, 12:06 AM
Thanks for taking the time to share the pics and review of your new knife Dean.

Pensacola Tiger
06-03-2011, 12:16 AM
Dean, thanks for the mini-review. Please keep your impressions coming, especially those you gain when you start using the knife, especially compared to the "real deal".

My experience with other knives made from 52100 is that they are not overly reactive, and I'd like to hear about this knife in that regard.

Thanks, again,

Rick

JohnnyChance
06-03-2011, 12:18 AM
I should be getting one when my local SLT gets them in stock. I post some pic/vids/measurements when I do.

peterm
06-03-2011, 08:17 AM
I should be getting one when my local SLT gets them in stock. I post some pic/vids/measurements when I do.

Let me know when they do - I may have to make a trip up that way to check them out! As long as you don't get the only 10-inch one!

JohnnyChance
06-03-2011, 01:20 PM
Where in CT are you Peter?

mhlee
06-03-2011, 04:39 PM
It looks like choil on the Zwilling is less rounded than the real thing. How are the spines compared to each other? Is one less rounded?

so_sleepy
06-03-2011, 06:20 PM
I just checked these out at my local SLT. I was looking to get the slicer, but I'm going to pass. I'll reconsider if they produce a Meji version. Bob's western handles are a little awkward for me and the slicer has zero knuckle clearance.

The 10" chefs knife was a pretty good approximation. I didn't do a side by side comparison but I'm pretty sure my Kramer is a bit thinner especially the 3" or so near the tip.

Cnimativ
06-03-2011, 06:23 PM
I just checked these out at my local SLT. I was looking to get the slicer, but I'm going to pass. I'll reconsider if they produce a Meji version. Bob's western handles are a little awkward for me and the slicer has zero knuckle clearance.

The 10" chefs knife was a pretty good approximation. I didn't do a side by side comparison but I'm pretty sure my Kramer is a bit thinner especially the 3" or so near the tip.

It has severe tapering from the neck to the tip. I like the shape of its paring knife. Gyuto, not so much.

JohnnyChance
06-03-2011, 06:57 PM
I was thinking about the slicer too, but I don't like the shape of it or it having zero heel/knuckle clearance like you said.

I don't mind the spine/choil not being quite round enough or it not being quite thin enough. I like doing these things myself, makes my knife more unique and "mine". And I have never worked on a 52100 knife before so I will enjoy learning about the steel and the feedback I get from modifying it. I know at this price some people want the knife to ready to go already, and for most people it is. I just prefer them a little smoother and thinner, so I am going to do that and not feel gypped that it wasn't that way ootb. Bob's name and being sold at SLT automatically add to the retail price of the knife, and I have some real japanese knives that were close to this price and were actually awful in terms of finish and thinness, so overall I think it can still be a good value.

deanb
06-04-2011, 05:49 PM
http://wwhttp://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/images/attach/jpg.gifw.kitchenknifeforums.com/images/attach/jpg.gif

These are pics of the knife after soaking in white vinegar for 45 minutes and before. Thanks for the suggestion Dave.:)

Dave Martell
06-04-2011, 09:29 PM
Looks like you got what you were looking for....cool. :)

Abattoir
06-05-2011, 03:33 AM
Kramers have always looked SOOOOO tall to me which has always been a deal breaker for every going after one and these seem to be no exception. Im going to have to go check these out in person when the local SLT gets them in stock. Any chance of getting a shot holding the knife in a pinch grip with the edge on the board???? =D

jaybett
06-05-2011, 05:08 AM
Kramers have always looked SOOOOO tall to me which has always been a deal breaker for every going after one and these seem to be no exception. Im going to have to go check these out in person when the local SLT gets them in stock. Any chance of getting a shot holding the knife in a pinch grip with the edge on the board???? =D

My SLT, has a cutting board with a basket full of veggies, for customers to try the demo knives. I was a bit surprised, when they let me play with a Shun Kramer.

Jay

so_sleepy
06-05-2011, 06:50 AM
My SLT, has a cutting board with a basket full of veggies, for customers to try the demo knives. I was a bit surprised, when they let me play with a Shun Kramer.

Jay

My SLT had a basket of carrots to work with. They are really pushing the Kramers right now(there is a sign on the front door). The PopSci article said they only have an exclusive until September.


Kramers have always looked SOOOOO tall to me which has always been a deal breaker for every going after one and these seem to be no exception. Im going to have to go check these out in person when the local SLT gets them in stock. Any chance of getting a shot holding the knife in a pinch grip with the edge on the board???? =D

A lot of people dismiss the Kramer because of the profile but never get to try it. It might surprise you, they don't feel especially tall. I wish these had been around before I ordered mine. The customization I would have ordered is to add an inch or two of flat near the tip.

deanb
06-05-2011, 06:22 PM
Kramers have always looked SOOOOO tall to me which has always been a deal breaker for every going after one and these seem to be no exception. Im going to have to go check these out in person when the local SLT gets them in stock. Any chance of getting a shot holding the knife in a pinch grip with the edge on the board???? =D725

Sure.

deanb
06-05-2011, 08:08 PM
It looks like choil on the Zwilling is less rounded than the real thing. How are the spines compared to each other? Is one less rounded?

The choil and the spine on both are very similar. I think Bob had a much easier time convincing Zwilling to do things his way than he did with Shun.

deanb
06-08-2011, 08:51 PM
Just an update. I had company for the last few days and I did a lot of cooking, a lot of protein and a lot of veggies. I'm trying to gauge the edge holding ability of the Kramer Zwilling so I used it for everything. The edge is still hair popping sharp so I think they got the heat treatment right. I'm going to see how long it takes before I have to strop. I'll keep you posted but for now I think this knife is a real winner. A real 10" Kramer 52100 chef's knife goes for $1500 (I think) and this one goes for $350.

AFKitchenknivesguy
06-08-2011, 09:24 PM
Just an update. I had company for the last few days and I did a lot of cooking, a lot of protein and a lot of veggies. I'm trying to gauge the edge holding ability of the Kramer Zwilling so I used it for everything. The edge is still hair popping sharp so I think they got the heat treatment right. I'm going to see how long it takes before I have to strop. I'll keep you posted but for now I think this knife is a real winner. A real 10" Kramer 52100 chef's knife goes for $1500 (I think) and this one goes for $350.

Yes sir you are correct.

Avishar
06-09-2011, 01:36 AM
Just an update. I had company for the last few days and I did a lot of cooking, a lot of protein and a lot of veggies. I'm trying to gauge the edge holding ability of the Kramer Zwilling so I used it for everything. The edge is still hair popping sharp so I think they got the heat treatment right. I'm going to see how long it takes before I have to strop. I'll keep you posted but for now I think this knife is a real winner. A real 10" Kramer 52100 chef's knife goes for $1500 (I think) and this one goes for $350.

Mine comes in today! I've been through the 8 and 10" Kramer Shuns and wasn't too happy with the belly bloat, but I picked up the 8" in the store yesterday and was surprised with how good it felt. I should be receiving it (10") at work so I'll be happy to give my impressions after some rigorous commercial kitchen abuse :D. I've never used 52100 before, so we'll see how well it "reacts" to some produce! Hopefully it will be a good replacement for the beater 240 Miyabi Birchwood that was used before it.

AFKitchenknivesguy
06-09-2011, 01:41 AM
You'll love 52100. When done right, it's a wonderful steel.

jwpark
06-09-2011, 03:02 AM
It's sure tempting to go for the clone.

Avishar
06-10-2011, 01:36 PM
Ignore this one, seperate thread started :shocked3: :ninja: edit

mhlee
06-10-2011, 01:41 PM
Does the knife have any flex?

chazmtb
06-10-2011, 02:35 PM
Does the knife have any flex?

I am very interested to know too.

deanb
06-10-2011, 03:05 PM
Does the knife have any flex?

Yes, about the same as my real Kramer, although the real one is an inch shorter.

mhlee
06-10-2011, 03:13 PM
Yes, about the same as my real Kramer, although the real one is an inch shorter.

Sorry to ask more about the flex, but I've never handled a Kramer so I'm not familiar with how much flex Kramers have. Would you say it's like 2-3 mm? More? Less?

Thanks Dean.

deanb
06-10-2011, 03:38 PM
Sorry to ask more about the flex, but I've never handled a Kramer so I'm not familiar with how much flex Kramers have. Would you say it's like 2-3 mm? More? Less?

Thanks Dean.

With a few lbs of pressure on the handle, the tip flexes 5-10 mm. It's hard to measure but that's my eyeball guess.

mpukas
06-10-2011, 03:43 PM
The more I look at this thing and the more I read the reports and feedback coming in, the more it appeals. Here's why;
it's a legit Kramer mass reproduced, done well, very well; like him & his knives or not, he's mastered what he does and that alone commands respect
it's solid steel, not clad
it's 52100
it's got interesting - ie good - geometries in both the handle and blade
the blade looks like it's got a good length of flatness

I've never been a Henckels/Zwilling fan, but they've stepped up their game with Morimoto, Miyabi and now the Kramer knives. All look to be very good for what they are; this Kramer is the only one I would consider. Could care less for the Shun Kramer's. But would I drop $350 on this Z. Kramer before another knife such as a DT ITK, I'm not sure... but it's become a top contender! :scratchhead:

AFKitchenknivesguy
06-10-2011, 03:48 PM
Hell, I would even consider getting despite the fact I already have a real one.

WildBoar
06-10-2011, 04:03 PM
Hopefully I'll get to play with one Sunday at SLT, with coaching from The Seeker himself :cool2: Bringing my Hiro, DT ITK and Pierre petty for comparison.

Mattias504
06-10-2011, 04:28 PM
I mean if you want a Kramer, how could you not be interested in this one. I'm probably never going to pay upwards of $1.5k for a knife so this is really my only option to try out something that is Kramer-esque. I might have to hold on though and wait for a Meiji to come out...

UglyJoe
06-10-2011, 05:13 PM
I think SLT's exclusive rights run out on this in a few months, so you might see a Meji version of this from WS or somewhere else in 6 months or so...

shankster
06-10-2011, 05:31 PM
I think SLT's exclusive rights run out on this in a few months, so you might see a Meji version of this from WS or somewhere else in 6 months or so...

How does that work? Would they(WS) still be able to basically manufacture the exact same knife,with a different handle under a different name?

so_sleepy
06-10-2011, 05:39 PM
How does that work? Would they(WS) still be able to use the same steel etc?

The original Shun/Kramer Euro handled knives were provided exclusively to SLT, then, Shun/Kramer Meji knives were released through Williams Sonoma.

Some of us are hoping that when SLT's exclusive runs out, Zwilling will announce a Meji version as well.

mpukas
06-10-2011, 06:06 PM
I mean if you want a Kramer, how could you not be interested in this one. I'm probably never going to pay upwards of $1.5k for a knife so this is really my only option to try out something that is Kramer-esque. I might have to hold on though and wait for a Meiji to come out...

If I were to drop 1.5K on a knife I'd get that Gesshin Hide 270 Honyaki by Shiraki-san that John posted about LOOOOOOONG before I'd get a custom Kramer. The Z. Kramer seems to be an near-nuf replica of what Bob would make himself - what you're getting w/ a custom Kramer is knowing that Bob actually made it himself, and there are prolly some performance advatntages. But not as significant as say any of the beloved solid steel gyuto's from Yusuke, Konosuke, Tadatsuna, etc. compared to the Shiraki-san Honyaki.

AFKitchenknivesguy
06-11-2011, 01:12 AM
If I were to drop 1.5K on a knife I'd get that Gesshin Hide 270 Honyaki by Shiraki-san that John posted about LOOOOOOONG before I'd get a custom Kramer. The Z. Kramer seems to be an near-nuf replica of what Bob would make himself - what you're getting w/ a custom Kramer is knowing that Bob actually made it himself, and there are prolly some performance advatntages. But not as significant as say any of the beloved solid steel gyuto's from Yusuke, Konosuke, Tadatsuna, etc. compared to the Shiraki-san Honyaki.

Can't say I've ever heard of the brand.

JohnnyChance
06-11-2011, 01:30 AM
Can't say I've ever heard of the brand.

It is Jon's line of knives he has made for him in Japan.

http://www.japaneseknifeimports.com/kitchen-knives/gesshin-hide.html

There are a couple Gesshin lines, with different types of knives, stones, etc.

rockbox
06-11-2011, 05:09 AM
If I were to drop 1.5K on a knife I'd get that Gesshin Hide 270 Honyaki by Shiraki-san that John posted about LOOOOOOONG before I'd get a custom Kramer. The Z. Kramer seems to be an near-nuf replica of what Bob would make himself - what you're getting w/ a custom Kramer is knowing that Bob actually made it himself, and there are prolly some performance advatntages. But not as significant as say any of the beloved solid steel gyuto's from Yusuke, Konosuke, Tadatsuna, etc. compared to the Shiraki-san Honyaki.

Whatever floats your boat. However, what is the reason why you think it performs better than the knife you mentioned or a Kramer.

mpukas
06-11-2011, 08:47 AM
Whatever floats your boat.
yeah - exactly. I meant not to take anything away from anyone's decisions.


However, what is the reason why you think it performs better than the knife you mentioned or a Kramer.
errrmm... honyaki's to me are the holy grail of kitchen knives - single steel, very hard, yet attributes of a clad knife for durability, takes and holds a wicked, keen edge like no other. But I've never even held one, let alone a real Kramer, so I'm just speculating... :scratchhead:

mr drinky
06-12-2011, 12:15 AM
I got to feel the Z Kramer today, and I must say I kind of liked it. I had never held one before (custom or Z), and I didn't think the profile would suit me, but I liked the 8 inch. They hadn't gotten the 10-inch in yet.

The knife that they had to demo was not that sharp (though THEY thought the knives were sharp). I asked if they had been selling many, and she said the only ones buying them are the people who know a lot about knives.

I also asked why Kramer wasn't doing a demo at the store in Minneapolis, and she said that they are only doing the demos in stores with kitchens. Which reminds me, if memory serves me correct Wild Boar should be attending the Kramer demo in Arlington VA on 12 June and Salty should be going in Glendale WI on 14 June. It will be interesting to hear what they say.

k.

JohnnyChance
06-12-2011, 01:01 AM
I got to feel the Z Kramer today, and I must say I kind of liked it. I had never held one before (custom or Z), and I didn't think the profile would suit me, but I liked the 8 inch. They hadn't gotten the 10-inch in yet.

The knife that they had to demo was not that sharp (though THEY thought the knives were sharp). I asked if they had been selling many, and she said the only ones buying them are the people who know a lot about knives.

I also asked why Kramer wasn't doing a demo at the store in Minneapolis, and she said that they are only doing the demos in stores with kitchens. Which reminds me, if memory serves me correct Wild Boar should be attending the Kramer demo in Arlington VA on 12 June and Salty should be going in Glendale WI on 14 June. It will be interesting to hear what they say.

k.


Haha, people THEY think know a lot about knives are buying them. They have Chosera stones at SLT (sold under Miyabi's name at a giant bump in price), you should have asked for some and sharpened their knives for them!

My local SLT has a kitchen, but Bob isn't coming to do one of his talks. Probably not a big enough city or area. Plus I assume he is going to Boston and New York.

Seb
06-12-2011, 08:34 AM
I'm sorely tempted, but I needs to know...

How sharp can the steel get, will it get as sharp as good Japanese carbon?

Larrin
06-12-2011, 09:12 AM
I'm sorely tempted, but I needs to know...

How sharp can the steel get, will it get as sharp as good Japanese carbon?
52100 has about as fine as carbides can be in high carbon steel. Verhoeven showed that both 52100 and AEB-L can reach sub-micron radiuses at the edge.

Marko Tsourkan
06-12-2011, 09:35 AM
52100 has about as fine as carbides can be in high carbon steel. Verhoeven showed that both 52100 and AEB-L can reach sub-micron radiuses at the edge.

So the question here would be how to design a test to prove that steels like 52100, AEB-L and other steels with fine carbide structure, could get sharper and retain edge longer while also chip less than white or blue steels? In other words, to take out hype and myths surrounding Japanese knives and stick to the data while comparing Japanese steels to the steels like 52100.

I have a feeling that 52100 will outperform either of Japanese steels hands down in all three tests - sharpness, edge retention, and edge stability (resistance to chipping) even at 62-63RC.

M

PS: Tomato test doesn't sound very scientific. There are laboratories that could test sharpness. Maybe Larrin could chime on this?

Seb
06-12-2011, 09:43 AM
OY!!! :thumbsup::jumpy:

Larrin
06-12-2011, 10:57 AM
Well the sharpness test could be copied from Verhoeven. Basically it requires a controlled sharpening followed by microscopy to determine the edge radius. The sharpness would be determined by the size of the edge radius.

The only real controlled edge retention test is the CATRA. The only problem with the CATRA is it's essentially a sandpaper cutting test, though I have heard that you can use other media to run the test. One of the companies who has a CATRA is Spyderco, who are in my new hometown (Golden, CO).

rockbox
06-12-2011, 11:18 AM
Could we approximate the Catra test by just applying force(weights) onto the blade and sawing back and force. Honestly, it doesn't matter to me. All these steels get sharper and hold it longer than I need it to. It most cases, I'm the limiting factor.

Marko Tsourkan
06-12-2011, 11:19 AM
Well the sharpness test could be copied from Verhoeven. Basically it requires a controlled sharpening followed by microscopy to determine the edge radius. The sharpness would be determined by the size of the edge radius.

The only real controlled edge retention test is the CATRA. The only problem with the CATRA is it's essentially a sandpaper cutting test, though I have heard that you can use other media to run the test. One of the companies who has a CATRA is Spyderco, who are in my new hometown (Golden, CO).

I have seen a video for CATRA similar test done on paper for Nesmuk, results of which Nesmuk used for their bragging rights. A knife was cutting on the edge through stacked sheets of paper. I will try to find that video.

M

karloevaristo
06-12-2011, 12:00 PM
I have seen a video for CATRA similar test done on paper for Nesmuk, results of which Nesmuk used for their bragging rights. A knife was cutting on the edge through stacked sheets of paper. I will try to find that video.

M

is it this one?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WpIRLMdWsiE

if it is... how does this measure sharpness?

Karlo

JohnnyChance
06-12-2011, 01:03 PM
I think that test is supposed to measure edge retention. It isn't the exact video Marko was talking about, but I am pretty sure it is a video of the same test.

Too bad all the Nesmuk knives fail the length and looks tests.

Larrin
06-12-2011, 02:45 PM
The catra is used for edge retention, though it does measure sharpness to some degree.

Marko Tsourkan
06-12-2011, 04:47 PM
I think that test is supposed to measure edge retention. It isn't the exact video Marko was talking about, but I am pretty sure it is a video of the same test.

Too bad all the Nesmuk knives fail the length and looks tests.

Yes, I was referring to edge retention.

WildBoar
06-13-2011, 02:56 AM
Well, this SLT had a full lineup of the Zwilling Kramer knives. Interestingly enough, Bob indicated we were the first sold-out class on his tour (and a SLT employee told him a little later there were enough people on the waiting list to easily fill another class). I have to say, Bob was extremely nice, quite humble, highly entertaining and a great public speaker.

My wife and I scored the two front-row seats directly in front of his work station, and I was sportin' a Japanese Knife Sharpening t-shirt, which did not go unnoticed :)

Bob had two custom 10" damascus knives there to compare with the Zwillings (just to look at though, not for cutting). Sadly the class was not hands on, as I though the primary focus was on cutting techniques. Instead, it seemed to be veering towards an infomercial, but thankfully that was not the case. Bob spent a bit of time telling his history (working as a cook, then started a knife sharpening operation, followed by taking a knife forging class).

He talked about his love for 52100, and he gave a Sharpening 101 demo, including a King combo stone and the Zwilling combo (250/ 1000 (!)). He deburred/ honed on a piece of cardboard in between stones. He intentionally folded over an edge, then showed how to bring it back on a ceramic rod. Then he dulled the heck out of a knife, then showed how to sharpen on the combo stone. All the while he used paper cutting to illustrate the dullness/ sharpness. He talked about toothy edges, etc.

This was alien material to almost all of the attendees. Yet it opened many of their eyes, and had several people anxious to accumulate the starter stones, etc.

For fun, he cut up a few fruits and vegetables near the end, and I heard some people gasping in surprise as he sliced a carrot, etc., as they had never witnessed someone chopping/ slicing at a restaurant employee pace :)

All of the Z.K. knifes were out in the main part of the store for people to try their hand at cutting. So people were lined up to attack some carrots and potatoes. I did not bother waiting to log any cutting board time.

I did handle the 10" Z.K. knife and compare it to one of the 'real' Kramers. Wow, when people mention thick spines at the handle they are not joking! But the distal taper is very good and the blade was fairly thin behind the edge. The balance on the 8" and 10" knives were good (a bit up the blade from the handle), but most of the shorter knives were quite a bit handle-heavy. And there were very useful, long areas of flat blade near the heel and at the tip. He showed how he built more belly into the santoku, so it could be used easier by those who like to rock chop.

Bob indicated the main reason for the high-heeled profile on his chef's knives is for knuckle clearance, especially after a knife has been sharpened a bunch of times. And his reasoning for his steel choice includes small carbides (for a steeper angle) and ease of sharpening. And he also talked about the ability of the steel as treated to bend and recover (in fact, it appears the 10" chef's knife can bend over 1/2 inch when the tip is loaded perpendicular to the blade).

All-in-all, the Z.K. knife was a very good copy of the customs.

At $100/ person to attend, there is no question the value of this class will be 'iffy' to some. In some aspects the sharpening part of it was a step back from what I have learned from Dave and the forums over the last 18 months. But to me it was worth the $ to meet him and talk with him a bit, and to be entertained by him. And frankly my wife leared a lot about knife abuse, and after the class said she now understands why some of her knife treatment habits draw protests from me :). It's one thing when your husband respectfully requests you do not carve up a protein while it's on a dish or a platter, but it is quite another when the US's most famous kitchen knife maker stands up there and tells everyone it only takes one cut on a surface like that to roll over the edge. Thanks Bob -- that alone may help recoup the cost of the class :)

Bob did mention knowing about Dave Martell, and how Dave is taking sharpening to new levels. He remembered getting Dave's invite to join the Board, but did not give it much thought at the time as he was not familiar with it and as a general rule avoids BBSs. But he did find it interesting that Bill Burke and Butch are here, along with quite a few other kitchen knife makers. I guess Bob spent some time with a couple of them over the past few days, as I believe he flew from Atlanta (Blade show) to give the class this afternoon.

And for those wondering about a Z.K. version with a Japanese-style handle, I did ask the question. Let's just say Bob is very, very diplomatic (to the point of not disparaging the Epicurian cutting boards SLT laid out for him to use, even though his 'go to' is an end-grain). But he did get a big smile when I posed the question, and indicated those who prefer Japanese handles will be very happy sometime soon ;)

That's all for now. Please post or shoot me a PM if you have any questions.

Mattias504
06-13-2011, 03:06 AM
Damn, the more I hear about these, the more I really want to try one. We don't have an SLT down here in Nola. Booo

Salty dog
06-13-2011, 05:55 AM
The class I signed up for was cancelled due to lack of interest.

WildBoar
06-13-2011, 09:55 AM
The class I signed up for was cancelled due to lack of interest.That's a shame. He really was happy to have a sell-out yesterday, and was very surprised to hear they could have filled a second class. I thought it was odd at the time, as I figured he would be sold out everywhere. The last time he was around DC the class sold out the first day registration opened.

I'm guessing it's because we are all about consumption of luxury goods around here, because it was pretty clear yesterday many people in the audience had very little knife knowledge, and sometimes almost as little prep knowledge. It really drives home the fact that this BBS is definitely for a very narrow slice of the population!

On a side note, I was quite happy to see how down to earth Bob is. If there is any ego there, it is pretty well hidden. Of course he is now at a point where he can be a little bit less intense and less driven, but it did not sound like he had an easy road to get there. He fit right in with some of the other knife makers I have had the pleasure of meeting or just talking to on the phone (i.e., Del, Pierre, Butch, Dave M). Granted I have not had any business dealings with him, but he seems like a stand-up guy.

rockbox
06-13-2011, 09:59 AM
Bob has been poor long enough to know how good he has it. He hasn't been raking in the dough until the last couple of years.

AFKitchenknivesguy
06-13-2011, 02:14 PM
+1

Kyle
06-13-2011, 02:22 PM
I hadn't heard of these appearances so I just checked and all three Southern California dates are waitlist only at this point. I signed up, but I'm not holding my breath. The class does sound intriguing!

AFKitchenknivesguy
06-13-2011, 03:15 PM
...but $100 though? Wow, that is not what I expected to see/hear. That's pricey, but then again I am one of those people that think that pro sports game prices are a waste of money.

El Pescador
06-13-2011, 03:38 PM
...but $100 though? Wow, that is not what I expected to see/hear. That's pricey, but then again I am one of those people that think that pro sports game prices are a waste of money.

Question of priorities...I was planning on going to Newport but am going to pass after reading the recap of the one in N Va. I don't think there is a lot to gain from the hundred bucks.

Pesky

WildBoar
06-13-2011, 03:49 PM
Well, you do get a copy of the SLT book "Knives Cooks Love" and a 10% off coupon good for one week. And Bob will autograph the book for you (even though he did not write it) ;)

So we have 2 SLT books and 2 10% off coupons :slaphead:

With the level most are at here on this BBS, there is not much to learn for the $100. To me, the value was in having my wife hear/ learn a bit of what I have picked up on the forums and from Dave M over the last 18 months, and the value of being entertained by Bob for 2-1/2 hours. He is a bit of a stand-up comedian, and a very entertaining speaker. So I left there thinking I have spent more money on less enjoyable things before, and feeling okay with the 'investment'.

Kyle
06-14-2011, 12:13 PM
Went down to my local SLT (I didn't even know there was one near me until I had an interest in checking out the new Kramzer Zwilling). They only had a santoku and a couple utility knives left and an 8" chefs for a demo. The lady looked at me like I was NUTS when I started cutting and said it needed to be sharpened. However, it had a great feel to it and it was very well made. I'd love to play with a properly sharpened 10" version. That's all I really took from it, I felt awkward going through the motions with a middle aged mom hovering over my shoulder so I diced up a bell pepper and handed it back to them.

JohnnyChance
06-19-2011, 04:05 AM
I got mine the other day. Haven't used it yet. But damn, soooo much different than the Shun version. Profile is better, handle is smaller and shaped better. The distal taper on this is really, really nice. One of the best I've seen, production or handmade knives included. 10" is 293 grams but feels lighter, balance is really nice. Spine measurements: 3.87mm at the bolster, 2.55mm 3" from bolster, 1.88mm 4" from tip, 0.68mm 1" from tip. The tip itself measured 0.18mm. The tip is really really thin. Not quite as thin as Mattrud's real kramer, but his looks like garotte wire it is so thin. 61.4mm tall at the heel. Had some residual burr, stropped on some hard felt and now it is hair popping.

And yes, the Meiji handles are coming. The box (which is also the biggest knife box ever) even says "EuroLine" on it.

Ill get some pictures up soon. What is vinegar treatment for?

mattrud
06-19-2011, 04:38 AM
very cool john, can not wait to hear your thoughts. I gotta use mine more. still in babying stage.

Josh
06-19-2011, 06:48 AM
Maybe its a Canadian thing, but what's SLT?

oivind_dahle
06-19-2011, 06:50 AM
Its a chain of stores in US

http://www.surlatable.com/

SurLaTable = SLT

JohnnyChance
06-19-2011, 12:53 PM
10" Kramer Zwilling vs. 8" Shun Kramer. Shun weighs 10 grams more than the Zwilling.
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-rDwhHgSX04Y/Tf4nIySlgQI/AAAAAAAAArw/Jo8dG-pwYzY/s800/IMG_0541.JPG

Shun handle is longer, fatter, and taller. Zwilling one generally feels better and is shaped better.
https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-jdeUq6hvM_A/Tf4nIHptiXI/AAAAAAAAAr0/fmNZElR5sjs/s800/IMG_0542.JPG

Zwilling choil. Zwilling spine and choil are rounded more than the Shun, and polished.
https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-6r1b5MVi6ME/Tf4nG9vkLYI/AAAAAAAAAro/XltCSLyE3Jw/s800/IMG_0543.JPG

Usually I get can get pretty good spine shots without too much difficulty. Camera had a hard time focusing on the tip though.
https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-JWzhAUD2jgc/Tf4mp-qEzVI/AAAAAAAAArY/NQG8KaSHHrc/s800/IMG_0544.JPG

Like I said before, very very good taper. It is constantly tapering, it doesnt just taper .5mm over the first 2/3rd of the blade, and then taper dramatically to the tip. Near constant taper the entire length, nearly down to nothing. The tip is actually ~1mm from the bottom of this photo.
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-V-vQOIxd7mE/Tf4m0tN-BcI/AAAAAAAAArc/A2aHp0zPikE/s800/IMG_0545.JPG

Shun looks like a real fatty compared to the Zwilling.
https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-ZZh_CJd_W8M/Tf4m4fUpeMI/AAAAAAAAArg/1CyOjlVcXPM/s800/IMG_0546.JPG

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-4w6SdhcbeGE/Tf4m4rVo6MI/AAAAAAAAArk/qu5RghsrKcA/s800/IMG_0547.JPG

This is a completely different knife than the Shun. If you hated the Shun, and for good reason, check this one out. Completely different animal, a lot of the things we love and look for in our knives. Zwilling is king now, in the big manufacturer game. Between this and their Miyabi stuff, they are so far ahead of Wustof, Shun, Global, etc.

mattrud
06-19-2011, 01:02 PM
yea thats a kramer tapered tip for sure. I have never seen someone take a knife so thin towards the tip.

mattrud
06-19-2011, 01:03 PM
sorry for the double post but that does look very nice. Everything is polished, nice taper, they seemed to have done a very nice job with the recreations.

Aphex
06-19-2011, 01:13 PM
Looks like this could be a fantastic all rounder. A bit thicker at the choil for tougher work and with a skinny tip for the fine detail stuff, great taper.

How thin is it behind the edge? If it's edge is as thin as the tip, i would be super impressed.

This knife has been a huge and unexpected suprise. I thought it would be a real stinker.

tk59
06-19-2011, 01:16 PM
Looks like this could be a fantastic all rounder. A bit thicker at the choil for tougher work and with a skinny tip for the fine detail stuff, great taper.

How thin is it behind the edge? If it's edge is as thin as the tip, i would be super impressed.

This knife has been a huge and unexpected suprise. I thought it would be a real stinker.

+1

rockbox
06-19-2011, 01:28 PM
I exchanged my shun kramer for one. It should be at the house by the time I get back from india. Should I put a mirror or mustard finish on it? I wish I could create a poll.

JohnnyChance
06-19-2011, 01:28 PM
I did my "how far behind the edge is it 1mm thick" test to this. Didn't have time to trace it out, but at the heel it is about 1mm thick 10mm behind the edge. Along with the distal taper, that "1mm line" gets higher and higher as you go down the blade, until it meets the spine 43mm from the tip!

That was kinda hard to describe, so if it makes no sense, I will try to post some pictures tonight.

JohnnyChance
06-19-2011, 01:29 PM
I exchanged my shun kramer for one. It should be at the house by the time I get back from india. Should I put a mirror or mustard finish on it? I wish I could create a poll.

Gotta love the SLT return policy, right?

rockbox
06-19-2011, 01:36 PM
This is the first time I've used it and I felt a little guilty doing it, but I will feel better when I get the new knife.

JohnnyChance
06-19-2011, 01:37 PM
Don't feel guilty. This is the knife you were expecting when you bought the Shun.

Avishar
06-19-2011, 03:25 PM
This is the first time I've used it and I felt a little guilty doing it, but I will feel better when I get the new knife.

Don't feel guilty, the return policy is open for a reason :) People used to return knives that were broke in half, and plates that were shattered. We even had a customer return a Jura Z5 every year to get a brand new one! The knife goes back to the manufacturer most of the time and you usually end up paying a premium price at the stores to cover the possibility of these things happening

EdipisReks
06-19-2011, 05:15 PM
i might have to get one of these, it does look nice.

tk59
06-19-2011, 05:24 PM
I did my "how far behind the edge is it 1mm thick" test to this. Didn't have time to trace it out, but at the heel it is about 1mm thick 10mm behind the edge. Along with the distal taper, that "1mm line" gets higher and higher as you go down the blade, until it meets the spine 43mm from the tip!

That was kinda hard to describe, so if it makes no sense, I will try to post some pictures tonight.
That's awesome. It oughta cut crazy good.

Rock: my vote is mirror. once you put a deep patina on it, you won't want to bring it back (maybe).

Mattias504
06-19-2011, 07:15 PM
i might have to get one of these, it does look nice.

+1

But I think I'll wait around for the Meiji handle.

deanb
06-19-2011, 07:16 PM
I've had this knife for 19 days now and I honestly can't tell the difference in performance from my real Kramer. We all know that Bob forges his knives. Does Zwilling forge their Kramers? Does it really make a difference or is it all in the heat treatment?

EdipisReks
06-19-2011, 07:35 PM
+1

But I think I'll wait around for the Meiji handle.

that's kind of what i'm thinking, too. i have the shig and the mizuno and the konosuke to keep me busy until then.

SpikeC
06-19-2011, 07:36 PM
Given the sophisticated controls at the factories that make the steel, as soon a someone starts hammering and heating the metal its properties have to start to decline. Either that or the steel makers are incompetent buffoons.

deanb
06-19-2011, 09:07 PM
Given the sophisticated controls at the factories that make the steel, as soon a someone starts hammering and heating the metal its properties have to start to decline. Either that or the steel makers are incompetent buffoons.

Then how does Bob Kramer come up with what he does?

SpikeC
06-19-2011, 09:14 PM
Are you saying that the Kramer knife has better steel than the Zwilling versions?

Marko Tsourkan
06-19-2011, 09:33 PM
Are you saying that the Kramer knife has better steel than the Zwilling versions?

The real Kramer is likely to have a much better heat treatment but 52100 equivalent steel (steel goes under a different name in Japan). I thin I have read on on of Bob's auctions that heat treating his bladed takes 7 or 8 hours each.

M

kalaeb
06-19-2011, 10:22 PM
How are these knives comming along with patina and sharpening.

dean-does the replica sharpen the same as the original?

Just curious...

Chef Niloc
06-20-2011, 12:15 AM
So who's going to be the first one to send one to Dave to "finish" for them? It would be cool to see if Dave can grind a better Kramer then Bob?

JohnnyChance
06-20-2011, 12:25 AM
So who's going to be the first one to send one to Dave to "finish" for them? It would be cool to see if Dave can grind a better Kramer then Bob?

I was planning on doing this, but so far I haven't felt the need. It certainly isn't a fatty in need of a tune up like an addict. The tip is so thin, any more grinding and it will quickly become a 9" chefs knife.

Chef Niloc
06-20-2011, 01:34 AM
I find it does not have the food release of the real deal, profile may be the same but nothing beats that Kramer convex grind.

deanb
06-20-2011, 03:57 AM
How are these knives comming along with patina and sharpening.

dean-does the replica sharpen the same as the original?

Just curious...

I forced a patina with vinegar so I don't know how a natural patina would be doing. I can't tell the difference in sharpening, They're both very easy to sharpen. That's why I asked the question about forging and heat treatment.

Knifefan
06-20-2011, 06:49 AM
The real Kramer is likely to have a much better heat treatment but 52100 equivalent steel (steel goes under a different name in Japan). I thin I have read on on of Bob's auctions that heat treating his bladed takes 7 or 8 hours each.

M

I would give Henckels the benefit of doubt. They claim to use real 52100. And if the knife performs on similar level than the original, why should the heat treatment be much worse?

Darkhoek
06-20-2011, 07:06 AM
Given that Henkels is using the same highly standardised PM steel and their very good facilities to harden and temper the steel to the exact specifications of the steel manufacturer, I cannot see why the blade of the production knife should be lower quality than the hand made version. Two or ten or twenty hours of tempering... i don't know. I would rather trust the specs from the company that designed and made the steel for a specific task together with the hardening and tempering instructions to get the very best out of their own product. F&F on the knife looks pretty decent in comparison with the real thing as well. The profile sure is an aquired taste, but I find myself slowly growing into wanting one.

DarKHoeK

rockbox
06-20-2011, 08:27 AM
I can only speculate since there is no way of knowing unless one of you guys asks Bob when you go to his workshop, but I doubt Zwilling does the same exact heat treat that Bob does. Zwilling probably does not triple quench their blades and they probably use air to quench versus oil. I don't know how much this would effect the performance of the blade but since DeanB can't tell the difference, I would say its pretty close. If its within 5 percent of the performance, then I doubt anyone other than the most discriminating users like Salty, TK or Niloc could tell the difference.

JohnnyChance
06-20-2011, 12:59 PM
Patina. Duck breast, cucumber, hollandaise, soppressata.

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-_-JHQAl-FB0/Tf98JXqNr6I/AAAAAAAAAsg/bcQPsAHlid4/s800/IMG_0552.JPG

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-Odyogpc33uM/Tf98dq38kLI/AAAAAAAAAs0/GM5REQx3zL4/s800/IMG_0549.JPG

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-VgxJ-k_qCiI/Tf98PNbjJZI/AAAAAAAAAsk/XuQB2T9woxk/s800/IMG_0551.JPG

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-XrmaajeOx6Q/Tf98ZRN4IgI/AAAAAAAAAss/GPdLG5G04Ro/s800/IMG_0548.JPG

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-LQIiDrWdk3g/Tf98Vt965lI/AAAAAAAAAso/wGOTe0tQTD4/s800/IMG_0553.JPG

Mine even has some beloved wabi-sabi. Got nicked on a belt me thinks.

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-h1Qnm_jaUUU/Tf98abZPwCI/AAAAAAAAAsw/0t5Gg_VIBfE/s800/IMG_0554.JPG

The pictures are a bit deceiving. The patina is fairly light, and the knife needs to be turned under light to catch the blues and other colors. I think over time this will build to a very even, subtle patina that has great character when inspected closely.

kalaeb
06-20-2011, 01:11 PM
Nice! Thanks for the pics.

JohnnyChance
06-21-2011, 12:56 AM
Used it at work today. Butchered some raw duck breast, cleaned some boneless short ribs, sliced mid rare duck, cut some veg: asparagus, snap peas, maybe some other stuff. Cut up some pancetta. I think that's all.

Normally I would not butcher duck breast or clean short ribs with a gyuto. But I wanted to help the patina along, and the tip is so thin it is great for silver skin. The thin tip, great grind, thinness behind the edge, and heel height make this a very versatile gyuto. It's just a great all around cutter.

jwpark
06-22-2011, 02:35 PM
Johnny, how the edge hold up?

JohnnyChance
06-22-2011, 03:11 PM
It held up pretty well. I used it a bit at home, then I stropped it on textured leather loaded 2 micron compound and a felt pad, edge felt better than OOTB. At work I butchered the case of duck breast, case of boneless short ribs, veg, pancetta. Stropped again, same setup, and used it again at work yesterday. Didn't have much to do though. Edge still cuts paper very easily, shaves a bit. Going to sharpen it tonight for the first time.

JohnnyChance
06-22-2011, 03:33 PM
Just sharpened it now actually. Rika 5k and then Gesshin 5k. Felt great like carbons do. Stropped on felt to deburr, stropped on plain leather to finish. Silently cuts paper and shaves really well. Fingers do not want to move at all in either direction on the 3 finger test. Edge has lots of bite, but doesn't grab the cutting board too much. Going grocery shopping now, maybe I get some toms and do a vid.

I also like how the brass on the bolsters and pins patinas as well. Was sort of planning on getting this rehandled, but I would have to make sure similar brass pins could be used to match the bolster.

Also, there must have been some moisture in my bag, got a few rust spots on it. BKF took off most of them, but you can still see em. What else should I use to help remove em?

I wish the Kramer and Zwilling logos were stamped or etched, they are just printed on, and eventually will be lost if you keep adding and removing patina. Mine have faded some already.

EdipisReks
06-22-2011, 03:45 PM
try flitz to remove the rust.

DwarvenChef
06-30-2011, 01:16 AM
I just skimmed this thread and I'm not sure what steel was used on these knives, Was it 52100?

so_sleepy
06-30-2011, 01:20 AM
I just skimmed this thread and I'm not sure what steel was used on these knives, Was it 52100?

Correct, 52100

deanb
07-02-2011, 07:40 PM
I've had this knife for a month now and I still love it. I am not a pro, just a home cook, but I do cook a lot. I took the knife to the stones the day after it arrived and have not had to since. Just an occasional touch up with a leather strop loaded with CrO2 and I'm good to go. Compared to my real 52100 Kramer? Can't tell the difference. At this price ($350) I think it's a steal.

Noodle Soup
07-03-2011, 12:13 AM
I bought the 10-inch version at the SLT in Portland, OR today. Lighter and thinner than I expected. The sales clerk there said they were already getting returns from people that were surprised that the bright, shinny blade didn't stay shinny when they used it. The test knife at the store had a very nice, flat gray patina but somebody must be taking special care of it that it doesn't have plain old rust spots in that environment.

JohnnyChance
07-03-2011, 01:53 AM
I've had this knife for a month now and I still love it. I am not a pro, just a home cook, but I do cook a lot. I took the knife to the stones the day after it arrived and have not had to since. Just an occasional touch up with a leather strop loaded with CrO2 and I'm good to go. Compared to my real 52100 Kramer? Can't tell the difference. At this price ($350) I think it's a steal.

I would say the edge retention isn't as good as say Devin ITK AEB-L or some custom made W2 (not that that is really a fair comparison), but it is better than some basic carbons I have used, and it does take an amazing edge. And yes, the grind is really, really great. Even though it is a Zwilling, it should be in contention for any carbon gyuto search in the mid $300 price range. At least you can try and and easily return it if it doesn't suit you!

BertMor
07-03-2011, 07:03 AM
I don't know, I tried this knife in the store and didn't love it. First I thought the handle stunk and was very uncomfortable. And I didn't like the balance. Although it balanced out just in front of the bolster, it felt seriously handle heavy. I can't comment on the edge because it was a demo knife and who knows how long it was out there. It wasn't dull but it needed a touch up. Geometry seemed ok but it definitely is a Euro grind, not a Japanese.

I like to contrast this with my Butch gyuto. Lighter and thinner, with an awesome distal taper.

I guess I have just gotten used to the Japanese idiom of knives with the wa handle

YMMV

mmingio2
07-05-2011, 09:46 PM
Ok, I have to try it. With a local SLT there's no risk!

mateo
07-06-2011, 11:54 AM
I went to a local SLT the other day and gave it a work out on carrots, lemons, some bell peppers... I don't care for it, I didn't think I would, too much curve for my taste. It is a great looking knife though, but it felt... cheap? Maybe I'm not used to this style of blade, but it just didn't feel quite right.

bprescot
07-06-2011, 12:37 PM
The sales clerk there said they were already getting returns from people that were surprised that the bright, shinny blade didn't stay shinny when they used it.

So, uh, what does SLT do with these? Is there a secondary market out there, with a nice little discount, say?

UglyJoe
07-06-2011, 01:00 PM
From what I've heard they toss them. Literally. In the dumpster. Out back.

JohnnyChance
07-06-2011, 01:06 PM
From what I've heard they toss them. Literally. In the dumpster. Out back.

Except for the ceramic knives, they go back to the manufacturer.

TamanegiKin
07-06-2011, 01:32 PM
From what I've heard they toss them. Literally. In the dumpster. Out back.

Guess I'm goin' dumpster diving hah.

I gave one a whirl here in Dallas the other day,
I liked it although it feels totally foreign as all my knives
are j-knives. The blade was flat for about half the
total length which was nice but when it curves up it goes
quite high. I'd like to have one, I'm sure I'd get used to the profile.
In fact, if I wasn't set on the mizuno being my next gyuto I
would have picked the zwilling up.

bprescot
07-06-2011, 02:16 PM
From what I've heard they toss them. Literally. In the dumpster. Out back.

Holy CRAP! I really hope you're joking or you're going to get this entire forum staking out their local SLTs. If only I had an SLT in my area, I'd be tempted to try it myself! ;)

JohnnyChance
07-06-2011, 02:43 PM
Some stuff that gets returned does get destroyed, but not knives. Electronics, knives, and some other things get shipped back to the manufacturer on returns.

jaybett
07-06-2011, 03:09 PM
Interesting to see the different perspectives.

When something gets as much acclaim/hype, as Kramer knives, the reality tends to be disappointing. I went into SLT, Not expecting much, I figured I'd only be in the store 5-10 minutes. Instead the more I used it, the more impressed I became.

Picking up the knife, I was immediately struck by the weight. This was the 10 inch version with a considerable heel, which looks like it should have some heft, but is surprisingly light.

Next was the handle, I've got wa-handled knives, and a few custom knives. The Kramer handle was very comfortable and felt natural in the hand.

I grabbed a piece of turnip, the first few cuts, the Kramer wedged. I tried the next cuts closer to the tip and the Kramer glided easily through the turnip. The slices were easily diced. I fished out a piece of carrot about 3-4 inches long and cut it in half, cut those pieces and half, etc, with no wedging. I got a quarter of a waxy potato, to check out the blades stickiness. A few pieces did stick, but nothing conclusive. A whole russet would have been a better test.

The Kramer edge while angled is flat until it sweeps up dramatically to the point. Eyeballing it, I'd say that at least 7 inches of the edge are flat. I don't think it would be unreasonable to characterize the Kramer as a nakiri with a tip. My hunch is that this is the reason why people who are use to gyutos find the Kramer odd. Since the cleaver is my main knife, the Kramer feels right.

Jay

kalaeb
07-06-2011, 03:45 PM
It is a great looking knife though, but it felt... cheap? Maybe I'm not used to this style of blade, but it just didn't feel quite right.

The Kramer style is definately not for everyone, but for me the Henckels version certainly did not feel cheap. I felt the opposite. I have been thinking about getting one of these, but don't know if I will be able to adapt to the blade. I would love to take one for a drive for a week to see if it was worth it. I wonder if SLT will let me test drive a return to see if I can purchase a new one.

Kyle
07-06-2011, 04:06 PM
The Kramer style is definately not for everyone, but for me the Henckels version certainly did not feel cheap. I felt the opposite. I have been thinking about getting one of these, but don't know if I will be able to adapt to the blade. I would love to take one for a drive for a week to see if it was worth it. I wonder if SLT will let me test drive a return to see if I can purchase a new one.

I'm pretty sure SLT's return policy is extremely generous and would allow you to return for a full refund if you're not satisfied.

UglyJoe
07-06-2011, 07:55 PM
Guess I'm goin' dumpster diving hah.

I gave one a whirl here in Dallas the other day,
I liked it although it feels totally foreign as all my knives
are j-knives. The blade was flat for about half the
total length which was nice but when it curves up it goes
quite high. I'd like to have one, I'm sure I'd get used to the profile.
In fact, if I wasn't set on the mizuno being my next gyuto I
would have picked the zwilling up.

GREAT choice on the Mizuno. Make sure and get the clad one, not the solid version. The clad is the actual Mizuno knife. I'm pretty sure the other is a rebrand.

EdipisReks
07-06-2011, 07:59 PM
GREAT choice on the Mizuno. Make sure and get the clad one, not the solid version. The clad is the actual Mizuno knife. I'm pretty sure the other is a rebrand.

that's my understand as well. love my Mizuno blue.

TamanegiKin
07-06-2011, 10:49 PM
GREAT choice on the Mizuno. Make sure and get the clad one, not the solid version. The clad is the actual Mizuno knife. I'm pretty sure the other is a rebrand.

Thanks for the heads up! I wasn't aware
that there were solid versions. I'll make sure
to request the clad version from Koki. Sadly, I gotta
sacrifice one of my knives before ordering the Mizuno.

jaybett
07-07-2011, 02:56 AM
GREAT choice on the Mizuno. Make sure and get the clad one, not the solid version. The clad is the actual Mizuno knife. I'm pretty sure the other is a rebrand.

Is there another Blue #2 Gyuto besides the clad one? The solid version is stainless.


I gotta sacrifice one of my knives before ordering the Mizuno.

Heresy! True knife nuts do not sacrifice knives, we increase the limit of our credit cards.

If I was working in a restaurant and wanted a all mighty/all purpose gyuto for the bag, I'd probably get the Mizuno. I have the cleaver and the steels edge retention is very good.

Jay

TamanegiKin
07-07-2011, 03:18 PM
Is there another Blue #2 Gyuto besides the clad one? The solid version is stainless.



Heresy! True knife nuts do not sacrifice knives, we increase the limit of our credit cards.

If I was working in a restaurant and wanted a all mighty/all purpose gyuto for the bag, I'd probably get the Mizuno. I have the cleaver and the steels edge retention is very good.

Jay

Bah! Wish I didn't have to but I just got my gal a ring so my bank is bust.
Plus the knife I'm gonna get rid of deserves a better home, she's a drawer queen over here.

kalaeb
07-07-2011, 03:42 PM
Bah! Wish I didn't have to but I just got my gal a ring so my bank is bust.
Plus the knife I'm gonna get rid of deserves a better home, she's a drawer queen over here.

What are you getting rid of?

Don't feel too bad, I sold my motocycle for my wifes ring.

TamanegiKin
07-07-2011, 03:53 PM
What are you getting rid of?

Don't feel too bad, I sold my motocycle for my wifes ring.

Now that's sacrifice! She was probably relieved to see the bike gone.
Awhile back I wanted to put together an old Honda cb into a cafe racer.
My gal wasn't too fond of the idea.
I'm gonna get rid of my suisin gin-momiji funayuki.
It should cover some of the cost of the Mizuno.
Wish I could find more use for it but really I've just stared at it lol.

EdipisReks
07-07-2011, 05:49 PM
Is there another Blue #2 Gyuto besides the clad one? The solid version is stainless.

correct.


Heresy! True knife nuts do not sacrifice knives, we increase the limit of our credit cards.

that's the ideal. unfortunately, SWMBO would be using one of my ever so keen knives on my testicles, if that's what i did.

chazmtb
07-07-2011, 06:17 PM
I'm hoping that a Meiji handled one will show up soon.

WildBoar
07-07-2011, 06:42 PM
I'm hoping that a Meiji handled one will show up soon.When I posed that question to Mr. K., he smiled and said people interested in that style would have something to be happy about very soon.

Mattias504
07-07-2011, 08:08 PM
Hopefully very soon isn't too long. This is a guy with a 3 year waiting list..

mmingio2
07-11-2011, 10:34 AM
I received my 10" Z. Kramer about a week ago and have used it almost nightly. I am a home cook and have never 'reveiwed' a knife here before. My usual goto knife is my Hattori FH 240 gyuto that I love, so that is my best reference point.

The Kramer couldn't be more different. Where the Hattori is elegant, the Kramer is bullish (not a crititcism). If the Hattori is Jerry Rice (fast, thin, nimble), the Kramer is Antonio Gates (huge, strong, agile). Both are fast and at the top of their games.

I love the Kramer handle...fits great in my medium-large hand and I usually prefer a western. The choil and spine are also among the most comfortable I've 'pinched'. The OOTB edge is very, very good (shaves and push cuts easily) and I've not sharpened it yet. Naked leather and balsa stropping have kept it as sharp as my edge pro Chosera 10k finished edges.

The geometry took some getting used to. Initially I thought I would return it to SLT but grew to like it over the week. Huge flat portion was very effective for most tasks. It's the tallest blade I've worked with but still very precise.

Two complaints: 1. There is a spot on the flat edge near the heel that rises off of the board about 0.5mm and it's about 1.5 cm long. Doesn't affect performance but annoying to look at. 2. I am still having trouble walking the board with this knife. Not sure if it's the length of the flat edge or the height of the blade at the heel. My Hattori will fly across the board and has, for me, near perfect geometry. However, it's handle now feels a bit too small.

Lastly, this is my first carbon knife. I cannot believe how much I love this steel. Crazy sharp and retains an edge like no one's business. I plowed through a chicken, including splitting the breastbone, broke down a pineapple, followed by another few pounds of tough-skinned veg and I could not detect a decrease in edge performance.

Overall, I really like the knife. It makes my Hattori look like a suji so I guess I don't need one of those now. Natural patina is setting in and making me even more endeared to this knife. My amature $.02.

-Matt

AMP01
07-11-2011, 03:26 PM
Great write up! I too have a Hattori FH gyuto and love the geometry. I might just have to give this Kramer a try.

Cheers,
Andrew

mmingio2
07-12-2011, 10:35 AM
Can anyone recommend a sheath/saya for this monster?

JohnnyChance
07-12-2011, 11:03 AM
Can anyone recommend a sheath/saya for this monster?

I made one out of a chix towel and some painter's tape, but as far as I know there is no generic saya that will come close to fitting this thing. The heel height is the deal breaker. Edge guard would probably be the only thing that could work.

mmingio2
07-12-2011, 01:02 PM
That's what I'm doing now (edge gaurd). Works but the asthetics are unappealing.


I made one out of a chix towel and some painter's tape, but as far as I know there is no generic saya that will come close to fitting this thing. The heel height is the deal breaker. Edge guard would probably be the only thing that could work.

Noodle Soup
07-12-2011, 01:49 PM
I've use mine for about a week now too. While the blade is very wide, it much thinner and lighter than I expected. Wouldn't want to drop this one point first on the floor.

I haven't cut anything but vegetables and boneless meat but the knife has lost its factory edge. There is an area about 3-inches long a few inches back from the point that is totally light reflecting dull. After all the fanfare I kind of thought it would do a little better than that. For what it is worth, all cutting was on an American made bamboo block.

Time to try resharpening.

Mattias504
07-12-2011, 03:41 PM
You should of sharpened it when you first got it. I wouldn't be worried about losing a factory edge.

Noodle Soup
07-12-2011, 04:46 PM
I like to start with the factory edge when I'm evaluating a new knife as that is what 99% of users will do. And most of them expect the knife to stay working sharp for the next 6 months or so. The lady in SLT told the people in front of me that a good knife only needs to be "sharpened" twice a year but that it should be steeled before every use. The knife seemed reasonably sharp out of the box, sliced tomatoes paper thin with ease etc.

Anyway, now I will resharpen it and see if that makes a difference.

Knifefan
07-12-2011, 07:00 PM
I like to start with the factory edge when I'm evaluating a new knife as that is what 99% of users will do. And most of them expect the knife to stay working sharp for the next 6 months or so. The lady in SLT told the people in front of me that a good knife only needs to be "sharpened" twice a year but that it should be steeled before every use. The knife seemed reasonably sharp out of the box, sliced tomatoes paper thin with ease etc.

Anyway, now I will resharpen it and see if that makes a difference.

I wouldn't know of any knife with a factory edge that stays working sharp for 6 months, working sharp as defined by the guys hanging around in the forums. You will need to steel / strop quite soon after using. Especially if you have a thin edge and cut on a bamboo board.

Have you tried to steel / strop or is the edge so worn out that it needs to be sharpened from scratch?

In general I wouldn't worry about edge retention of the BK Z. At the end it's 52100 at HRC 60-61.

Noodle Soup
07-12-2011, 07:19 PM
I'm not saying I expect a knife to hold a "working edge" for 6 months, I just know the average person walking into SLT and buying a relatively high price piece of cutlery thinks he/she is doing it so they won't have to touch the edge but once in every blue moon. And then they will send it out to an "expert." After all, many cook books tell them that is what they are supposed to do. Trust me, my knives see a stone a LOT oftener than that and I have a small fortune in waterstones sitting around to prove it.

Working sharp means radically different things to different people. I was once at a knife show and custom knifemaker now past on, handed me a paring knife he had made and told me his wife had been using it for two years without resharpening. To me, it was about as dull as a knife could get but to her is was still plenty "working sharp."

As for the 52100 steel, that doesn't mean much if it wasn't heat treated correctly. 52100 is a steel mostly used by the ABS crowd in the US so I have no idea what the Japanese can do with it. But I bought the knife to find out, if you get my drift.

JohnnyChance
07-12-2011, 11:41 PM
The edge retention isn't great on these, but it is pretty cook. A good sharpening job for a home cook should last awhile, but in the kitchen at work mine lasts a couple of days.

Noodle Soup
07-12-2011, 11:46 PM
That sounds about right. I always use that first factory edge way beyond what I normally accept on any knife I have been sharpening myself just as an experiment.

JohnnyChance
07-12-2011, 11:53 PM
The out of the box edge is pretty good, but it's stability is not that good. After your sharpening, it should get a bit sharper and hold it a lot longer.

Knifefan
07-13-2011, 12:34 AM
As for the 52100 steel, that doesn't mean much if it wasn't heat treated correctly. 52100 is a steel mostly used by the ABS crowd in the US so I have no idea what the Japanese can do with it. But I bought the knife to find out, if you get my drift.

If 52100 is hardened to HRC 61, it should hold a decent edge. Saying that, 52100 is not the greatest steel for edge retention. It's main benefit is it's fine grain structure, which makes it very easy to sharpen. Even Bob's originals aren't built to have the longest edge retention.

deanb
07-16-2011, 08:06 PM
If 52100 is hardened to HRC 61, it should hold a decent edge. Saying that, 52100 is not the greatest steel for edge retention. It's main benefit is it's fine grain structure, which makes it very easy to sharpen. Even Bob's originals aren't built to have the longest edge retention.

I think that fine grain structure also allows for a very, very fine edge. It also allows one to easily maintain the edge by stropping on a loaded strop. At least that's been my experience.

EdipisReks
07-16-2011, 08:11 PM
I think that fine grain structure also allows for a very, very fine edge. It also allows one to easily maintain the edge by stropping on a loaded strop. At least that's been my experience.

i haven't used 51200, but that is my experience with white #2 and the steel Shigefusa uses (i've found that blue #2 needs to hit the polishing stone a bit more often).

JohnnyChance
07-17-2011, 12:24 AM
Saying that, 52100 is not the greatest steel for edge retention.

I think Bill Burke would argue with you on that one.

mmingio2
07-17-2011, 03:57 PM
Well, I've spent 2 weeks with the knife now and have come to the conclusion that the geometry and balance are just not right for me. The heel is just too tall and the knife feels blade heavy. I love the steel...admittedly my first carbon experience--but this is the sweetest stuff I've ever sharpened. My favorite knife remains my Hattori FH 240 gyuto. The geometry and balance are impeccable. It's not flashy but just feels 'right' in my hand.

So, I am returning the Kramer to SLT. But I now have to have a good carbon knife. What knife is going to feel like my Hattori but sharpen like the Kramer?

I would like a 240-270 length carbon knife with a premium placed on balance and geometry. I wouldn't mind something thinner than the Hattori, if only to broaden my experience with a wide range of knife styles. Looking to spend no more than $300-350.

TIA for the advice.


Cheers-Matt

EdipisReks
07-17-2011, 04:14 PM
wa or yo handled?

mmingio2
07-17-2011, 04:25 PM
I've never tried a wa-knife (ridiculous, I know) so western is the safe choice for me. Maybe I should try a wa? I cook for my family almost every night so comfort is a premium.

UglyJoe
07-17-2011, 05:42 PM
If you don't like blade heavy (and sounds like you don't) then wa is not for you...

mmingio2
07-17-2011, 06:20 PM
Thanks. You are correct.


If you don't like blade heavy (and sounds like you don't) then wa is not for you...

mmingio2
07-17-2011, 06:21 PM
Yo.


wa or yo handled?

EdipisReks
07-17-2011, 07:43 PM
i would try a wa. i have a 240 FH and i like it, but you should try wa. a konosuke, maybe.

obtuse
07-17-2011, 09:14 PM
Sakai yusuke carbon available from blue way Japan on eBay. The OEM is ashi hamono, I believe. You can expect an excellent grind.

Noodle Soup
07-17-2011, 10:36 PM
This a good example of personal preferences. I would call my Kramer handle heavy rather than blade heavy. I also don't really see anything wrong with the edge geometry for an all round chef knife. To me the balance makes it very easy to use the point for fine tasks just as a handle heavy fighting knife is better for point work. It is certainly wider than the average chef knife but that hasn't caused any problems. I'm just not sure the steel is offering anything special in edge holding abilities for the price. While I'm willing to pay a little more to allow Kramer to get his cut there is a limit to how much I think that star status is worth.

JohnnyChance
07-18-2011, 01:16 AM
This a good example of personal preferences. I would call my Kramer handle heavy rather than blade heavy. I also don't really see anything wrong with the edge geometry for an all round chef knife. To me the balance makes it very easy to use the point for fine tasks just as a handle heavy fighting knife is better for point work. It is certainly wider than the average chef knife but that hasn't caused any problems. I'm just not sure the steel is offering anything special in edge holding abilities for the price. While I'm willing to pay a little more to allow Kramer to get his cut there is a limit to how much I think that star status is worth.

This is pretty dead on. Edge retention isn't great, but it does get very sharp, feels good on the stones. It is wider than most but doesn't feel like a giant (to me). It acts more nimble than it's size indicates. And that is due to the very thin tip, which like Noodle Soup said, makes it very versatile, a great all around chefs knife.

I never viewed handle heavy or blade heavy as a subjective thing. It is either one or the other. You can certainly prefer one or the other, but this knife balances just in front of the bolster. Even when using a hammer grip it isn't blade heavy. What is the balance point on the Hattori FH? Handle heavy knives give much poorer feedback for me, like the tip is floating out in front the blade and I can't be sure of it's location. Being on the blade heavy side also seems to help do some of the work.

Knifefan
07-18-2011, 04:14 AM
Since it's been mentioned a few times that the edge retention isn't great, it would be interesting to compare the edge retention with a Kramer original. Anyone who has that direct comparison?

WildBoar
07-18-2011, 05:49 PM
The SLT K-Z gyutos I handled were all, well, handle-heavy. When a wa or hybrid version comes out, I suspect the balance point will move more down the blade and be more in line with what I prefer.

mpukas
07-18-2011, 08:34 PM
I would like a 240-270 length carbon knife with a premium placed on balance and geometry. I wouldn't mind something thinner than the Hattori, if only to broaden my experience with a wide range of knife styles. Looking to spend no more than $300-350.

+1 on the Sakai Yusuke 240 yo-gyuto (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=230581189924&ssPageName=STRK:MESINDXX:IT) f/ Blue Way Japan. Finding a solid steel carbon knife w/ a western handle is a bit challenging - not many options.

I have the 270 yo version and love it! I also have a 270 FH, and I actually prefer the Yusuke knife to it, and I LOVE the FH. Great value, excellent quality. Can get crazy sharp and holds an edge quite well. Doesn't keep that off-the-stones shaving sharp edge for long, but keeps an edge that's very acceptable for kitchen work and touches up nicely w/ a MAC ceramic stick if I'm in a hurry or better yet a few passes on some loaded strops.

deanb
07-18-2011, 08:35 PM
Since it's been mentioned a few times that the edge retention isn't great, it would be interesting to compare the edge retention with a Kramer original. Anyone who has that direct comparison?

I have both and I can't tell the difference in edge retention. Also, in regards to balance, both knives balance at the front of the bolster. For a pinch grip this is neither blade heavy nor handle heavy. It's exactly where you want the balance point. I think that the balance point should be directly under the knuckle of your index finger.

JohnnyChance
07-19-2011, 01:47 AM
I would like a 240-270 length carbon knife with a premium placed on balance and geometry. I wouldn't mind something thinner than the Hattori, if only to broaden my experience with a wide range of knife styles. Looking to spend no more than $300-350.

DT ITK in 52100? Masamoto KS? Neither is super thin, if you want that then I guess Konosuke is the preferred standard.

I have a Sakai Gyuto from bluewayjapan and even at almost double the price I would rather have the Kramer. The Sakai white steel isn't nearly as fun as the 52100 of the Kramer, edge retention is about the same, and reactivity is about 20x worse. The white might get a tad sharper, but doesn't keep it.

I am not sure what improvements geometry wise you are looking for over the Kramer. It could use a bit more convexing to reduce sticking a tad more, but I have no problems with wedging or major sticking. Profile I can see how you might prefer something different. A shorter heel and less bull nosed tip would improve it for me.

EDIT: It terms of the edge retention issue, it isn't spectacular, but it isn't a deal breaker either. It strops and hones well and certainly for home users it is more than adequate. But it could be a bit better. The edge stability/toughness is great though. I have had no issues with chipping, even when butchering whole birds, fish, and hitting olive pits accidentally.

UglyJoe
07-19-2011, 11:07 AM
I like those suggestions, but he's not looking for a wa handle knife... he likes a knife that's balanced farther back and is more handle heavy. Some of the Gesshin knives would probably fit the bill for thinner than the Hattori but still western and balanced correctly.

EdipisReks
07-19-2011, 12:02 PM
I like those suggestions, but he's not looking for a wa handle knife... he likes a knife that's balanced farther back and is more handle heavy.

he has no real way of knowing that until he tries a wa knife. i thought the same thing, until i bought a wa knife.

JohnnyChance
07-19-2011, 12:11 PM
Oh right, I forgot he didn't want wa. Don't the 52100 ITKs come in western handles sometimes?

Eamon Burke
07-19-2011, 12:36 PM
What the hell is this thread about?! Are there seriously 19 pages of talk about the Kramer branded knife from Henckels?

jaybett
07-19-2011, 03:12 PM
What the hell is this thread about?! Are there seriously 19 pages of talk about the Kramer branded knife from Henckels?

Are you surprised to find a thread about a knife, on a knife forum?

Jay

EdipisReks
07-19-2011, 05:16 PM
this is a knife forum? no wonder there isn't much talk about ponies!

obtuse
07-19-2011, 08:15 PM
I prefer western handles as well... not for any particular reason. I have knives both yo and wa, I like western for western-style knives and wa for traditional Japanese knives. I don't like ponies that bite.

Dave Martell
07-19-2011, 08:52 PM
Anyone notice the number of views that this thread has?

steeley
07-19-2011, 10:16 PM
IT'S always been about the ponies.
and tasty turtles http://www.limepic.com/img/wsb400x300ponyparty0.jpghttp://www.limepic.com/img/funnyturtles12831615.jpg

so_sleepy
07-19-2011, 10:27 PM
Anyone notice the number of views that this thread has?

That is Google traffic. This thread is the #3 link right after SLT and youtube.

Dave Martell
07-19-2011, 11:38 PM
That is Google traffic. This thread is the #3 link right after SLT and youtube.


Cool!

mpukas
07-20-2011, 12:08 AM
I have a Sakai Gyuto from bluewayjapan and even at almost double the price I would rather have the Kramer. The Sakai white steel isn't nearly as fun as the 52100 of the Kramer, edge retention is about the same, and reactivity is about 20x worse. The white might get a tad sharper, but doesn't keep it.

I find this very interesting - appreciate the comments as I have a 270 Yusuke f/ BWJ that is my main knife. I like it quite a lot, but there are a lot of other knives I want to try and compare it to - the Z-K being one of them.

Do you find the Z-K holds an edge better? Why do you find the 52100 "more fun" than the white #2 - better on stones? When I got into J-knives I wans't sure I'd like a wa handle. Now I like it lot, and am not sure I'd like the handle on the Z-K; but as far as western handles go, it seems pretty darn cool. Cheers! mpp

JohnnyChance
07-20-2011, 12:35 AM
I find the Sakai so reactive that I have to babysit it and can't use it for a number of things (acid foods, onions, etc). I find it a little annoying to work around its reactivity, that's why the 52100 is more fun. Once you have a nice patina, and it takes one easily, it doesn't discolor food, doesn't smell and doesn't rust easily. Sharpness and edge retention are pretty similar between the two.

I too prefer wa handles, but the ZK western is pretty comfy.

Seb
07-20-2011, 09:25 AM
Interesting... my White#2 Yusuke and my Masamoto HC are my least reactive carbons.

mpukas
07-20-2011, 10:47 AM
Yeah, I find that interessting too. I don't have any problems w/ reactivity w/ my Yusuke. It developed a patina pretty qucikly, and it's ever changeing depending on what I'm cutting - acidic, proteins, etc. And I'm not a patina queen, so every so often I'll scrub it a bit w/ a scotch brite pad to clean it up - sometimes I find the patina gets "sticky" when wiping it down. Never had a rust problem, discoloration, smells, etc. even after cutting limes and letting it sit for 1/2 hour. Not at all reactive like the cheap iron cladding on my Moritaka.

JohnnyChance
07-20-2011, 12:41 PM
Interesting... my White#2 Yusuke and my Masamoto HC are my least reactive carbons.


Yeah, I find that interessting too. I don't have any problems w/ reactivity w/ my Yusuke. It developed a patina pretty qucikly, and it's ever changeing depending on what I'm cutting - acidic, proteins, etc. And I'm not a patina queen, so every so often I'll scrub it a bit w/ a scotch brite pad to clean it up - sometimes I find the patina gets "sticky" when wiping it down. Never had a rust problem, discoloration, smells, etc. even after cutting limes and letting it sit for 1/2 hour. Not at all reactive like the cheap iron cladding on my Moritaka.

Hmm, that's weird. Mine is super reactive. I have had natural and mustard patinas and both have colored foods, smelled, rusted, etc. I also forgot to add that the edge feels "brittle". I am not sure how to describe it, I am not saying that the edge crumbles or doesn't stand up. It just feels brittle or flexible whenever the blade walks or rocks on the board. I don't do this a lot, but when I do, it doesn't feel great, almost like nails on a chalkboard.

EdipisReks
07-20-2011, 12:50 PM
the Yusuke is white 2, right? i have several white 2 knives, and none are amazingly reactive.

JohnnyChance
07-20-2011, 01:05 PM
Yes, White #2.

EdipisReks
07-20-2011, 01:09 PM
weird, then. my Konosuke white, which is quite similar to that knife, is neither very reactive (it puts the forced in forced patina) or brittle at the edge. must be something specific to their implementation.

mpukas
07-20-2011, 01:33 PM
[/FONT]
I also forgot to add that the edge feels "brittle". I am not sure how to describe it, I am not saying that the edge crumbles or doesn't stand up. It just feels brittle or flexible whenever the blade walks or rocks on the board. I don't do this a lot, but when I do, it doesn't feel great, almost like nails on a chalkboard.

The facory edge on my knife did seem brittle - I used the factory edge for a bit to see what it was like, and I got a few micro-chips. Felt the same way you describe when rocking and walking. Since I've sharpened itmyself, I've had zero chipping issues, and the edge feels much sturdier and stronger. Not sure why...

Here's an e-mail response I got f/ Keiichi when I asked about the sticker on the box that says "carbon steel";


Yusuke always says it is a white #2 steel but inscribes "carbon steel" on the sticker for it. I assume it is something improved white steel, I can not specify the particular name though. Because I use a short sujihiki in white #2 steel in my kitchen and I saw that it was not very reactive against the lemons or other acid foods. There are small rust spots on my blade but it is not very serious. So it seems to have both characteristics of carbon and stainless steel. I like my Yusuke very much. Hope those help you.
Regards,
Keiichi

JohnnyChance
07-20-2011, 01:39 PM
I have put a ton of edges on the Sakai. I did bring it too far once and the edge crumbled almost immediately. Since then I have backed it off and it has been fine, stable, no chipping, but it still feels brittle on the board. Currently it has an 80/20 edge with some thinning which has been the best for me so far.

mpukas
07-20-2011, 01:47 PM
I find this all very intriguing how our experiences are so different. You have a lot more experience w/ J-kinves than I do, and I fully believe what your'e describing.

Eamon Burke
07-20-2011, 01:55 PM
That is Google traffic. This thread is the #3 link right after SLT and youtube.

That is amazing.

mast3quila
07-20-2011, 05:23 PM
I am loving the 8" Z. Kramer. I have the Shun Kramer Santoku and am wondering if it is worth keeping. In other words, return it to SLT for the ZK paring and utility or hold onto it because it might be worth something someday to a collector.

so_sleepy
07-20-2011, 05:31 PM
I am loving the 8" Z. Kramer. I have the Shun Kramer Santoku and am wondering if it is worth keeping. In other words, return it to SLT for the ZK paring and utility or hold onto it because it might be worth something someday to a collector.

These knives being mass-produced are not likely to interest collectors. Hold on to your shun-kramer if you want to keep a stainless knife around.

mast3quila
07-20-2011, 05:38 PM
Thanks. That makes sense. There are a bunch of them out there and it's really just another cladded Shun like my Kaji Fusions (8" Chef, 5" Util, 3" Paring) that barely see the light of day. I've learned so much from this forum and am just starting on my journey from "semi-informed Shun is the best" to well.....you know. I have a similar flashlight "hobby" and candlepowerforums.com is doing the same thing.

Cheers!

deanb
08-01-2011, 08:41 PM
I've had the ZK 10" chef's knife for two months now. I settled on a 10 degree bevel angle which seems to be what the knife likes. It takes as good an edge as I have seen and, with occasional stropping, keeps it very well. At this price point I don't think you can do any better.

jmforge
08-02-2011, 04:38 PM
I was at a big box store today and the thing that struck me was how much better the fit and finish on the ZK 8" that I handle at SLT was than that on the Spanish made Zwilling lines like the Pro S. The Pro S and 5 Star knives and the comparable Wusthofs looked like they had been sharpened on a cinder block.

deanb
08-02-2011, 06:44 PM
I was at a big box store today and the thing that struck me was how much better the fit and finish on the ZK 8" that I handle at SLT was than that on the Spanish made Zwilling lines like the Pro S. The Pro S and 5 Star knives and the comparable Wusthofs looked like they had been sharpened on a cinder block.

Whole different ball game.

Noodle Soup
08-02-2011, 07:13 PM
I know it is but should it be? I think the Kramer line is what they should be producing for about a $100-$150 less per knife. I also think most of the current price is them trying to cash in on Kramer's fame and, maybe, just maybe, royalties to Kramer. Hope it is Kramer that is cashing in rather than SLT and the Germans. :)

Eamon Burke
08-03-2011, 12:51 AM
I know it is but should it be? I think the Kramer line is what they should be producing for about a $100-$150 less per knife. I also think most of the current price is them trying to cash in on Kramer's fame and, maybe, just maybe, royalties to Kramer. Hope it is Kramer that is cashing in rather than SLT and the Germans. :)

The price isn't just fame, it's distribution, royalties, marketing, import fees, paying off their investors, rewarding shareholders, maintaining the mandated growth rate, etc etc. Not to mention what it would do to Kramer's current business model and *unique* price point if he has his name on something that is even 60% of what a real Kramer is, but only(literally) 0.6% the price.

I agree that there is no excuse for store-bought knives being as useless and poorly designed as they are, but the fault lies in the consumer that is willing to buy whatever is on the shelf that leaves money in his wallet to buy cigarettes and beer.

jmforge
08-03-2011, 02:02 AM
The Zwilling Kramer appears to be made pretty much like a real Kramer. Not exactly conducive to the mass production techniques used by Zwilling for their drop forged integral knives with flat pre cut and chamfered scales or injection molded handles. i suspect that with the regular knives, the most time consuming piece of labor is blade finishing and sharpening. Everything else is cookie cutter. MUCH harder to do that with the Kramer even if the blade is laser or water jet blanked and machine ground. While the fit and finish may not be up to Hancock, Fuegen, Henry or Warenski levels, you can look at the Kramer compared to the regular Zwilling stuff and see that there was some hand work involved and more care taken. All in all not bad for the same price as a mid sized Strider with a kite string handle sells for "factory direct".:lol2:
I know it is but should it be? I think the Kramer line is what they should be producing for about a $100-$150 less per knife. I also think most of the current price is them trying to cash in on Kramer's fame and, maybe, just maybe, royalties to Kramer. Hope it is Kramer that is cashing in rather than SLT and the Germans. :)

Knifefan
08-03-2011, 09:45 AM
The Zwilling Kramer appears to be made pretty much like a real Kramer. Not exactly conducive to the mass production techniques used by Zwilling for their drop forged integral knives with flat pre cut and chamfered scales or injection molded handles. i suspect that with the regular knives, the most time consuming piece of labor is blade finishing and sharpening. Everything else is cookie cutter. MUCH harder to do that with the Kramer even if the blade is laser or water jet blanked and machine ground. While the fit and finish may not be up to Hancock, Fuegen, Henry or Warenski levels, you can look at the Kramer compared to the regular Zwilling stuff and see that there was some hand work involved and more care taken. All in all not bad for the same price as a mid sized Strider with a kite string handle sells for "factory direct".:lol2:

+1

If the Z BK is overpriced and Kramer, the Germans and SLT are "cashing in", what about an original BK?

Noodle Soup
08-03-2011, 12:11 PM
You won't find me trying to justify the price of a custom Bob Kramer. That is purely the result of a fad rather than superior performance of a massive magnitude.

But I still think $350 is a lot of money for a factory made knife.

jaybett
08-03-2011, 07:05 PM
[QUOTE=Noodle Soup;33438]I know it is but should it be? I think the Kramer line is what they should be producing for about a $100-$150 less per knife. I also think most of the current price is them trying to cash in on Kramer's fame and, maybe, just maybe, royalties to Kramer. Hope it is Kramer that is cashing in rather than SLT and the Germans. :)[/QUOTE

It's okay not to like a knife, where the profile is awkward, and doesn't fit with your cutting style. Questioning the value of a knife without stating your reasons, means the lack of a valid objection.

Jay

jmforge
08-03-2011, 11:58 PM
Just like $200K+ is a lot of money for a "base model" factory made Ferrari California Sypder. :biggrin:
You won't find me trying to justify the price of a custom Bob Kramer. That is purely the result of a fad rather than superior performance of a massive magnitude.

But I still think $350 is a lot of money for a factory made knife.

Knifefan
08-04-2011, 04:41 AM
It's okay not to like a knife, where the profile is awkward, and doesn't fit with your cutting style. Questioning the value of a knife without stating your reasons, means the lack of a valid objection.

Jay

+1

Based on what I have seen from the Z BK, this knife is not for everyone and may not be liked by everyone. But if you look at it purely from a production perspective, one has to conclude that it offers a pretty good value. Many of the features / details that it includes probably require a lot more hand work than your typical 'factory made knife'.

jmforge
08-04-2011, 11:39 AM
Correct me if I am wrong, but I was under the impression that Bob Kramer's carbon steel knives, while expensive, are not really that out of line with what others American makers in his position and high end Japanese smiths would charge for similar pieces. I thought that the complex damascus pieces were the ones bringing the outrageous sums when auctioned.

El Pescador
08-04-2011, 12:45 PM
Correct me if I am wrong, but I was under the impression that Bob Kramer's carbon steel knives, while expensive, are not really that out of line with what others American makers in his position and high end Japanese smiths would charge for similar pieces. I thought that the complex damascus pieces were the ones bringing the outrageous sums when auctioned.


He charges double what Devin Thomas does...

so_sleepy
08-04-2011, 03:48 PM
Correct me if I am wrong, but I was under the impression that Bob Kramer's carbon steel knives, while expensive, are not really that out of line with what others American makers in his position and high end Japanese smiths would charge for similar pieces. I thought that the complex damascus pieces were the ones bringing the outrageous sums when auctioned.

Last time I checked, Bob was charging $150 per inch for 52100 and $400 per inch for damascus.

deanb
08-04-2011, 08:00 PM
You won't find me trying to justify the price of a custom Bob Kramer. That is purely the result of a fad rather than superior performance of a massive magnitude.

But I still think $350 is a lot of money for a factory made knife.

I couldn't disagree more, on both points. Bob has perfected his craft to the point of being an art form. The auction prices paid may (or may not) be the result of a "fad" but his regular pricing is commensurate with the product he offers. He's one guy churning out these masterpieces by himself. He deserves to make a good living.

As to $350 being a lot for a factory made knife; show me a comparable factory made knife for less. I certainly don't know of one.

Marko Tsourkan
08-04-2011, 08:09 PM
...
As to $350 being a lot for a factory made knife; show me a comparable factory made knife for less. I certainly don't know of one.

Most factory knives in this price range won't be is as good a steel as 52100, and I am not impressed by what's available. From what I have read about Zwilling Kramer, grind is very good, F&F is excellent but a heat treatment is good but not as good as on custom Kramer knvies. Incidentally, my (read Devin's) heat treatment resulted in a longer edge retention on a knife I made than Zwilling Kramer.

Worth the money or not? It is up to a buyer. I personally think it is a better choice than a Japanese equivalent - better steel, better F&F and probably better HT, but at the same time, you can pick a custom from a number of makers for comparable (or maybe a slightly higher) price that will outperform Zwilling Kramer. Just pointing out that custom heat treatment is likely result in a better edge.


M

jmforge
08-05-2011, 01:34 AM
From what I have seen and heard, Kramer has nailed the heat treat of 52100 about as good as you can. I was checking videos out on his website and I saw multiple salt pots. I'm not sure what Zwilling is using in Japan for austenizing.
Most factory knives in this price range won't be is as good a steel as 52100, and I am not impressed by what's available. From what I have read about Zwilling Kramer, grind is very good, F&F is excellent but a heat treatment is good but not as good as on custom Kramer knvies. Incidentally, my (read Devin's) heat treatment resulted in a longer edge retention on a knife I made than Zwilling Kramer.

Worth the money or not? It is up to a buyer. I personally think it is a better choice than a Japanese equivalent - better steel, better F&F and probably better HT, but at the same time, you can pick a custom from a number of makers for comparable (or maybe a slightly higher) price that will outperform Zwilling Kramer. Just pointing out that custom heat treatment is likely result in a better edge.


M

JohnnyChance
08-05-2011, 01:38 AM
Just to note, while it might be a big german company that produces them, it is a american design and (at least partially) handmade in japan. So every big nation in the cutlery world is involved somehow!

JohnnyChance
08-05-2011, 01:43 AM
From what I have seen and heard, Kramer has nailed the heat treat of 52100 about as good as you can. I was checking videos out on his website and I saw multiple salt pots. I'm not sure what Zwilling is using in Japan for austenizing.

His heat treat is optimized for edge durability, not edge retention. So his don't chip as easy, but they don't keep that screaming sharp quality as long either. So for his objective, he did nail it. If you want a harder heat treat with better retention, then no, there are better heat treats out there.

Bill Burke is well known for his triple quench 52100 and is considered by many to have the best heat treat on 52100.

Knifefan
08-05-2011, 03:56 AM
Worth the money or not? It is up to a buyer. I personally think it is a better choice than a Japanese equivalent - better steel, better F&F and probably better HT, but at the same time, you can pick a custom from a number of makers for comparable (or maybe a slightly higher) price that will outperform Zwilling Kramer. Just pointing out that custom heat treatment is likely result in a better edge.


M


You are comparing the value of a custom knife purchased directly from the manufacturer to one sold through the trade with the usual trade margins. IMO this is a difficult comparison. We should compare apples to apples.

Marko Tsourkan
08-05-2011, 09:12 AM
From what I have seen and heard, Kramer has nailed the heat treat of 52100 about as good as you can. I was checking videos out on his website and I saw multiple salt pots. I'm not sure what Zwilling is using in Japan for austenizing.

True that, but I would bet you that the heat treatment Henckels does (or Japanese at the factory where it is made) is very different and is not one knife at a time. Bob Kramer customs can hold edge for two weeks in pro kitchen (with periodic stropping). While it sounds like a long time, knives from Devin Thomas and Bill Burke would surpass that by a lot.

M

Marko Tsourkan
08-05-2011, 09:19 AM
I was just stating my opinion whether it is worth $350 to a buyer. Though it is not a lot o money, I would probably opted for a custom in that or slightly higher price range from US makers.

Of course, if I were for in market for a Kramer, I would probably put up with 3 years wait and $140/inch cost to get a real thing (with B.K. heat treatment and handle work skill), but I am not in the market.

M

JohnnyChance
08-05-2011, 01:04 PM
You are comparing the value of a custom knife purchased directly from the manufacturer to one sold through the trade with the usual trade margins. IMO this is a difficult comparison. We should compare apples to apples.

That is a difficult comparison. However, when they are close to the same price range, I think some comparisons can be made, because they are competing with each other (at least in our knife nut demographic). Most customs would be ~$100 more than the Zwilling Kramer, but that difference isn't that much at that price point. I wouldn't compare a $100 knife to a $200 one, but there are a bunch of blades $350-500 that can and should be compared side to side.

bprescot
08-05-2011, 03:32 PM
Hmm. I do think it might be difficult to compare a mass-market knife to a custom, especially one where you can work with the maker to get something more suited to your needs/style. That said, there are plenty of custom-makers that make knives for sale without a particular buyer in mind, and they can be found lots of place. Just a quick perusal puts the Zwilling Kramer competing with some of those type but also a few more mass-markets:

Watanabe Blue steel 240
Mizuno Tanrenjo Hontanren 240
Takeda 240
Misono UX-10 240
Kikuichi Gold 240
Sakai Takayuki Damascus 240
Zakuri AS 240
Suisin Inox Honyaki 240

Probably a few others we can think of as well. All can be found in the same price range and ready to ship right now from more than a few vendors. Seems like these guys and similar are the competition, or? So my question would be how this stacks up against those or similar?

SpikeC
08-05-2011, 04:39 PM
I don't think that I would trade my Takeda for a Z BK.

deanb
08-05-2011, 07:33 PM
Hmm. I do think it might be difficult to compare a mass-market knife to a custom, especially one where you can work with the maker to get something more suited to your needs/style. That said, there are plenty of custom-makers that make knives for sale without a particular buyer in mind, and they can be found lots of place. Just a quick perusal puts the Zwilling Kramer competing with some of those type but also a few more mass-markets:

Watanabe Blue steel 240
Mizuno Tanrenjo Hontanren 240
Takeda 240
Misono UX-10 240
Kikuichi Gold 240
Sakai Takayuki Damascus 240
Zakuri AS 240
Suisin Inox Honyaki 240

Probably a few others we can think of as well. All can be found in the same price range and ready to ship right now from more than a few vendors. Seems like these guys and similar are the competition, or? So my question would be how this stacks up against those or similar?

The only knife on your list I have any experience with is the Suisin Inox Honyaki (270 mm). I really can't comment on the edge holding ability because I'm a home cook, and a little obsessive about stropping at that, but the ZK is certainly easier to sharpen. Also wire edges aren't really an issue with the ZK. That being said, I wouldn't trade either for the other. I love them both. F&F is great on both, they both take a great edge, and they both are a lot of fun to use. Two big differences are that the ZK is a western style chef's knife and the Suisin is a Japanese wa-gyuto and the ZK is carbon while the Suisin is stainless. Personal preference would play a big part if you were contemplating buying one or the other but they are certainly in the same league in terms of quality.

JohnnyChance
08-05-2011, 07:49 PM
Hmm. I do think it might be difficult to compare a mass-market knife to a custom, especially one where you can work with the maker to get something more suited to your needs/style. That said, there are plenty of custom-makers that make knives for sale without a particular buyer in mind, and they can be found lots of place. Just a quick perusal puts the Zwilling Kramer competing with some of those type but also a few more mass-markets:

Watanabe Blue steel 240
Mizuno Tanrenjo Hontanren 240
Takeda 240
Misono UX-10 240
Kikuichi Gold 240
Sakai Takayuki Damascus 240
Zakuri AS 240
Suisin Inox Honyaki 240

Probably a few others we can think of as well. All can be found in the same price range and ready to ship right now from more than a few vendors. Seems like these guys and similar are the competition, or? So my question would be how this stacks up against those or similar?

The DT ITK knives are also about the same price as the Zwilling Kramer. They are kinda both each maker's "mid-tech" knives, with Devin's obviously being more maker-made than Bob's. And also available in 52100 if you so choose.

Anyone have a DT ITK 52100 and a ZK 52100? Wonder how the heat treats differ. Or anyone with a DT 52100, feel free to send it to me for evaluation. :D

TamanegiKin
08-05-2011, 08:32 PM
The only knife on your list I have any experience with is the Suisin Inox Honyaki (270 mm). I really can't comment on the edge holding ability because I'm a home cook, and a little obsessive about stropping at that, but the ZK is certainly easier to sharpen. Also wire edges aren't really an issue with the ZK. That being said, I wouldn't trade either for the other. I love them both. F&F is great on both, they both take a great edge, and they both are a lot of fun to use. Two big differences are that the ZK is a western style chef's knife and the Suisin is a Japanese wa-gyuto and the ZK is carbon while the Suisin is stainless. Personal preference would play a big part if you were contemplating buying one or the other but they are certainly in the same league in terms of quality.

The Suisin is a great knife, imo It's edge holding is really good.
As far as holding a functional edge I feel It's up there.
I use my suisin as my primary knife for prep, beast o' burden.
I can't really say much about the Z-BK, I've only handled it at SLT.
I can say it was awkward listening to the sales pitch from the employee at SLT. :biggrin:

Marko Tsourkan
08-05-2011, 09:59 PM
My heat treatment on 52100 is a derivative of Devin's, so you have an idea.

Devin has 30+ years of experience and his heat treatment of various steels reflects that. They might be mid- teckh knives, but his HT is a custom, while ZK is a high volume, production style HT. Devin does things that are not done in production setting.
I have no doubt as which results in a better edge retention. But it would be good to compare.



M



M

EdipisReks
01-12-2012, 03:18 PM
are owners of the Z-BK still happy with them?

DeepCSweede
01-12-2012, 03:40 PM
I love mine and am enjoying breaking it in. I still am working on getting a decent blue patina on it. I have large mitts and the handle fits me perfectly. I tried out several others in the purchasing process and the 10" was a winner hands down.

I also have the paring knife - I do not have as much love with that since the handle could be longer but it is 100 times better than the knife I replaced it with and I do love the 52100.

deanb
01-12-2012, 08:43 PM
are owners of the Z-BK still happy with them?

I sure am. I started this thread last June 1st and since then I've used it quite a bit. I'm a home cook so I'm not the best guy to ask about edge retention but I'm impressed. I think Zwilling got this one right.

NO ChoP!
01-13-2012, 01:08 AM
I find the parer to be the most functional and comfortable parer I've ever used.

The 10" chefs takes some getting used to. It has a very large flat spot before it curves up to a very fine point. The "sweet spot" is kind of oddly placed; the action used is unique to this knife and has a learning curve. That said, it's a terrific knife, with an awesome handle, nicely rounded AND polished choil and spine, and an unmatched distal taper. Some may actually find the tip too thin and flexible....

It's truly a love or hate knife....

DeepCSweede
01-13-2012, 10:52 AM
I find the parer to be the most functional and comfortable parer I've ever used.

The 10" chefs takes some getting used to. It has a very large flat spot before it curves up to a very fine point. The "sweet spot" is kind of oddly placed; the action used is unique to this knife and has a learning curve. That said, it's a terrific knife, with an awesome handle, nicely rounded AND polished choil and spine, and an unmatched distal taper. Some may actually find the tip too thin and flexible....

It's truly a love or hate knife....

I agree with that and I definitely love mine. I had no intention of getting the 10" until I tried it out at SLT and that was it - I was sold.

Lucretia
01-13-2012, 12:14 PM
I like my ZK utility knife more all the time. My first experience with a carbon knife, and I really like it--not hard at all to take care of it. The rounded spine and choil make a huge difference in the comfort. I'm starting to get some arthritis in my hands, and comfort is going way up on the list of requirements for my knives.

Another big advantage the ZKs have is you can get one right away. I'm in the queue for a custom, but it'll be a year and I need a knife in the meantime. It's frustrating--there are midtechs & customs I'd really like to try, but none of them are in stock. I'm considering about a ZK chef that I could get today if I so desire, and with all the good reviews, I might take a second look at a paring knife since I need one of those too. I'm tempted to try a Carter SFGZ, but a little concerned about how it will feel in my hand. I've seen a lot of complaints about F&F, whereas most people are pretty happy with the F&F on the ZK.

Rick
03-21-2012, 12:12 AM
I've had this knife for 6-months and it has become my all around knife. The handle looked large and bulky but, you can prep a lot of stuff and not fatigue at all. The blade design is really quite sublime and is versatile to the point that I don't find myself switching knives except to a utility or small paring knife. I love sharpening the carbon steel and it can be made razor sharp. Holds an edge pretty well but, not as well as my demascus custom Kramer. The patina that has formed on the blade is just insane gorgeous if, you are into that sort of thing. All in all, I have been very happy with this knife. :thumbsup:

NO ChoP!
03-21-2012, 09:39 AM
Alright, I'm going to call the Kramer out, and hope that no one that traded in their Vette to buy one doesn't come looking for me.... ( these people must be displaying these and not using them, as I can't believe NO ONE has pointed this out!)

The 10" Kramer is really a 6" Kramer attached to the front of a flat 4" cleaver!!! (I have the Z, but I'm assuming the real deal shares the profile, no?)

Really...

I find the front six inches and the back four to work very differently with zero cohesion between the two. This knife actually has two sweet spots! BUT, it has one spot, that lies between the front six and the back four that is useless, clumsy and actually poorly designed IMO.

I have been using this knife for quite some time now, and when I say use I mean professionally; I beat the snot out of it...

There are still lots of things I love about this knife; handle, steel, taper, tip; but it's awkwardness is something I haven't been able to overcome. It is actually something I have become cognitive of; either use the back end like a nakiri or a cleaver, or the front like a huge bellied chef knife.......

Hopefully, someone may take this into consideration before dropping the newly raised to $399 price tag.............

DanB
03-21-2012, 09:52 AM
I posted on the Z-Kramer 10" already and was REALLY disappointed with it. F&F was not as good as I thought it should be at this price point (I'm a home cook who hasn't explored the world of custom knives, so some of you may still think $350 is modest. I don't). I tried to cut a beef rawhide for my dogs, something my Forschner's does with ease, and the attempt left a 1/4" gash in the steel. Yes, a gash, not a chip. Maybe I shouldn't cut such an object with this kind of knife, but a gash in the steel? Sorry, underwhelmed. Recently bought the 240mm CarboNext gyuto and like it MUCH more. Needs sharpening though.