View Full Version : Shun Kramer

08-29-2011, 08:20 PM

What is the general opinion of this knife

I understand its not made by Bob himself but how close would it be ?

It looks beautiful but is the steel any good for the asking price or is it more of a cosmetic knife ?


NO ChoP!
08-29-2011, 10:48 PM
I think the Henckels Kramer edition is more highly touted around these parts. Its carbon vs. the shuns stainless damascus look. Although the profile of the shun is similar to a Kramer, I think the steel is pure shun.... good looker, though.

08-29-2011, 11:50 PM
The Shun Kramer is a big knife, but is surprisingly nimble. Fit and finish are excellent. Cladding on the Shun classics are easily scuffed. I don't know if that applies to their higher end lines. Cutting performance was average.

The Kramer Zwilling is closer to an original Kramer. The steel is the same, the profile, grind, handle are close. Cutting Performance was very good. It's a very easy knife to sharpen.

If you are looking for a Damascus knife, then you should visit Devin Thomas's website. He is one of the top producers of damascus steel and an excellent knife maker.


08-30-2011, 12:36 AM
I have a Shun Kramer and a Zwilling Kramer and have held (briefly, haha) a real damascus Kramer.

The Shun Kramer is SG2 stainless, with damascus cladding. The steel is very chippy. The profile is similar to an original Kramer, the geometry is no where close.

The Zwilling Kramer is 52100 solid carbon steel. It takes a great edge and holds it reasonably well. It will rust and discolor if it is not cared for properly. The profile is identical to an original Kramer, and the geometry is very very close as well. A much, much, much better knife than the Shun.

If you want a stainless knife with a similar look to the Shun Kramer, I would recommend the Miyabi Birchwood. Same SG2 steel, but it is much better than Shun's version. Plus you can try this knife out in person before you buy it if you have a Sur La Table near you (and also return it if you don't like it, unlike ebay).

08-30-2011, 09:10 AM
it both looks good and a good steel. Shun will be coming out with a new line with same materials and different profiles soon, and I can't remember the name. I guess their Kramer version was a big hit so they wanted to carry it into a new version without paying BK. I believe the Miyabi line from Henkels makes better performers then Shun. Same steels, but I guess they use state of the art HT's on their steels that better resists chipping and provides longer edge retention.

NO ChoP!
08-30-2011, 11:38 AM
The Miyabi microcarbide knives (MC), use zdp-189, which is a steel at the price.

The steel in the Shun Kramer is identical to the Shun Kaji line{(William Sonoma)(SG2 powdered)}. It's a mirrored and layered damascus clad, that is beautiful to look at, but not even close to Kramer damascus. Its basically a Shun Kaji with a Kramer-esque handle and profile.....

08-30-2011, 06:10 PM
The Miyabi microcarbide knives (MC), use zdp-189, which is a steel at the price.

Morimoto's Miyabi series is SG2 and some other newer Miyabis too.

08-31-2011, 08:39 AM
SG2 can be a great steel! I think Shun messes something up when tempering them down. The chippiness issue seems to be almost "Shun-specific".
When I think about it, Shun VG10 seems to be chippier than other VG10 I've used, as well. Tojiro and Kagayaki VG10 seemed to be much nicer to me. Hmmm.
To be honest, if you're looking at Damascus, and want a truly good knife, you should take a real look at the Kagayaki AS that is for sale in the B/S/T forum right now.

09-01-2011, 10:08 PM
my teacher from back in high school got one of the Shun Kramers as soon as they came out. he loves it, but ive used it a couple times and hate it. its really high off the board, has too much rock, and just feels flat out awkward. its not even that sharp. i can get my Shun Classic Utility just as sharp on a ceramic steel. i cant speak for chippiness, but it just doesnt feel right. if your looking for a high end knife, id say get a Misono. i have a couple UX10's, and they're OUTSTANDING. the steel takes an almost identical edge to most carbon knives, but it's rust PROOF, not just resistant.

09-01-2011, 10:38 PM
it's rust PROOF, not just resistant.
There is no such thing as rust-proof steel, just varying degrees of rust resistance.

But I do agree, Misonos are great fun.

09-01-2011, 10:50 PM
well thats what they advertise it as, and i wouldnt doubt it. for me, just opening the box blew my mind. it comes wrapped in what could be modern art, then the pretty blue felt, GAH! made me do naughty things.

09-01-2011, 11:11 PM
I'm a sucker for Misonos too. I always hope a UX10 will pop up on the used board for a good price. Not that I will ever really need another knife for the rest of my life.

09-01-2011, 11:26 PM
Agree, Misono's can and do hang with other solid performers out there. Extremely light and nimble, excellent for pro-kitchens.

09-04-2011, 06:30 PM

Ive been trying to narrow down the minefield of available knives, there is just so much choice. I think i have a reasonable short list with knives at 3 price points, a couple of things that i need to consider is that i really only want to buy something i can pick up and try in a shop first, i know there is a whole world of options but i want the touchy feely experience first. The second thing is that it has to be a western style handle, i love the Japanese thin blades but do not like the Wa handles. My question know is to get thoughts on the following and what price do i need to goto for a knife ill always be happy with and never regret. All knives are based on a 10 inch chef knife

1 - Lowest cost - The Miyabi Fusion line, this knife seemed to be nice and thin with a good appearance the only thing is that the handle is a little thin for me.

2 - Medium Choice - MAC Ultimate, love the handle it just seems to fit perfectly, just concerned that its overpriced compared to say the MAC pro series, trouble is i just hate the cheap paited writing on that series. Also it seems just a little thick and heavy.

3 - High end - Zwillings Kramer Carbon, it has a great shape and handle, just not sure if the difference over the MAC Ultimate is that great in reality.

I know im a little all over the place but the more i look at knives the more confused i get !!!

There is the sensible part of me that just says stick with MAC because they are well known and if you had a set of high end MAC knoves you would be using the same kit as a large amount of great chefs. I also of course know that keeping these knives sharp is key.


09-04-2011, 07:22 PM
The Zwilling Kramer isn't really that much more expensive than the MAC, and it includes many little details that make it a better knife and a better value by some margin. But it's carbon steel and you have to be able to deal with this. The handle of the Fusion is a little thin. But since I use a pinch grip most of the time, to me it really doesn't matter much.

For what you are looking for, there are many choices online, but unfortunately not many at brick & mortar retailers.

09-05-2011, 12:38 PM
I still don't see why people pay more for the MAC Ultimate when the Mighty (Or professional as they now call it) series is more nimble and very similar in performance. I know a few people who own the ultimate series only because they were under the impression that since its heavier and costs more and has a seemingly thicker bolster that it must be better. In the order that you have listed (I have owned/own two of three and used the other) I would go this way Zwilling BK>Fusion>Mac Ultimate, If you were talking about the MAC Pro I would switch it with the Fusion. If you are concerned about cheap writing on the side then you won't be very happy with the Miyabi either as the red paint and writing comes off pretty easily. On the other side of things, if you can be upsold from the price difference between the mighty and the ultimate, you should be able to upsell yourself from the Ultimate to the Zwilling Bob Kramer. If you don't like the profile or feel of the Kramer however (as it seems to be a love/hate thing) Mac Mighty is a better performer, Miyabi Fusion has better F & F (although the scales on one of the parers we use in the kitchen started protruding for whatever reason and thus required replacement).

The upside of the Brick & Mortar scenario limitation that you have given us should also be something you take full advantage of. I know you will be going to SLT for two of those knives, and their return policy is/was quite liberal, so try out one, and if you are not satisficed, then try the other. I've used or owned at least one of pretty much every brand they sold, and the only ones I still own are the Shun Elite Santoku, Zwilling BK, Masahiro MVH 240 (also worth looking into if you want a kickass performer with no frills attached), and Shun Classic Parer. I had a hard time deciding between the Birchwood and the ZBK, but in the end, the distal taper and carbon steel won me over. Make sure you take your time and play around with them!

PS From my experience great chefs don't always use great knives, but it seems they are getting better in that regard as time passes; Thomas Keller used to use MAC, now it seems he uses Nenoxs.

09-05-2011, 01:53 PM
It is a bit overwhelming, when you first become aware of all the Japanese brands and custom makers.

The forum can be most beneficial, when you share a bit about yourself, do you work in a restaurant or are you a home cook? What experience do you with Japanese knives?

If you are just starting out with Japanese Knives, then you need to look at the entry level brands, i.e. Fujiwara, Hiromoto, JCK Carbonext. Pick out the knife that appeals to you. As long as you stick to a well known brand, you should not have problems selling it. Use the knife and learn how to sharpen it. What you learn from that knife will help you, make your next knife purchase.

If you are experienced, then fill out the questionnaire at the top of the forum, what knife to buy. The questions will help you forcus on your needs and wants. Forum members might be aware of a knife that would ideally suits your needs. At the very least they could get you looking in the right direction.