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mr drinky
10-24-2011, 02:06 PM
I've seen it mentioned in other threads that there is a sort of knife bubble (usually about Kramer's knives). What do you think?

I don't know what I think actually. Hyped knives are one thing, but there are also a lot of new kitchen knifemakers too. I personally don't think the 'custom'-knife cottage industry is in a bubble, but I do wonder about some things:

>> We knuts are a limited number, but the demand for kitchen knives is also growing. Will it keep growing?

>> How does the growing resale market affect things (a la Nathan's recent sell-off).

>> The 240 gyuto glut. If we all sold half of our gyutos on the same day, prices would likely crash.

Just wondering.

I love seeing the new knifemakers, steel experiments, makers trying out different styles of knives etc, but the competition landscape is also changing.

k.

Dave Martell
10-24-2011, 02:07 PM
Good questions.......

obtuse
10-24-2011, 02:11 PM
Maybe we need to see some US makers take on some traditional Japanese patterns. I don't think I can justify another gyuto :(

Darkhoek
10-24-2011, 02:12 PM
Definately a bubble. I have set aside $500 for a couple of Kramers when it all goes down :D

DarKHOeK

chazmtb
10-24-2011, 02:20 PM
I think there is a bubble due to disposable income. Demand shrinks when disposable income shrinks. Will there still be demand for ultra exclusive products, yes, for the few who can afford it.

People reevaluate, how many gyutos, yanagibas do they need. Do they really need that usuba? Most of the spenders/knife nuts are not kitchen pros.

For me, there has been a lot of reevaluation of what I need to spend my money on.

JohnnyChance
10-24-2011, 02:21 PM
The 240 gyuto glut. If we all sold half of our gyutos on the same day, prices would likely crash.

Yeah, but this isn't like a normal commodity. And if I had trouble selling one of my gyutos, I would rather just keep it than take a stupid low price for it. Unless I realllllly needed the cash I suppose.

mr drinky
10-24-2011, 02:25 PM
That is true and I would do the same, but I bet we see resale prices inch downward.

k.

TDj
10-24-2011, 03:05 PM
i've been scanning the b/s/t forums and i must say that knives that i thought would go-go-go are actually ... not go-go-going. remember when people would have given a limb for the DT ITK? it's like we're all now holding out for full-on customs or something.

wsfarrell
10-24-2011, 04:58 PM
I have noticed more kitchen knives being offered in the Knifemakers B/S/T forum at bladeforums over the past 2-3 months. Phil Patton has sold a couple of santoku's, for crying out loud.

Dave Martell
10-24-2011, 05:14 PM
Here's an interesting tidbit to consider, every week I'm talking to at least a couple of new kitchen knifemakers who are looking to get into these knives. Some of these guys are already doing other types of knives and some are just starting into knifemaking for the first time. I've been watching this movement for a long time but it's only this year that we're seeing rapid acceleration of makers getting into this field and it seems that there's no end in sight. But......will there be enough customers for all these knives being made at this price point?

tk59
10-24-2011, 05:18 PM
...it's like we're all now holding out for full-on customs or something.That's me. I've tried out at least half the knives we ever talk about and examples from nearly every custom knifemaker on this board and at this point, I have awesome knives. I only want better than that. So far, only Devin and Murray have really hit the mark. As for bubbles, I think there is a bubble on Kramers and possibly Burkes. Frankly, I don't think knives are all that expensive. I know lots of people that are willing to piss away $5-10 per day on coffee or a beer or a glass of wine or a gallon and a half of gas, you name it. Save a $5 drink every week and you have a custom knife in 1-2 yrs.

TDj
10-24-2011, 05:23 PM
Save a $5 drink every week and you have a custom knife in 1-2 yrs.

Hear that dave? how's that for a payment plan?

Salty dog
10-24-2011, 05:24 PM
Evidently the hunter market sank along with the construction industry. People still have to cook to eat and cook for a living.

chazmtb
10-24-2011, 05:35 PM
I'm waiting for a Marko, or AMT. That's it. I'll have all the knives I'll ever need. Selling off some knives, such as a Watanabe Deba that I got from Nathan and a 270 #21 Hayate yanagiba that I don't use, need.

kalaeb
10-24-2011, 05:49 PM
I've seen it mentioned in other threads that there is a sort of knife bubble (usually about Kramer's knives). What do you think?


k.

I am not an economist, but doesn't the price point of an object have to be artificially high for there to be a bubble? I certainly don't think the price point of custom makers is all that high, considering the amount of work that goes into it, save Kramer.

There are certainly buyers out there...it seems a slow shift to more high end kitchen knives, the general disposable income public just needs to be educated as to what offerings there are out there, else they will spend it on a 300.00-400.00 Zwilling Kramer and call it good.

However, imo the general disposable income public will not wait for a mid tech or custom knife. When they make the decision to buy, they need to appease their sense of immediate gratification. This is difficult for some custom and mid-tech makers to do, which could ultimately end in the loss of a sale.

echerub
10-24-2011, 06:27 PM
Evidently the hunter market sank along with the construction industry. People still have to cook to eat and cook for a living.

Interesting. I hadn't even thought about the increase in attention to the kitchen knife market as due to changes in another market. Very interesting, in fact.

Eamon Burke
10-24-2011, 07:18 PM
First off, it's not a bubble unless they are being bought solely to re-sell, and they only get re-sold because someone else is going to sell them. Basically when the demand goes insane, and prices get unreasonable enough to warrant investment, bubbles are created. Fads are not bubbles, because a great, trendy knife will be a great knife long after it's not trendy. A great, absurdly valuable knife that's trendy will end up a great knife, no longer trendy or absurdly valuable.

As far as people getting into making knives and having customers to support them, first of all, there are WAAAAAY enough customers to go around. We knife folks don't deal with 1% of what Wusthof, Chicago Cutlery, etc deal with. And they sell knives for hundreds of dollars at a time, too.

Secondly, many makers won't stick around, or keep up with demand, etc. Sorry to say, but not all the subforums on this site will stay there forever. Some will come, some will go, for whatever reason.

Kitchen knives are on the upswing in the United States, and it isn't imaginary. It is just beginning, and there is enough demand to go around, especially in about 5-10 years.

Mike
10-24-2011, 07:23 PM
Do any of you collect comics? Remember that bubble?:spiteful:

macmiddlebrooks
10-24-2011, 07:27 PM
I had no real interest in top shelf kitchen knives until after I spent a year or so buying/selling/learning about top shelf pocket knives. Once I had a couple folders that scratched the itch, I naturally shifted over to Japanese cutlery to figure it out as well. I'm turning on my whole kitchen crew one at a time to the sickness ;).

Dave Martell
10-24-2011, 07:37 PM
Hear that dave? how's that for a payment plan?


I like it! :D

ecchef
10-24-2011, 08:28 PM
So we can pay in coffee?! That's even better than Yen. :rasberry:

ecchef
10-24-2011, 08:49 PM
I think there is a bubble due to disposable income.

Bao, the economy sucks......who still has 'disposable' income to invest is such a narrowly focused commodity liike kitchen knives?



The Kramer anomaly is just that. None of the other makers has released commercially produced knives for the masses. They aren't getting the same media exposure. If it was a true bubble, then people would be grabbing everything evenly remotely perceived as having investment value, then turning it right around expecting (and getting) enormous returns on their investment.

It may appear like there is a bubble, but only because our world is so rarefied & self focused. Outside of the members of a few forums, pretty much nobody knows what we're up to.

chazmtb
10-24-2011, 10:09 PM
Bao, the economy sucks......who still has 'disposable' income to invest is such a narrowly focused commodity liike kitchen knives?



The Kramer anomaly is just that. None of the other makers has released commercially produced knives for the masses. They aren't getting the same media exposure. If it was a true bubble, then people would be grabbing everything evenly remotely perceived as having investment value, then turning it right around expecting (and getting) enormous returns on their investment.

It may appear like there is a bubble, but only because our world is so rarefied & self focused. Outside of the members of a few forums, pretty much nobody knows what we're up to.


I am more talking about the comment regarding the low prices/how long it has taken for knives that once sold in mere minutes of hitting the B/S/T.

There were many knives that say a year ago, I would have not blinked twice about getting. Now, much different story, even though I think they are great bargains. The problem here, I think, is most of us who are on this board, already have a good stash of high end cutlery.

As for customs in this economy, I as a once in the market buyer, but just can't justify buying something now, since I have a few production knives that are pretty darn good. Especially since I am a home cook, I can't say that I need a certain knife. When the economy turns around in and around the same time next year, I may start buying again.

I do think that there is a sweet spot for people like Dave and Marko, who makes what seems to be great knives but the price point is about the same as what you spend on a Shun Kramer or Henkels Kramer. For the people who want quality and uniqueness, custom makers are the way to go. Buying on speculation like the real Kramers, well, I think we all know what happens to speculators.

apicius9
10-24-2011, 10:41 PM
Looks like I am in a similar spot as Bao. I have tried a lot, and I came to realize that some knives are nice to have but I don't need to have everything - and the economic situation certainly plays a role in this. When this whole thing started, I made a resolution not to buy more knives that fit in my custom knife block (36, I think). In the meantime, I bought a second knife block :ohmy: Right now, I am trying to prioritize, expecting to come in around 1 1/2 blocks...

But as some other guys, I have been around on these forums for a while now, and the younger generation will go through similar experiences, especially when the economy will pick up again - whenever that will be. If the smaller makers get 'discovered', I am sure they will find their place in the growing market. The question is, do they want that?

Stefan

mr drinky
10-25-2011, 01:48 AM
Kitchen knives are on the upswing in the United States, and it isn't imaginary. It is just beginning, and there is enough demand to go around, especially in about 5-10 years.

I fully agree with Eamon on this. I think kitchen knives are going to become a much bigger market. Though I also believe that in the next 3-5 years there will probably be a mismatch in supply and demand favoring the knife buyer. That's just my opinion.

And by the way, I know I shouldn't have used the term 'bubble' as I did because it wasn't really accurate (except for Kramer maybe), but I couldn't resist. Econ was even my discipline, so I should have known better ;) Just being provocative to emphasize how things have changed.

k.

Diamond G
10-25-2011, 02:46 AM
As a maker, I have supported my hobby by making custom orders. Mainly skinners and camp knives. I was asked to make a chefs knife for the Son of a friend who was going to culinary school. This started me on a new line of thought on knife making, I had to and still am learning what high performance means in a chefs knife. It is a new and refreshing challenge for me. I still have not found my comfort zone with them yet, but Im getting there.

What I am seeing in the custom makers I know that make a living making knives, is that quite a few Master Smiths and well known makers are seeing a trend in the sales of kitchen cutlery, an overlooked market to say the least. I think you will be seeing a lot more makers offering chefs knives to their line of products.

God Bless
Mike

geezr
10-25-2011, 03:40 AM
I've seen it mentioned in other threads that there is a sort of knife bubble (usually about Kramer's knives). What do you think?
>> We knuts are a limited number, but the demand for kitchen knives is also growing. Will it keep growing? k.

knuts have been around forever but kitchen knife knuts are recent - and yes - guess the bubble will flatten with better quality and variety of kitchen knives available to the general public.
I worked with a guy who collected knives, all kinds, folders, hunters, etc. (but not kitchen knives) who showed me the polished edge he had on one of his Swiss army knives – 1st super edge I ever saw on a commercialy available knife. He would bring to the office some of the custom made knives he owned that were eye-popping.
He also showed me the Saveur magazine issue 25 article about Bob Kramer’s focus on kitchen knives and he thought probably a better product for me rather than custom made folders, hunters, etc.
I found out about kitchen knives forums because I am primarily interested in food and drink – the food tv network really moved this forward and so did the internet. I did a google search and found the Foodie Forums and noticed a disproportinate large number of posts on Fred’s Cutlery – so I checked…….:eek2:
Today a few of us geezrs got together for coffee and one of the comments was about how local food has gotten better with greater diversity to choose from compared to the old days and that working in the food industry is a good thing.:thumbsup: