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View Full Version : Sur La Table raises price of ZKramers



NO ChoP!
03-21-2012, 09:45 AM
10 inch chef up $50 to $399
Parer up $60 to $199 (ouch!)

Puts these in the custom/ semi-custom realm for sure now......

I still stand by the parer being the nicest I've used....

See my latest review of the chef knife in the ZKramer 25 page thread.........

Marko Tsourkan
03-21-2012, 09:51 AM
That's good news.

NO ChoP!
03-21-2012, 10:13 AM
As a consumer raising prices sickens me; $4.69 for premium to fill the Maxima is no bueno. Buying a half gallon of ice cream and seeing it's now 1.5 qts pisses me off.

Adding value to what you guys are doing is great.

This will be the "fix" for our country. Eventually Chinese made crap will inflate in price to a point where peoples light bulbs go on, and they come to the conclusion, "hey, I can make this myself- better quality and for less".....

Eventually we've got to get tired of particle board furniture and lead tainted toys.....

DanB
03-21-2012, 10:16 AM
10 inch chef up $50 to $399
Parer up $60 to $199 (ouch!)

Puts these in the custom/ semi-custom realm for sure now......

I still stand by the parer being the nicest I've used....

See my latest review of the chef knife in the ZKramer 25 page thread.........

A parer for $200 just completely blows my mind. I just can't picture getting enough use in my whole life for a parer. Not when perfectly decent ones can be had for a small fraction of that.

DeepCSweede
03-21-2012, 10:22 AM
As a consumer raising prices sickens me; $4.69 for premium to fill the Maxima is no bueno. Buying a half gallon of ice cream and seeing it's now 1.5 qts pisses me off.

Adding value to what you guys are doing is great.

This will be the "fix" for our country. Eventually Chinese made crap will inflate in price to a point where peoples light bulbs go on, and they come to the conclusion, "hey, I can make this myself- better quality and for less".....

Eventually we've got to get tired of particle board furniture and lead tainted toys.....

Amen and a big PLUS 1 to that. Not to mention the fish that is raised on a farm in feces sludge. People need to start waking up to the harm that some of the practices are causing.

I am more than willing to pay a little more for a quality product and I had that exact discussion with my wife in shopping for a dining room table. So much of the crap out there is particle board now - ended up with a beautiful Arizona solid wood piece from Lorts.

DeepCSweede
03-21-2012, 10:26 AM
The parer going up $60 is absolutely ridiculous - a 43% price increase?!? I had a hard time accepting it at $139.

Tristan
03-21-2012, 10:55 AM
Amen and a big PLUS 1 to that. Not to mention the fish that is raised on a farm in feces sludge. People need to start waking up to the harm that some of the practices are causing.

I am more than willing to pay a little more for a quality product and I had that exact discussion with my wife in shopping for a dining room table. So much of the crap out there is particle board now - ended up with a beautiful Arizona solid wood piece from Lorts.

How many people in the world care enough to join forums for their hobbies? How many billion people are there in the world? Its going to be a long long eventually.

I'm just glad there are some of us that find these gems.

Mike Davis
03-21-2012, 10:59 AM
They will realize they made a mistake when their sales on those drop 75%. I think this is a big issue in the US right now. The reason this kind of stuff happens is that america, in general is so used to being screwed by everyone, they just roll over and take it. This will come to a head within the next two years, and i think stuff will change. As far as gas goes, if they keep raising the prices, i fear there will be a revolution, and it go both ways.....Too many high price/poor quality products available right now.

dragonlord
03-21-2012, 12:02 PM
Given that wages in places like china and india are going up, if their wages go up 10%, then that increase gets inflated up the rest of chain as most people want to have a reasonable profit on an item so that they cover their costs if nothing else. Coupled with the recent rises in fuel prices (which affect transport, storage, and retail) adding more to the current price. And the pay increases necessary to enable your employees to continue to come to work due to said fuel rises. Is it surprising that either prices go up, quality goes down, or quantity goes down?

DeepCSweede
03-21-2012, 12:19 PM
My father in law owns a manufacturing company in which the parts are produced in other countries and the pieces are assembled here in the states so I get to see first hand his issues. Unfortunately the cheap labor increases vs quality that is going down in China. He is starting to outsource to latin america where he is having less quality issues and labor is comparable. He is seriously starting to consider manufacturing parts in the states again, but we are still several years from that becoming economically viable option.

I seriously do not believe that labor and material (including fuel) increases can justify a 43% price increase in this market. I personally think they are trying to ride Kramer's marketing coattails and believe that they can justify the price point from that perspective that if someone was willing to pay 350 then 400 for a 10" or 140 then 200 for a paring isn't much of a stretch for what they view is "Kramer" quality design and their excellent reputation. I still like my 10" chef and paring, but I wouldn't purchase it now for that additional amount, I would much rather put that $$$ towards a custom.

Pensacola Tiger
03-21-2012, 12:53 PM
Let's see, which is the better deal, a Zwilling Kramer 10" chef's and paring for $650 (sales tax, ya' know) or a Martell custom gyuto and petty for $700?

FinkPloyd
03-21-2012, 02:26 PM
But, but... Zwilling's are $50.00 cheaper. :wink:

Eamon Burke
03-21-2012, 02:58 PM
Prices can be held down through efficient business, but not that far. Truthfully, the days of a once-a-lifetime purchase knife for under $100 are already over, soon it soon be $200. Things just aren't that cheap anymore! How long does it take to make a knife, produce primary materials, and sell it? Would YOU do all of that? Less and less people make that little.

Marko Tsourkan
03-21-2012, 03:11 PM
It is a good news for custom makers as I believe most offer better value than ZK.

When prices go up, people start looking and researching for alternatives and forums like ours should provide that information.

I will tip my hat to Bob Kramer and SLT for raising a profile of kitchen knives and bringing the price for quality where it needs to be, so people like me could actually look at knife-making as a possible career choice.

I am also happy to see that people start considering knives as durable goods, as opposed to disposable, as they have been for a long time.

M

Michael Rader
03-21-2012, 04:07 PM
+1 to that.

~m

Rick
03-21-2012, 04:08 PM
Marko, I think you are right on. That is exactly how I landed here. About one year ago I purchased the ZK 10" chef and was surprised that something so much better than the junk I was buying at Macy's existed. Getting the ZK and finding out that it just kicked the crap out of the Testy Chef knives my wife just bought was a revelation. Who would have known that I was getting ripped off for all those years buying all those crappy, stamped-out, mass produced German knives from Macy's?

Some may believe that SLT shouldn't raise the price on the ZK knives but, at the store I went into a year ago they did have some idea what they were talking about. And, the higher price point made me want to understand why they cost more.

I went in wanting a better knife and I admit I wanted something pretty to sit on the chopping board, that was more than half of it. I started out looking at the Shun because that is what a local chef told me was the best. And, there are some very pretty Shun knives in that glass display-alter at SLT. I really wanted that birch handle Shun!

As I learned more from the sales guy, he started telling me about the 52100 carbon steel and what properties it imparted to a knife. He talked about the blackwood handles and the bolster and the fact they were make in Seki Japan and designed by some guy named Bob. He talked about the kind of edge these knives can achieve and the ease of sharpening. He never talked down the other knives, just tried to inform me on the differences. He said most don't like the fact that the carbon will stain, unlike the stainless Shun.

I bought the ZK even though I REALLY wanted the beautiful birch handle Shun. The ZK felt better in my hand and it was easy to slice up the veggies they had. I really had little idea what I was doing or getting into. But, it turned out to be a wonderful knife and I loved the patina and became taken by the utilitarian look of the knife.

And, it got me here last summer. This somewhat superficially based purchase lead me to this forum. That in turn lead me to learn more; more about how to hold and use a knife correctly. More about sharpening and stones and stropping and geometry. There is a sort of zen of cutting and prepping and sharpening. Who would have known? It all started by walking into SLT.

So, I wouldn't be too hard on them. And, although I'd never heard of Bob Kramer, he really is out there showing a lot of people like me that there is something more than department store cutlery.

Oh, that $1,800 ZK custom knife in the SLT glass display-alter. That is really what got me here. It is such a cool knife for someone that has never seen anything like it before. When the sales guy told me about it, I realized that there must be small custom knife makers out there. The search for Bob lead me here and to all of the Japanese style knives that are out there. I really want to try one of the knives I read about here. That is next.

I suspect a lot of people get to the point of buying a custom knife by first traveling the road I am on.

jmforge
03-21-2012, 04:46 PM
The increase in labor cost in places like China has already got some companies rethinking that issue. Some are already moving back to the US or going elsewhere. There are other costs associated with doing business in China and apparently, now that the cost ratio of US vs. Chinese labor for many products is slipping below the 1 to 4 mark, folks are looking elsewhere. I have said for a number of years that if companies want to produce in Asia, they might want to look at countries like India or even our old enemy Vietnam because neither of them seem to be bent on taking over the world at our expense.
My father in law owns a manufacturing company in which the parts are produced in other countries and the pieces are assembled here in the states so I get to see first hand his issues. Unfortunately the cheap labor increases vs quality that is going down in China. He is starting to outsource to latin america where he is having less quality issues and labor is comparable. He is seriously starting to consider manufacturing parts in the states again, but we are still several years from that becoming economically viable option.

I seriously do not believe that labor and material (including fuel) increases can justify a 43% price increase in this market. I personally think they are trying to ride Kramer's marketing coattails and believe that they can justify the price point from that perspective that if someone was willing to pay 350 then 400 for a 10" or 140 then 200 for a paring isn't much of a stretch for what they view is "Kramer" quality design and their excellent reputation. I still like my 10" chef and paring, but I wouldn't purchase it now for that additional amount, I would much rather put that $$$ towards a custom.

jmforge
03-21-2012, 04:49 PM
After going through the experience of making my first forged custom kitchen knife (yes, with warts and all, Eamon, so hush up. LOL) I have come to the conclusion that even if I get faster at making them, it doesn't make any sense finically to make them unless I can sell them for considerably more than the Kramer sold for originally and arguably more than the new price, considering what you lunatics expect out of a custom knife in that price range. :biggrin: This might be a bit of good news.
Prices can be held down through efficient business, but not that far. Truthfully, the days of a once-a-lifetime purchase knife for under $100 are already over, soon it soon be $200. Things just aren't that cheap anymore! How long does it take to make a knife, produce primary materials, and sell it? Would YOU do all of that? Less and less people make that little.

ThEoRy
03-21-2012, 10:03 PM
But dude, it says Kramer on it!

Michael Rader
03-21-2012, 10:35 PM
...designed by some guy named Bob...

Rick. Welcome to KKF. Did you know that Mr. Kramer lives just down the road from you in Olympia? He's a really nice guy and you never know, you just might bump into him at The Market sometime.

~M

Rick
03-22-2012, 01:01 PM
Rick. Welcome to KKF. Did you know that Mr. Kramer lives just down the road from you in Olympia? He's a really nice guy and you never know, you just might bump into him at The Market sometime.

~M

Michael,

Yes, I did know that he is just south of me. I've looked at most of his videos and he does seem like a nice guy. I signed up for his site but, probably wouldn't buy one of his knives if selected. I'm just fine at my level of use as a home "chef" with the carbon ZK knives. My wife bought me his "custom" ZK demascus for Christmas. I was going to return it but, just never was able to. Next thing I was using it and it became my favorite. I learned from SLT that of the 250 made, only 170 made it past Kramer.

Rick

don
03-22-2012, 01:27 PM
I suspect a lot of people get to the point of buying a custom knife by first traveling the road I am on.

+1 here. Cook's Illustrated article on Bob Kramer's knife, then looking at SLT. Probably would have bought a ZK, except that the handles were too fat for me. A short time later, I'm on KKF and now I'm asking Marko, Martell, and Rader for knives.

dav
03-22-2012, 02:17 PM
Interesting... over here in the UK we're approaching $10 for a gallon of fuel and the prices you pay for knives will be the same in British pounds plus some, so 50% more plus possibly 20-30% and its not letting up. Out of principle where ever I can I will not buy Chinese etc.... which is quite hard for clothes and the like. I used to be a carpenter and like some of you on here who are Chefs etc.. my tools (knives for chefs) were important to me so it was UK, Japanese, German, Swiss and US and Canadian tools all the way, I don't own single Chinese tool. It makes the heart bleed when you think that Sheffield was once the tool/steel capital of the world its a shite hole now producing next to nothing.

rsacco
03-22-2012, 11:57 PM
Michael,

Yes, I did know that he is just south of me. I've looked at most of his videos and he does seem like a nice guy. I signed up for his site but, probably wouldn't buy one of his knives if selected. I'm just fine at my level of use as a home "chef" with the carbon ZK knives. My wife bought me his "custom" ZK demascus for Christmas. I was going to return it but, just never was able to. Next thing I was using it and it became my favorite. I learned from SLT that of the 250 made, only 170 made it past Kramer.

Rick

You're right. There were a number of ZK damascus that were in question but I believe Bob took care of the issue himself. There were some issues with the finish on my ZK damascus. To make a long story short, I almost returned it but SLT and Bob went above and beyond anything I ever experienced when it comes to customer service, and Bob ended up refinishing the handle which was a big improvement.

Here are a few pics.

Rick
03-23-2012, 12:34 AM
Really interesting rsacco. I like to hear that Bob himself took care of it.

I got one for Christmas and it was fine. I just love mine. I wish they would have made a 9 1/2". Can you imagine that? But, there is something intimate about a smaller chef's knife. I was using it tonight to cut up squash and it just splits through so well. Next, slicing up a New York and then chopping some Italian parsley garnish. What a nice little knife!

Rick

JohnnyChance
03-23-2012, 01:43 AM
You're right. There were a number of ZK damascus that were in question but I believe Bob took care of the issue himself. There were some issues with the finish on my ZK damascus. To make a long story short, I almost returned it but SLT and Bob went above and beyond anything I ever experienced when it comes to customer service, and Bob ended up refinishing the handle which was a big improvement.

Here are a few pics.


Really interesting rsacco. I like to hear that Bob himself took care of it.

I got one for Christmas and it was fine. I just love mine. I wish they would have made a 9 1/2". Can you imagine that? But, there is something intimate about a smaller chef's knife. I was using it tonight to cut up squash and it just splits through so well. Next, slicing up a New York and then chopping some Italian parsley garnish. What a nice little knife!

Rick

Wow, you both have one of those? Post some more pics! How do they compare to the geometry of the straight carbon Zwilling Kramer?

Amon-Rukh
03-23-2012, 01:45 AM
Awesome to hear that about Kramer taking care of it himself!

As for SLT, they appear to have raised the prices of their knives across the board, not just the ZKramers. The Miyabi fusion that I got for $130 around this time last year now clocks in at $150 and a Shun Kramer that I remember seeing there last month and being horrified that it cost $300 is now listed on their site at $340.

Rick
03-23-2012, 12:50 PM
Rick. Welcome to KKF. Did you know that Mr. Kramer lives just down the road from you in Olympia? He's a really nice guy and you never know, you just might bump into him at The Market sometime.

~M

By the way, thanks for the welcome. I've been sand-bagging it here since the end of last summer. Nice place to stop by from time to time. I read that you moved to the north of me into a new place. With Bob to the south and you to the north of me, I certainly have some nice neighbors around me. Got to love the Northwest.

JohnnyC, I'll try to post some pictures and give some thoughts on it. It is getting more and more use as it got a stain on it a few months ago - that's like getting the first dent in a new car. I figured I didn't get it from my wife to sell it so, I might as well use the crap out of it now. Already taken it through the 400/1000/5000 stones.

Off to the PP Market now and the SAM. It is actually a sunny day here!

Rick