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Andrew H
04-11-2011, 09:37 PM
Anyone else get the email? One will be auctioned off starting tomorrow at 12:00pm western and going until Wednesday at 12:00pm western.
http://kramerknives.com/auction_about.htm
10" Chef Psychedelic Damascus

So.. what's the betting?

Marko Tsourkan
04-11-2011, 09:49 PM
Very clever. Why give Ebay 2K? Bob is a great businessman.

Andrew H
04-11-2011, 09:51 PM
Cut out those insane eBay fees :scared1:
I'm saying 18k

so_sleepy
04-11-2011, 10:19 PM
Someone could get a bargain. It is only up for 24 hours starting tomorrow.

kalaeb
04-11-2011, 10:19 PM
It is a real looker, but I am going low ball it and say 12k.:headbang:

Salty dog
04-11-2011, 10:24 PM
Hmmm, I didn't receive the e-mail. I wouldn't be surprised if he removed me.

Andrew H
04-11-2011, 10:31 PM
Hmmm, I didn't receive the e-mail. I wouldn't be surprised if he removed me.
Really?

Also didn't the last one on eBay go for something like 21k?

Marko Tsourkan
04-11-2011, 10:34 PM
Most people who bid on Bob's Ebay auctions were probably on Bob's mailing list anyway, so it doesn't matter if it's 7 day or 1 day auction, now that it is established what the last set sold for. I think people will be prepared to go all the way if they want the knife.

M

RRLOVER
04-11-2011, 10:36 PM
I did not get an email either:slaphead:

goodchef1
04-11-2011, 10:38 PM
It's an auction. It should go to the highest bidder. If I'm not mistaken, is 12k and 18k 12 & $18,000? Then go with Nenohi. KDX steel. 2.5x harder then honyaki. Hardest stainless steel on planet. Only $20,000 per blade. Heehee:ninja:

Marko Tsourkan
04-11-2011, 10:40 PM
I did not get an email either:slaphead:

you are blacklisted for selling yours. :)

Salty dog
04-12-2011, 06:08 AM
I think we both are. How dare we do such a thing!

Marko Tsourkan
04-12-2011, 09:38 AM
I think we both are. How dare we do such a thing!

Blasphemy

tgraypots
04-12-2011, 01:14 PM
I think today's auction piece will go for at least $20,000.00. Like him or not, he just got a few lucky breaks, and took advantage of them. He is a good craftsman, and the breaks have required him to become a good businessman as well. The two don't often go hand in hand. I think it would be fun to sit around and drink a few beers and eat a few tacos with the guy. Your names might have been removed from his mailing list once you bought a knife, at least that's my understanding, even if you sold it later.

Marko Tsourkan
04-12-2011, 01:32 PM
A few points here. First, there are few doubts that Bob is as good a businessman as he is a craftsman. Second, custom kitchen knife makers have to admit that Bob Kramer raised a profile for kitchen knives for everybody. When his knives sell for 20K, a knife under 1K seems like a steal.

So, if he can sell at those prices, good for him and good for everybody else who makes custom kitchen knives.

And for those who can't afford Kramer's knives, there are (and will soon be) plenty of alternatives for a fraction of a cost. The pie is tempting.

M

Darkhoek
04-12-2011, 03:11 PM
It's an auction. It should go to the highest bidder. If I'm not mistaken, is 12k and 18k 12 & $18,000? Then go with Nenohi. KDX steel. 2.5x harder then honyaki. Hardest stainless steel on planet. Only $20,000 per blade. Heehee:ninja:

As the HRC scale is logarithmic, which means that an increase of 3 HRC points is a double in hardness, and a 2.5x increase is approximately equal to an increase from 62 to 66 HRC. Or from HRC 64 to 68 :o
Good luck sharpening that one :D

DarkHOeK

Eamon Burke
04-12-2011, 04:47 PM
A few points here. First, there are few doubts that Bob is as good a businessman as he is a craftsman. Second, custom kitchen knife makers have to admit that Bob Kramer raised a profile for kitchen knives for everybody. When his knives sell for 20K, a knife under 1K seems like a steal.

So, if he can sell at those prices, good for him and good for everybody else who makes custom kitchen knives.

And for those who can't afford Kramer's knives, there are (and will soon be) plenty of alternatives for a fraction of a cost. The pie is tempting.

M

+1! The worst thing would be for it to end up like Pho Shops...someone started selling mammoth tubs of soup with fresh veggies and slow-cooked broth for $4, and now $7 is expensive.

People really should invest in their knives anyways. If you do it right, you will probably only buy one(unless you are one of us).

Pensacola Tiger
04-12-2011, 05:48 PM
At 4:50pm EDT, with 22 hours left to bid, it stands at $8000.

so_sleepy
04-12-2011, 05:58 PM
Sweet knife. I hadn't seen him make a saya before this.

Marko Tsourkan
04-12-2011, 06:51 PM
Sweet knife. I hadn't seen him make a saya before this.

Can you guys save the pic of the saya? I am curious about it.
M

UglyJoe
04-12-2011, 08:42 PM
Can someone post a pic of the knife and saya? I can't see them and don't feel like registering for an auction I'm never going to bid on...

so_sleepy
04-12-2011, 08:46 PM
Here is the shot with the saya:

http://i972.photobucket.com/albums/ae204/kramerknives/Auction%20April/sheathsm.jpg

Description from the post:

The Handle & Sheath

The handle and sheath were cut from the same board of Rosewood from Central America. Cocobolo has been an industry standard for over 200 years in high-end cutlery, and is Bob's first choice of wood because it is very hard, naturally high in oils, and has an interwoven grain, giving it strength and stability. The capture pin for the sheath is made of mammoth ivory.

Pensacola Tiger
04-12-2011, 09:00 PM
Can someone post a pic of the knife and saya? I can't see them and don't feel like registering for an auction I'm never going to bid on...

Oh, bid on it, you might get lucky.

Marko Tsourkan
04-12-2011, 09:01 PM
Here is the shot with the saya:

http://i972.photobucket.com/albums/ae204/kramerknives/Auction%20April/sheathsm.jpg

Description from the post:

The Handle & Sheath

The handle and sheath were cut from the same board of Rosewood from Central America. Cocobolo has been an industry standard for over 200 years in high-end cutlery, and is Bob's first choice of wood because it is very hard, naturally high in oils, and has an interwoven grain, giving it strength and stability. The capture pin for the sheath is made of mammoth ivory.

Looks good.

Chef Niloc
04-12-2011, 09:27 PM
I don't like it.

Andrew H
04-12-2011, 09:28 PM
Any change in bidding price?

Pensacola Tiger
04-12-2011, 10:12 PM
At 9:15pm EDT, $13,700.

oivind_dahle
04-13-2011, 09:28 AM
OH MY GOD!

(interpret it as you wish)

kalaeb
04-13-2011, 10:57 AM
OH MY GOD!

(interpret it as you wish)

I assume by that statement it is over or close to 20k, plese do tell...

Pensacola Tiger
04-13-2011, 11:02 AM
Five hours to go, still at $13,700.

UglyJoe
04-13-2011, 11:08 AM
Is it just me, or does anyone else find that says... gross? I'd trash it immediately and send the knife to Marko for a new one in a heartbeat.

Marko Tsourkan
04-13-2011, 11:16 AM
Is it just me, or does anyone else find that says... gross? I'd trash it immediately and send the knife to Marko for a new one in a heartbeat.

Well, you are giving me more credit that I seserve.

The saya shape should resemble the shape of the knife. I would probably make the tip a little pointier and the 'tail' a little different, but these would be minor changes.

I don't know how it is shaped and what the fit is as I don't see the cross-section (some folks rout out a cavity so it's same depth throughout or have an insert of similar wood or other material that had a shape of the knife cut out in it), but having seen Bob's work on handles, I would think he probably shaped it nicely, with a distal taper and bevels. If anybody get this knife, please take pictures of the saya and post it on the forum.

M

Andrew H
04-13-2011, 12:58 PM
I don't feel like signing up for his auction website, any update in the price?

UglyJoe
04-13-2011, 02:19 PM
Well, you are giving me more credit that I seserve.

The saya shape should resemble the shape of the knife. I would probably make the tip a little pointier and the 'tail' a little different, but these would be minor changes.

I don't know how it is shaped and what the fit is as I don't see the cross-section (some folks rout out a cavity so it's same depth throughout or have an insert of similar wood or other material that had a shape of the knife cut out in it), but having seen Bob's work on handles, I would think he probably shaped it nicely, with a distal taper and bevels. If anybody get this knife, please take pictures of the saya and post it on the forum.

M

You're being modest Marko. Your work is elegant... this saya at least isn't.

Marko Tsourkan
04-13-2011, 03:42 PM
You're being modest Marko. Your work is elegant... this saya at least isn't.

Elegant is subjective and the beauty is in the eye of the beholder. :)
I guess I need to add that I have a great respect for Bob Kramer (whom I haven't met) and for his work. And though his style and my style are different, he is one of not too many makers whose work appeals to me from a maker's stand point.
Whether it is worth the price it fetches, I let others be the judge.

M

Pensacola Tiger
04-13-2011, 03:57 PM
Sold for $13,700.

tgraypots
04-13-2011, 04:17 PM
Thought it would go for more, especially as high as the last two went for on ebay.

peterm
04-13-2011, 07:59 PM
A positive bargain!

Lefty
04-13-2011, 11:06 PM
A positive bargain!

Was that sarcasm? I honestly couldn't tell!

UglyJoe
04-14-2011, 01:05 AM
Elegant is subjective and the beauty is in the eye of the beholder. :)
I guess I need to add that I have a great respect for Bob Kramer (whom I haven't met) and for his work. And though his style and my style are different, he is one of not too many makers whose work appeals to me from a maker's stand point.
Whether it is worth the price it fetches, I let others be the judge.

M

And I agree, as far as his knives/damascus/handles go. Would love to own one.... but I'd send it to you for saya, right away. Personal preference I guess. ;)

JMJones
04-14-2011, 12:38 PM
Anyone have a pic of the knife. I missed looking at the auction.

Thanks

John

Michael Rader
04-14-2011, 04:46 PM
Wow. That was kind of exciting. I'm friends with Bob and he has given me quite a bit of advice over the years. His success has indeed been a great thing for other custom makers and just seeing this is amazing. Don't worry that I'll start quadrupling my prices, but it does give one pause. I mean, this does kinda throw out any "regular" business paradigm we think we, as custom knifemakers, know.

Good for you, Bob. Keep the excitement going!!!
-M

Noodle Soup
04-14-2011, 05:59 PM
No kitchen knife is worth that much purely as a tool. This is a case of mass auction hysteria. Going to be some unhappy people when the Kramer bubble pops down the road.

Salty dog
04-14-2011, 06:33 PM
It's a status symbol.
My second Kramer was truly a masterpiece, possibly the "best" knife I ever owned. However, I recognized it was over valued and because it wasn't the knife I really wanted I sold it. No regrets.

If he keeps working it right that bubble may not burst for a while. Although there are a lot of knifemakers that are closing-in fast.

Eamon Burke
04-14-2011, 07:26 PM
As a tool, it is not worth $14,000. It will not provide a service to you that will compare with the effort it takes to make $14,000. That said, he is a celebrity and a gifted craftsman. He puts a LOT of time into these knives, and if there are people spending $250,000 on a car, there should certainly be people tossing a few ten-grand to get an item that has had no expense, time, or effort spared to become the paragon of workmanship for it's creator, and perhaps even an extreme of performance.

Doubtless, this is a knife to marvel at. Craftsmen, be they knife makers, wood turners, potters, stonemasons, or otherwise, deserve to be elevated in our socioeconomic culture at LEAST beyond corporate middle-management types.

Michael Rader
04-14-2011, 08:14 PM
All great points, but in an age where basketball, football, golf, baseball players, etc... make hundreds of thousands of dollars a year if they are bad and millions if they are good, can one really complain about Bob getting $13+K on a piece of art?

Might not be the best comparison, but my point is that there are only a few makers in the world making custom kitchen knives, so shouldn't the rarity alone be valued highly? I mean how much is a great baseball player worth to you? He might make millions for the owner & advertisers, etc..., but really, who is worth $10,000,000 a year? And, yet they get it. And Bob gets what he gets. It's a good thing, really.

Just my two cents here in a friendly conversation.
-M

Salty dog
04-14-2011, 09:02 PM
For the knifemaker.

tgraypots
04-14-2011, 10:17 PM
Well said Eamon. In Japan, some craftsmen earn (are given?) the status of living national treasure, but even the "unknown craftsmen," and their wares, are far more appreciated than they are here in the western world. Life is an art! Adorn it with handmade objects. And good food, lovingly prepared.

Of course, I'm biased :-)

Michael Rader
04-15-2011, 03:18 AM
Come on Salty dog, I just had my septic tank pumped today and for 25 minutes of this service, I had to shell out $425. Not complaining here. Ever hire an electrician to wire your house? I don't know what the union wage is, but it's probably close to $75/hr. I mean, how much do you make an hour? Are you worth more? Probably. You really don't think Bob really deserves to benefit from his mastery of this art?

I'm new here and not trying to be argumentative, but where is this resentment coming from?

-M

Salty dog
04-15-2011, 08:28 AM
I don't begrudge anyone for making a buck. Nor do I fault him for getting as much as possible but....

I think a better comparison would be Grant Achatz's hot new Chicago restaurant where people are paying as much as $3000 for a reservation. Me, I'll go to some other dudes restaurant down the street and it will be just as good for a quarter of the price. I'm sure I would really enjoy the Achatz experience but will most likely feel cheated at the end of the night. Let the amateurs pay for the privilege.

I admit to some resentment. It stems from having to wait three years and being refused two knives before I had to settle for the one I received and eventually sold. It's still a bit of a sore subject. (Great knife, bad juju)

oivind_dahle
04-15-2011, 10:25 AM
Subjective opinons is of no importance.

Bob will continue to have buyers and price will rice. Salty is just a another capitalist investing in a knife for selling with a huge profit.
Its a buy and sell marked out there, and for Kramer the market is Global. Im glad he is around cause it gives focus on knifemaking as a proffesion.
There are over 1 million potential byers out there, and if i.e Bob, Bill and Devin combined the making they would maximum make 200 knives a year. It will take a LOT of years for those to just please 10 % of the buyers out there :)

shankster
04-15-2011, 10:27 AM
I hope whoever purchased this knife uses it and doesn't lock it away forever. It would be like buying a 1965 Shelby 350 GT and keeping it in the garage and never taking it for a drive.

Andrew H
04-15-2011, 10:29 AM
Are there a million people in the world who would buy a $13,000 knife? I doubt it...
Also, doesn't bob alone make 200 knives a year?

oivind_dahle
04-15-2011, 10:33 AM
All I know is that Burke makes 50-60 knives a year.
And Burke is imho one of the top 3 knifemakers in the world.

And yes, there are 1 million potential buyers in the world. A lot of people have a lot of dollars and interest for design :)
But as shankster I hope the owners take it for a spinn :)

NO ChoP!
04-15-2011, 10:58 AM
To me basically he's like a Bugatti, and we're a bunch of Mustang owners. Every now and then one of us buys a 'vette or a Porsche; but, ultimately, will never afford the likes of his craftsmanship. Does this mean I wont buy the new Road & Track mag featuring the Bugatti on the front page and drool over it? I guess one can dream... and if one wants, they can pick up a Henckels Kramer, right? Maybe the equivalent of an Audi; (tagged as a "babybugatti" by Motor Trend.)

In the end, 99.999% of us aren't even close to his target demo....
maybe he should start marketing posters, t-shirts, and bumper stickers that proclaim, "my other knife is a Bob Kramer"! LOL

Andrew H
04-15-2011, 11:00 AM
In the end, 99.999% of us aren't even close to his target demo....
maybe he should start marketing posters, t-shirts, and bumper stickers that proclaim, "my other knife is a Bob Kramer"! LOL

This.

Michael Rader
04-15-2011, 12:20 PM
Ha ha. "My other knife is a Bob Kramer." I love it.
-M

Marko Tsourkan
04-15-2011, 12:35 PM
This.

I think these type of threads are becoming more and more boring.
Success and envy go hand-in-hand. Bob Kramer will not please everybody.
If you can't afford Kramer look for alternatives. What his knives are worth are for others to decide. Lets move on and talk about knives.

M

Pensacola Tiger
04-15-2011, 12:36 PM
Ha ha. "My other knife is a Bob Kramer." I love it.
-M

Better than "My other knife is a Cutco."

Delbert Ealy
04-15-2011, 01:22 PM
You know, sometimes its just hard for me to keep my mouth shut, so here goes.
I am happy for Bob, it is rare in this business for any of us to recieve the kind of notoriety that he has recieved. I do not agree with all of the this that Bob does, but I get to learn, and I do things a bit differently. No matter how good my knives are I see myself as an average working guy. My dad wanted to be a farmer, but thanks to some bad luck, wound up working in a factory. I was a little luckier in that I actually get to do what I love to do. To make really high quality knives is not a cake walk, and some days are downright brutal, I worked a 13 hour day yesterday forging damascus, and at the end I was tired sore and dirty. I can say right now that I will never offer up a knife for auction. I am working to provide a comfortable life for my family, and since I have 1 teenager already, and will soon have more a bump in my income for a used car and insurance certianly won't hurt. I know at some point there may come a time that I raise my prices above what they are now, but I always think long and hard about that and I still want to make knives that I consider a good value for the money. I am happy to have found you guys, and am grateful that you have welcomed me into your community.

Salty dog
04-15-2011, 01:33 PM
Generally I try and avoid this subject unless asked. And I've never expressed in public how I really feel and won't.

heldentenor
04-15-2011, 02:14 PM
Some observations:

We live in a capitalist economy whose effects are somewhat attenuated by a cultural attachment to individual creativity. Craftspeople are peripheral to the dominant forces that drive our nation's--and our world's--political economy. Like people engaged in many professions, this causes them to earn less than their cultural contribution would justify, EXCEPT when their product serves as an icon of social attainment that people central to the American political economy--i.e., those who possess capital, invest it, regulate it, or utilize it--value. This is my shorthanded way of contextualizing the nature of supply and demand as it relates to knifemaking and other aesthetic crafts, and I believe it explains Bob Kramer's position.

Such an explanation fails to help us answer a few central questions that concern personal morality more than political economy. Does Bob Kramer deserve his success? Yes, by all that I have read and by every measure that I can apply. He is devoted to his craft, and paid an opportunity cost to enter it when it was not nearly the burgeoning market that it is now.

Do Bob's knives merit ten times the price of Devin Thomas's, Bill Burke's, or a handful of other well-known makers? Not by aesthetic or functional measures, and I believe (without having ever spoken to him) that Bob would be the first to acknowledge this. Kitchen knives are not automobiles; outside of the core community of devotees, they are not a product that can support multiple valences of brand differentiation. Said differently, a bank manager might choose to drive a Mercedes, and Audi, a BMW, or even a Toyota Prius because each carries connotations that collectively make a statement about who he is. Most people in the society he inhabits will read those connotations similarly to him, and so the relationship between brand identity and personal identity holds value. Outside of knife collectors and professional cooks (the vast majority of whom are not buying custom knives at all), the difference between a Thomas or a Burke carries no distinction. In certain spheres of society, though, a Kramer knife does carry brand identity; we can thank Cook's Illustrated, the New Yorker, and the CBS Morning News for this.

Is this good for knifemakers? Yes and no. I think Bob's success will redound to some benefit for other skilled knife craftsmen, but the market likely cannot support a Bob Kramer alternative among non-knife people.

Is this good for knife purchasers? Yes and no. If you want a Kramer to own and to use, this sucks, because almost all of us are now price and waitlisted out of the market. If you want a fantastic knife to own and to use, it's not entirely a bad thing, because there are now at least a dozen makers for whom producing kitchen knives is a viable way to make a living.

Just my .02. Draw your own conclusions.

mhlee
04-15-2011, 02:29 PM
I'm certainly a newbie here, but one thing I've certainly learned firsthand is the high expectations once has when spending a larger amount of money. For regular people like us that don't have disposable incomes in the multi-thousand to multi-million dollar range, a Kramer knife is something we will never own.

But, the buying process is not simple, especially for something purportedly crafted to one's specific standards. Going through this process, as Salty references, is sometimes what's most disappointing about an expensive purchase.

I'm just going to leave it at that because I've certainly had some buyer's remorse about purchases, including knives. Luckily, there are places to sell your wares, and sometimes, make a profit on them. :)

GLE1952
04-15-2011, 04:06 PM
Most of the time when craftsmen create items they set a price to make a profit and keep their stock sold (small inventory).
All else is a juggling act, price up or down, quality and materials up or down, etc. to find a profitable nich, or make it a non profitable hobby and enjoy the work, or go out of business.
It seems that Bob Kramer has reached a level where the market place is setting the price and going far above his probable cost.
From what I read he is not being accused of liying, cheating or stealing.
The market place is simply adding value to his product on it's own.
We should all be so fortunate.
I hope to own some custom knives, I don't like to see prices go through the roof either but I can't fault someone for accepting what customers are willing to pay.
There, I'm done, Marko, you're right, other than being curious about how high Bob's knives will go this is a boring subject.

Glen

SpikeC
04-15-2011, 04:19 PM
Money aside, I would rather have one of Hoss' knives than Kramers. Especially the feather pattern. I wonder how they would do at auction?

WildBoar
04-15-2011, 04:26 PM
It must be hard as a craftsman to produce a product for someone and then see them sell it on eBay for 2-3xs what they just paid you. At some point it would be logical to throw one on an auction yourself and reap the higher price. I'm not speaking up for or against Bob Kramer, but one could argue he is looking out for his core fans by still selling them knives for $3-4k instead of the $10k+ value the market is currently indicating.

I agree with the general concensus that even $3-4k is very high for a kitchen knife, but I also agree it is a form of art and the value is partially determined by the status the public has assigned to the artist. I will admit to paying several thousand dollars for paintings a few years back; it was a lot of money, and for things that perform no real hands-on function. Yet the artwork provides a service by adding beauty to the house and an ocassional escape for my mind. Is it possible a $200 painting would serve the function just as well? Sure, and we've got a bunch of those as well. And some of them might perform their duties even better then the expensive pieces. But as expensive as the paintings we bought seemed to me, they were cheap by the standards of many other people. And I could draw other comparisons to stereo equipment, wine and other goods.

People spend a lot more $ buying brand new cars then the $3-4k you could pay for a Kramer if you land a spot on his list. And in the current climate you can sell the Kramer next year for a gain (and a substantial one at that), versus losing 25% of the car's value. Maybe that will change if the bubble ever bursts, but given the relatively small output of his operation that may not happen anytime in the next few years, and the resulting prices will still likely be considered high.

Due to the cost, I doubt I will ever own a Kramer knife. But I would not say no if one were offered to me at a cost similar to a DT knife, as by all accounts the Kramers are fantastic knives to use. And if I had the chance to buy one for $3-4k, and then turn around and sell if for >$10k, I would have a very difficult decision.

Marko Tsourkan
04-15-2011, 04:54 PM
As much as I want it, this thread is hard to ignore. I will add one more thing.

I never understood, frankly, why people covet a Kramer or other expensive custom knife if their earnings don't justify it. As far as a cutting ability is concerned, there are many knives that would perform on par or outperform Kramer. So, it makes me wonder if you are not an investor or a speculator and you don't make six-seven digits, why do you covet a Kramer? Will it make you a better cook? No. Will it earn you some compliment and envy on a knife forum? Probably. Will you enjoy knowing that a great craftsman made your knife? Yes. Are there any other reasons?

At the end of the day, it is just a knife, a tool, and most people would think you are out of your mind to spend this money on a tool. But people spend stupid money on worse things than knives, so who cares? It's not that if they don't buy a Kramer they turn around a give money to a good cause. Bob, at least in his Ebay auctions, was donating some of the proceeds.

He has worked hard and promoted himself right and shown a good business sense and deservingly enjoys a success. And many custom makers, as I pointed out in my earlier posts, have ridden the wave of the publicity that Bob helped to create about kitchen knives. Even on this forum, how many of you guys were making kitchen knives two years ago? Not many, but now you are, because you see an opportunity. So enjoy the free publicity and popularity and be grateful.

As far as Bob's business ethics or practices are concerned, I would take Kramer side over (... hmm should I say it?), Carter, any time.

M

NO ChoP!
04-15-2011, 05:39 PM
Mr. Ealy,
Your name is a hot topic within the forums as of late; I am sure you will receive your much needed "bump", as your blades will become a hot commodity. Good luck!
I enjoyed Salty's review, and the knife looked awesome!

Eamon Burke
04-15-2011, 07:08 PM
It's not a practical purchase, Marko. It's not for pro cooks to use and kick some ass on the line with--and even upscale restaurants have thieves with eyes for fancy blades.

Is it a good thing that a great maker(ABS Mastersmith, after all) is getting attention and making great money? Yep. He said he puts out 200 knives a year--at this price, that's a quarter of a million for his business, not including his endorsements.

Is Bob Kramer a better maker than other makers? Is this knife better than others? That's JUST what we should be talking about around here!

Does Bob Kramer *deserve* this money, empirically or in comparison to other makers we know and love? Who cares? If Bill Burke wants to charge $12,000 for a knife, he certainly can. People will pay it, too. America may not be the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave anymore, but let's not make mountains out of molehills--it's still a free market, and people can sell and buy whatever they want for however much money they want.

I say its good news all around.

Dave Martell
04-15-2011, 07:08 PM
From my perspective I'm simply fascinated on how this whole thing has taken off for Bob. It's really something extremely unique in the world that he works in, exceptional really. I'm OK with Bob getting what he can for his work because one day he won't be able to do it (we all get old) and hopefully this can carry him through those golden years, the rest of the world's knifemakers surely won't be that lucky.

sudsy9977
04-15-2011, 08:30 PM
price is all in the eye of the beholder.....i owned a knife by michael rader once.....used it ...beat the hell out of it....i paid over his asking price from a dealer at the time(which i didn't know-thought it was priced the same).....had it refinished.....and then sold it for almnost double the marked up price.....crazy?.....hell yeah.....but i'd do it again.....i have bought a nife that butch made someone was selling on another forum.....sent it to him to fix up and sold it on a second forum for even more.......price is all in the eye of the beholder.....ryan

Delbert Ealy
04-15-2011, 10:32 PM
Mr. Ealy,
Your name is a hot topic within the forums as of late; I am sure you will receive your much needed "bump", as your blades will become a hot commodity. Good luck!
I enjoyed Salty's review, and the knife looked awesome!


Thanks,
I am one of those recent to the world of kitchen knives and I am happy to join it.

Eamon Burke
04-16-2011, 04:35 PM
From my perspective I'm simply fascinated on how this whole thing has taken off for Bob. It's really something extremely unique in the world that he works in, exceptional really. I'm OK with Bob getting what he can for his work because one day he won't be able to do it (we all get old) and hopefully this can carry him through those golden years, the rest of the world's knifemakers surely won't be that lucky.

I really think that it has something to do with Todd Oppenheimer. Not only did he do a very thorough article, and published it in the WSJ, but it was subsequently disseminated through every scholarly and professional channel--when I was looking for sources for a speech course I was taking that wasn't just BS ad copy from Henckels or absurd advice from some store clerk, "Sharper" By Todd Oppenheimer was the only thing I found. And I have seen it quoted countless times since. Good journalist, Bob scored bigtime doing that interview.

Paul Reed Smith was just a guy making good quality guitars until he managed to give one to Carlos Santana. Now a PRS runs 3-6 grand.

MikeZ
04-16-2011, 11:15 PM
Ever since I read this last night I have not gotten it out of my head... To me it says a lot when a guy like salty says the knife 'was truly a masterpiece, possibly the best knife i ever owned"... For me not that I would ever buy it but it would be about owning one of the best knifes in the world. Maybe thats why somebody wants to own a Kramer, even if there are knives that are so almost close to on par, if his really are that good theres a reason.


It's a status symbol.
My second Kramer was truly a masterpiece, possibly the "best" knife I ever owned. However, I recognized it was over valued and because it wasn't the knife I really wanted I sold it. No regrets.

If he keeps working it right that bubble may not burst for a while. Although there are a lot of knifemakers that are closing-in fast.

Salty dog
04-17-2011, 06:54 AM
To be honest one of Bob Kramer's biggest contributions to the knife community it raising the awareness among knifemakers about kitchen knives. I don't think it's accidental that knifemakers are starting to look at kitchen knives as a viable way of expressing themselves and making money. He also has placed the bar pretty high. So in the grand scheme of things he's played a very important roll in all our futures.

Cadillac J
04-17-2011, 02:36 PM
I think Kramer makes very cool-looking knives, but they just aren't for me--even if I could afford one. I just don't like the profile at all.

Would be nice if some of the other makers could get that kind of coin for their hard work someday, but then they would be out of reach for the majority of the community that really appreciates them...it seems like a win-lose situation if looking at it this way.

AFKitchenknivesguy
04-26-2011, 12:18 AM
First real post here. As someone with two Kramers, a damascus and straight steel, I feel I have some perspective to add. First, I find his knives very comfortable, excellent performers, and gorgeous to look at. I also get a kick out of telling my non-knife friends how much I paid for them (actually, a huge bargain at current prices...try to convince them of that is another topic). Second, I use my Pierre Rodriguez, Carter(s), Harner, Nenox, and Watanabe just as much. Third, I was lucky to get on his list before he truly started blowing up. I still waited 3 years, to which I refuse to complain about. I've waited just as long for other makers that are not nearly as famous. Fourth, at current prices and wait, I would never buy them again. Bob raised the bar and current makers are following suit. Good for them! There are true masterpieces made by non-Bob's that I certainly wouldn't call a bargain, but compared to Kramer they are. Fifth, anyone that has ever had contact with Bob Kramer knows what a fascinating man, concerned craftsman, and good human being he is. There isn't a better compliment I can give than the latter. Sixth, if you have a problem with the way Bob does business, you should move to a socialist nation, you would fit right in. Seventh, I am holding on to my Kramers because I really like them; they fit into my food lifestyle and passion. I also made a promise to Bob not to sell. I'm nothing without my word. I've spent money on a lot of crap I can't remember, no longer have, and never really enjoyed when I had it. Can't say that with these.

So in a way, Bob and I are alike. We both had good timing. Him...his business, me...ordering when I did, and having the money on hand.

Hey Marko, you are borrowing one of mine now, what do you think?

Marko Tsourkan
04-26-2011, 12:37 AM
...

Hey Marko, you are borrowing one of mine now, what do you think?

It's a very good knife. I like the geometry better than the profile. My personal preference is a flatter profile as I push-cut and almost do no rocking.

Finish on the knife is excellent, the handle, although massive, is a top notch quality. I could not find any faults with this knife, as expected. I only cut two apples with it, but the impression is positive. Height and weight made cutting effortless.

So, I am going to do ai comparison cutting - side-by-side Carter, Kramer and Shigefusa. Will probably cut sweet potato or regular potato. Curious how these knvies will compare.

M

Chef Niloc
04-26-2011, 02:24 AM
Ever since I read this last night I have not gotten it out of my head... To me it says a lot when a guy like salty says the knife 'was truly a masterpiece, possibly the best knife i ever owned"... For me not that I would ever buy it but it would be about owning one of the best knifes in the world. Maybe thats why somebody wants to own a Kramer, even if there are knives that are so almost close to on par, if his really are that good theres a reason.


First real post here. As someone with two Kramers, a damascus and straight steel, I feel I have some perspective to add. First, I find his knives very comfortable, excellent performers, and gorgeous to look at. I also get a kick out of telling my non-knife friends how much I paid for them (actually, a huge bargain at current prices...try to convince them of that is another topic). Second, I use my Pierre Rodriguez, Carter(s), Harner, Nenox, and Watanabe just as much. Third, I was lucky to get on his list before he truly started blowing up. I still waited 3 years, to which I refuse to complain about. I've waited just as long for other makers that are not nearly as famous. Fourth, at current prices and wait, I would never buy them again. Bob raised the bar and current makers are following suit. Good for them! There are true masterpieces made by non-Bob's that I certainly wouldn't call a bargain, but compared to Kramer they are. Fifth, anyone that has ever had contact with Bob Kramer knows what a fascinating man, concerned craftsman, and good human being he is. There isn't a better compliment I can give than the latter. Sixth, if you have a problem with the way Bob does business, you should move to a socialist nation, you would fit right in. Seventh, I am holding on to my Kramers because I really like them; they fit into my food lifestyle and passion. I also made a promise to Bob not to sell. I'm nothing without my word. I've spent money on a lot of crap I can't remember, no longer have, and never really enjoyed when I had it. Can't say that with these.

So in a way, Bob and I are alike. We both had good timing. Him...his business, me...ordering when I did, and having the money on hand.

Hey Marko, you are borrowing one of mine now, what do you think?



Just wait till you get your hands on one of Bills knives. I hired a swimsuit modle to follow me around holding them for me. Every were we go people look point and say Wow look at the set on that one.:biggrin2:

Salty dog
04-26-2011, 07:50 AM
First real post here. As someone with two Kramers, a damascus and straight steel, I feel I have some perspective to add. First, I find his knives very comfortable, excellent performers, and gorgeous to look at. I also get a kick out of telling my non-knife friends how much I paid for them (actually, a huge bargain at current prices...try to convince them of that is another topic). Second, I use my Pierre Rodriguez, Carter(s), Harner, Nenox, and Watanabe just as much. Third, I was lucky to get on his list before he truly started blowing up. I still waited 3 years, to which I refuse to complain about. I've waited just as long for other makers that are not nearly as famous. Fourth, at current prices and wait, I would never buy them again. Bob raised the bar and current makers are following suit. Good for them! There are true masterpieces made by non-Bob's that I certainly wouldn't call a bargain, but compared to Kramer they are. Fifth, anyone that has ever had contact with Bob Kramer knows what a fascinating man, concerned craftsman, and good human being he is. There isn't a better compliment I can give than the latter. Sixth, if you have a problem with the way Bob does business, you should move to a socialist nation, you would fit right in. Seventh, I am holding on to my Kramers because I really like them; they fit into my food lifestyle and passion. I also made a promise to Bob not to sell. I'm nothing without my word. I've spent money on a lot of crap I can't remember, no longer have, and never really enjoyed when I had it. Can't say that with these.

So in a way, Bob and I are alike. We both had good timing. Him...his business, me...ordering when I did, and having the money on hand.

Hey Marko, you are borrowing one of mine now, what do you think?

I had a different experience. Great knife though. (the second one) And I think it's bull$hit to have to promise not to sell it. What's the purpose in that? Socialist nation? How about freedom of choice.

RRLOVER
04-26-2011, 08:14 AM
It's a very good knife. I like the geometry better than the profile. My personal preference is a flatter profile as I push-cut and almost do no rocking.

Finish on the knife is excellent, the handle, although massive, is a top notch quality. I could not find any faults with this knife, as expected. I only cut two apples with it, but the impression is positive. Height and weight made cutting effortless.

So, I am going to do ai comparison cutting - side-by-side Carter, Kramer and Shigefusa. Will probably cut sweet potato or regular potato. Curious how these knvies will compare.

M

How about a post on your results,that's a nice trio of blade right there.

Marko Tsourkan
04-26-2011, 09:27 AM
How about a post on your results,that's a nice trio of blade right there.

I will post my impressions, but mind you, to do a detailed comparison, you need to sharpen all knives to the same level and do a bit more cutting than just a potato. This will be very superficial test, to judge the geometry.

M

Chef Niloc
04-26-2011, 09:54 AM
How about a post on your results,that's a nice trio of blade right there.

I have all 3 of those knives as well,I would like to throw Heiji and Bill in to that list.
I would say the Burke, Carter, and Kramer all cut alike. Think and Shigefusa cut just as well but different as the blades are thicker, for me I like a thinner blade in a chef knife so for this post I will cut them out now leaving just the US makers.
Carter out of the box has a very sharp but I would say aggressive cut. It dulls quicker then the others and is the only knife out of these makers that I have had a chipping issue with the blade. All the ones I have had have chipped and rather big chips at that. His level of blade finish if fine by me but also at the bottom of the list of these makers. His handles (even pro line) put his level of finish way down on any list of mine. Must note here that Carter knife is more then half the price of the other two US makers listed here. I have had good experiences with my dealings with Mr. Carter and Bad so he falls last on the list in that regard as well. I will say that he stands behind his work 100% and conducts his business in a professional maner, at lest in my dealings with him. I was not happy with the 1st cleaver he made me and he made me a new one and had it to me in less then two weeks he is the only maker I can say that about. Will also add that the problem with the cleaver was in my part by not explaining what I wanted well enough at first.

Bob Kramer is one of the nicest persons I have ever met. He hand delivered the knife to me and we sat down and talked for hours. There was a old post on the other bored that Bob read wrong ( not my post) and thought that I had a complaint with the way he did business, Bob called me that night to talk about it.
I for one love the handle Bob makes, find it very comfortable. It's BIG but the knife is perfectly balanced and light as a feather. The knife cuts amazingly, only way to describe it is "just right" I would note that the knives I have gotten from Butch have kind of the same feel when cutting with them.

Bill Burke as most if you may know makes IMO the best knife I have ever held. It might not be fair that I compare the level of finish with that of Bobs as Bills was custom to me from start to finish. But in all honesty while I love the look of my Burke the most out of every knife I own I will acutely give the final vote to Bob as for level of finish. Bills knife cuts the best and longest out of every knife I have ever owned. One has to try to dull it. I would say that even under heavy home use the knife would never need anything more then a stropping from time to time. As a heavy pro knife it has only hit my stones two times in almost three years. Bills knife cuts "different" then any other knife I have ever used and I will say I like the way it cuts the best also, I have described it as cutting with a sharp piece of glass. I still don't know what gives his knife that quality as both him and Bobs are made of 52100, I also have servile other knives made from 52100 and none of them have that glass like feeling I'm describing.
I would still like to run a Hoss custom in a side by side test with these knives but I have all but given up hope of ever having one as I have been on his list for a long long time now ( longer then Bobs), but hay I may one day get one.
In closing I will say that I think the "great" US makers are one notch above the great Japanese makers, but that's just my option.

Marko Tsourkan
04-26-2011, 10:02 AM
The three knives I will compare have different geometry and profiles (Kramer has very different profile from the other two). I am not going to do enough cutting to do in depth analysis (that would require sharpening them to the same level and do way more cutting than one potato). It is just to confirm (or dismiss) how each knife should perform as I think it should.

I have Yoshikane gyuto, Heiji is very similarly ground so the performance-wise should be similar (actually, Yoshi I have is thinner). Haven't seen Bill's knife up-close yet, but will be making a saya for one soon.

M

oivind_dahle
04-26-2011, 10:40 AM
Colin:

Have you got your Bill Burke Gyuto?
You only have a 270 suji right?

Now I just want a Burke more than ever!!!!!
Here you concluded that Kramer got the best knife?
http://www.knifeforums.com/forums/showtopic.php?tid/873616/post/2082912/

And Colin: PLEASE buy a camera! You know the rule

Cadillac J
04-26-2011, 10:49 AM
Colin's Burke suji is one of my favorite knives on the forum.

It isn't sexy...but it just looks like a complete badass.

oivind_dahle
04-26-2011, 11:01 AM
Colin's Burke suji is one of my favorite knives on the forum.

It isn't sexy...but it just looks like a complete badass.

One of my favorite knives as well. However I believe it combines sexy, badass and natural beauty. It his knives is like a mix between Angelina Jolie, Charlize Theron and Megan Fox

sashae
04-26-2011, 11:43 AM
As someone who's relatively new to the artisan side of the knife world, I find this discussion utterly fascinating. I'm a huge cyclist, and avid follower of a number of high-end custom framebuilders out there, many of whom see the same sort of discussion that Mr. Kramer's output seems to have -- long waitlists, prices higher than competitors who offer similar bicycles at lower prices or less wait. In the end, people are paying for the mojo/flavor/idea of whomever the artisan is that's making the object in question (be it a knife, a guitar, a bike frame, what have you) rather than paying for purely the functional "worth" of the given thing. I love conceptually that there are certain builders/makers out there that can make a great living by being at the peak of their powers, hype or not... the frenzy can sometimes be distasteful, but there's always going to be favorites in any given hobby.

Chef Niloc
04-26-2011, 10:52 PM
The 270mm chef knife to match the Suji, I posted pic's you must have been sleeping:cool2:
http://i198.photobucket.com/albums/aa214/celtic2174/Chef%20Nilocs%20Knives/photo.jpg

Chef Niloc
04-26-2011, 10:54 PM
http://i198.photobucket.com/albums/aa214/celtic2174/Chef%20Nilocs%20Knives/photo-4.jpg

http://i198.photobucket.com/albums/aa214/celtic2174/Chef%20Nilocs%20Knives/photo-1.jpg

SpikeC
04-26-2011, 11:20 PM
That is a beauty.

ecchef
04-27-2011, 01:59 AM
Subjective opinons is of no importance.

Salty is just a another capitalist investing in a knife for selling with a huge profit.

Here's an objective opinion: you're talking out of your ass.

oivind_dahle
04-27-2011, 04:53 AM
The 270mm chef knife to match the Suji, I posted pic's you must have been sleeping:cool2:
http://i198.photobucket.com/albums/aa214/celtic2174/Chef%20Nilocs%20Knives/photo.jpg


insane knife!

Actually I ordered the same in 240. But I cannot copy your style as we are in the same forum, and I like to have something unique like you. I changed my order so its not a copy of yours :) Its absolute one of the most sexy knife Ive ever seen. Colin: you have style and class ;)

Chef Niloc
04-27-2011, 08:43 AM
Do you know when you are getting it? Is that the one Marco is making a saya for?

oivind_dahle
04-27-2011, 09:55 AM
Do you know when you are getting it? Is that the one Marco is making a saya for?

Marko is making a saya yes :)
Ive been talking a lot with him as Im really satisfied with his work. Ive ordered a high end saya from him on this one. He is also doing saya for my Devin and Pierre.
You should speak with him as he also lives in NYC for saya for yours ;) For Bill Burke I also chose horn handle, but for the others I know Marko will speak with the makers for types of wood. I want perfect knives with perfect match. Marko just do that extra on your custom knife.... (and its worth it).

Regarding Bill I have no clue when its done. All I can say is that it feels like a decade and my expectation is getting higher and higher. This is the problem custom makers are facing, to reach the buyers expectations. However Bill will reach em, as he is one of the best. So when you go for massproduction you are not facing the same problems as with custom. But the most fun part with the making of a custom is the talking with the maker before and under the making. And even though I want my knife at once, I wish the prosess of making would last a life time :) "You know you want it, but you cant have it (at least not right now)" is probably the best feeling in the world :)

But your Suji and your Gyuto are insane good looking, and knowing the preform like no other I just want one myself. So you are probably the reason why I bought a Bill Burke. Thanks! Some of us ride with style :)

Chef Niloc
04-28-2011, 02:14 AM
Once you go Burke you can never go back.

oivind_dahle
04-28-2011, 03:51 PM
thickness at base Colin?

Im going for 3mm or 2.9mm