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View Full Version : What's a Kramer actually like?



Don Nguyen
12-11-2012, 04:51 PM
I've always wondered. I always hear that they're really, really good, but never a definitive description.

What are their grinds like? Is it kind of a blended bevel deal, or a smooth convex face? Asymmetric?

I'm just going to assume fit and finish is as good as it gets, and heat treat would have to be solid. Is there anything in particular that makes a Kramer really, really shine? Overall performance, how is it using one?

Lefty
12-11-2012, 05:14 PM
Something I've wondered for years, myself.

If anyone is crazy enough to lend me theirs, I'll gladly accept. Haha. Yeah right!

stevenStefano
12-11-2012, 05:15 PM
If you ever want to use one I suspect you'll be going to where the knife is

Lefty
12-11-2012, 05:35 PM
New York, here I come!

RiffRaff
12-11-2012, 07:41 PM
Scott Sebastian (Salty) has talked a lot about his Kramer, both good and bad, and the modifications he asked for in his custom knife. You can find some of it in these pages or on his blog with excellent photographs as always.

Don Nguyen
12-11-2012, 08:06 PM
Did some searching and found it!

http://saltyskitchen.blogspot.com/2010/05/bob-kramer-9-inch-meji.html

tk59
12-11-2012, 09:49 PM
I've talked to a few people that have used a Kramer. The informal consensus is they have essentially perfect fit and finish, very comfortable, heavy and good but not great cutters. Edge retention is mediocre and sharpening is very easy.

RRLOVER
12-11-2012, 09:55 PM
I can say that the Salty version mieji in 52100 is/was a pure performer.I loved everything about that knife except the tip,the tip flexed so much it was hard to sharpen.I do miss that knife........I wish I was not such a greedy b^stard:(

rdm_magic
12-11-2012, 10:07 PM
Who needs edge retention if you can sharpen it easily :)

RRLOVER
12-11-2012, 10:18 PM
Who needs edge retention if you can sharpen it easily :)

My edge was easily brought back with a leather strop......no need to re-sharpen.

AFKitchenknivesguy
12-11-2012, 11:40 PM
I have two. I wholeheartily disagree with the heavy part, they are extemely light for such a substantial knife. It is a great cutter as well, though if you don't like tall knives you may not think so. Edge retention and ease of sharpening is right though.

deanb
12-13-2012, 01:35 AM
I have a 9" Kramer 52100 chefs knife. Without a doubt my favorite knife. One thing Kramer does so well is the distal taper, both on the blade and the handle. Besides being beautiful this adds depth to the balance so that the knife seems lighter than it is. F&F are perfect, the geometry is great (no problems wedging), it holds a very decent edge, and it's easy to sharpen. I use it a lot.

Don Nguyen
12-13-2012, 09:02 AM
Dean, what is the grind like? Would you consider it a very smooth convex across the face, or more of a blended partial flat grind?

mpukas
12-13-2012, 02:37 PM
I've never touched a real Kramer, but I test drove a Z. Kramer at a SLT. Wasn't too fond of it... odd shape being very tall at the heel, very small at the tip, long flat spot, small curve towards the tip, very steep angle of the edge in relation to the spine, so the handle angled up very high. I liked the handle a lot. All of that is just personal preference, and I could get used to it. The biggest thing I noticed as a detriment was the blade face was dead flat from spine to bevel, and for a knife that tall, it had a lot of sticktion.

AFKitchenknivesguy
12-13-2012, 03:33 PM
I picked up a Kramer Z at SLT too, not the same knife.

Salty dog
12-13-2012, 04:27 PM
This photo may give you an idea of the grind. He does the wave. At least on this knife he did. (It's a good thing)

http://i1036.photobucket.com/albums/a442/Saltys_knives/dt8.jpg

RRLOVER
12-13-2012, 05:46 PM
http://i515.photobucket.com/albums/t359/mario164/015-2.jpg

Here is the western handle one I exchanged for a meiji,you can see the grind

RRLOVER
12-13-2012, 05:47 PM
http://i515.photobucket.com/albums/t359/mario164/004-16.jpg

Here is the Salty version meiji........MUCH BETTER!!!

jmforge
12-13-2012, 06:08 PM
It looks like they have a bit of hollow in the middle section. Is thst an optical delusion?:biggrin:

Salty dog
12-13-2012, 06:18 PM
Nope, that's the low point in the "wave". I've been preaching the wave to makers with little success.

I guess I should have mentioned that's how Kramer does it.

jgraeff
12-13-2012, 07:02 PM
Can you describe the wave? Not understanding what you mean by a wave grind?

Mrmnms
12-13-2012, 09:38 PM
Got a Shun Kramer Damascus as a gift a while ago and a meji after . Maybe not the real thing, but great fit and finish. Edges have held up very well for me, feel like slight convex grind I guess. Stropped them back after month of use and are just about as sharp as anything I have. I'm a lefty but still use the meji quite a bit with d handle for righty. Very easy knife to work with. I'd love a chance to try an original. Maybe I'll sell my car and try to buy one. I'm glad makers like him can see the kind of financial reward he's getting. I hope some of the outstanding makers here can also taste this kind of success. I also hope to be able to buy a few of their knives while I can still almost justify and afford to buy them. I dream about making my own . This forum is inspiring .

Dave Martell
12-13-2012, 09:50 PM
Don, if I'm remembering correctly, you can see the grind on Bob's knives pretty good while he's working on them in the CBS video on YouTube. If not that vid then one of his other ones.

EdipisReks
12-13-2012, 10:01 PM
Can you describe the wave? Not understanding what you mean by a wave grind?

there is a concave section in the middle. it would help with sticktion, i imagine, especially with how tall so many of the Kramer knives are.

Don Nguyen
12-13-2012, 10:33 PM
Don, if I'm remembering correctly, you can see the grind on Bob's knives pretty good while he's working on them in the CBS video on YouTube. If not that vid then one of his other ones.

Hmm, thanks Dave! I'll have to take a look again.

Salty dog
12-13-2012, 11:52 PM
I have vintage Dexters that have that same grind, although not as nearly refined.

On Lake Michigan we have waves that we call "rollers". A lazy wave that has a relatively steep incline that doesn't break and then it descends into a long valley before trying to repeat itself. The spine is the top of the second roller.

van Zanten
12-31-2012, 02:22 PM
the "wave grind" is a very interesting thing. I have been thinking about it but never tried it. I will do so on my next knife. I wonder what the radius is on bob's curved grinder platen. I will first try it with my 300mm wheel.

NO ChoP!
12-31-2012, 04:32 PM
Scott, people down here don't understand the size of our great lakes. When I tell them, you can't see across them, just like the ocean, they have twenty foot swells, and are very deep and dangerous, they look puzzled. lol.

Lake Michigan still provides the best tap water in the world. I truly miss it. Always icy cold, no foul smell, or fishy-bleachy taste.

Jmadams13
02-06-2013, 08:39 PM
One if my old chefs had a few. 2 chefs and a 150 petty. The petty was the only one I used, and I loved it. The F&F was amazing. I only used it on occasion, but every time, it was scary sharp, and Chef always raved about the ease of shape ring and retention. Only knife that have me stitches, when I lost the tip if my thumb having to have sowed back on. I still miss that knife for fruit and hand work

Salty dog
02-07-2013, 05:38 AM
This is my original Kramer. Much taller and heavier than the second. You can kind of get an idea of the grind by the reflection.

http://i1036.photobucket.com/albums/a442/Saltys_knives/kramer6.jpg

Salty dog
02-07-2013, 06:17 AM
Original and re-do. The Mizuno was between spa treatments in the bottom photo. The grind is hard to notice in these photos.
The knives were night and day. I have always wondered how many "step children" are out there?

http://i1036.photobucket.com/albums/a442/Saltys_knives/kramer7.jpg

http://i1036.photobucket.com/albums/a442/Saltys_knives/saltysmeji14.jpg

van Zanten
03-09-2013, 11:13 AM
This is my original Kramer. Much taller and heavier than the second. You can kind of get an idea of the grind by the reflection.

http://i1036.photobucket.com/albums/a442/Saltys_knives/kramer6.jpg

It looks like the blade at the heel has 1/3 convex, 1/3 concave in the mid section and 1/3 pretty flat going towards the back of the knife?

I wonder what radius his grinder platen is. How is the food release on this knife?

Salty dog
03-09-2013, 02:23 PM
good

Marko Tsourkan
03-10-2013, 01:09 PM
It's flat/convex ground blade, at least the one I have seen. Pretty thick at the spine over the heel (~4mm), and from half the way on the spine, it tapers rapidly toward the tip (so you have flex from midsection on), I guess partly to achieve balance at the handle. Food release is good at the first half of the blade, due to thinness, ok to mediocre at the heel (wedging), though you won't notice it as much because the bade is tall, and you would have to cut stuff at least as tall or dense.

Heat treatment geared toward sharpness (molten salts), so the edge will get sharp easily, though wear resistance is less than from some makers who use 52100 (as reported by Collin a while back).

M