Well I know he loves the knifemaking.....what else did I miss?
If by insular, you mean the forums are unwilling to try new products, then I'd disagree. The forums are always looking for the next great thing. In the past year that has brought us the DT ITK and the Konsuke HD knives. Geshin Hide could be the next darling of the forum.
Just because Cut Brooklyn hasn't been a forum favorite doesn't mean its not a good knife. People on the forums need an excuse and really not much of one, to try out a new maker. The excuse could be price point, steel, or makers reputation.
These criteria/excuses kept the forums from early on recognizing that Kramer's were an exceptional knife. Obviously Bob didn't need the forums approval for success.
Before Japanese knives were on my radar I learned about Joel's knives when reading a blog by a Top Chef finalist who raved about it.
I'm reasonably familiar with the basic profile of the people who buy Joel's knives and generally speaking we're unlikely to see them here.
He appears to be a genuinely great guy who is passionate about making every knife his best. Joel sells and recommends knives by other makers. His waiting list is long, the few knives he makes on spec sell quickly and his production knives are in demand before they've hit the shelves. There's nothing to gain by offering knives for evaluation here or anywhere else.
I'd love to visit his shop though.
I have heard about Kramer knives on KF. I know of 6+ people who own one or more. Except for Scott, they didn't sell and are happy with their purchase (Adam sold but with a great regret, I think).
Now, I finally got to inspected a Kramer knife up close and have seen his knife production video. Here is my take on it. Kramer knives are very good knvies. You get a whole package - steel, heat treat, grind, finish and an exceptionally crated handle. I am pretty immune to Bob Kramer marketing appeal, so I evaluated the knife based only on these criteria. What I have seen tells me that Bob is a skilled craftsman. Is he better than other top maker here in the US? I doubt he is as a craftsman. But he has done all right things to promote his work, so in that sense, he is better.
I hope that you guys take a little bit more objective view on this matter - evaluate knives on their merits. As rockbox pointed out, people buy from people they like, but that doesn't necessarily mean that the product they sell is exceptional.
My issues with CB knife is handle (on both lines), steel choice, grind (thickness), and lack of in-house heat treatment. For somebody as passionate about knife-making as Joel is claimed to be, he doesn't seem to go a traditional route - learning from others. So that puts him in a permanent B-maker category in my book. (I personally find heat treating the most fascinating of all processes in knife-making. B&W photography and cooking are the closest I could think of to HT, where even tiny manipulation can alter the outcome)
When you start blurring lines between A and B, then what is A? Why strive for it, when you can pay and play? And that is really a point I have been making for some time now.
Getting feedback from people who are more demanding and less patronizing is a good way to assess if you are doing something right. I think a maker has more to gain.
An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made, in a narrow field.
Limited Offer - 15% Off Leather Sayas For All Brands And Types
I don't have on but I have seen a few, did not like the ones I have seen. I'd say 1 step lower then mid tec, that's saying the DT ITK is a mid tec. Kind of heavy and did not feel right in the hand. I don't care much for the looks.
Any professional marketeers out there? Kill yourself.