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Thread: Sur La Table raises price of ZKramers

  1. #11
    Senior Member

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    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?

  2. #12
    But, but... Zwilling's are $50.00 cheaper.

  3. #13
    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.

  4. #14
    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


    "If there’s something worth doing, it’s worth overdoing.” - An US saying.

    If my KKF Inbox is full (or not), please contact me via Email: anvlts@gmail.com

  5. #15

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    +1 to that.

    ~m

  6. #16
    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.

  7. #17

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    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.
    Quote Originally Posted by DeepCSweede View Post
    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.

  8. #18

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    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. This might be a bit of good news.
    Quote Originally Posted by BurkeCutlery View Post
    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.

  9. #19
    Senior Member ThEoRy's Avatar
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    But dude, it says Kramer on it!
    Starting this harvest I'm a starving startling artist/
    Lyrical arsonist it's arduous spitting this smartest arsenic/

  10. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick View Post
    ...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

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