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Thread: Kramer vs. Kramer vs. Kramer

  1. #71
    Senior Member Crothcipt's Avatar
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    I don't know I think I am starting to not like the Kool aid that is coming from him. The knife on this auction (to me) was meh. Loved the colors on the handle. Only 1 shot of the knife so you couldn't see the end cap pattern which was damascus. I could also be becoming jaded with other knives.

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    I like mattrud's knife still, but for me this one was over about 29k$
    Last edited by Crothcipt; 07-29-2012 at 08:18 PM. Reason: ugh pic didn't post right
    Chewie's the man.

  2. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by tk59 View Post
    This is crap. Handmade does not equal performance, superior QC, etc. Furthermore, ease of sharpening is 100% dependent on HT and steel, not hand-anything. I can't think of a machine made knife that took me more than a couple min to sharpen unless it had been abused.
    Is ease of sharpening 100% based on that? There is no connection between quality of grind and ease of sharpening? I find this hard to believe tk. Eamon's point is that a machine can never finally do what a craftsman can with his hands and lots of time. Thus the prices these knives cost does not equate with the quality of the finished product. I think the Kramer zwillings are a waste of money even though I have never ever handled one based solely on the fact that for just a little more money (or in some cases the same amount) you can buy a knife made by a quantifiable known entity who makes kitchen knives based upon imperial research to improve cutting performance without the specter of marketing sub par products for lots of money elsewhere in their stock portfolio.

  3. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by G-rat View Post
    Is ease of sharpening 100% based on that? There is no connection between quality of grind and ease of sharpening? I find this hard to believe tk. Eamon's point is that a machine can never finally do what a craftsman can with his hands and lots of time. Thus the prices these knives cost does not equate with the quality of the finished product. I think the Kramer zwillings are a waste of money even though I have never ever handled one based solely on the fact that for just a little more money (or in some cases the same amount) you can buy a knife made by a quantifiable known entity who makes kitchen knives based upon imperial research to improve cutting performance without the specter of marketing sub par products for lots of money elsewhere in their stock portfolio.
    There is absolutely no connection between grind and wear resistance and tendency to hold on to a wire edge, aka ease of sharpening. Those are intrinisic properties of the metal itself. Are the best knives handmade? Depending on your definition, I would say, generally yes. Are the worst knives machine made? That is also tough to say. I've seen plenty of hand made knives that are unfit for kitchen use.

  4. #74
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    I see the statement as meaning that a knife with grind issues is more difficult to sharpen because one would need to deal with the overgrind, hole, whatever it is, requiring more work in sharpening. The farther into the blade you get over time, the problems may become more of an issue, possibly affecting the longevity of the tool. This is how I interpreted his statement.

  5. #75
    Quote Originally Posted by GlassEye View Post
    I see the statement as meaning that a knife with grind issues is more difficult to sharpen because one would need to deal with the overgrind, hole, whatever it is, requiring more work in sharpening. The farther into the blade you get over time, the problems may become more of an issue, possibly affecting the longevity of the tool. This is how I interpreted his statement.
    Right. A knife without grind issues is easier to sharpen. But not all handmade knives are free of grind errors. To say all handmade knives are easier to sharpen implies they are all perfectly ground, which just isn't the case.
    "God sends meat and the devil sends cooks." - Thomas Deloney

  6. #76
    Quote Originally Posted by tk59 View Post
    This is crap. Handmade does not equal performance, superior QC, etc. Furthermore, ease of sharpening is 100% dependent on HT and steel, not hand-anything. I can't think of a machine made knife that took me more than a couple min to sharpen unless it had been abused.

  7. #77
    OMG, love the Venn diagram. It's all clear to me now. Thanks Eamon.

  8. #78
    Quote Originally Posted by Marko Tsourkan View Post
    My western will feature similar bolsters to ZK, so I am getting familiar with the construction and here are my thoughts on it. This is an easier bolster construction than a welded bolsters featured on many Japanese production knives. I would guess all components for ZK are laser cut and CNC milled so fit is perfect and no guess-work involved, just assembly. You slide in a bolster till it locks into a notch, put a pin through and peen it. The scales are held by two corby bolts and a mozaic pin. Handle is shaped by hand (at least in the final stages), but it's a pretty simple shape (unlike a Coca Cola shape), so a skilled worker won't spend much time on it. So to say that this handle is much more complex and require more production that say Hattory FH is an exaggeration.

    Let me comment on grind and finish too. Grind is partially flat (I guess more than 1/3 from spine down) and then convex to the edge. A relatively simple grind to do, on a automated grinder with a final steps done by hand. Knife is ground to 0.015 or so on the edge.

    Finish is a vertical scratches belt finish, probably in the area of 200 grit, similar to Masamoto. Because the knife is very tall, the grind transition toward convex doesn't always result in a plunge line, though I seen one sloppily done (on one side and not the other).

    Heat treatment on that knife (heard directly from users) is adequate, but nothing special. It will hold a decent edge for 2 weeks in a pro kitchen with stropping.

    None of the above point to a production that would be different than that of Lamson.

    As to whether it is worth money or not, you arrive at your own conclusion, but the brand name has something do do with it.

    My personal opinion (based on my personal preferences, make a note of that!) - this knife could be made better with some changes.

    M

    So far we as ZWILLING have avoided posting on forums, but once knife makers start getting involved in discussions, we feel the urge to step in.

    The target of the ZK line was to produce a replica of Bob Kramer's original straight carbon Euro line in a series production setting, with all features and materials to be identical to the original. That included:

    - straight distal tapering of blade and tang
    - brass bolster and rivets
    - mosaic pin

    The specs of the line dictated the production environment at our Japanese factory. Most of the machines used for the production of MIYABI couldn't be used. We had to build a new factory for this line. As we knew this would be a niche product with comparatively small production lots, automation made little sense, so that the ZK line is mostly handmade, no robots used.

    The construction with an attached brass bolster is FAR more complex and difficult than a welded stainless tang / bolster, and the tapering adds to the complexity. Both the tang and blade have to be ground in order to get the tapering, and grinding (even on machines) never is a process with 100% precision. After grinding, you still need a flat surface for attaching the bolster, in order to avoid gaps. Both bolster and handle have to be glued on to the tang, since there must be absolutely no gaps between bolster, handle and tang.

    As for the tang, additional to tapering, the tang of each knife is weight adjusted in order to get the balance to the exact points as specified by Bob Kramer.

    Getting the gradual distal taper on the blade was another challenge, also considering that a LOT of metal needed to be removed off a hardened blade (> HRC 60), especially on the Chef's knives where we start with an original material thickness of 4 mm. On the 8" and 10" that meant several passes on grinding machines. Usually a Japanese Gyutoh is not made from 4 mm material and doesn't have a distal taper like the ZK. Definitely NOT just a simple grind...

    Another issue is getting the brass bolster into its final shape. You can't use casting processes like with stainless steel. Thus you need to grind / mill the bolster into shape from a block of brass. Both ways are far more difficult / expensive than a cast stainless bolster.

    The handle is far from easy to produce. It is fully rounded. This means 1st that you can't use simple flat head rivets. You need solid ones. 2nd you have no flat area along the rivets (unlike many other knives), which requires many additional steps in handle grinding. We agree the handle has a similar level of complexity in grinding than a Hattori FH, but this already is a very complex handle. Most handles on the market are A LOT easier to finish.

    Another factor that is very time consuming in production is the rounding and mirror finishing of choil, tang and back of the blade. It's exponentially more expensive than a less rounded finish and considerably more expensive than a rounded satin finish.

    We hope that that this post will contribute to creating an understanding (and maybe some appreciation for the fact) that this is not just another mass produced knife.

    ZWILLING Japan

  9. #79
    Quote Originally Posted by ZWILLING View Post
    So far we as ZWILLING have avoided posting on forums, but once knife makers start getting involved in discussions, we feel the urge to step in.

    The target of the ZK line was to produce a replica of Bob Kramer's original straight carbon Euro line in a series production setting, with all features and materials to be identical to the original. That included:

    - straight distal tapering of blade and tang
    - brass bolster and rivets
    - mosaic pin

    The specs of the line dictated the production environment at our Japanese factory. Most of the machines used for the production of MIYABI couldn't be used. We had to build a new factory for this line. As we knew this would be a niche product with comparatively small production lots, automation made little sense, so that the ZK line is mostly handmade, no robots used.

    The construction with an attached brass bolster is FAR more complex and difficult than a welded stainless tang / bolster, and the tapering adds to the complexity. Both the tang and blade have to be ground in order to get the tapering, and grinding (even on machines) never is a process with 100% precision. After grinding, you still need a flat surface for attaching the bolster, in order to avoid gaps. Both bolster and handle have to be glued on to the tang, since there must be absolutely no gaps between bolster, handle and tang.

    As for the tang, additional to tapering, the tang of each knife is weight adjusted in order to get the balance to the exact points as specified by Bob Kramer.

    Getting the gradual distal taper on the blade was another challenge, also considering that a LOT of metal needed to be removed off a hardened blade (> HRC 60), especially on the Chef's knives where we start with an original material thickness of 4 mm. On the 8" and 10" that meant several passes on grinding machines. Usually a Japanese Gyutoh is not made from 4 mm material and doesn't have a distal taper like the ZK. Definitely NOT just a simple grind...

    Another issue is getting the brass bolster into its final shape. You can't use casting processes like with stainless steel. Thus you need to grind / mill the bolster into shape from a block of brass. Both ways are far more difficult / expensive than a cast stainless bolster.

    The handle is far from easy to produce. It is fully rounded. This means 1st that you can't use simple flat head rivets. You need solid ones. 2nd you have no flat area along the rivets (unlike many other knives), which requires many additional steps in handle grinding. We agree the handle has a similar level of complexity in grinding than a Hattori FH, but this already is a very complex handle. Most handles on the market are A LOT easier to finish.

    Another factor that is very time consuming in production is the rounding and mirror finishing of choil, tang and back of the blade. It's exponentially more expensive than a less rounded finish and considerably more expensive than a rounded satin finish.

    We hope that that this post will contribute to creating an understanding (and maybe some appreciation for the fact) that this is not just another mass produced knife.

    ZWILLING Japan
    Thank you for a detailed explanation. As long as most of heavy stock removal is done by machines, the remaining work done by hand makes sense (4mm to .5mm at the tip is a lot of metal to remove).

    M


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  10. #80
    so much so for the bollocks about robots

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