This custom chef knife came with a serious pedigree, having been purposely created for display in the American Craft Show in LA a few months back. Wow. I don’t know about you, but the (what Bob dubs) “pulse mosaic” Damascus pattern banged into the blade sort of made me gasp the first time I saw it. Is this a knife? This pulse mosaic is only one of a number of patterns Kramer fuses into his damascene blades—all achieved through layering two or more slightly different types of steel, then pounding, folding, and pounding some more, until they are one gorgeous mélange of swirling metal. (The handle is made of dyed big-leaf maple which is one of a handful of woods Bob deems worthy for knifemaking.)
KRAMER KNVES If you’re curious to get the skinny on Kramer’s latest auction or learn more about the man and his work, check out Kramer Knives post haste. (You can register and explore without having to enter the auction.)
And finally. . .the answer to the question you had from the top of this article. . .what did it go for? A cool $32,200. (Yes, you saw that right.) Sure, that’s a bit rarified, but Kramer’s now a celeb, and this knife is not his standard fair. It’s entered into the status of objet d’art. (Plus, if it makes you feel any better, ten percent of the sale is donated to a very worthy charity.) Bob still custom forges plenty of other Kramer knives that go for a mere six grand, which is still a lot, but at least not the price of a car.
Now . . . if you want to drop down out of the stratosphere and find something quite a bit more affordable, you should consider Kramer’s factory-made model, designed in league with Henckels. At a measly $300 (everything’s relative, isn’t it?), it feels like a steal. Yet it has many of the same features and styling of its arty cousin—high quality steel; thin, but extra-wide blade; perfect balance—and, believe it or not, it should be just about as sharp. My favorite professional sharpening service swears it’s “the best knife in the world.” Maybe a blast of intentional hype—but I think there’s something behind it. For the serious aficionado, it’s worth a serious look.
Bob Kramer 10″ Carbon Steel Chef Knife by Zwilling J.A. HenckelsBUY NOW @ Amazon / Sur La Table
P.S. If you’d like more details on the Kramer knives made with Henckels, see my article Bob Kramer Knives — Why Spend $300 on a Chef Knife?
KitchenKnifeGuru.com. . .have fun in the kitchen!
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Wow…had no idea knives could be worth that much!
incredible piece of artwork, what is damascene?
“Damascene” blades are the blades Kramer makes using the damascus steel process—an age-old technique of layering different types of steel, pounding them together, and folding them over themselves repeatedly to create a uniquely strong and beautifully patterned blade. Read and see more on his website: http://kramerknives.com/damascus/.
A show-and-tell with Kramer emceed by Anthony Bourdain:
Thanks, Danny. . .great clip!
Hello! My brother gave me a Bob Kramer 10″ chef 18 years ago on my 30th birthday—pre Zwilling/Henckels, etc.—he actually called and could speak to Bob on the phone back then. I emailed Kramer Knives recently and they found the record of the purchase on their books. I am having them recondition/service it as it was with my ex-wife for a few years and she used like any other knife in the drawer (!). They said they will send it back with an authenticity certificate. Any idea of the knife’s value? Thanks for any input.
Your knife has some great back story! Made me chuckle. . .
You know I rummaged around the internet for an hour or so and I couldn’t get very far concerning value. Nobody sells original Kramers. The only examples I could find of anybody selling an original Kramer you can see below. But a new original, sold on a lottery, is now, I believe, around 4k or more. And an auctioned blade, as you can see from this post, can go for tens of thousands. So maybe if yours is in premio condition you could get 4k or more. Who knows? Otherwise, just use it and enjoy it and hand it down to your kids. . .
Thanks KKG, appreciate your response. Really looking forward to see the knife after they recondition it.
It’s back… ;) I’ll post pics if your site allows.
Cool. Send the pics to me and I’ll post them :)
Hello, I emailed you a couple of pics. Also, the knife can be viewed on ebay if you are interested. Auction #222509315714. Will see what the market bears. Thanks.