Original Bob Kramer Knives are legendary works of art that are often priced in the $1,000’s for being unique, hand-made works of beauty and function. Even at those prices, they’re not able to be directly ordered without time on a waiting list. Most recently, to acquire these handmade originals, it seems you can only buy Bob Kramer knives at auctions! Luckily, there are more options readily available from other sources and at more reasonable prices, as you’ll discover below.
Every knife features:
- Full tang tapered to Bob Kramer’s precise specifications
- Triple-riveted for strength and control
- Traditional 3-step hand finishing on each edge
- 15° angle on each side for super sharpness
- Ergonomic design for hours of comfortable use
The signature decorative center pin on each knife is still handcrafted by Bob Kramer himself. Skilled Japanese knife-makers hand finishes each knife using a traditional honbazuke honing technique. The blades are sharpened twice on whetstones with custom grits, followed by mirror polishing on a leather wheel.
The 10 Best Bob Kramer Knives
Bob Kramer 10″ Stainless Damascus Chef’s Knife
This is one of the most appealing and finest kitchenware tools I had ever in my hands. Its performance is outstanding.
Bob’s design has an extremely wide blade to maximize knuckle clearance for larger hands. This comes in handy as well when you are cutting through large produce and piles of food.
This Bob Kramer stainless steel knife features extreme sharpness and long-lasting durability. Made from Sg2 (Mc63) micro-carbide powder steel and ice-hardened to 63 Rockwell. This steel treatment technique performed only on superior quality knives. The SG2 super steel core is protected by an exceptionally beautiful 100-layer Chevron Damascus pattern. The triple-riveted handle provides an ergonomic design for phenomenal control and balance.
IF you are serious about your Chef Knife – this is one you might consider!
Bob Kramer by Zwilling Stainless Damascus 7-Piece Block Set
If you can’t decide which of these incredible knives you love the most, this 7-piece Bob Kramer knife set includes 5 of the most popular Bob Kramer Knives of all time. Each knife is hand-made in Seki City, Japan and includes a lifetime warranty.
Included in this set:
- 3½-inch Paring Knife
- 5-inch Utility Knife
- 8-inch Chef’s Knife
- 10-inch Bread Knife
- 9-inch Slicer
- Kramer’s double-cut Sharpening Steel
- Dark-Walnut Knife Block.
Easily, the best “single” choice on this list!
Bob Kramer Meiji 9-inch Slicer by Zwilling J.A. Henckels
The Ice-hardened FRIODURx2 blade of this Bob Kramer Meiji 9-inch Slicer offers exceptional durability, cutting edge retention, and corrosion resistance. The core of the blade is made of FC61 fine carbide stainless steel. It is protected by 100 layers of nickel and stainless steel. Bob Kramer’s distinctive etched ladder Damascus pattern provides added durability.
Bob Kramer Carbon Collection 6 Inch Chef Knife
The Bob Kramer Carbon 6-Inch Chef Knife by Zwilling J.A. Henckels is made with 52100 carbon steel. It will discolor over time and develop a patina. If you do not like this – you must get another knife! But if you like this you will love this knife. It is the small chef knife so it is light and you can work longer with it. You can get this knife with an 8-inch and 10-inch blade as well. Whether it is for professional or amateur use, this cutting tool can upgrade your culinary experience to the next level.
Bob Kramer 7″ Stainless Damascus Santoku Knife by Zwilling J.A. Henckels
The appealing and fine design of this Bob Kramer Santoku Knife by Zwilling J.A. Henckels is striking. Similar to the 10-inch Chef knife the Santoku design has an extremely wide blade to maximize knuckle clearance for larger hands. The Chef knife and the Santoku knife are general-purpose knives used for a variety of cutting tasks such as chopping, slicing, dicing, and mincing.
The word “Santoku” translates to the ‘three virtues’ or ‘three uses’ of chopping, dicing, and mincing. It handles all of these jobs perfectly. But you should avoid chopping large meat bones, slicing bread and precision tasks (such as peeling). Santoku knives are particularly good at creating very thin slices of foods. This also improves the overall aesthetics of the completed dishes.
This knife feels like an extension of your arm.
Bob Kramer 7-inch Carbon Steel Santoku by Zwilling J. A. Henckels
The santoku knife is often claimed to be a fusion between a chef’s knife and a vegetable cleaver or Nakiri, giving you the benefits of both.
Straight carbon steel requires knowledge and care to maintain. In return, owners will be rewarded with a sharp edge that only straight carbon can deliver. This Santoku knife has a typical Bob Kramer wide blade so you have ample knuckle clearance.
It will discolor over time and develop a patina. This is completely normal.
Bob Kramer Essential Collection 8-inch Chef Knife
The knives in the essential collection are influenced by traditional European designs. Each knife in the Essential Collection has been optimized for kitchen use. The Bob Kramer Essential Collection 8-inch Chef Knive has a wide blade for increased knuckle clearance and a rounded spine for comfort while using a pinch grip. The knife features an ergonomic triple-riveted handle for secure, easy cutting. The brushed polymer handles together with the polished bolster and full-tang construction result in a perfectly balanced knife. It is a joy to use. The edge angle is 9-12 degrees on each side.
But be careful – this is the gateway drug to Bob Kramer knives. You might want more after you get this one.
Bob Kramer 10-inch Stainless Damascus Bread Knife
It’s a bit of an overkill but it is a really good bread knife. If you can afford it you will not regret it! It cuts to every kind of brad as a warm butter knife cut through butter. The Stainless Damascus Bread Knife is made with the same love to detail and high-quality materials as all the other Bob Kramer knives from the Damascus collection.
Bob Kramer Essential 4-inch Paring Knife by Zwilling J.A. Henckels
Like the other knives in the Essential line, the Bob Kramer Essential 4-Inch Paring Knife is made in the knife-making capital of Seki, Japan. The knives undergo a 100-step, 42-day manufacturing process during which they pass through the hands of 45 expert artisans. Perform all of your small cutting tasks with ease and a smile on your face!
Carbon 7-Piece Block Set by Zwilling J.A. Henckels
We do like this set and the nice magnetic block it comes with. You can enjoy your knives even when you do not use them. And when you work with them you always have the right knife since there is no guesswork involved anymore when you can see the knife before you take it out of the knife block.
The blades will develop a blue-gray patina which I, many knife lovers and professional chefs really like. These quality knives are easy to care for. Just keep them clean and dry for a lifetime of unparalleled performance.
Included in this Set:
- 3.5-inch Paring Knife
- 5-inch Utility Knife
- 8-inch Chef Knife
- 10-inch Bread Knife
- 9-inch Slicer
- 12-inch Steel
- Upright Magnetic Block
Never put these knives in a dishwasher! Always wash by hand and dry immediately.
Sharpening your Bob Kramer Knives
As far as sharpening goes – if you are the lucky owner of a genuine Kramer Custom Knife, you can send your knife in. 1 hour of reconditioning will set you back $375. The average time it takes to get the knife and blade back to “as good as new” is 4-8 hours.
If you have one of the Zwilling knives you will be surprised how long they stay sharp. You might hone them from time to time, but if you feel the need for sharpening you should find a good professional shop to recondition your knife.
About the Bladesmith:
Bob Kramer worked in professional kitchens for over 10 years, including Seattle’s Four Seasons Olympic Hotel while studying at the University of Washington. He realized during that time that many chefs in the industry were encountering the same issue with dull knives that he was experiencing. He became obsessed with solving the problem of keeping knives sharp, which lead him to attend a two-week course at the American Bladesmith Society’s school to become an apprentice knifemaker in 1992. He received the Master Bladesmith recognition in 1997. His first knife shop in Seattle, Bladesmiths, opened in 1993.
Types of Steel used for Bob Kramer Knives
The carbon knives are made from 52100 carbon steel which will result in a nice patina after continuous use. The knives are heat-treated to a hardness of 61 Rockwell and feature an African blackwood handle while the bolster is made from brass.
Bob said, “The magic happens when the right steel combines with the right heat treatment. Carbon steel has an extremely fine grain structure and with a meticulous heat treatment that allows for the ultimate edge: maximum sharpness, edge retention, ease of sharpening; and thus, the best performance.“
The angle of each blade is honed to 15° on each side for super sharpness.
Please only hand-wash and hand-dry these knives after each use. Since carbon does react with acid, you should wipe the blades after cutting each ingredient when you cook. When carbon steel is exposed to different elements, it will begin to naturally oxidize. This is normal and it is called a patina. Over time, this patina will act as a protective layer against rusting and discoloration.
The Damascus knives consist of 50 alternating layers of nickel and stainless steel, which is referred to as SG2 or “Super Gold 2.” The end results in a 101-layer deep-etched Chevron Damascus blade. The knives are Ice-hardened to 63 Rockwell. They feature a Linen Micarta handle which resists wearing, even after prolonged use.
The angle of each blade is honed to 15° on each side for super sharpness and most recently produced from Bob Kramer’s designs by Zwilling in Seki, Japan.
The Meiji Collection combines a Japanese-styled knife with the performance of a Western-style blade. The knives are made from FC61 fine carbide corrosion resistant steel. The thin blade profile is authentic Japanese and mirror-polished. 100 layers of etched ladder Damascus blade with a charcoal Pakkawood handle. A beautiful work of art that feels good when you hold it in your hands. And works even better!
Like the other variants of Bob Kramer knives, this series is also handcrafted in Seki, Japan
The Bob Kramer knives in the essential collection are influenced by traditional European designs. Each knife in the Essential Collection has been optimized for kitchen use. The blades are made from FC61 steel and have a 61 Rockwell hardness. Double Friodur hardening improves the microstructure of the steel for better cutting performance, corrosion resistance, and increased durability. They hold their sharp edge for a long time and are incredibly durable.