Shokunin Series

America’s Best Knife Maker Just Released His Most Affordable Chef’s Knife in Years


August 10, 2019 Home By

Only Bob Kramer could release a $1,600 knife and call it a steal.

Kramer may not be a household name to the home cook, but in the chef world, he may as well be Virgil Abloh. Kramer’s custom-made knives reached such fame that he had to stop taking bespoke orders altogether (the waitlist reached six years at one point). Today he makes whatever he feels like making, and people are willing to pay any price; one of his most recent creations, Kintaro’s Dream, closed at $24,750).

The Shokunin Series is different. Knives in this collection are available at a set price and each is made in Kramer’s Bellingham, Washington, workshop. Kramer says he doesn’t make every knife for every release — his apprentices do — but he sharpens, inspects and usually drops them off at the post office himself.

The latest release in the Shokunin series is Kramer’s specialty: chef’s knives. Made of 52100 carbon steel with a whopping 62 Rockwell hardness score, the four-piece set is available in Kramer’s classic Western-style shape with blackwood and cocobolo handles, or a Japanese-style santoku design (also available in blackwood or cocobolo) for an extra $200.

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