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Kramer by Zwilling JA Henckels new
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Bob Kramer Essential Collection Chef’s Knives by Zwilling J.A. Henckels

HAND MADE

Whether mincing onions or thinly slicing a ribeye, this perfectly balanced, razor-sharp and versatile chef’s knife feels like an extension of your own hand. Designed by master bladesmith Bob Kramer, the Essential Collection features the quality and...Read More

169 95 - 249 95 $169.95
Sugg. $315.00 You save 20%
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Description

HAND MADE Whether mincing onions or thinly slicing a ribeye, this perfectly balanced, razor-sharp and versatile chef’s knife feels like an extension of your own hand.

Designed by master bladesmith Bob Kramer, the Essential Collection features the quality and performance of Kramer knives in a package that’s easily accessible to home cooks.

Each knife has been optimized for kitchen use thanks to a wide blade for increased knuckle clearance, a rounded spine for added comfort, and a triple-riveted handle for secure, easy cutting.

Each knife draws on Seki City, Japan’s wealth of knife-making experience and undergoes a rigorous 42-day manufacturing process that involves 45 expert artisans and 100 distinct steps. As a finishing touch, each knife receives a central mosaic pin handcrafted in Bob Kramer’s personal studio. Built to withstand the pressures of everyday use in busy kitchens, this is one knife that will be with you for years to come.

Shop all Bob Kramer »

Features Hide

  • Designed by ABS-certified Master Bladesmith Bob Kramer, the first Master Bladesmith to specialize in kitchen cutlery, the Essential Collection offers our best value ever on a line of Kramer knives
  • Constructed from revolutionary FC61 steel, which features fine-carbide distribution and 61 Rockwell hardness for a razor-sharp, easy-to-maintain edge
  • Fine-carbide distribution results in a blade that holds an incredibly sharp angle
  • Double Friodur hardening improves the microstructure of the steel for improved cutting performance, corrosion resistance and increased durability
  • Blade is extra-wide, so your knuckles don’t impact the cutting board, and features a rounded spine for comfortable pinch gripping
  • Brushed polymer handles are hand-ground and feature a complex curvature that mirrors the palm for a secure, supremely comfortable grip

Specifications Show

  • Manufacturer: Zwilling J.A. Henckels
  • Material: High-carbon stainless steel, polymer (POM)
  • Warranty: Lifetime warranty
  • Made in Japan

Care & Usage Show

  • Hand wash only

Videos

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Customer Reviews

4.5 / 5.0
2 Reviews
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Kramer Does it Again!
Wow -- is all I have to say.

This is truly and incredible knife.

First, I absolutely love the look of it. Very sleek and modern, yet classic. Looks amazing in the kitchen and the matte black handle is very professional looking.

The handle is super comfortable, and feels really smooth in my hand. I could honestly chop for hours with this knife. I love that it features Kramer's Euro Handle design and Zwilling nailed it in production - the handle feels incredible.

This new blade steel is ridiculously sharp and seems to be really tough as well. I've been using this knife heavily for a couple of weeks and the edge is perfect. It's tackled all different types of vegetables, whole chickens, prepped steaks, minced lots of herbs and garlic, and even broken down a few pineapples, all with ease.

For the $200 price range there isn't another knife out there that can even touch the quality, performance, and design of Kramer Essential.

Highly, highly recommend
June 3, 2014
Great knife, with slight fit and finish issue.
I have used the 8" version of this knife for about 1 month now, including cooking Thanksgiving diner with it, and I am finally ready to give a review.

To explain the four stars instead of the five: the edge of my copy has about an inch of mis-grind at the heel (end towards the handle). If I tilt it, I can see it is ground a slightly different angle than the first of the edge. It does not really affect performance, more ore a nuisance.

The profile of the knife is a bit more aggressive than a a typical German style may take a little time to get used to. It is tall at the heel and steeply curved overall. One either needs to either exaggerate the rocking motion a bit more when chopping fine herbs or use the flatter sweet spot closer to the heel of the knife.

This knife is very thin overall, I measured it to be about 2mm on the spine at the heel and it quickly tapes to a very thin tip. The grind is convex and very thin behind the edge. The thinness is a good thing: I tried both this knife and the Damascus steel version of the Kramer knife in store. Though being more beautiful and twice as expensive, the Damascus steel version requires ever so slightly more effort to cut a carrot as (I must stress ever so slightly, as both are excellent knife) due to being thicker and heavier overall. However, since the edge is ground so thinly, I actually have been hesitating to split winter squash or lobster with this.

Out of the box, the edge is very sharp and can easily push cut folded magazine paper, but it would not shave hair. Cutting through tomato is a breeze and I can make translucent slices of carrot with this. However, the factory edge seems to be a bit coarse: it looks like it is finished with a 1000 grit sharpening surface.

After about 1 month of moderate home cook usage and maintained with a leather strop, the knife got to a point where it would not easily push cut cherry tomato. I took it to a 8000 grit Japanese waterstone and after about 10 pass per side, I was able to refine the factory edge to a hair shaving level.

Overall, I am very happy with this knife. It looks gorgeous and maintains its sharpness well, and it is easy to sharpen. It should last a lifetime with the proper maintenance.
December 23, 2014
 

Questions & Answers

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Browse 6 questions Browse 6 questions and 68 answers
Why did you choose this?
Sur La Table Store
Great salesmanship!
Chad H on Mar 19, 2016
I have used this knife before and it is superb!
RICHARD S on Feb 20, 2016
Great salesmanship!
Chad H on Mar 19, 2016
I have one and this is for a gift
Michael H on Feb 26, 2016
I have used this knife before and it is superb!
RICHARD S on Feb 20, 2016
Did my research, seemed to be the best on the market for the price, fit my needs
Caleb S on Dec 30, 2015
Because my husband wanted one for Christmas.
Patricia S on Dec 23, 2015
I bought a custom chef's knife from Bob Kramer years ago and since my grand daughter is studying to become a Chef
she needed a great knife to start out with.
James R A on Dec 16, 2015
i wanted a quality chef's knife. And this line is easier to maintain since it is stainless.
COLE P on Sep 24, 2015
Wonderful craftsmanship, good balance, sits comfortably in the hand. It arrives super sharp -- keep it that way and it'll be a workhorse for ages.
Janice P on Aug 30, 2015
I have another one just like it and wanted one for the condo, too!
JOHN H on Jul 30, 2015
The feel balance and size of the knife is absolutely the best. I have been very satisfied with 4 star knives, but the feel and control of these is even better. It is a lot of money, but when you have used the knife you understand.
David R on Jul 12, 2015
Kramer knives rock.
Philip A on Mar 10, 2015
I own a Bob Kramer and like it so I got another one.
Christopher S on Jan 11, 2015
Comfort and amazingly sharp, durable blade.
Jay S on Jan 10, 2015
I know Kramer knives from past purchase (carbon-steel) of 10 inch. chef knife and this is a great addition.
Robert N on Dec 16, 2014
good reviews
Susan D on Dec 16, 2014
Have always been curious about Kramer knives after seeing featured on 'Sunday Morning" program a few years ago
Eric H on Dec 16, 2014
because of the name "Bob Kramer"
Christina C on Dec 16, 2014
I was just at the store purchasing a gift for my mother to give to my brother and this knife is gorgeous and fits in the hand beautifully. I tried it out and was really impressed. I was thinking that I need one as well!
Can't wait to use it.
Joanne D on Dec 16, 2014
Christmas gift for a hunter. I thought it would be strong enough to dress a deer.
Stephen M on Dec 16, 2014
I learned at a Sur La Table cooking class that professional chefs consider Bob Kramer's knives to be among the finest ones available. But the high quality comes at a very high price. The Kramer Essential line offers the most important benefits of the original line, but at a far more approachable price.
Jan D on Dec 16, 2014
good to have on hand as a potential gift.
CE W on Dec 16, 2014
quality of the knife - and the special price today
Betty M on Dec 16, 2014
My son in law loves this knife....

It will be his xmas gift.
STEPHEN R W on Dec 16, 2014
on wish list
James S on Dec 13, 2014
wanted it FOREVER
Natalie L on Dec 7, 2014
great for chefs work. Can resharpen without worry and extender does not reach all the way down therefore giving a longer life to the knife.
Cherilyn L on Dec 7, 2014
quality and the wide blade
carl c on Dec 7, 2014
I went into the store, and used this knife, the sales person was super helpful in helping me narrow down which option worked best for me. The blade is super sharp, the handle has a nice weight to it, I CANT WAIT TO USE IT!
Jason C on Nov 28, 2014
Needed an excellent quality knife that will last for decades. My last Henkel lasted 25 plus yrs. before I got a chip in blade. Still usable so I gave it to my sons at college.
Holly B on Sep 14, 2014
I already own a Kramer 6 inch carbon steel chef knife. The stainless steel option seems more user friendly than carbon steel
hugh t on Sep 13, 2014
Shape, Style and high quality
Marjorie F on Sep 13, 2014
Bob Kramer makes the best cutlery ever.
Jeff P on Sep 8, 2014
Family recommendation
Carroll S on Sep 8, 2014
Watched the video and saw an article in Wall Street Journal that pointed me to Sur La Table
Alison S on Sep 3, 2014
Excellent review in the Wall Street Journal
Eileen R. F on Aug 31, 2014
read about it men's journal
thomas b on Jul 25, 2014
I have one and this is for a gift
Michael H on Feb 26, 2016
Did my research, seemed to be the best on the market for the price, fit my needs
Caleb S on Dec 30, 2015
How is this knife different from the Carbon Steel Chef's Knife SKU 789693 for $229?
Is the blade the same? Just seems like the handle is different.
Sara L on Jan 3, 2015
BEST ANSWER: Carbon steel and high-carbon stainless steel are two different blades. I find the carbon steel a bit sharper but use it selectively as it requires more care and not everyone in the house will treat it with care. The wooden handle has a better feel than the polymer on the essential. I prefer either Kramer handles to others and have tried most all in the past 25 years. If you like a better blade and will be the primary user get the carbon steel and maintain it (wash and dry immediately after use and apply a touch of oil that comes with it). They sharpen at the store. the best way to sharpen is with the kramer stone set do not use the wrong honing steel or electric sharpener. I waited a year and bought stones after viewing Kramer videos. Plenty of little things to consider but these knives should last a couple of generations.
Bob Kramer by Zwilling J.A. Henkels® Knife Sharpening Kit
Bob Kramer by Zwilling J.A. Henkels® Knife Sharpening Kit
What is the depth of the blade? I already have a knife block and am hopeful the 8" will fit in it, without having to buy another block.
Nancia D on Dec 10, 2014
BEST ANSWER: The Kramer 8" chef knife is thicker than most 8" chef knives. The thickest part of the blade closest to the handle is just shy of 2.5". Hope that helps!
How is this knife different from the 8" Carbon Steel knife? SKU 789693 listed for $229?
A shopper on Jan 3, 2015
Bob Kramer Essential Collection Chef’s Knives by Zwilling J.A. Henckels
Bob Kramer Essential Collection Chef’s Knives by Zwilling J.A. Henckels
Bob Kramer 8
Bob Kramer 8" Carbon Steel Chef’s Knife by Zwilling J.A. Henckels®
BEST ANSWER: The carbon steel will hold an edge better and longer. You need to dry it after using or it will rust. And, yes, the handles are different. I prefer the wood on the carbon steel knife; it has a better feel to me. If you want to save money, I would go with the essential knife. If you want a better quality, go with the carbon steel. Check out an article in the New York Times, "The knife Rack Goes High End" from June 14,2011 that explains blades.
How does the Kramer Essential perform in comparison to the Kramer Damascus?
A shopper on Aug 20, 2015
Bob Kramer Essential Collection Chef’s Knives by Zwilling J.A. Henckels
Bob Kramer Essential Collection Chef’s Knives by Zwilling J.A. Henckels
Bob Kramer 8
Bob Kramer 8" Stainless Damascus Chef’s Knife by Zwilling J.A. Henckels®
BEST ANSWER: I have a mixture of Essential, Damascus, and Carbon Steel knives from the Kramer line. The Essentials are excellent knives, and they are my wife's favorites. Very easy to maintain, comfortable to use, but not able to hold quite as sharp an edge at the others, and I find that I need to use the sharpening kit every 2 months or so to keep them at their peak.

The Damascus and the Carbon Steel knives are clearly superior. Both take and hold the sharpest edges I have ever worked with, and I have previously used Sabatier, Wustoff, and Henkels as my go-to cutlery. It is truly incredible to work with these knives. The big difference between these two lines for me is that the Carbon Steel knives are a little fussier - they need to be cleaned immediately, especially after acidic foods, to avoid staining/discoloring the metal, and they need to be lightly oiled regularly.

I started with the Essentials. If I were starting again, I would go entirely with the Damascus knives.
Is it recommended to maintain the edge of this knife with a regular honing steel?
Craig E on Sep 25, 2015
BEST ANSWER: Not sure what is recommended. I use a DMT diamond sharpening stone. The same that I use for sharpening my wood working chisels. I have a two sided stone fine/extra fine. Not cheap but it gives an incredible edge and the stone lasts forever. Hope that helps....Roger
 

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