December 29, 2020

Master Bladesmith, Bob Kramer

Niki Tiliakos, Specialist, Lark Mason Associates

Bob Kramer is known as the best knifesmith in America today.

In 2015 Anthony Bourdain highlighted Kramer in one of his 'Raw Craft' videos in which he said "to say that the knife is a chef's most valuable tool is not just stating the obvious, it is an understatement of titanic proportions... So, who makes the finest chef knives in the world? This guy, Bob Kramer. Bob's one of only 122 master bladesmiths certified in the American Bladesmith Society and the only one who specializes in kitchen knives. Simply put, he's a rock star. Forging knives that are as desired for their beauty as they are for their legendary sharpness, resilience, and strength. Kramer knives have become a status symbol amongst serious chefs and serious knife collectors alike."

Custom Bob Kramer Steel and Meteorite Chef’s Knife,
with Certificate to Anthony Bourdain

After this episode, Bourdain commissioned a 10-inch custom Bob Kramer knife with a blade made from 800 layers of steel and meteorite metal. This knife went on to sell for $231,250 through Lark Mason Associates, iGavel Auctions in October 2019. Although this famous provenance added a few zeros to the final price of that knife, his knives are highly sought after and not easy to purchase.

"One morning, the no-nonsense culinary magazine Cook’s Illustrated called his shop, in Olympia, Washington, and ordered one of his knives to include in an equipment-rating article. Kramer worked into the night for three days, and then shipped off an eight-inch chef ’s knife. When the magazine’s story ran, last year, it included a small sidebar asking whether such a seemingly straightforward knife could be worth its exorbitant cost (four hundred and seventy-five dollars, at the time). The editors’ answer: “Yes. The Kramer knife outperformed every knife we’ve ever rated.” Kramer’s backlog of orders, already long, immediately jumped to two years."

Oppenheimer, T 2008, 'Sharper', The New Yorker, November 17 <>

Today his pieces are mainly purchased directly from him through auction. The auctions were implemented because in the past his pieces were so highly sought after that there was a constant waitlist. Highly prized among the world's leading chefs, he has been featured in The New Yorker, The New York Times, Cook’s Illustrated, and The Wall Street Journal, amongst many other major publications.

Two Bob Kramer knives available on iGavel Auctions now to January 7, 2021

iGavel Auction currently has two Bob Kramer custom chefs knives one measuring 10 inches with 400 layers of carbon steel in Damascus pattern and the other measuring 8 inches with 900 layers of carbon steel in Damascus pattern.  This is a unique opportunity to own something from a legend in the world of bladesmiths.

Click here to view the current sale.