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Kramer + TWIN 1731 Knives

By Matt Card, Food Editor, Milk Street

Bob Kramer is arguably America’s top knife maker and among the best in the world. The knife he made for me is weathered and worn now, like a pair of old jeans or a baseball mitt, fitting my hand and muscle memory like a glove. Kramer designed the shape of his chef’s knife to echo the hull of a wooden schooner—deep-bellied for knuckle clearance, fine tipped for detail work and gracefully arced for effective chopping. The blade is as thin as any of my Japanese knives and the wooden handle swells at the center and tapers to each end to fill the palm of my hand.

Kramer’s handmade knives are virtually unattainable now (they cost tens of thousands of dollars when you can find them), and he partnered with Zwilling  J. A. Henckels to produce pitch-perfect replicas of his handmade knives to be available to everyone. They may lack the mark of his personal hand, though otherwise the shape, design, blade thinness and finish work is nearly identical. 

Zwilling produces two Kramer lines made with different blade steel and handle material, along with the TWIN 1731 line, designed by Italian architect Matteo Thun.

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