A Knife That Costs $500 an Inch? We're Keen

Each of Bob Kramer's kitchen knives takes up to a month to make. (Photograph: Tom Schierlitz/Bloomberg Pursuits)

Back when there was a four-year waiting list for a bespoke Bob Kramer kitchen knife, the impatient proffered thousands of dollars just to skip the line. Today, Bloomberg Pursuits will report in its 2014 issue, would-be customers must enter their e-mail address into a lottery at kramerknives.com/custom-orders, where winners -- chosen at random -- receive the rare opportunity to purchase one of Kramer’s uniquely patterned Damascus blades. Their one-of-a-kind swirls come from hand-forging an amalgam of American, German, Japanese and Swedish steels -- folding, stretching and twisting them like taffy at temperatures up to 2,400 degrees Fahrenheit (1,300 degrees Celsius) before tempering them in a series of molten-salt baths. Each blade takes up to a month to make, comprises as many as 6,000 layers of steel and can slice an onion so thin you can read through it. No wonder Cook’s Illustrated, the Consumer Reports of kitchenware, reported that “the Kramer knife outperformed every knife we’ve ever rated.”

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To contact the reporter on this story: Mark Schatzker at steakthebook@gmail.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Ted Moncreiff at +1-212-617-5230 or tmoncreiff@bloomberg.net

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