Who Makes The Top Chef's Knife In The World? | Jonas Blade

Who Makes The Top Chef’s Knife In The World?

I will give you an unhelpful hint: not me. Here are who I think make the world’s top chef’s knives:

Bob Kramer

Nick Rossi

Bob Kramer

The world’s top chef knife maker in the world is, without a doubt, Bob Kramer. His pricing starts at $1000 per inch, and his wait list was 15 years long when I asked him about 8 years ago. His knives regularly sell at auction for tens of thousands of dollars. Kramer is the king. 

Then again, the answer might depend on how you define what a “top” chef’s knife is? Kramer’s are the most sought after, and the most exclusive, but is that everything? What really sets his knives apart from mine? 

The answer is: surprisingly little

Perceived value is a fascinating aspect of human psychology. Think about shopping for something harmless on Amazon, like a mechanical pencil. You type what you’re looking for into the search field, and it brings up your results. The first two options look similar, but one is $1.50, and the next is $15.00, a difference of 10x. If you are like me, you’ll wonder what is so much better about the $15 one to justify the increased cost. And if you think about it that way, you’ve already made a value judgment between the two items, based only on two pieces of information: what they look like, and what they cost. 

In the case of the mechanical pencil, there may also be an objective justification for the 10x difference in price. When you are looking for a chef’s knife that is at the top of the list, the distinctions become much more subjective. The materials and techniques Kramer and I employ—and thus the product we produce—are essentially the same on a technical level. The main differences between a Kramer’s and mine are actually just style and ergonomics, or the way our knives look and feel. Some would surely argue that his knives look and feel better than mine, but it is equally true that some would argue the opposite. It is simply a matter of preference. 

This does not mean that any handmade chef’s knife out there should be considered a top chef’s knife. Like Kramer’s knives, my designs are well researched and have been thoroughly vetted by hundreds of knives in the hands of avid cooks around the world. Bob and I are both a part of The ABS (American Bladesmith Society) Master Smiths. There are only a few of us in the world, around 120. Among that number, he and I are the only two that I know of who actually specialize in these types of knives.

Nick Rossi

Nick Rossi is another bladesmith, and a good friend. I once heard him say that the process of designing a chef’s knife is one of the hardest knives to make. They are not only long, wide, and thin—which makes them technically trickier to forge, grind, and heat treat—they are almost the only type that actually sees regular use on a day-to-day basis. The top chef’s knife needs to not only look and feel the part, but also to work the part. Mine do all three. 

Ready to see what type of chef’s knives that I offer?

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About The Author

Zack Jonas was born and raised in Massachusetts in the 1980’s and is still a New Englander today. With his growing love for art over the years, he took an introductory bladesmithing class at MASSart. It was there that he learned one of his most valuable lessons, which is that everyone has some insight worth learning. Today, he is a full-time bladesmith and feels incredibly fortunate to have found his calling.