That looks like one of the Shun's and not an authentic Kramer. If you want a Kramer get on the waiting list and buy a hand made one from Bob and not a mass produced imitation. As far as the shun I can think of several others in the same price range or even far less that I would rather have. If you are a student this is the wrong direction IMO. Pimped out knives won't make you a better cook.
Having said that knives are very subjective so if this is what floats your boat then enjoy. I can say with out any qualms what so ever there is Z E R O chance that one of those will ever land in my box.
at $400 dollars an inch for his actual hand made knife and a 14 month waiting list (last I heard). I can find all kinds of other things to waste my time and money on. That said, they look like a fantastic knife and I have seen the Sunday Morning America segment on him and the rigors that his hand forged knife can survive.
I'm pretty sure I recognize the image as a Shun Kramer from the Sur Le Table site.
What thing(s) about a Shun Kramer do you like? If it's primarily appearance, and you think it's worth the price -- go for it. If you think a Shun Kramer has performance advantages over a number of high quality knives sold at significantly lower prices; or that it will hold its value as a collector's investment -- no. Or, something else?
Shun Kramers aren't "true Damascus." That is, a Shun blade has a hard solid steel core encased in multiple layers of decorative, pattern welded, soft steel; the edge itself is only the core steel, and not a product of folding. Further, although the outer patteren welded layers are very intricate, the knives are mass-produced in all respects.
If you posted this picture with the idea of getting validation, it looks like you came to the wrong place. You'll get much the same reaction in almost any knife forum.
But really, if you can live with its sharpening issues, it's cost, and the sharpening issues (not easy to sharpen, but not really difficult either), it's a good knife. Compared to other SG-2 knives, it's expensive, but not that expensive. The Kramer profile is a lot better than the Kershaw and Onion designs.
Certainly one of Shun's best. Of course, that's partly because it's OK in it's own right, but mostly because most of the other Shuns have even more serious issues.
As usual, BDL is spot on. I have both the Shun Kramer and a real Kramer (not Damascus) and there really is no comparison. That being said, the real Kramer cost 5 times more than the Shun Kramer. The Shun is a very nice knife. With the proper sharpening setup (waterstones + loaded strops) it's pretty easy to keep very, very sharp. It also keeps it's edge very well. One thing though, the SG-2 is quite hard and therefore brittle. Watch what you cut with it.
What is it you actually want to do with this knife?
Is it a good knife?
In all likelyhood, yes, it is. I've never held one or used one though.
Is it "the best"?
There is no such thing as "the best".
Like Duckfat, I tend to prefer "economical" knives. For me a "Best knife" is one that dulls slowly and hardly ever chips, but more importantly, is not attractive to knife thieves, and one I can loan out with confidence to employees/coworkers when they really need one..
So what ever makes you happy, but you HAVE to promise everyone on this board one thing if you do buy this knife:
-Never, under any circumstances, take it to school.
-And if you take it to work, I can almost guarantee you that the Chef will groan inwardly, because if it ever gets lost, stolen, or borrowed, all hell will break loose.
In this economy, my guess is that waiting list is going to shrink considerably! "New school supplies do not make you any smarter". I wish I could take credit for the last quote, but my mother has a copyright on that.
I doubt your mother was going to buy a Kramer anyway. For that matter neither was I. Not that they aren't great knives, but no one buys a Kramer because they cut better. Much more, they're artifacts of design, craftsmanship, beauty and very limited availability.
From an economics standpoint, they're not objects of utility but "Veblen" goods. Whether the bad economy will effect them is open to question, I suspect it won't. On the other hand, it will probably effect Shun Kramer sales as they lack the exclusivity.