Not that I am necessarily going to take the plunge, but I’ve been curious for a while, so I thought I might investigate... apart from Bob Kramer, I am curious to know of any exceptional Western style (German-styled blade preferred for chef’s knives) knife makers with whom you are familiar.  

TIA!

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I've had two made by Dan Prendergast in the UK http://www.prendergastknives.com/ and they are both wonderful. Both carbon mono-steel but he does amazing san mai as well. 

I think Bloodroot blades http://www.bloodrootblades.com/ has a multi year waiting list for customs but they do a monthly mailing list sale which has gorgeous stuff. 

I love Joe Schrum's knives from Halcyon Forge and would love to get one http://www.halcyonforge.com/.

Top of the list though if I was going to go all out would be one from Ian Haburn. http://www.haburnknives.com/ his stuff is insanely beautiful. 

 

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