Top 7 Best Shun Knife Review & Buying Guide (2021)

Shun knife sets are made using two traditional styles of Japanese knife making. The first style- the Kasumi style- is the style used to make knives that are found in The Shun knife

The Kasumi style of knifemaking is the same style that has been used for centuries in Japan as the art of making samurai swords. It uses an extremely high quality, high carbon steel for the core which is covered by up to as many as 16 coats of softer steel. 16 coats on each side.

These coats of steel protect the inner core and when the knife is finely sharpened it is the inner core that produces the edge. In Japanese, the word Kasumi actually means ‘mist’ this traditional way of knifemaking is called Kasumi because of the misty appearance that the outer shell of the blade has after the layers of steel have been added.

The Honyaku method is a slightly different style. In the Kasumi, method knives are made with an inner core and multiple softer layers are applied to the outside to keep the inner core strong

the Honyaku method of knifemaking uses only one single high carbon piece of steel this piece of steel produces a knife with a super fine edge that lasts for a very long time whilst in continual use. As you can imagine these knives take much longer to make than knives that are made using the Kasumi method and therefore they cost a lot more and are seen as the very best in kitchen utensils.

1. Classic 7 piece Shun Knife Review

The Shun Classic 7 piece set features everything you would expect from a set of Shun Classic Knife.  It includes 4 beautiful Shun Classic knives, a pair of kitchen shears, sharpening steel, and a bamboo block housing to keep your blades from losing their edge.

  • 8-inch Chef/Cooks knife
  • 6-inch utility knife
  • 3.5-inch pairing knife
  • 9 inch Bread Knife
  • A set of kitchen shears
  • High grade sharpening steel

Every knife in all Classic Shun Knife Sets is made in Japan by Shun following the Kasumi method of knife making. Shun Classic Knives are made in Seki city Japan by Shun and features the high standard (typical of all shun knife sets) VG-10 stainless steel blade with 32 layers (16 on each side) of stainless alloy.

Each of the Shun Classic Knives has a one-piece stainless steel bolster, tang, and end cap (which basically means the steel runs the whole way through the knife- no cheap handles to snap off) and comes with a lifetime warranty. Shun Classic Knives are made with a black PakkaWood (composite hardwood) handle.

  • Good Points  Very good product. Shun Classic Knife really is very good. The blades have a beautiful Damascus look which stops food from sticking to the blade. The PakkaWood handle – is amazing, comfortable and Shun knives are well balanced. These knives are made by the Kasumi method of folding steel – the same method used to make samurai swords. Made from SUS419 high-carbon stainless steel. In a word – Amazing.
  • Bad Points – Shun Classic Knives are specially designed for the user and come in either left hand or right hand – you cannot buy one knife for several people to use. They cost a lot – but are excellent knives

2. The Shun Classic 9 Piece Knife Set

Have a look at some reviews for the Shun knife sets that feature the Honyaku method of knifemaking. features everything you would expect from one of the Shun Knife Sets.  It includes 6 beautiful knives, a pair of kitchen shears, sharpening steel, and a bamboo block housing to keep your blades from losing their edge and getting damaged.

The knife set includes

  • 9-inch bread knife
  • 9-inch slicing knife
  • 8-inch Chef/Cooks knife
  • 6-inch utility knife
  • 3.5-inch pairing knife
  • 2.5 inch Bird’s Beak knife
  • A set of kitchen shears
  • High grade sharpening steel

Every Shun Classic Knife in all Shun Knife Sets is made in Japan following the Kasumi method of knife making. Each Shun Classic knife has a black PakkaWood (composite hardwood) handle and a one-piece stainless steel booster, end cap, and tang.

  • Good Points  Very good product. Shun Classic knives really are very good. Every Shun Classic Knife is made by the Kasumi method of folding steel – the same method used to make samurai swords. Made from SUS419 high-carbon stainless steel. The blades have a beautiful Damascus look which stops food from sticking to the blade. The PakkaWood handle – is amazing, comfortable and every Shun Classic Knife is well balanced. In a word – Superb.
  • Bad Points – Shun knives are specially designed for the user. Every Shun Classic Knife comes in left-hand and right-hand versions – you cannot buy one knife for several people to use. They cost a lot – but they are amazing.

3. Shun Pro 3 Piece Boxed Asian Chef Set

The Shun Pro 3- Piece Boxed Asian Chef Set is a leader in the Shun Knife Sets series. This Shun Pro set features three exquisite knives.

  • a 6.5 inch Deba knife
  • a 6 .5 inch Usuba knife
  • a 9.5-inch Yanabiga knife.

The Deba is a multi-purpose kitchen/Chefs knife, the Usuba is used for vegetables and garnish and the Yanabiga is perfect for sashimi or slicing meat. Each Shun Pro knife in this set is constructed using the Honyaku method of Japanese knife making and is made using high carbon VG 10 stainless steel.

All Shun Pro knives are designed with a hollow-ground back meaning that only the cutting edge of the blade touches the food. Every Shun Pro knife in the Shun Pro 3- Piece Boxed Asian Chef Set has a PakkaWood handle (which is common in all Knife Shun Sets) and comes with a lifetime warranty.

Shun Pro are some of the best knives in the world. This is a very good quality product and Shun Pro Knives are superior to their standard range. Constructed using the Honyaku method (one piece of steel) as opposed to the Kasumi (many coats of steel) method. PakkaWood (a composite hardwood material) handles. Amazing Knives. It is very hard to fault this product. The price may be high, but you get what you pay for. If you can think of anything – please let us know

4. Shun Steel Series Shun Knife Review

Description

One of the more elegant lines in the Shun knife, the Shun Steel Series radiates quality and elegance. Featuring some of the same aspects as the Classic Series except this line contains an all-steel handle instead of the traditional PakkaWood handle.

Each knife in this series features:

  • VG-10 cutting core clad with 32 layers of SUS410 stainless
  • Clad Construction
  • The Cutting Edge
  • Kasumi Method
  • D-shaped Handles
  • “D” shaped stainless steel handle

Small Review

The steel series knives have a real professional look to them. Its performance rivals that of the classic series. As with all Shun knives, the blade is razor-sharp and performs well under any conditions. The all-metal design does add some weight to the knife and feels a bit less balanced than the classic series.

5. Classic Alton’s Angles Series Shun Knife Review

Description

In cooperation with the Food Network superstar Alton Brown, KAI US has created this new line from Alton’s recommendation. The Shun Classic Alton’s Angles Series is a slight modification of The Shun Classic Series knives. A slight 10-degree angle on the handle is all that is different. The slight angle keeps the knuckles off the cutting board and also allows for more precise control of the blade.

This new line still features the original Damascus blade, along with their classic “D” shaped Pakkawood handles. If you love the Classic Series, you might also like this new modified version.

Each knife in this series features:

  • VG-10 cutting core clad with 32 layers of SUS410 stainless
  • Clad Construction
  • The Cutting Edge
  • Kasumi Method
  • D-shaped Handles
  • “D” shaped Ebony-black PakkaWood

Small Review

Overall this set is almost exactly like the Classic Series, and what is there not to like about their flagship series? The only difference being the 10-degree angle in the handle. We have mixed emotions regarding these changes.

The 10 degree angle did indeed give us better control over the knife. Precision cuts were all accomplished with relative ease.

Unfortunately, the angle in the handle put our wrist in a less than ergonomic position. After tearing through a stack of green onions, we found our wrists were a bit sore afterward. Not a huge problem but if you work in a professional kitchen, a day worth of cutting may leave your wrist in worse shape than a traditional knife.

6. Shun Classic Ken Onion Series

Legendary knife designer Ken Onion teamed up with Kai USA to create a new line of knives. Along with the signature Damascus blade, this new line also features a couple of unique features, only found in this series.

Ken Onion’s signature ergonomic handle is present in all the knives in this set. The handle is designed to put the arm and wrist in a natural position, decreasing muscle and joint fatigue.

The knives also feature a slight curve to the blade. This curve, along with the ergonomic handle helps the knife generate a flowing motion across the cutting board.

The handle is made of ebony-colored PakkaWood. Many layers of veneer are fused together with resin to form a wood-like appearance, with the durability of plastic.

Each knife in this series features:

  • VG-10 cutting core clad with 32 layers of SUS410 stainless
  • Clad Construction
  • The Cutting Edge
  • Kasumi Method
  • PakkaWood handle

The Review

Kai really hit a homer with this set of knives. The blade of each knife lives up to the Shun line of exceptional quality. What really makes this series stand out is the well-executed ergonomic handle. The angle of the handle is just right, keeping the wrist and arm and a very natural position. Wrist and arm fatigue were nearly non-existent during heavy use.

7. Shun Classic Series

The flagship line of knives by Kai, the Shun Classic Series is the set that essentially put Shun on the map. The sleek black PakkaWood handles and Damascus-style blades rocked the cutlery industry when they were first introduced. Along with being the first line of Shun knife, it is also the largest collection.

The Shun Classic series knives are created using the Kasumi method. This is a Japanese style of knife making where extremely hard carbon steel is used for the edge, then clad on each side are many layers of protective stainless steel. This is the same method that was used to make the original samurai swords.

The handles are made of resin and hardwood fused together to create a material known as Pakkawood. The handles are shaped like the letter “D” to provide a more comfortable grip.

Each knife in this series features:

  • VG-10 cutting core clad with 32 layers of SUS410 stainless
  • Clad Construction
  • The Cutting Edge
  • Kasumi Method
  • D-shaped Handles
  • “D” shaped Ebony-black PakkaWood

The Review

This series of knives should be renamed the Shun Legendary Series. Its design is near perfect and has withstood the test of time. The performance, design, and execution of this series are top-notch. The design is very versatile and is able to please most knife enthusiasts as well as professional chefs.

How do you take care of a Shun knife?

If you own a lot of Shun knives, or even if you own just one, it is important to treat them with care. A Shun knife can be an expensive investment. Protect your investment and you will be rewarded with a lifetime of good use.


Keep Em Clean and Dry


Always keep your knives clean and dry.  This is important for a couple of reasons. First, and most important, it keeps nasty bacterias off the blade. The possibility of contaminating food with a dirty knife is greater when you store them clean.  Secondly, although Shun knives are made to be rust-resistant, the possibility that they can rust is greater when you store them wet.  The blade generally stays rust-free but the joints and handle pins may not be.  Avoid this by drying your knives immediately after washing. It only takes a few seconds, just do it

Shun Knife Storage

As tempting as it may be to stash your Shun knife in a drawer, you should really try to avoid doing it.  Purchase a nice knife block and your knives will stay safe and out of the way.  A knife block will also reduce the risk of cutting yourself while reaching into a drawer full of sharp knives.


Regular Sharpening


All knives will need to be sharpened at one point or another.  Regular sharpening with a sharpening rod will help maintain a sharp edge.  Maintaining a good edge is easier than re-honing the knife.  A good professional sharpening every couple of years will help restore the edge to near factory quality.  Shun will sharpen your knives for free, all you pay for is the cost to ship the knives to them.  Aside from maintaining the knife, a sharp edge is important for proper knife skills.  May injuries are caused by dull knives and the excessive force needed to use them.

Don’t Cut Anything Other Than Food


Never use your knives to pry jars open or to cut anything other than food. It can be tempting to grab your super-sharp Shun knife to open those tough plastic toy packages.  This is not the intended use and you should keep your knife for food only.

Careful Washing


Never put your knives in the dishwasher. Although it only sprays soap and water on your knives, the rattling that occurs inside your dishwasher can cause damage to the blade.  Also, washing in the dishwasher subjects your knife to prolonged exposure to water, possibly causing it to rust.

With these simple tips, you can be assured that your Shun knife will last you a lifetime.  If you properly maintain your knives, you will without a doubt be able to pass them on to your children.

How To Choose a knife

Choosing the right kitchen knife can be tough. A simple online search will reveal hundreds of results, varying in price from a few dollars, to a few hundred dollars.  The next problem is what type of knives should you choose, chef’s knife? Santoku? Cleaver? 

The good knife is one of the most used tools in the kitchen. Since prep time accounts for a large portion of your total cooking time, buying the proper tools will help cut down the time spent in the kitchen, in turn, it will increase the amount of time you have for your family. 

We receive many questions from our readers asking which knives they should buy.  With the large assortment of blade types on the market, choosing the right knives can be hard, and buying the wrong knives can be expensive.  Here are a few tips on choosing the right knives for your kitchen.

Start With a Versatile Knife.

A knife with a wide blade is very essential for chopping. A chef’s knife is one of the more versatile knives on the market. Shun Ken Onion Chef’s knife is a great start to any cutlery set.

You will probably find that this knife will be your most used in the kitchen.  The longer the blade, the more food you will be able to cut at one time. However, the longer the blade, the heavy and less agile it will be.  Find a balance in size and weight.  8-inch chef’s knives are standard lengths.

For those of you who are experienced with knives, a cleaver offers even more versatility.  Not only can you chop with ease, but you can also really butcher through bones and other hard foods.  Since cleavers are a lot wider than chef’s knives, they make the perfect tool to scoop your freshly chopped foods. Ever so versatile, but a bit harder to use.

Round Out Your Set with Specialty knives.

If you cut a lot of fruits, a paring knife is essential. Its small design allows for hand-holding food as you cut. Paring knives are usually thinner than a chef’s knife, giving you the ability to thinly slice the skin of many fruits. 2-4 inches is the standard size.

A serrated bread knife is essential for cutting.. what else, bread.  The serrated edge will break through the hard crust with ease, allowing you to saw through rough dry foods.  This is something a non-serrated blade cannot do without turning your loaf into mush.

For steak lovers out there, a nice set of steak knives are a must. There is nothing worse than grilling a nice cut of steak, only to rip the meat to shreds when it gets to your plate.  The size and shape of food contribute to its overall taste.  If your steak is well cut on your plate, you’ll enjoy it so much more.

An often overlooked tool for the kitchen is a good set of kitchen shears.  Perfect for not only opening packages but sometimes cutting your food with shears is far faster and cleaner than using a knife and cutting board. 

What is the difference between Shun knives?



There are several qualities that make Shun knife so unique.  The first, and most obvious, is its appearance.  They feature unique wavy lines on the blade which is called Damascus. The appearance comes from the manufacturing process. The core of the knife is made of VG-10 steel. It is often referred to as “super steel” because of its ability to stay super sharp without becoming brittle. 

On top of the “super steel” is 32 layers (16 on each side) of high carbon which is heated and hand-forged. The high carbon protects the blade from rust while also keeping the blade non-stick.  A result of this unique process is the distinct wavy pattern (Damascus).

After using the knife, another unique quality will immediately jump at you. The knife is razor sharp!  Shun hones the edge of the knife to 16 degrees, while most German knife manufacturers hone it to 22 degrees. The tighter angle creates a razor-sharp edge for maximum performance.

Most knife manufacturers cannot grind the edge to anything less than 22 degrees while also allowing the edge to stay sharp for extended periods of time. The exotic VG-10 steel that Kai uses in the cutting core allows the blade to hold the edge longer.

Shun Knives are made in Seki Japan, the home of the original samurai swords. Shun knives are made using a similar technique. Instead of using a machine to stamp out sheets of metal, Shun hand forges each blade. 

Each blade is heated several times to temperatures in excess of 1400 degrees Fahrenheit and pounded to its final shape.  The idea behind this technique is that the molecules in the blade will be in better alignment, giving a much stronger blade.

The Durability of the Shun Blade

Part of the allure of these knives comes from the way their blades are fashioned from sheets of Damascus steel, which are formed into an amazingly narrow blade that somehow remains strong and durable. In fact, the blades of Shun Knives are sharpened to a 16-degree slope on each half of the blade, which is six degrees thinner than some of the sharpest German knives.

Although the German knives are incredibly sharp, they are unable to match the intense degree that Shun cutlery makes use of in their blades. The reason for this is found in the strength of the steel used for each knife, and the material used in the German knives is simply not strong enough to be sharpened to such an edge and still maintain its strength.

In contrast, the Shun Knife collections boast much denser steel that can handle the dramatically sharp angles of the blades, keeping a flexible feel and still maintaining the steel’s strength. Further, the edges of the blades are also smoothed along the bevel of the knives, giving them an even greater feeling of effortlessness as you use them in your kitchen.

The Comfort of the Shun Handle

The handles of Shun Knives are an outstanding feature of the kitchen tools as well. The handles are made from layers of a type of birch, called Pakka, which is alternated between layers of a plastic material and then heated to extreme temperatures to blend the materials together. The outcome is the Shun handle that has the appearance and texture of wood that can be cleaned quite easily.

Additionally, the handles possess the famous “D” shape that is designed flawlessly to fit nicely in the hand and keep the blade of the knife braced during its operation. This unique shape is used to add further to the comfort and usability of these knives.

The Lasting Quality of Shun Knives

The addition of a Shun Knife set is a reward for anyone who loves to cook and appreciates the fine craftsmanship involved in making these kitchen tools. In fact, ownership of a Shun Knife collection could very well be a treasure for life due to their dependability and the quality of their design. In a culinary set, this value can be maintained by caring for the blade and edge according to the knife’s specifications as well as using and cleaning each knife appropriately.

The distinctive design of their handles and the superior quality of their blades make Shun Knives desirable in every part of the world. Renowned chefs and culinary experts applaud the premium standards used to engineer Shun Knives and appreciate them for the ease they add to their cooking. Further, because there are many collections that include a variety of Shun Knives, even average culinary enthusiasts are finding Shun cutlery sets that add to their cooking experience as well.

Shun Knife FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

What Is The Warranty on Shun Knives?

Kai offers a lifetime warranty on all their knives. They also offer free sharpening services for life.

Are Shun knives better than Wusthof?

Both Wusthof and Shun edges are incredibly tough and known for their enduring edge maintenance. Nonetheless, Wusthof cutting edges are actually more strong while Shun’s hold their edge better

Shun Knife

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