New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Shun knives

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
I was thinking about buying a Shun knife and was wondering how they rank vs. Global, Wusthoff, and Henckels (all of which I already have).

post #2 of 20
I'll let you in on a secret. I find the best knife in the kitchen is a regular Swiss Army Knife. Not only can you julienne that pork belly with relative precision, you can also fix that loose toilet seat with the same apparatus. Saves time in the kitchen. And as you know, time is money.
post #3 of 20
this guys a riot... You working .mil over there????
post #4 of 20
Real funny... especially when people are looking for REAL input.

I am not a big fan of Globals. I know they are very popular now (Anthony Bourdain!), however they just aren't my favorite. I like the Kershaw/Shun line. Well crafted, if not a bit heavy. If you want a celebrity endorsement, Alton Brown is your guy. While they appear to be Damiscus-style (multiple 'folds' in the steel) that is not the case. The finish is just that... a finish.
Hope this helps.

Invention, my dear friends, is ninety-three percent perspiration, six percent electricity, four percent evaporation, and two percent butterscotch ripple

My Author Page


Invention, my dear friends, is ninety-three percent perspiration, six percent electricity, four percent evaporation, and two percent butterscotch ripple

My Author Page

post #5 of 20
knives are subjective. i do own henckels/global/wusthof and seriously, it's preference. you should just go and try them out. see which one has the right balance and weight. if you're a small guy you'd probably want a smaller chef's knife, not a 10-12". as for shuns, they look beautiful and that damascus-metal is a great unique selling point. same with the dimpled grooves of the ever so hot santoku knives. i find myself using my wusthof 7.5" santoku for small and big jobs. check it out.
Consume food. Consume drinks. Consume life.
Consume food. Consume drinks. Consume life.
post #6 of 20


I have a few a mini deba was about 140
and a pairing knife was about 70

very nice to look at but the mini deba is a one sided knife so its constantly on the whetstone to be re-sharpened

the steel is excellent quality (bluesteel)

check this guy out, you can buy a whole set for under 200 sushi, deba, vegetable and the best ever oyster clam knife. the guys is a real swordmaker, the stuff is quality. when i first used some of the knifes for say juliening and chiffonading basil it was like shaving them with the most minimal effort

you can re-ship them for free re-sharpening too
live to eat dont just eat to live
live to eat dont just eat to live
post #7 of 20
I use the Shun knives, because that is what I found to be the most comfortable for me, I tried many different brands of knives, but if you have to use it all day long, you want something comfortable to you. Everyone is different(hand size, way they grip the knife, cutting style) If you go to a reputable store they will let you try them out, the one I go to, has a small kitchen they use for demos, and cooking classes, so they always have food to cut.

I am pleased with them so far, no complaints, seem to hold an edge well, they had a good edge on them to start with.
post #8 of 20
My favorite knife for work, my 30 dollar 12 inch forschner. Its been dropped, abused, and has stood up. Yeah, I need to put it to the stone at least once a week, but hey, for 30 bucks, if someone steals it, I am not out much money. Plus, I have used one for so long, it feels like a part of me. The way it rests in my hand.

At home, I use a global. It holds an edge longer( and impresses the dinner guests). Yeah, I bought into the hype and spent close to a hundred for it. But, hey, its only money, right?
My life, my choice.....
My life, my choice.....
post #9 of 20
Globals are definitely showy knives but i find the handle is too small. if you're a bigger guy, you'd probably want of those ergonomic handles. i actually stopped using my global vegetable knife b/c of the handle and have gone back to my 7" santoku. i'll give you a heads up on the santoku though. although it is **** sharp and attractive looking, the blades are definitely thinner and lose their edge quicker than a standard chef's knife. so its up to you. what will you be cooking mostly? i find that you only need three knives. a good chef's knife (8-10"), a boning knife and a paring knife. you don't need the 15-piece global block set for $800. completely unnecessary.

I just started as a pantry cook at a restaurant and tried out someone's 12" Shun sashimi knife. i liked the weight and look of it, but wasn't used to the circular handle, since i use standard cutlery. i say you get one anyway to add to your collection.
Consume food. Consume drinks. Consume life.
Consume food. Consume drinks. Consume life.
post #10 of 20
I have quite a few knives. I have rubber handled dexter russels. I have wood handled forschners. I have generic chinese vegetable knives, japanese vegetable knives, japanese sashimi knives, german chefs knives, german santoku knives, knives made from german steel but forged in china, french carbon steel knives, american carbon steel knives, and god knows what else that i have forgotten about.

I have a handful of globals, i play with two shuns from time to time. I have wusthofs and henckels, sabatiers and bunmei.

just use a knife that is comfortable. Any of the major brands will do, and many minor brands will too (you will want to know a little more about knives before you buy smaller brands). Want a showpiece? buy a showpiece. Shun makes a "ken onion chefs knife" that is the most uncomfortable piece of garbage i have ever used, but it sure is sexy. The globals look hot straight out of the wrapper, but a few years of abuse makes them just as lackluster as any knife that shaves two gallons of garlic a night. I have nothing against pretty knives, but do make sure that your pretty knife performs the way you want it to before you drop big money on it. hold it, examine it, even test the rocking motion on a cutting board before you buy it. then, just when you dropped 150$ on a sexy new knife, your coworker steels it wrong and makes the last four inches of it look like tiger stripes.

when i reach for a knife, more often than not it is tarnished, stained, carbon steel. more often than not i payed under 60$ for it, and more often than not it looks like **** and cuts like greased lightning. why? because thats the knife that is most comfortable and easiest for me to use. plus, i wont cry when the chef drops it on the floor and breaks the tip off.

post #11 of 20

this was great! i tried out the shun knifes this past weekend. loved it. saw on Amazon a chef 8' for $117. done deal!

post #12 of 20

Chef ... "11/29/05" ... That was the date of the last post before yours.



"Search" is your friend.   You're gonna find that Shun knives don't carry all that high a value among the professional crowd.   NO, they're not bad knives, they just aint'e the first pick of any real knife geek, or pro.

post #13 of 20
i own a shun fuji 6" 161 layer sg2 hand crafted hammered damascus steel chef knife thats prety bad ass. Holds a razor sharp blade for a while. when its in need of the stone the blade comes rite back with ease. my shun classic vg max damascus nakiri his paper thin razorrr sharp as well actually slices through rolled up slippery magazine paper like the side of an onion. slices with ease. i own a santuko miyabi that im not to fond of though came sharp doesnt hold an edge as long or come back quite as sharp its shafppp but i expect razor razor sharp effortless like on my sakai takayuki!
post #14 of 20

I'm sure you are speaking from experience... but I find it quite interesting the number of chefs on Food Network and Cooking Channel who are using Shun knives.  Including Jaque Pepin.  Many of those chefs are quite "pro".  Maybe it is just becuase they are given them for free by sponsors?

post #15 of 20

LOL.   I don't think that ANY of the big names on TV use anything that is easily enough recognizable

... without being paid to do so. 

post #16 of 20

I used shun i think they are a awesome knife. The only main knife i use doesnt stay sharp i will touch it up eatleast once a day but it to preference

post #17 of 20

Shun is a division of Kershaw Ltd, which itself is a subsidiary of Kai.  Shun knives are designed by Kershaw, made and manufactured by Kai.  Shun knives are made in Japan primarily to be sold in the west and to prepare western food. 


Shun uses Japanese style materials and manufacturing techniques to (mostly) make western style knives.  Almost all Shun knives are made with a three layer lamination process.  This can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on how you look at it.  Shun's chef-knife profile is "German" and almost exaggeratedly so, in that it has a lot of belly and a very high tip -- that can also be good or bad. 


To some extent profile is a matter of taste, but the trend among skilled US cutters has been away from the German and towards either the classic French profile or a slightly exaggerated version which evolved in Japan.  When people in the process of developing knife skills ask me for a recommendation I always recommend the French profile because it's more versatile -- as long as the knife is kept very sharp.  


Compared to other modern knives, made in Japan or made with the same materials and production processes (Richmond knives are made in the USA, for instance) Shun knives' edge taking and holding characteristics are barely average for the price range.  Furthermore, Shun knives tend to run a bit "thick."  


The best things about Shun is their excellent distribution system, which translates into very good post-sale, retailer support; their excellent factory post-sale support, which is among the best in the business; their excellent fit, finish; and their excellent quality control.   In short, Shun are built and sold to similar standards of the best German knives.  There aren't many Japanese makers who can compete with Shun in any of those things, and very few can get close to equaling Shun's performance in all of them.     


That said, if you're willing to give up a little in the way of cosmetics, and a little in the way of post-sales, factory support, you can get a better knife for significantly less money, and a much better knife for the same money. 


Most of the people who really like Shun knives aren't terribly knowledgeable about knives.  But (a) you can say that about people who really like almost any other brand; and (b) there are plenty of knowledgeable people who do like Shun.


I dislike Shun to the point that I joke, Friends don't let friends buy Shun.  But so what?  People who spend their own money get to make their own decisions.  Just as I'm certainly not about to tell Norman Weinstein he shouldn't like Wusthof, neither will I tell anyone who uses one that (s)he shouldn't like Shun.  Nevertheless, it's helpful for prospective buyers to get more context than a bare recommendation.  Even though this is a Frankenthread, it's still as good a place as any to delve into the ever-popular subject of Shun knives.  If you want to get deeper, or if you have questions about particular Shun lines, I'll be happy to talk with you. 


Your thoughts?



post #18 of 20

I have never found "Television Personality What's-His-Name uses one of those." to be a persuasive argument in favor of anything.


The fact that people actually spend money as a result of finding out what What's-His-Name uses, is a phenomenon which is totally outside my understanding.


It blows my mind, in fact.

post #19 of 20

Yes, me too.  I find celebrity endorsements to be quite useless nine times out of ten.  But that wasn't my point.  My point was that if a professional chef, of which some of these celebrity chefs are, uses Shun then it is fairly unlikely that they are complete crap... as some people would lead others to believe.


I really appreciate BDLs well-balanced comments on the topic.  This is not the first time he has posted these words and they resonate with me as mostly true.

post #20 of 20

Sometimes a celebrity chef uses a knife for all the right reasons, sometimes because he's paid, and sometimes those things overlap.  Mario Batali using a Misono Sweden seems more sincere to me than Jacques Pepin using a Shun for a couple of reasons.  Batali isn't paid to endorse Misono, Pepin is paid to endorse Shun (and Wusthof); Batali cares more about what equipment he chooses for himself than Pepin does. 


So? Does that make me want a Misono more than a Shun.  Yes.  Yes it does.  But I'm weak-minded.  You don't have to be so easy.     


Just about any sharp knife will perform just about any knife task better than just about any dull knife.  Just about anyone with decent knife skills can make a sharp knife perform just about any knife task skilfully.  Taken together those things still don't mean that one type of knife won't be better suit a given set of tasks or a different set of knife skills than another.  It's not a matter of the "best knife for you is whatever knife you like best."  There really are objective criteria and they really do matter; just try to remember that there are limits.



New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cooking Knife Reviews