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Shun Kaji Fusion 3 piece set

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
New here and need some info... How do the Shun Kaji Fusions rate amongst the Shuns? I think I have found an awesome deal on sellout.woot. com but want to make sure before I buy them and the sale ends at midnight. Any feedback would be appreciated...
post #2 of 11
Right now it's Shun's best line all things considered. It essentially is the same blade as the Elite with the SG-2 although has the damascus patter of the classic. SG-2 is a really nice steel at that, just keep in mind that it'll chip a little easier and be slightly harder to sharpen than the VG-10 of the classic, however it'll hold an edge much longer, and with some skill you can get it sharper.

The only thing that needs to be considered is that the handle will take some getting used to, but it's quite conservative to some of the other handles out there, such as the Ken Onion line.

The price point is also a great selling point, it has falls in between the Classic and the Elite and going with that delivers a product that has the best of both.
post #3 of 11
Sorry I didn't spot your post until today. Hope you were able to make a good decision, but if you're still looking or in case anyone else is ...

Other than the SG2 (metallurgical powder) they're Shuns like all others of the Kershaw/Shun type.

The damascus pattern won't hold up, but will scratch very easily and become invisible.

The chef's knife has a very straight topline, and consequently the tip is very high. To my mind, that alone is a deal buster. I don't want a knife that forces me to retrain in order to cut onions, or forces me to rock the handle straight up to get the point to the board.

It's a cladded knife with a particularly dull, cladded feel on the board and in the cut. That drives me crazy, but a lot of people either don't care or feel it.

Compared to a good German knife like a Wusthof or Henckles, they're lighter, more agile and at least as comfortable. The cosmetics, fit and finish are just as good -- which is saying a lot. A big part of Shun's popularity is that, for all their faults, they're clearly superior to the Germans which dominated professional and "gourmet" home kitchens.

The SG2 core steel requires a good to very good set of waterstones to get sharp. While I haven't tried steeling SG2 I doubt it can be done very well. The steel is just too strong. Although they'll stay sharp for a while, they'll still need fairly frequent touch ups to correct rolling and waving (bends right on the edge, which happen inevitably as a result of impact on the board or anything else hard).

These knives aren't particularly easy to sharpen and if you don't know what you're doing going in, you're throwing your money away. Also, if you're not a good sharpener but plan on having the knives maintained by a service -- forget it. Most services can't handle it either. A rod-guide system such as Edge Pro will sharpen, but not hone -- something all knives need. One of the Chef's Choice machines would be adequate, but your knives would never be truly sharp.

In my opinion the benefits of super hard steels over steels which are merely hard are dubious. All knives get dull, and all dull knives are equal -- it doesn't matter how good they were when they were sharp. Two of the most important attributes of any non-serrated knife are that it can be made and kept sharp easily. That one knife's edge wears only 75% as another and is 15% more difficult to bend are less important to me than how easy it is to correct the deformation or create a fresh, truly sharp edge.

Furthermore, if you want a truly sharp knife you'll find yourself sharpening SG2 almost as often as you would VG-10, G3, 13C26, 19C27, a number of better 440Cs, or any of the other good stainless knife steels running around these days.

Bottom line: If you like Shun, understand why they're problematic, and can handle sharpening SG2 -- buy it. But if Shun is a name you've only heard of instead of a line you've tried, and learning to sharpen and/or buying a decent waterstone kit is a good resolution for the future... Then it's a chef's knife you don't want, and two other knives you can't maintain. At best a false economy.

Food for thought,
post #4 of 11
If you are looking for a chef's knife only or a basic 3 knife set, you can get a great Japanese knife(or set of knives) for less than the Shuns, and you will be much happier. I do not know what your motivation for Shun is, but as I said you can find cheaper, yet equal if not better performer, and easier to maintain Japanese knife.If you are interested just say so, and ppl here will be happy to provide all the info.
post #5 of 11
Although, you shouldn't pass up on Shun's completely. Pound for pound the elite is probably the best paring knife available.
post #6 of 11
It can be re-etched. Not not like it really matters- the "Damascus" cladding is just decorative, anyways. If it gets scratched or fades the knife still works. Unless it's a "knife case queen" who cares what it looks like?
"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle
"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle
post #7 of 11
The majority of my knives are shun elites and I love them and the SG-2 steel is the truest high-carbon stainless steel I have used. But before you dish out the extra 50% or so for the SG-2 vs. the Shun Classics metal remember the blade is thinner and yes its harder. But the Harder the metal the less resistant it is to abuse (Face it we all are not saints with our cutlery). Its easier to get chips, dents, or dare I say break the tip. But if you want fast, precison cuts for your money these are for you. I use em and love em. People complain about the size of the handles and they will fatigue you with large volume prep? Hogwash! I have huge hands and after you julienne a 50lb case of onions you'll be ready and want more. I have sharpened SG-2 and I have found that keeping a standard regiment with a good quality wetstone its just as easy as the messermeisters I had in school. As far as steeling them? No problems, although I have found that using a Diamond steel is superior, you'll be afraid how sharp you can get these knives and maintain "out-of-box" sharpness. Lets face it part of being a culinarian is the relationship with our blades and personal care for them is a major part of that.
post #8 of 11
Just whetstones for me. I find stones do a much better job of maintaining edges then any other method. Send your knives out to a professional "grinding company" will just ruin your knives, belts are far to aggressive. Steeling a knife can be the same thing, especially diamond steels. It'll create a corse toothy edge that has a lot of grip and bite to it, but it's going to look something like a saw blade under a microscope. If you keep steeling it, eventually those peaks and valleys will get deeper, and you'll chip your knife.

In this particular case with SG-2 (that's taken to a fairly high hardness) your going to get an inherent brittleness to the knife which would be really bad long term in most sharpening situations. SG-2 is also a steel that isn't exactly easy to sharpen either, so unless your skilled and you have the appropriate stones, don't get discouraged if you don't see results right away. Just stick to the basic routine of breaking out a set of stones and doing touch up and any major work when needed, don't be lazy. The way I see it, if your going to spend a lot of money for a high end piece of cutlery, then you should already have the means to keep it sharp; remember all dull knives are equal.

So, all things considered, Shun is a pretty good company, one of the best "big" knife companies. The Kaji line uses a great tried and true steel and they have the production of Shun so they can give you a product that is near flawless and has some of the best fit & finish of any knife. But, just like any other purchase it requires certain knowledge of the buyer and certain accessories (i.e. whetstones) to get the full use of the product. A reasonable comparison would be cars. The Kaji, to an extent is like a sports car, like all high end cars they require certain and specific care. However, the money you spent for them isn't in vain as the performance more than makes up for it... if you can keep them performing well. If you want an old reliable beater that can take a beating and is cheap enough to replace when it's shot, you should look towards Forschner.
post #9 of 11
It can be done, with a fine-grained honing rod. But it's not easy, and you're better off learning to sharpen on a whetstone, as ChefOfTheFuture says.

There is certainly truth in this comparison, but without wishing to overextend the metaphor, I'd say that this knife is like a Honda Prelude or MR2 or the like. A fabulous entry-level sports car. But not a high-end supercar, by any means. Those knives do exist, but they're not made by Shun or any of the mass-producers. We're talking about somebody like Masamoto, Aritsugu, Suisin, etc., the stuff that's semi-handmade in Sakai and sold primarily to professional chefs in Japan. The ratio of prices is rather similar too: if a top-end Shun costs $150, and we compare that to $30k for the entry-level sports car, and then we compare this to the roughly $60k-120k for a serious supercar, that's like $300-$600 for a knife. Correct: that's what they cost, give or take.

Don't get me wrong. I own and love my 1997 Honda Prelude. It's almost certainly the finest sportscar I will ever own. But I'm under no illusions that it's a Porsche or M-series BMW, to say nothing of Ferrari. My point is simply that while these Shuns are excellent knives, and do require care, feeding, and knowledge, they're not in quite the same league as the truly high-end knives -- which, like high-end supercars, require an awful lot of care, feeding, and knowledge to keep in top condition.
post #10 of 11
Hi, well I was thinking and I am buying Shun aswell.

I see you all talking about sharpening. How hard is it to learn how to sharpen if I never sharpened a knife before?
post #11 of 11
It's not really hard, but does require time and equipment. It takes about 10 or 15 sharpenings before you get an idea of what's going on, and another 10 or 15 sharpenings before you develop reliable proficiency. It's an incredibly useful skill for anyone who cooks for a living.

Ironically, the more skill you have to create an edge, sharpen and polish it, the less skill it requires to keep them sharp.

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