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This Shun knife confuses me.

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
As most of you know, cutler and designer Ken Onion is the driving force behind many of the Kershaw knives, both for the kitchen and for sporting use.

And the standard Shun kitchen knife is a pretty good product as it stands.

Now, I understand the idea of a "signature series." For example, there's the regular Ford Mustang, and then there's the Shelby Mustang. In that light, the Alton Brown series has a more ergo handle. I get the concept.

But having said that, what is the deal with the Shun Ken Onion Chef's Knife?

Thinking that the first product was his best design, why such a radical change? Is that handle more ergo for heavy kitchen use? Is there a need for such a dramatic curve to the belly? It apprears to be more of a "rock n' chop" design.

Is it worth the 100 to 200 bucks to buy one as a mule if the clients don't take to it?
post #2 of 21
The Ken Onion handle provides a comfortable grip for people who don't know how to hold or use a knife; and either don't buy a knife with an arched spine, or won't relieve the edges of the top line near the handle. The handle won't get them to using the knife any better though. The extreme radius on the edge is similarly counter productive for a user with any knife skills at all. For someone who can afford it, has no skills, and doesn't mind the fragile suminagashi pattern, it's not a bad knife.

As to whether a regular Shun Classic is a "pretty good product as it stands..." Well, it's a matter of opinion. There are any number of objectively better knives -- at least for people with good technique -- some at lower prices.

"Alton's Angle" is another attempt to compensate for poor grip technique, by offsettng the handle to get the knuckles away from the board. Otherwise it can't really be said to be ergonomic. In fact, for someone who uses a pinch grip -- or anything at all like one -- it's anti-ergonomic. It's been obsered that Alton's only angle is selling knives.

My two pesetas,
BDL
post #3 of 21
The Onion series really are bizarre- the "ideal chef knife" from a guy who obviously has no idea how the knife should be used. The worst thing about them has to be the difficulty you'd have sharpening them near the heel; even worse than a full bostered German!

Overall I think Shun makes pretty decent knives. They have detractors as any successful maker does, with some justification. The chef knife really does have too much belly...aside from that most of their knives are really good for the price. Not SoTA but better than average. Their main problem is that they lack the snob appeal that discerning J-knife affectionados require. Anything you can get at SLT isn't going pass the snob test.

That said, my work roll only has one Shun in it.;)
"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
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"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
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post #4 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks, guys. Your comments are about what I expected. The thing just looks bizarre to me.

As for the overall series of the traditional Shuns, I do believe they aren't that bad. Granted, if it's my own money--and the knife is for my use or that of a home food hobbyist--I'd incline towards Tojiro. As you guys know, I loaned a Tojiro to my doctor who is a first-generation Japanese American, and he hasn't given it back as of yet.

I believe you can over-advertise an item until the public is sick of hearing about it. And let's face it, it you own cable you'll find AB on just about every cooking show.

I wonder if the Shuns have become "the knives we love to hate." Considering that, I like underdogs--yes, I consider myself in that category, make up your own joke here.

When I see this ugly knife my first impression is to get one and fix it.
post #5 of 21
No no, Wusthof is the knife we love to hate (unfairly). Shun isn't about hating: it's about sneering. As in, "oh, I see, you bought a Japanese knife. A Shun. Gee, that's great. I'm sure you'll be very happy with that. Hmmm? Me? Oh, no, I suppose I sort of graduated from knives like that. But they're very good. For beginners, I mean."
post #6 of 21
Thread Starter 
Ya' know, the members here are surrounded daily with some of the finest knives and cooking implements made. And even if we don't own one of the examples, we can pretty much discuss it with some authority.

I just never want to be a guru, simply because I've seen some truly lousy ones.

The sad truth is that most restaurant kitchens are stocked by at least 75% of the knives most of us would throw away. I sharpened four knives tonight, two were badly chipped from utter carelessness, and the other two should be cashed out for "clunkers."

The best chef in the world with a thick roll of razor sharp Morimotos might not be able to do long division. I'm not sure there's even a guideline to quanitify this.

After all, if I charged Cat Cora a straight rate to sharpen her Global, her invoice would come to more than the knife was worth. And obviously she's not a beginner.

And I would hate to be the chef that had to teach me to cook!:lol:
post #7 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Tourist View Post

Ya' know, the members here are surrounded daily with some of the finest knives and cooking implements made. And even if we don't own one of the examples, we can pretty much discuss it with some authority.

I just never want to be a guru, simply because I've seen some truly lousy ones.

The sad truth is that most restaurant kitchens are stocked by at least 75% of the knives most of us would throw away. I sharpened four knives tonight, two were badly chipped from utter carelessness, and the other two should be cashed out for "clunkers."

The best chef in the world with a thick roll of razor sharp Morimotos might not be able to do long division. I'm not sure there's even a guideline to quanitify this.

After all, if I charged Cat Cora a straight rate to sharpen her Global, her invoice would come to more than the knife was worth. And obviously she's not a beginner.

And I would hate to be the chef that had to teach me to cook!:lol:

 

I am a cook, not a chef.  My life has led me many places and I have found that my basic hands-on familiarity with food service has done me will in many places, some high, some low.  I am perfectly at home with the idea that an establishment should  provide its "help" with a set of lowest-bidder knives, so long as it also provides a rat-tail honer. (Think of me as Ernest Hemingway if it helps.)

 

That said, I am endlessly impressed with the knife skills a true chef possesses. I do not know which brand is the best, but I am sure if a person can do something that well,

such a person must be intimately familiar with one's knife, its particular grip, its particular firmness,  it particular balances, its hone etc..

post #8 of 21

You do realize this thread is 6 years old? 

Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #9 of 21

Yeah,  I am a necro-poster.

post #10 of 21

I recently had an ancient post pop up on the home page.  That could easily confuse someone, though it wouldn't matter to a necro-poster.

 

 

Rick

post #11 of 21

Actually someone linked this thread as their favorite thread ever. I just followed the link and didn't look at dates, but yeah, you're right.

post #12 of 21
Necroed and way off topic. Im glad you can cook Bob.

No one likes cutting onions, why call the knife the onion knife? Shuns are generally pretty awesome knives. Oh, the guys name is ONION. Ha.

Why should a workplace provide " lowest bidder" knives? Gah.

A small ( very small) kitchen has about 50,000 worth of gear. Many cant/ wont spring 100$ on a knife though its sad. Glad my work provides some decent knives and the Chefs with personal knives share them openly with staff. I certainly appreciate when a cook lets me even use their " insert lowest bidder brand here". People genuinely taking pride in their knives makes me proud.

My second favourite knife atm cost me 5$. I bought 2.
post #13 of 21

Well most of the place where I have worked operate on a  small nucleus of true professionals assisted by an army of lowest bid labor.  They tend to be big chains named after days of the week or their direct competitors.  The staff, myself included has not earned their stripes recently.  Heck most of them are not trusted with a knife, onions come pre-cut in a cryo-vac or pre-cut by the professionals who work the day shift as prep chefs.

post #14 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Hyneman View Post

Actually someone linked this thread as their favorite thread ever. I just followed the link and didn't look at dates, but yeah, you're right.

Favorite POST. The thread wasn't very good and hasn't gotten much better.
post #15 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianShaw View Post

Favorite POST. The thread wasn't very good and hasn't gotten much better.

Good point.

And I would add that I can not see any purpose in the email alert that directed me here either.

Must be a chef talk conspiracy ; )

 

"love my country" but "fear my government"  Something is just wrong with this

 

 

 

Looking for info on entry level J-knives? Need help on finding the most bang for your buck? Hope you enjoy learning from the info here, I know I did!

http://www.cheftalk.com/t/63213/tojiro-dp-f-809-240mm-g...

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"love my country" but "fear my government"  Something is just wrong with this

 

 

 

Looking for info on entry level J-knives? Need help on finding the most bang for your buck? Hope you enjoy learning from the info here, I know I did!

http://www.cheftalk.com/t/63213/tojiro-dp-f-809-240mm-g...

Reply
post #16 of 21

I was reading here and saw Brians link also.  I was interested as I am a Shun Ken Onion fan/user of late.    For me it is not the blade, but it is the handle, weight and balance of the knife as I have basal joint arthritis in both thumbs, in both hands and this knife has allowed me to work surgery and pain free for the last year and a half.  I absolutely did not go and buy a complete set, but I did grab a few particular knives that I use daily and for this reason alone I purchased this particular knife.

post #17 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by cbg31 View Post
 

I was reading here and saw Brians link also.  I was interested as I am a Shun Ken Onion fan/user of late.    For me it is not the blade, but it is the handle, weight and balance of the knife as I have basal joint arthritis in both thumbs, in both hands and this knife has allowed me to work surgery and pain free for the last year and a half.  I absolutely did not go and buy a complete set, but I did grab a few particular knives that I use daily and for this reason alone I purchased this particular knife.

 

I'm supposing the handle bulge and bolster takes the stability load off of your thumb?

 

 

Rick

post #18 of 21

I used to use Wusthof exclusively, but I have to tell you that I think the Shun's are the best Knives on the market. I've had one for nearly a year with moderate to heavy use and I still havent needed to sharpen it. They keep a great edge, have perfect balance and have a comfortable grip. I still use Wusthof's but, I smile everytime I break out one of my Shun's.  Yeah, I'm a little strange :)

post #19 of 21
The Shuns the best on the market? No, have a look at very common Japanese Western blades, like the Misono, Hiromoto or Fujiwara. They all will outperform said Shun very easily, at lower cost.
post #20 of 21
He already lost me completely with, "nearly a year with moderate to heavy use and I still havent needed to sharpen it." Can't imagine it takes much of an edge to satisfy him.


Rick
post #21 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Hyneman View Post
 

Yeah,  I am a necro-poster.

  Love it.  "necro-poster"

 

I love plain old carbon steel French knives.  Perfect with a patina.

 

"Necromancy - Mother always said to make new friends."

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