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Shun knives... VG-10 vs SG-2 Steel ?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

Hi guys....

 

Just like most of you, I love knives and it seems like there are no such thing as "too many knives"... I own and have owned most of the big brands, but now I want a Shun chef's knife. I did some research and suddenly I was confronted with the idea of "superior steel" and when I was almost decided on a VG 10 bladed knife, I found that there is a "better" blade... The one made with SG-2 (The Elite series).

 

To all of you with experience on such matters... All your comments and toughts will be very appreciated. I'm a very visual person and I felt in love with the Shun "Edo" Chef's kife wich is made of VG-10 http://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/shun-edo-8-inch-chefs-knife/?pkey=cknives-shun%7Ccutshnedo... But knowing that the Shun "elite" chef's knife (8" too) is made of SG-2... Now I'm not sure wich one will perform and keep his sharpness better. Both have the traditional chef's knife shape blade (Wich is the one that I'm so used to) and I like both on the looks department.

 

Best regards and let me know your toughts and if there is already a link to any other post that I'm missing on this same subject, let me know too.

 

Thanks in advance.

Luisbiggrin.gif

post #2 of 19

On the whole, Shun knives are overpriced for what they are. Perfectly respectable mass-production Japanese knives, good fit-and-finish, but rather high prices. You need to make some decisions, clearly, but I think you are blurring issues that you may not realize are separate.

 

If you want Shun, and your choices are these two knives, I'd advise you to focus on what you like. The difference in steels is going to be trivial here.

 

If you want VG-10, we need to know why, precisely. We need to know how you sharpen, and on what. Granted that, we need to know what it is you find so sexy about this particular Shun knife, and why. That may lead to some very different suggestions, knives you may never have heard of but which are in many respects superior to the Shun.

 

The question is twofold:

  • are you deciding based on steel qualities, and if so which ones, and is your cutting and sharpening set up in such a way that the distinction you're trying to draw is accurately drawn?
  • are you deciding between two Shun knives, period full stop, in which case is the steel an appropriate overriding concern?
post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 

riginally Posted by ChrisLehrer View Post



On the whole, Shun knives are overpriced for what they are. Perfectly respectable mass-production Japanese knives, good fit-and-finish, but rather high prices. You need to make some decisions, clearly, but I think you are blurring issues that you may not realize are separate.

-You're right, I have to be a bit more specific

 

If you want Shun, and your choices are these two knives, I'd advise you to focus on what you like. The difference in steels is going to be trivial here.

-I want to know if the SG-2 is as superior as the company claims or if is only a marketing strategy, I don't mind on going to the best one in that brand if the performance is going to be superior enough to justify the price over the VG-10

 

If you want VG-10, we need to know why, precisely.

I'm into hunting too and I own some spyderco knives made with VG10 and I like how it retains the sharp edge despite the abuse, and if I can get something like that in a kitchen knife I'll be very happy

 

We need to know how you sharpen, and on what.My shapening kit and skills are very basic and consist on only a mino sharp 1000 grit wetstone and a Henckels ceramic rod, I want to buy along with the knife maybe one more stone depending on the advice of experienced people like you, and also a ceramic honing rod (12" fine grit) or whatever is considered better to hone the knife on a regular  basis... Your input in this will be very appreciated too.

 

Granted that, we need to know what it is you find so sexy about this particular Shun knife, and why. Basically, sounds like a great knife and the looks really caught my eye, definetely, I want to try a Shun, the best that I can get (If I'm investing in a particular brand, I'll like to have the top performer), if I absulutely love it, maybe I'll be buying more from the same brand, and if don't I'll buy another brand in a near future 

 

That may lead to some very different suggestions, knives you may never have heard of but which are in many respects superior to the Shun.You're right and I'm open to suggestions too, so far I've been exposed only to the comercial and trendy stuff, and since I'm begining as a "knife & sharpening aficionado" I know that there is a huge world that I haven't seen yet, and I'm realizing this based on reading this forum.peace.gif

 

The question is twofold:

  • are you deciding based on steel qualities, and if so which ones, and is your cutting and sharpening set up in such a way that the distinction you're trying to draw is accurately drawn?
  • You got me with this one, so far those are the only comparisons that I have in mind since VG10 and SG2  BC is what Shun offers, and I'm sure that I'll need to get the sharpening equipment that can be paired with the knife.
  • are you deciding between two Shun knives, period full stop, in which case is the steel an appropriate overriding concern?
  • So far my answer is yes, but if there is something better on performance and also with good aesthetics, I'm open to it.

 

Thanks a lot for your kind and accurate replythumb.gif, and as I'm telling you, despite how hooked I'm on the shun, I'm open to suggestions. As an example that may give you an idea... I've read that MAC's Mighty are GREAT knives, and maybe superior to a shun and more bang for your buck... But when I see them in the pics, I find them "too German" on the looks department, and not so appealing to my personal taste, and on the other hand... When I see the Mac Damascus, I find it appealing, but knowing that the "damascus" is just a pattern that may fade with time (Like the shun classic)... I find it too expensive for what it is. IMHO

 

Luis J

 

P.S. A bit of background, I own some chef's knives, and I want to try something totally different, I have a wusthof, a Henckels, a Victorinox, Tor-rey, Tramontina, (these last two are latin battlehorses comparable to Dexters and Victorinox quality) a KAI, a Dexter, an Ojeda (A locally made knife from a little town named Sayula, and is great, but so beautifull and with a mirror like shine, that I prefer not to use it rolleyes.gif, but it cuts like an scalpel http://www.ojedacuchillos.com/en/productos/mango-tradicional-sencillo.html) ,a chinese cleaver that I bought while working in china in a flea market for something like 50 US cents that cuts like a razor blade but it gets  rusty on a dayly basis, so bad that I consider it a health hazzard to use crazy.gif,and a Global too... This last one is the guilty of turning me into Japanese style knives.

 

Best regards.

 

post #4 of 19

Luis,

 

Your replies are very clear. While we all muse on this question -- I for one am not the guy to get into fine details of stainless alloys, since I only use carbon (that's not intended as a snipe at stainless, I just don't happen to use any) -- one more: what's your budget?

post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 

Hi Chris...

 

I'm thinking in spending USD 200 +/- 10% On the new knife, and maybe 60-80 USD to get another stone and a rod. Any suggestion?smile.gif  I know that is not that much but I want to take my first "baby step" in the "serious" knife hobbist.

 

Best regards and thanks for your reply thumb.gif

post #6 of 19

Luis I am also new to the world of Japanese knives myself so take this as being from a fellow Noob.

 

It sounds like you are not 100% on the Shun, but do like it's style etc, but also sound very interested in learning about or checking out some of the many others available. Though I personally found it a bit overwhelming due to the vast differences and similarities as well I do recommend doing your research as there are some seriously nice looking and originally styled knives available. You will also open yourself up to various different steels beyond the initial two you mention.

 

I was not in your same budget range when I made my initial purchase (but still got some great knives for little bit less :) ) but I looked at just about everything I could find and there are some extremely nice products available within a few dollars of your initial budget.

 

Since you have been looking around I am sure your familiar with most posters preferred vendors etc but I wanted to give you a single link that shows many prospects at one time. You can get what you like from where you decide etc but I believe there are some beautiful products here http://www.japanesechefsknife.com/SPECIALS.html

 

I guess I could have just said here is some nice ones to consider while your waiting on answers LOL

 

"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

 

"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 #7 of 19
Thread Starter 

Hi Lenny....

 

Thanks for your reply, and you're right I have a great preference on Shuns but not closed to other options, since this post wasn't explicit enough I just re-opened in a different way where I'm a bit more specific and graphic, take a look http://www.cheftalk.com/forum/thread/63902/the-dreaded-wich-knife-to-buy-question

 

I appreciate a lot your comments and the link, later I'll check the site very carefully, I'm just coming back from the restaurant, it's friday night and it's my busiest night, I had a big rush until late, and once I closed the place I went to a local bar to get my usual "cool down" scotch on the rocksdrinkbeer.gif and now I'm very worn out, it's 3:40 A.M. And just coming back home, but I couldn't stop taking a look on this forum before bed time, but I'll pay a lot of attention to your recomendation, looks like we started on this knife thing pretty much the same way thumb.gif

 

Best regards!!

 

Luis

post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 

 

Lenny D !! 

 

Why are you doing this to me???...LOL lol.gif It's too late and I'll not be able to sleep since I took a look on the link!! Now my budget on the knife is going to sky rocket eek.gif there are some pieces that really re-define the word "uniqueness" in my vocabulary... I don't know if thank you or blame you for this info wink.gif.

 

Nice pieces man!! Now I'm in trouble biggrin.gif I want to stick to my planned budget but it's not going to be easy!!

 

Thanks a lot for the link, it's reaaaaaally cool!

Best regards.

 

Luis


Quote:
Originally Posted by LennyD View Post

Luis I am also new to the world of Japanese knives myself so take this as being from a fellow Noob.

 

It sounds like you are not 100% on the Shun, but do like it's style etc, but also sound very interested in learning about or checking out some of the many others available. Though I personally found it a bit overwhelming due to the vast differences and similarities as well I do recommend doing your research as there are some seriously nice looking and originally styled knives available. You will also open yourself up to various different steels beyond the initial two you mention.

 

I was not in your same budget range when I made my initial purchase (but still got some great knives for little bit less :) ) but I looked at just about everything I could find and there are some extremely nice products available within a few dollars of your initial budget.

 

Since you have been looking around I am sure your familiar with most posters preferred vendors etc but I wanted to give you a single link that shows many prospects at one time. You can get what you like from where you decide etc but I believe there are some beautiful products here http://www.japanesechefsknife.com/SPECIALS.html

 

I guess I could have just said here is some nice ones to consider while your waiting on answers LOL

post #9 of 19

Luis, Sorry but misery loves company surprised.gif

 

and if my budget allowed an increase at the time there were just so many choices I would have considered (sorry but most over not only the Shun your considering, but also what I ended up buying as well) but for now there all relegated to a future wish list.

 

Don't feel bad for me though as it is looking like having some time to hone my sharpening skills will be a benefit as it would have been no fun screwing up really nice ones etc.

 

Also I am sure you will get lots of very good suggestions and information from the crew here as they are tops and very helpful. Just be honest that your open to exploring your options and just where performance, looks, and function take precedence in your decision.

 

Good luck!

 

"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

 

"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 #10 of 19

There are differences between SG2 and VG-10 but one isn't clearly better than the other.  Because the SG2 can be made harder it's more easily hyped.  But the extra hardness doesn't make a lot of difference in use.  That is, if you want your knives truly sharp you won't be able to go 6 months between sharpening the SG2 if you'd ordinarily sharpen the VG-10 at 4 months.  Your actual sharpening intervals will likely stay about the same.

 

I recommend that people avoid Shun chef's knives like the plague unless they already have good knife skills and know exactly what they want.  The Shun chef's shap is an exaggerated "German profile" with a lot of arc and an extra high tip, which makes for an exaggerated rocking motion.  Most Japanese chef's (aka gyutos) use a "French profile," which will not only make for a nice change compared to your other knives but allow you some insight into which type of chopping action actually works best for you.

 

The Shun "Damscus" pattern doesn't hold up particularly well, so if you're very "visual," you might want to think about that as well.

 

On the other hand, Shuns do have very nice fit and finish and with some "reprofiling" can be brought to a very good edge.

 

If money is tight, I suggest investing in a good sharpening kit and learning to use it before investing in a high end knife.

 

Muy buena suerte,

BDL

What were we talking about?
 
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What were we talking about?
 
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post #11 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LennyD View Post

Luis, Sorry but misery loves company surprised.gif

 

and if my budget allowed an increase at the time there were just so many choices I would have considered (sorry but most over not only the Shun your considering, but also what I ended up buying as well) but for now there all relegated to a future wish list.

 

Don't feel bad for me though as it is looking like having some time to hone my sharpening skills will be a benefit as it would have been no fun screwing up really nice ones etc.

 

Also I am sure you will get lots of very good suggestions and information from the crew here as they are tops and very helpful. Just be honest that your open to exploring your options and just where performance, looks, and function take precedence in your decision.

 

Good luck!


Hi Lenny...

 

I got a ton of quality advice in some other places, but specially here, and against all odds I chose the knife that I said that I didn't like that much, but the comments are so positive on it (here, in almost every other forum and even by the customer reviews in amazon.com) that I couldn't ignore it. I got the mac mighty biggrin.gif

Thanks a lot for your replies and advice. And I don't know why but I feel like this is the firs of many more knives, sharpening stones, and honing rods to come!

P.S. And if some day I win the lottery... I'll buy some Hatoris like the ones that you showed me in the link !

 

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by boar_d_laze View Post

There are differences between SG2 and VG-10 but one isn't clearly better than the other.  Because the SG2 can be made harder it's more easily hyped.  But the extra hardness doesn't make a lot of difference in use.  That is, if you want your knives truly sharp you won't be able to go 6 months between sharpening the SG2 if you'd ordinarily sharpen the VG-10 at 4 months.  Your actual sharpening intervals will likely stay about the same.

 

I recommend that people avoid Shun chef's knives like the plague unless they already have good knife skills and know exactly what they want.  The Shun chef's shap is an exaggerated "German profile" with a lot of arc and an extra high tip, which makes for an exaggerated rocking motion.  Most Japanese chef's (aka gyutos) use a "French profile," which will not only make for a nice change compared to your other knives but allow you some insight into which type of chopping action actually works best for you.

 

The Shun "Damscus" pattern doesn't hold up particularly well, so if you're very "visual," you might want to think about that as well.

 

On the other hand, Shuns do have very nice fit and finish and with some "reprofiling" can be brought to a very good edge.

 

If money is tight, I suggest investing in a good sharpening kit and learning to use it before investing in a high end knife.

 

Muy buena suerte,

BDL


Muchas gracias BDL! I already ordered the mac Mighty, but with your reply you gave me the answer that I was looking for in the VG-10 vs SG2 that I was looking for. And just like you said, now I have to invest in sharpening stuff and start honing my sharpening skills, in the other post, that you already replied too, I'm listing my new toys that must arrive in a few days! biggrin.gif

post #12 of 19

 

Quote:
Hi Lenny...

 

I got a ton of quality advice in some other places, but specially here, and against all odds I chose the knife that I said that I didn't like that much, but the comments are so positive on it (here, in almost every other forum and even by the customer reviews in amazon.com) that I couldn't ignore it. I got the mac mighty biggrin.gif

Thanks a lot for your replies and advice. And I don't know why but I feel like this is the firs of many more knives, sharpening stones, and honing rods to come!

P.S. And if some day I win the lottery... I'll buy some Hatoris like the ones that you showed me in the link !

 

Thanks for the kind words but I can not really take credit as I was little more than the messenger etc.

 

I do agree some of the best information on kitchen knives on the net can be found here, and oddly for me it was more about less than more as it was better to have a not as many opinions thrown at you (especially in the very beginning when your still a the equal of a newborn to this stuff) as I see on other sites, and even the good ones that you will find yourself at later on.

 

I did not have to stress over it's looks as you did due to it being well beyond my budget at time of purchase etc. I do believe their decision on markings in English for the face of the blade is due for a rework and is just a bit awkward and borderline fugly looking, and this was something the Tojiro DP series shared, but it was less an issue at the $30-$90 range than the price of the Macs. Still performance and cost should really take a front seat to looks, and the other side of the blade looks fine etc so I would not sweat it at all

 

I am pretty sure you will like it from everything I have read about it (BDL does not like every knife out there lol) and from my short experience with other manufacturers that many seem to feel are not up to Mac standards etc it has to be a very good knife.

 

Don't forget to let us know all about what you think when you receive it and get some time with it etc.

 

"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

 

"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 #13 of 19
Thread Starter 

The package has arrived already to the shipping adress in TX, now I have to wait for my friend that is going to bring it with him to Guadalajara... That may take up to 10 days and that will feel like an eternity, but as soon as I get the knife I'll let you know my initial impressions. Thanks a lot Chris, Lenny and BDL peace.gif

post #14 of 19

hi luis, i too love the look of the edo, but have not bought one because i have a 10 inch elite now for 3 months and it has not been even close to dull, the sg-2 is so good it is powder steel i dont think i will buy anything under a rockwell hardness of 64 again

post #15 of 19

I have several shun classics, and a few ken onions (all VG10) but I also have an elite (SG2).  Simply put, my elite makes my classics look like fisher- price toys.  It is unquestionably superior both in sharpness and edge retention.

post #16 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by chefderek View Post

I have several shun classics, and a few ken onions (all VG10) but I also have an elite (SG2).  Simply put, my elite makes my classics look like fisher- price toys.  It is unquestionably superior both in sharpness and edge retention.



+1

believe me after you use it youll understand... its like disrespecting the material (the food)... when u cut something its like cutting the air... and  i used alot of knives many brands.. it worth the money . ART!

 

post #17 of 19
Thread Starter 


Thanks a lot for your reply, it really sparks my curiosity, sounds like a very interesting knife. And one question... How does it feel for sharpening, does it take longer to get sharp? does it feel hard?

 

Best regards and thanks for sharing your experience!

Quote:
Originally Posted by noririco View Post





+1

believe me after you use it youll understand... its like disrespecting the material (the food)... when u cut something its like cutting the air... and  i used alot of knives many brands.. it worth the money . ART!

 



 

post #18 of 19

its very strong material but the blade is very delicate... if you need to sharp the knife its better for you to send them the knife (KAI) if its possible ofcourse or you can just read alot and try carefully using stone. im learning about it too actually :)

post #19 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by noririco View Post

its very strong material but the blade is very delicate... if you need to sharp the knife its better for you to send them the knife (KAI) if its possible ofcourse or you can just read alot and try carefully using stone. im learning about it too actually :)


FWIW (love that expression BTW as it is like a disclaimer to anything that is about to be said LOL) I think in order to be a true enthusiast or knife nut etc you have to work on your own edges, and yes that means putting in the time to get addicted to sharpening as much if not more than the knife :)

 

For me it has been interesting and a bit fun to see how different steels, and brands sharpen, hold their edge and perform at different angles. Almost as much as getting the initial delivery etc.

 

I don't have any Shun products (well I do have one KAI but it is a lower cost wasabi bread knife) as I did not find them on my short list mostly due to cost vs value and profile and style, but I have seen enough of the Ken Onion and other KAI products in the discount stores to see they are quality and appear to be a good knife from various reviews etc, but if your going to be afraid to sharpen due to cost or bling etc then it may make more sense to start with lower cost J knives that you can be relaxed with and not as worried about.

 

Wish one of the more experienced members would chime in as most of my experience is with non J knives, and these are still new to me etc, but just by luck I ended up with an initial purchase that included entry level clad VG10 knives (Tojiro) and a mono moly steel (Fujiwara) of different hardness that allowed to not only learn sharpening on knives that were less expensive and removed the worry effect, but also to be able to compare the way the different steels and hardness were to sharpen and perform etc.

 

So even though there may be a big difference in any brand between the higher and lower end steels that does not mean one is better than another to everyone for every use, but just that it is different.

 

Was in a discussion in another thread where another poster was not fond of VG10, and claimed to prefer the softer steel of the Fujiwara (around 58HRC) except in one specific knife (hattori FH) and remember most of the VG10 is @ 60-64 HRC range.

 

Point is that everyone has different thoughts for different reasons, and it really ends up being a personal decision and preference thing.

 

So just be open to different options, sharpening included, and find your own way to what you really like, enjoy, and prefer.

 

 

"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

 

"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
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