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Newbie with a Shun Elite Knife

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone,

I'm a newbie to the whole Cutlery world.
And to show you how much of a newbie I am, I purchased a Henckels International block set from Macy's 4 years ago and have been content with it at home. Just recently, the missies has been asking for a new set of knives and in the process of looking for one I found out that the ones we have are "fake" Henckels. Looking to redeem my mistake, I started my research which led me to this wonderful forum.

Anyways, I was looking to get a great Chef's Knife with roughly a $200 budget. So I was looking at getting the Henckels Twin Cermax chef's knife but got side tracked by all the commotion about Japanese Knives and started looking into Shun.

I've heard a lot of good reviews about the Elite series by Shun but I've also heard that Shun was discontinuing it for some reason.
Anyone know why?

Also, I was able to find a steal of a deal from Amazon for the Shun SG0404 Elite 8-Inch Chef's Knife.
It was such a good deal that I'm a little worried that it might be a false ad or another fake.
- I'm getting fooled again. Is this the real deal knife? Or is the model# SG0404 some inferior tag (i.e. International tag by Henckels)
- It must be fake. I'm not sure how the counterfeit market is on knives but I'm assuming that it exists. Once I receive, how do I tell if it's the real deal?
- It must be defected. What should I look for when examining it for defect so I can return within the return policy time frame?

and if all is good
- What sharpening/honing steel should I get for it?

Here's the link to the product. I know it's Amazon but the vendor was not Amazon which is why I'm a little worried.

post #2 of 11

If I had $200 burning a hole in my pocket and am not happy with my existing knives, I would probably buy a Miyabi 7000MC.  It's the same hardness as the Twin Cermax (66 HRC), but some online reviews say that it has improved heat treatment and less chipping than the Cermax.  The only thing I see as a potential issue is the Japanese handle shape -- "D" shaped, and so would be either left or right handed.  If you and your wife have different hand dominance, or would prefer the western handle, it might not be the way to go.


The Shun, like Global, are kind of hybrid that combine features of Japanese and western knives.  The defining features of Japanese knives are that they are much harder steel (so they can hold sharper edges, and longer), and thinner (so they can pass through food with less effort).  Shuns are very hard but are shaped like western (that is to say, German) knives.  Globals are thin but softer than most Japanese knives.  The Miyabi lines (all of them), however, are Henckels' attempt to create a Japanese line.  They bought a Japanese knife maker in Japan to do it because the Japanese place restrictions on exporting some of their best steels.  I believe it is a better knife and a better bargain than Shun.  There are also many other great knives out there though.


How did you end up with a "fake" Henckels set from Macy's?  Do you mean a Henckels set made outside of Germany?  That's not fake but just Henckels' low end line.


Edited by Capsaicin - 4/23/11 at 8:31am
post #3 of 11

shun elite knives are great, made from powdered steel, any other knife is made from vg-10 steel, after owning the shun elite 10 inch now for 1 year and haveing 10 other shun brand knifes, i would only buy the elite, just remember thou, the harder the steel, the harder to sharpen, and they are very brittle, the powdered steel is very good to sharpen if you have the means and the skills 

post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
Yeah I know it's Henckel low end stuff but it's like the saying that the Porsche Boxer is not a real Porsche. Which is why in put the quotes around the word.

I've already purchased the Shun Elite and it should be arriving within a few days. I was just worried because I got such a good deal on it. A too good to be true type of deal.

Thanks for the suggestion. I'll take a look into your suggestions as I feel I'm slowly becoming a cutlery addict (if that is the term for it).

When you say brittle do you mean it will easily chip and/or break if not careful?
post #5 of 11

When the edge hits something that it cannot handle, whether because it's something that it inherently cannot deal with (a ham bone, for example, or if it hits a dish or mug in the dishwasher), or because bad knife techniques drove it into hard stuff at a bad angle, they fail in different ways.  Softer knives typically deform or roll, while harder knives may chip.  This is just speaking generally -- high hardness knives may roll and low hardness knives may chip, but this is what is typical.  The characteristics of steel are influenced as much by composition as the heat treatment it receives, so the same steel, with different heat treatment, will act differently.


And, no, it will not "break" the way a dropped wine glass would.  There might be a small chip at the edge, like when you clip the rim of one bowl or plate against another.  I have not heard that this was a huge issue with Shun.  The first Cermaxes got some complaints, but from what I read subsequent batches of Cermax and then the Miyabi 7000MC line got better.


This site, Fred's Cutlery Forum, Knife Forum, and many other sites like ZKnives, have a LOT of information.  If you would like to take this on as a hobby, there is a good sized community out there, and endless information.


Most people who consider this their hobby call themselves "knife nuts" or "knife enthusiasts."

Edited by Capsaicin - 4/14/11 at 8:46am
post #6 of 11

I use the elite shun 8" ... super knife. but indeed you need to know how to use it... very gentle

post #7 of 11


Very high end hand made carbon steel kitchen knives.

I highly recommend as I have a full set.

post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the information.
I have received the knife and it looks all good except for a small chip on the blade and on the tip, which I believe can be fixed with a little care. So all in all, it looks like I got a great deal. Got it for $120.
I took some shots of it so I'll get some pictures up once I get to my computer.
I think this is the start of another hobby/collection. I just bought a boardsmith maple block too.
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Here are some pictures.


Side Note:
Putting up pictures from a link on this forum is a pain in the butt.
It's gotta be easier than this.
post #10 of 11

Both chips are pretty small and should come out eventually in normal sharpening.  The one on the edge should come out even with one sharpening.  The one on the tip would take a few.  If you wanted to grind the one on the tip out for cosmetic reasons, do it from the spine side of the knife

post #11 of 11

Hi PeaceOut,


Just found your thread since my same knife arrived last night from the mail.  I have the same chipped tip and it bend slightly at the very end of the tip.  don't think it was damaged through the mail since the box was not damage.  


I bought it through Staples online!  Yes. Staples, the everything office store!  they have a market place and many vendors sale thing through there website.  Amazon watch out! I paid $150 for it. 


I examined it thoroughly and believed it's 100% authentic !  It's SCARY Sharp!  


I call Staples, and guess what…?  they will send me another one and I can keep this defective knife!  yep! I don't have to return it!  


the steal is so hard!  I try to straighten the bend tip out.  first I take my nailing hammer and gently pound it on my granite counter top since it is the most flat and hard surface in my house.  however, after a while the bend still the same!  ?  then I went to my basement and put it flat on my work bench with galvanized cover surface.  man…i pounded that knife hard,..and harder..  took a long while to straight that tiny little bend out.  !  then I filed the tip off by the very fine grade metal sandpaper.  


I look very good now.  I love it.  tested on the hair of my arm and it took off an area of hair with one pass!  like razor!  so SCARY sharp!  


I can't wait for the extra free knife to come! 

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