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Shun knives

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Although listed as "low-end knives" in the article Japanese Knives 101 (written by jkeilson, ChrisLehrer, and willowpeixeiro), I've found they are excellent tools. Shun provides a lifetime warranty of the original owner on every knife purchased. The blades are sharp and hold their edge for years, the sharpness of the blades make for clean and easy work, no matter the job. The handles ( on every line) feel custom fit, and the knives no matter where you use them make you look professional.
post #2 of 7

Kai makes a lot of different Shun lines, each with many knives.  It would help to know what you're talking about. 


Just speaking very generally, you might be able to make an argument that Shun compete well with other knives in their retail price class, especially if you value cosmetics, F&F and post-sales customer support highly (three things Shun does very well), but you'd get a lot of disagreement from most people who know knives well.  Part of that lies in some of the things Shun does poorly, and part lies in the quality of the alternatives.  Shun run expensive, so the competition is pretty stiff.   


When you wrote, The blades are sharp and hold their edge for years, it showed you have a different understanding  of sharpness than most people who know knives at all well.  It's a very odd thing to say, because nothing holds its edge for years.   

Shun edge taking and edge holding in any series are no better than ordinary for san-mai knives using the same hagane (lots of alternatives).  Worse, their VG-10 and SG2 lines are notorious for chipping.  The good news is not only that their Blue series may be a happy exception to that rule, but that the Blue "kiritsuke" (chef's knife), looks as though it has a profile with a lot less belly than other Shun chef's. 



post #3 of 7

ChefCalhoun... as you have noticed their is a general dislike, almost a bigotry, against Shun knives in forums like this.  Like you, I've had years of fine success with them.  There are plenty of chefs who "know knives well" who also use Shun.


I have no problem with folks liking a more unique product so if Shun is to "ordinary" or expensive, there are plenty of alternatives.

Edited by BrianShaw - 5/31/13 at 9:14am
post #4 of 7

... but ChefC... for clarification...  I'm not sure the intent of Japanese Knives 101 was to declare Shun a low-end knife.  The section on low end is not populated, thus appears silent on what the authors consider low-end.  In the section that follows (a separate section of the article) they say the following (which is all accurate AFAIK):


"Factory brands (e.g. Shun, Global, etc.) are made the same way as mainstream Western brands. The company has one or more brand names corresponding to particular aspects of the knives; thus Shun knives are made by Kai, a company based in Seki that also makes some very low-end knives. There are no great mysteries here. But people often have questions about how so-called handmade knives are made, and one runs into terms like “OEM” in this context." 



I'm not too sure what they mean by "There are no great mysteries here." but assume that refers to the easy access to information on Kai product specifications and manufacturing methods.

post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
@BrianShaw I know and it wasn't my intent to try and discredit the article or anything, especially since I find the article very informational, helpful, and intersecting. My intent was simply to share my opinion and love for Shun Cutlery.
post #6 of 7

I know you had no bad intent.  I thought you misread that section of the article.  I did the first time because of the heading with no content.


Thanks for sharing your love of Shun... they get so little love around here.  :)

post #7 of 7

If you like Shun, I'm happy for you.   If you like something else that costs $600, I'm also happy for you.   Knives are among the tools used by a chef.   If you get your job done, done to the extent that people are willing to pay you on a regular basis, with loads of fame glory and money ... what difference does it make what knife brand/style you use?   You can buy own and use any knife for any price that makes you happy.   You can't buy skills.

"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music."

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.


"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music."

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

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