Japan has a reputation for being the best supplier of kitchen knives. Unsurprisingly, it is home to some of the best knife makers in the world. Among others, one of the most popular brands in the country is Shun.
Shun is a Japanese word, which means at the peak of perfection. The name already gives you an idea of what you can expect from the company.
You will have a lot of options when it comes to the best Shun knife. If you need help, keep on reading, and we’ll talk about some of the products that should be on your list.
About the Company
Before we start rounding up some of their top products, let’s briefly talk about the company. Shun is a Japanese cutlery company with over a hundred years of experience, there’s no doubt that Shun is an exceptional brand.
The company is based in Seki City. Since the 13th-century, the latter has been the heart of Japanese cutlery. Each knife is produced by skilled artisans based on ancient traditions. Each knife goes through more than a hundred steps to ensure nothing but the best when it comes to quality and performance.
While the production of Shun knives is deeply rooted in tradition, they also embrace innovation. They take advantage of state-of-the-art technologies to make their products competitive and to conquer the global market.
Why Choose Shun?
Need compelling reasons to choose Shun over its competitors? Below are some of the things that you will find convincing.
- They are Made by Artisans: One of the best things about Shun knives is that they are made by skilled Japanese craftsmen who combine traditional and modern methods. Each knife is a work of art.
- They use Premium Materials: Shun knives are expensive. The price, however, should not be an issue. From the blade to the handle, the company uses only the best materials to guarantee top-notch quality.
- They are a Multi-Awarded Company: Shun takes pride in having multiple accolades under its belt. Many of its products have been bestowed the prestigious Kitchen Knife of the Year Award by Blade Show.
- They Offer Free Lifetime Sharpening: This is one of the reasons why Shun offers exceptional value for the money. Enjoy free sharpening throughout the functional life of your knives, making sure that they remain in their peak condition.
Our Top Picks for the Best Shun Knife Review
Let’s make things easy for you! Below are some of the top-rated knives that can provide exceptional quality and performance. Make sure they are on your radar!
1. Shun Classic 8” Chef’s Knife
This all-purpose knife is a great choice if you are looking for versatility. It is expensive, but it can provide the best bang for the buck because it is multifunctional. From slicing to dicing, this knife can be useful in more ways than one.
The exceptional construction of the knife is one of its best assets. The blade uses VG-Max steel, which has added tungsten for durability. It has a proprietary construction, making sure that it will withstand the test of time. It also has added chromium for corrosion resistance. Despite this, some people noted that rust is one of the common problems with this knife.
Another good thing about the blade is that it has 34 layers of stainless cladding on each side. That means that there are 68 layers of reinforcement, which will make it durable.
The handle is made of ebony Pakkawood. It is rounded, which can be quite awkward for some to hold, unlike others with curved edges for easier grip. The handle comes with a water-resistant finish, which is great for longevity.
Lastly, like the other knives from Shun, it is also worth mentioning that it comes with a limited lifetime warranty from the manufacturer.
- Waterproof handle
- Layered steel construction
- Razor-sharp edges
- Blade can have water spots
- Prone to rust
2. Shun Cutlery Premier 8” Chef’s Knife
This 8-inch chef’s knife will be your new favorite item in the kitchen. Not only that it is incredibly sharp, but it is also beautiful. The design is reflective of Japanese craftsmanship, making it worth every dollar you will be spending.
Like the knife mentioned above, VG-MAX super steel is also the main material that is used in this product. It has been through over a hundred steps to manufacture. The steel used has excellent edge retention, even after years of use.
As it is common with other Shun knives, this model also comes with layered Damascus cladding. This will improve stain resistance while also supporting the core, making the knife more durable.
The handle, on the other hand, is made of contoured Pakkawood, it has resin reinforcements for additional strength. It is also water-resistant.
Despite the good things, it has a few problems. One of the notable drawbacks is that the blade has fragile construction. If you aren’t careful, it can easily dent or chip, especially when you are sharpening the knife.
- Well-balanced design
- Excellent edge retention
- Easy to grip
- Difficult to sharpen
3. Shun TDM0742 Premier Nakiri Knife
Like other Shun knives, the price of this product can discourage many of you. However, you should look beyond that. With its features and performance, it is safe to say that your money will be worth it.
The tsuchime finish of the knife is one thing that captivates the attention of many of its users. This is a hammered finish that makes the blade attractive.
Agile handling is one of the many things that you can enjoy in this knife. It is lightweight and well-balanced, making it easy to hold. This will also minimize the chances that you will be hurting yourself when using the knife.
Like the other products in our list, the handle is also made of pakkawood. It is water-resistant and will not harbor bacteria, making it a hygienic option for a kitchen knife. The material does not also easily warp or crack, making it long-lasting.
- Makes clean and precise cuts
- Attractive hand-hammered finish
- Premium handle construction
- Difficult to hold if you have a large hand
4. Shun Premier Kitchen Knife Starter Set
This is another expensive product with a price that should not bother you. Aside from its premium construction, the cost is justifiable because it is a set of three knives. You will get a chef, paring, and utility knife. For most users, these are the most common kitchen knives.
As with the other knives from Shun, it also has layered Damascus steel construction. There is also a hand-hammered finish. Aside from making it look good, the latter is also the one responsible for the reduction of drag whenever you are slicing.
The walnut handle, which is made of Pakkawood, is another feature that makes this an impressive product. More than being beautiful, the handle can resist warping and other structural problem. It is also water-resistant. Even after years of use, the handle will retain its peak condition.
- Comes as a set of three knives
- Reduces drag when cutting
- Layered steel construction
- Tip of the knife is easy to damage
5. Shun Cutlery Classic 3-Piece Starter Kit
Wrapping up our recommendations is another set with three of the most common knives you will be using. It has a chef’s, paring, and utility knife. All of these knives were meticulously handcrafted, similar to the four other products we have briefly talked about above.
The VG-Max super steel blade construction is one of its best assets. It has multiple layers of thin steel, making sure of a reinforced construction to withstand many years of use.
The sharp cutting edges of the knives are also notable. The best thing is that they stay that way for a long time. When the time comes that you need to sharpen the knife, be careful. The blades are known for being fragile. When you apply too much force, chips and dents can be apparent.
We also like how lightweight the three knives are. Even if they are made of durable steel, the weight will never be a problem. Handling the knives will be effortless and comfortable.
Lastly, as with other Shun knives, the manufacturer is offering a limited lifetime warranty. This should be enough to convince you that this knife set is an exceptional choice.
- A set of three knives
- High-performance steel blade
- Good edge retention
- Chips easily
How to Choose the Best Shun Knife
While Shin is a reputable brand, this does not mean that all their knives can deliver the same exceptional quality. To help you narrow down your choices, below are some of the most important things to consider.
One of the most important considerations is the material used in the knife. From the blade to the handle, Shun knives incorporate a variety of materials, so consider which one is most suitable for your needs.
While steel is the main material used in the blade of most Shun knives, take note that not all steels are the same. They have different components and will also vary in terms of sharpness and hardness. AUS-10A, VG10, VG-MAX, and Blue Steel are some of the most common types of steel that the company uses.
When it comes to the overall construction of Shun knives, make sure to consider the bolster. This is the upper part of the blade that connects to the handle. This will add weight to the blade, which will also improve balance. Another good thing about the bolster is that it protects your fingers, minimizing the chances that you will be cutting yourself.
While you can buy a single Shun knife, you can also buy it in a set. The latter is a good thing if you are looking for value for money. Consider the types of knives that you will need so that you can determine what the knife set should have. Some that are usually included are chef, utility, paring, cleaver, slicing, and boning knives. A honing rod and wooden block can also be included as a part of the package.
No doubt, Shun is one of the best Japanese cutlery makers. It is a globally popular brand because of the quality of its knives.
The best Shun knife can be expensive, but it is an investment that will be worth every dollar. Whether you are a newbie or a pro chef, Shun knives will be unmatched.
From cutting to slicing, Shun knives got you covered! Take note of our recommendations above for the perfect addition to your kitchen!