Japanese knives are amongst the sharpest and lightest knives in the world. They are known for their exceptional craftmanship, perfect for people with the most discerning preferences. No wonder, they are preferred even by the most seasoned chefs in the world.
Shopping for Japanese knives is overwhelming. The options are plenty, each claiming to be better than all others. In this guide, however, our focus is on Miyabi vs Shun. To know which one is better, keep on reading and learn from the insights we’ll share.
A Quick Comparison of Miyabi vs Shun
Miyabi and Shun are two of the best brands of Japanese knives. It is hard to go wrong with any of them. However, to help you decide, let’s compare the two below.
Purity, grace, and elegance – these are three of the things that Miyabi is known for. It is a member of the Zwilling brand group. Their knives are manufactured based on the traditions of the ancient masters in Japan, who were also the makers of the finest swords in the country. The knives are manufactured in Seki, which is the blade capital of the country. This is Japan’s equivalent of Solingen in Germany.
Like Miyabi, Shun is also based in Seki, Japan. It is a brand that operates under Kai Corporation. It is also dedicated to making some of the world’s finest knives while being rooted in tradition. Every knife from the company requires more than 100 steps to finish. While the company is deeply rooted in tradition, it also takes advantage of some of the modern technologies available to make knives that stand out.
Looking at the knives from both companies, they both have exceptional design. Shun is more traditional. Miyabi, on the other hand, has a German influence, considering how it operates under a parent company in Germany.
Since these are Japanese knives, it is safe to assume that both of their blades are exceptional. There is one minor difference in terms of the angle of the blade, which impacts sharpness. The Miyabi knives are angled at 9 to 12 degrees per side, which makes it slightly sharper. The Shun knives, on the other hand, are angled at 16 degrees per side.
In terms of the blade material, solid steel is used by both companies. There are slight variations on the specific type of steel that is used, but this is different based on the knife model or series.
Miyabi Kaizen vs Shun Classic — What’s the Difference?
Reviews of Top 5 Best Miyabi and Shun Knives
Below, we’ll have a quick look at some of the top knives that you will find from both brands.
Shun Classic 8-inch Chef’s Knife with VG-MAX Cutting Core and Ebony Pakkawood Handle
At first look, it is undeniable that this knife reflects the best of Japanese standards. It is minimalist but elegant, making it a great addition to any kitchen.
One of the highlights of this product is the use of VG-MAX steel as the main blade material. This is one of the most common among Shun knives. It is an exclusive material fortified with tungsten to make the edge sharper. To add, it also contains chromium, which improves the blade’s corrosion resistance. Another notable material is carbon, which strengthens the blade.
Aside from the blade, the handle is equally impressive. It is made of Pakkawood. The latter is a hardwood with resin. The result is a water-resistant finish that is guaranteed to withstand the test of time. It is also easy to clean and maintain.
As a chef’s knife, you will love how versatile it is. You can use the knife for slicing, dicing, and chopping, among other functions. It is a bit expensive considering that it is a single knife. However, with all its features and benefits, every dollar is worth it. Plus, it is a great replacement to multiple knives.
Need another compelling reason to choose this knife? Shun is offering free sharpening once you are no longer satisfied with its performance. Register upon purchase and you will enjoy a free sharpening service.
- Made using an incredibly hard steel
- Delivers multiple functions
- Elegant and minimalist design
- Can be easily prone to water spots
Shun Premier 5.5-inch Nakiri Knife
A nakiri knife is a traditional vegetable knife, and this cutlery from Shun is one of the most exceptional options you will find on the market. From its aesthetics to construction, there are endless reasons why it stands out over many of its competitors.
Among others, one of the best things about this knife is its hand-hammered finish. In Japan, this is traditionally known as tsuchime. It provides hollow-ground cavities for the reduction of drag. The result is that it cuts smoother as it gets in contact with vegetables.
As it is common with a Shun knife, if has VG-MAX super steel. With the layered Damascus cladding, it is strong and sharp, making sure that it cuts smoothly.
The knife comes with a straight blade, spine, and edge. Because of this design, it is not meant to be rocked like a chef’s knife. You will move the knife down and forward to cut. Doing so is effortless because of its well-balanced design.
To make it even more comfortable, it has a contoured handle. Made of walnut Pakkawood, the handle has an ergonomic design that accommodates both right and left-handed users. The problem with the latter, however, is that it is quite small. If you have a large hand, holding the knife’s handle can be a bit tricky.
The limited lifetime warranty that the manufacturer offers is another compelling reason to choose this product.
- Stylish hand-hammered finish
- Well-balanced design
- Comfortable to hold
- Difficult to grip if you have a large hand
Shun Classic 3.5-inch Paring Knife
Looking for a smaller alternative to the knives mentioned above? This paring knife should be on your list! We love how handy and lightweight it is! The small size of the knife makes it easy to control.
While the blade is small, it is sharp and strong. Like with the other shun knives, it has VG-MAX core steel, a proprietary material that is reflective of premium quality. The sharpness and size of the blade make it an excellent choice for precision work, such as when trimming or carving, among other things.
The D-shaped Pakkawood handle is another feature that makes this an incredible paring knife. It is round and easy to grip, even when your hand is wet. Some people may worry that there is no contoured grip, but that should not be a problem as it is still comfortable. More than being ergonomic, we also love how strong the handle is. It is also a good thing that it does not harbor bacteria, making it hygienic.
If there’s one thing to note, however, it would be that the knife can be too fragile for some users. Be careful with its use and store it properly to prevent damages.
- Exceptional sharpness
- Well-balanced design
- Some might find it too fragile
Miyabi Kaizen Chef’s Knife
Similar to the chef’s knife from Shun that has been earlier mentioned, this model from Miyabi also comes with an 8-inch blade. As expected, the sharpness is incredible. The blade has been through ice-hardening, an innovative system to ensure the superior performance. The blade has also been hand-honed through a traditional method, so you can be confident that the quality is second to none.
What makes the blade incredible is the 65-layer Damascus design. It also has a katana edge. The edge retention is unmatched. Even after many years of use, you will be happy to know that your chef’s knife will work as good as new.
Aside from the blade, the handle is also impressive. It is round and a bit heavy, which makes it easy to control. There is no contoured grip, but holding it is easy. It is also non-slippery, which makes it safe to use even when you have wet hands.
It is also worth highlighting that it has an angle of 9 to 12 degrees, which is traditional in Japanese knives. This will allow the knife to make sharper cuts.
As it is common with other chef’s knife, you can be confident of the versatility of this product. It is designed for multiple functions. Regardless of how it is used, you will be happy with the outcomes!
However, you have to be very careful when you are using this knife. We have heard complaints from some people noting how fragile the blade is. Also, avoid using it materials that are too hard as this will make the blade more vulnerable to damages.
- Exceptionally sharp
- Lightweight and well-balanced
- Aesthetically-pleasing handle
- Blade is very fragile and flexible
Miyabi Mizu SG2 Chef’s Knife
The price of this knife should not be an issue. While it is expensive, you should not skimp. With its functionality and durability, it is worth every dollar. Plus, it comes with a limited lifetime warranty for your peace of mind!
With 63 Rockwell hardness rating, one thing is for sure – the blade is hard! It is made using premium steel to guarantee longevity, not to mention, it has been through an ice-hardening procedure. The latter is an innovative process that reinforces the steel construction of the blade to make it tougher. Despite having a string blade, however, take note that this knife is not designed to cut anything frozen, such as meat and fruits.
The Micarta D-shaped handle is another good reason to pick this product over many of its competitors. It has a mosaic accent, which makes the handle good-looking. It is made of a solid material to ensure longevity. It isn’t contoured, but the size is just right so that you can hold it comfortably and keep your hand as secure as possible.
As it is expected with a Miyabi knife, it is hand-honed through a process that has been done for over a thousand years. It ensures attention even to the smallest details. This is one thing that both Miyabi and Shun offer to deliver nothing but the best in Japanese craftsmanship.
- Premium and durable construction
- Ice-hardened to ensure the best steel quality
- Comes with a lifetime warranty
- Not for cutting anything frozen
So, which one is better? Now that you are done reading this Miyabi vs Shun comparison, one thing is pretty clear – they are both great. It is almost impossible to pick only one as a winner. Consider the five products mentioned above and it is hard to go wrong! The two brands are reflective of the highest level of Japanese craftsmanship.