Are you looking for the top kitchen brands around the world? Well, Shun knives are one of them. It is a Japanese kitchen knife company that has been around for over 100 years. Shun knives are made with the best quality materials and are also designed to be extremely durable.
This brand offers a wide variety of different types of kitchen knives, so you are sure to find the perfect one for your needs. In this Shun knives review, you’ll be able to learn about the different features, pros, and cons that these knives have to offer.
One of the best things about Shun knives is that they are made with high-quality materials. The blades are made from VG-10 stainless steel, which is a very tough and durable material. This type of steel holds its edge well, so you won’t have to worry about the knives become dull quickly. So, here’s our list of tried and tested best Shun knives you can get this year.
Shun Knives Top Picks
- 1. Best Overall - Shun Cutlery Classic Chef's Knife
- 2. Best Value - Shun Chef's Knife Cutlery Premier
- 3. Best Budget - Shun Sora Utility Knife
- 4. Best Minimalist - Shun Cutlery Kanso Hollow Ground Nakiri Knife
- 5. Best Modern - Shun Seki Magoroku Series
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List of the Best Shun Knives
1. Shun Cutlery Classic Chef's Knife
This is Shun’s first and largest series that we tested. It includes a wide variety of both Japanese and Western style knives. In that case, it’s not traditional Japanese cutlery. Sets include an 8-inch chef knife, 7-inch santoku knife, 9-inch hollow edge carving knife, 5-inch hollow edge nakiri knife, and 4.5-inch Honesuki knife. There is also a 3.5-inch paring knife, Shum multi-purpose kitchen shears, 9-inch combination honing steel, and 13 slot bamboo knife block.
Each knife in this series is made with Shun’s proprietary VG-Max stainless steel. A combination of high-carbon Japanese steel and select minerals ensures it combines the best of sharpness and stain resistance. The classic series blades are made in a thin, lightweight style that’s balanced by a D-shaped pakkawood handle. This leads to smooth cutting action that’s great for slicing or push-pull cuts.
The Shun Cutlery Classic Chef’s Knife and Shun Chef’s Knife Cutlery Premier are both chef’s knives from the same brand, but the Classic is made with VG-MAX steel and features a full bolster while the Premier is made with VG10 steel and has a half bolster. The Premier also has a hammered tsuchime finish on the blade, giving it a more unique appearance.
- The Damascus steel makes the knife sharper, more durable, and corrosion resistant
- D shaped pakkawood handle
- High-quality VG-MAX steel
- Easy to control
- Good edge retention
- Less comfortable in the left hand
- It tends to chip if not cared for properly
2. Shun Chef's Knife Cutlery Premier
Shun’s premier knives are cheaper than their classic counterparts but still offer excellent quality. Each blade we tested has a VG-MAX core, clad on both sides with 34 layers of Damascus stainless steel, giving each knife a unique finish.
The hammered tsuchime finish acts like hollow ground blades to release food easily, and the D-shaped pakkawood handles are ergonomically designed for comfort during use. Sets include an 8-inch chef’s knife, a 9-inch bread knife, a 6.5-inch utility knife, a 4-inch paring knife, herb shears, a combination honing steel, and 11 slot bamboo block.
Comparing the Shun Chef’s Knife Cutlery Premier and the Shun Sora Utility Knife, both made with VG10 steel and have a similar design, but the Premier is larger and has a longer blade. The Sora Utility Knife is a smaller, more versatile knife that is suitable for a variety of tasks, including chopping, slicing, and peeling.
- Contoured pakkawood handle
- VG-MAX steel with stainless Damascus cladding
- Striking design
- Strong and durable
- It's a bit expensive
- Thin blades are a bit more prone to chipping
3. Shun Sora Utility Knife
The Shun knives are known for their pricey but excellent quality. The Sora, on the other hand, is a more affordable option that doesn’t sacrifice too much in terms of quality. This option we tried out still has a VG-10 steel core with stainless steel cladding, but the blade is thinner and not as sharp as the higher-end models.
This steel is famed among knife manufacturers and users as it offers great corrosion resistance and edge retention. The blade is also easy to sharpen, so you can keep it razor-sharp with relative ease. Sets include an 8-inch chef knife, a 6-inch utility knife, a 3.5-paring knife, herb shears, combination honing steel, and an 11-slot bamboo block.
How does this compare to the Shun Cutlery Kanso Hollow Ground Nakiri Knife? The Shun Sora Utility Knife and the Shun Cutlery Kanso Hollow Ground Nakiri Knife we tested are made with VG10 steel and have a similar design, but the Nakiri knife has a larger, flatter blade that is better suited for slicing vegetables. The Sora Utility Knife is more versatile and can be used for a wider range of tasks, including slicing and chopping meats, fruits, and vegetables.
- More affordable than other Shun knives
- San Mai stainless steel Damascus cladding
- Good edge retention
- Comfortable handles
- Less durable than more expensive models
- Not as sharp as higher-end knives
4. Shun Cutlery Kanso Hollow Ground Nakiri Knife
The Kanso series we tested from Shun is a great option for those looking for a more minimalist knife. These knives have a simple, subdued aesthetic that will look great in any kitchen. The blade is made from high-carbon stainless steel, and the handle is made from durable pakkawood.
Sets include an 8-inch chef knife, a 5.5-inch santoku knife, a 6-inch utility knife, a 3.5-paring knife, a combination honing steel, and an 8-slot wood block.
The Shun Cutlery Kanso Hollow Ground Nakiri Knife and the Shun Seki Magoroku Series are both Japanese-style knives, but the Kanso Nakiri has a flatter blade that is better suited for chopping and slicing vegetables, while the Seki Magoroku has a more curved blade that is better suited for slicing meats and fish.
- High-carbon stainless steel blade
- Durable PakkaWood handle
- Rustic look ages well
- Easy maintenance
- Rough handles compared to other shun knives
5. Shun Seki Magoroku Series
If you’re looking for a modern take on Shun knives, the Shun Seki Magoroku is a great option. These knives have a sleek, futuristic look that will add a touch of style to any kitchen. It’s also more affordable because of the stainless steel used for most of the blades, with the more expensive VG MAX cutting core.
The blond pakkawood handle is durable and easy to grip, while the full-tang construction provides balance and strength. The Magoroku is also one of the lightest Shun knives we tested, making it easier to handle for those with smaller hands. The blade is made from VG10 stainless steel, which is a high-carbon steel that’s been hardened for durability.
Comparing the Shun Seki Magoroku Series and the Shun Dual Core Knife, both high-end knives with a similar design, but the Dual Core is made with a two-layer blade that has a harder VG2 steel core for a sharp edge and a more flexible VG10 steel outer layer for durability. The Seki Magoroku is made with a single-layer VG-MAX steel blade that is harder and more durable than VG10 steel.
- Blond pakkawood handle
- More affordable than some other shun knives
- Lightweight and easy to handle
- Full-tang construction for strength and balance
- VG MAX cutting core
- The VG10 stainless steel may not be as durable as some other options
- Best Shun Knives
6. Shun Dual Core Knife
Shun’s legendary Dual Core is the most expensive knife on our list of tried and tested options. It’s a work of art, with a VG-10 “super steel” core clad in 32 layers of stainless steel. The result is a strong, flexible blade that takes an incredibly sharp edge and holds it for a long time.
The blade is 7 inches long and 1.5 inches wide at the heel, tapering to a point. The spine is slightly beveled for comfort, and the entire blade is given a 15-degree edge angle (30 degrees total).
The handle is made of durable pakka wood, which is similar to rosewood in appearance. It’s smooth and comfortable even after extended use. The knife comes with a hand-crafted leather sheath that can be worn on a belt or in a bag
- Razor sharp edge
- Amazing edge retention
- Less chance of chipping
- Fairly expensive
- Not usually sold as a set
Criteria for Choosing the Best Shun Kitchen Knives
What’s the hardest part about buying the best kitchen knives? Choosing the best kitchen knife brands? No, it is finding the best knife for your individual needs from all the different kitchen knife brands on the market. Here is a list of criteria you should use to help find the best Shun knives for your kitchen:
Type of Knife
There are many different types of kitchen knives available, including paring knives, chef’s knives, Santoku knives, bread knives, and cleavers. Each Shun knife series offers a full range of blade shapes that will cover your kitchen needs. Find the knife type you need, then narrow your search to the best Shun knife for that particular job. There’s an article on the best Santoku knife 2023.
The blades of kitchen knives are usually made from stainless steel, carbon steel, or ceramic. Shun uses high-carbon stainless steel for their blades which gives the knives a sharpness that can rival that of carbon steel knives while still being resistant to rust and corrosion.
On the most affordable end, the Sora series uses mainly stainless steel with a sharper VG10 steel edge. The expensive Dual Core series blends two top-quality sheets of steel in a lengthy forging process, making for the sharpest and most durable blade.
The tang of a knife is the metal extension of the blade that goes into the handle. A full tang means that the steel extends all the way to the end of the handle, while a partial tang only goes partway. A full tang is generally considered to be stronger and more durable than a partial tang.
Shun uses a full tang construction for all of their knives. This means that the steel extends all the way to the end of the handle, providing better balance and strength.
The handle is made from a variety of materials, including natural hardwood and synthetic composites. The material you choose should be comfortable to hold and provide a good grip. Shun’s knives split the difference with pakkawood, a wood and resin composite.
Fully synthetic handles are cheaper to produce, while natural hardwood handles look and feel nicer. However, hardwood can crack or warp over time with exposure to water or heat.
The exceptionally hard steel used for Japanese knives is what gives them razor-sharp edges. But harder steel is more brittle, making it prone to chipping. To keep your shun knives in top condition, it is important to care for them properly.
Shun knives are not the most expensive on the market, but they are also not the cheapest. The Dual Core is the most expensive, while the Sora and Kanso collections are the most affordable. The classic series, which is the brand’s best-selling collection, falls in between. So, depending on your budget, there is definitely a shun knife that will fit your needs.
There are many great knife brands on the market, but when it comes to Japanese knives, Shun is definitely one of the best. Some of their main competitors include MAC, Tojiro Knife, and Global.
What sets Shun apart from other Japanese knife brands is its focus on tradition and quality. The company uses some of the oldest and most traditional methods of knife making, which results in a product that is truly unique. In addition, all of their knives are handmade by skilled artisans, which further sets them apart from other brands.
While Shun’s knives may be more expensive than some of its competitors, the quality is definitely worth the price. If you are looking for a high-quality, traditional Japanese knife, then Shun is the brand for you.
|Product||Type of Knife||Blade Material||Tang||Handle||Knife Care||Price||Competitors|
|Shun Cutlery Classic Chef’s Knife||5/5||5/5||5/5||4/5||5/5||3/5||4/5|
|Shun Chef’s Knife Cutlery Premier||5/5||4/5||4/5||5/5||5/5||3/5||4/5|
|Shun Sora Utility Knife||4/5||4/5||4/5||4/5||5/5||2/5||3/5|
|Shun Cutlery Kanso Hollow Ground Nakiri Knife||5/5||4/5||4/5||4/5||5/5||3/5||3/5|
|Shun Seki Magoroku Series||4/5||5/5||4/5||4/5||5/5||3/5||3/5|
|Shun Dual Core Knife||5/5||5/5||4/5||4/5||5/5||4/5||4/5|
Types of Shun Kitchen Knives
When it comes to types of kitchen knives, Shun has you covered. The company offers a wide variety of knives, each designed for a specific purpose. Here is a look at some of the most popular types of Shun knives:
- Chef’s Knife: A chef’s knife is an all-purpose knife that can be used for a variety of tasks, including chopping, slicing, and mincing.
- Santoku Knife: A Santoku knife is similar to a chef’s knife but has a shorter blade and a slightly different shape. Santoku knives are great for slicing and chopping vegetables.
- Bread Knife: As the name suggests, bread knives are designed specifically for cutting bread. They have long, serrated blades that can easily slice through even the thickest crusts.
- Utility Knife: Utility knives are smaller than chef’s knives and santoku knives, making them ideal for tasks like cutting fruit or cheese.
- Paring Knife: Paring knives are small, handheld knives that are perfect for peeling and slicing fruits and vegetables. Shun paring knife can also be used for delicate tasks like removing the seeds from a bell pepper.
- Steak Knife: Steak knives have serrated blades that can easily slice through meat, making them perfect for dining. Shun steak knives are also great for cutting tough vegetables like squash.
- Boning Knife: Boning knives are long, thin knives that are designed for removing the bones from meat. Shun boning knife is ideal for removing the bones from chicken breasts, fish fillets, and more.
How to Use Shun Kitchen Knives
When it comes to how to use kitchen knives, Shun kitchen knives are definitely one of the best. Here is a quick guide on how to use the best Shun knives:
- Buy a knife for every essential function in your kitchen: There is no need to have just one knife that does everything. It is better to invest in a few high-quality knives that can each perform a specific task.
- Use the right knife for the job: There are different types of kitchen knives designed for different tasks. Be sure to use the correct knife for the job to prevent accidents.
- Sharpen your knives regularly: A sharp knife is a safe knife. Be sure to keep your knives sharpened and in good condition to prevent accidents.
- Use a cutting board: Always use a cutting board when using kitchen knives. This will help protect your countertops and keep your knives from dulling.
- Handle your knives with care: Always handle your knives with care. Never use them to pry or force open something. Store them properly when not in use.
- Keep your knives clean: Be sure to wash and dry your knives after each use. This will help keep them in good condition and prevent the build-up of bacteria.
FAQs on the Best Shun Kitchen Knives
Are Shun knives dishwasher safe?
You should never wash your Shun knives in the dishwasher. Dishwasher detergent is harsh and can damage the blades. Instead, wash them by hand with warm, soapy water. Dishwashers can also cause knives to shift around, which can chip in the blade. Knives can also be flung around by the water pressure, causing damage to your dishwasher and other dishes.
How often should I sharpen my Shun knives?
You should sharpen your Shun knives every few months or as needed. Be sure to use a sharpening stone specifically designed for Japanese knives.
Where can I buy Shun knives?
Shun knives are available at many retailers, both online and in-store. You can also purchase them directly from the Shun website or Amazon.
What is the best way to store my Shun knives?
The best way to store the best Shun knives is in a knife block or on a magnetic knife strip. This will protect the blades and keep them sharp.
Final Thought on the Best Shun Knives
Shun knives are some of the best Japanese knives on the market. They’re made with high-quality materials and are designed to last a lifetime. If you’re looking for a new knife, Shun is a great option to consider. With different products and types available, there’s a knife we tested for everyone.
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Kristina is an expert DIY home remodeler and mom to three. When she's not cooking or experimenting with new recipes, you can find her working on new home improvement projects or writing about her favorite kitchen appliances or DIY projects on Kitchen Infinity blog.