For years, Shun knives have stood out from the competition and are the go-to knives for professional chefs. This is because they are durable, elegant and versatile with ultra- sharp edges designed for everyday cooking. Before they are released to the market, shun cutleries undergo through stringent procedures to ensure every piece meets the industry standards. And this has made the brand popular and anyone who has used shun knives knows how owning one can transform your cooking experience.The knives come in different types and qualities which mean they are not equal. Though different steel and metal alloy are used to strengthen the blade and improve the blade aesthetics, every model will vary. In our shun knives review, we have unveiled what makes each piece different from each other to enable you to identify one for your needs.
Shun Premier Chef's Knife is our best pick. The 8” knife is a premium quality which boasting of its versatility, incredible edge retention, and stunning looks. The blade is hand hammered to prevent food from sticking on the surface when cutting reducing drag. Its Pakkawood handle is NSF certified and advocated for use on commercial kitchen which has made the knife to stand out from the competition.
Shun DM0706 Classic Chef's Knife is the go-to shun knife for the money. The 8” long knife is versatile, durable, comfy, elegant and dishwasher safe. Its handle is professionally shaped and weighted for a secure grip and comfort enabling you to complete different culinary tasks with ease.
Quick Comparison: Top 8 Best Shun Knives
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1. Shun Premier Chef's Knife
In case you need an all-purpose chef knife, then this Shun Premier could be an excellent pick for you. Whether you are chopping, slicing or dicing your vegetables, or meat, this knife will handle almost all every task you throw at it. The knife features a Damascus layered steel with an impressive hand hammered finish. With its customized finish, the blade minimizes any drag when performing your cuts making your job easier.
Its premium Pakkawood handle is impregnated with resin for increased strength, and moisture resistant. The handle is smooth and professionally designed to offer you a secure grip and comfort. Adding this Shun knife to your kitchen will bring elegance and efficiency. At 8-inches, the blade enables you to perform professional cuts effortlessly.
2. Shun DM0706 Classic Chef's Knife
This Shun DM0706 series is the go-to knife if you are on a budget. Measuring 12 by 12 inches, this classic knife professionally designed to allow you to prepare your meals with ease. The 8” knife is known for its ultra-sharp blade and excellent edge retention.
Its blade is made from VG-10 stainless steel which is then cladded with 32 layers of High carbon stainless steel which adds strength and durability. The cladding process produces elegant patterns on the blade enhancing the aesthetics. For unmatched efficiency, this model makes use of a weighted PakkaWood handle with slip resistance properties.
Its smooth handle finish provides a secure and comfy grip making your cooking a breeze. The series has stood out from its peers and is one of the NSF certified models recommended for commercial kitchens. Owning one will make your cooking easy and fun.
3. Shun VB0706 Sora Chef's Knife
Sora Chefs knife features a patent blade technology which makes it stand out from the competition. The blade is made by bringing together VG-10 cutting edge which is cladded with a layer of stainless steel on both sides to achieve a san mai edge. The upper side is professionally polished with Japanese 420J stainless steel to not only make the blade effective but also reliable and stain free.
The blade is perfectly balanced to provide you with a 16-degree cutting edge on both sides. Its handle features a traditional style with a TPE polymer which makes its maintenance easy. When wet the handle provides you with a tacky feel. The feature enables you to securely hold it safely when preparing meat, vegetables or juicy fruits.Besides, the Sora series is an all-purpose which can be used in any kitchen. Its blade and handle are professionally designed for efficiency. Its price is right which gives you a reason to own one.
4. Shun VB0723 Sora Chef's Knife
When looking for versatility in a knife, Sora knives are the go-to model. And that's what you will enjoy by owning this Shun VB0723 series. Featuring a proprietary blade technology this knife provides an ultra- sharp razor edge with a stunning wavy pattern.
Its VG-10 cutting edge has stainless steel clad which keep the blade stain free. Though not dishwasher safe, the knife is easy to maintain. Its handle is professionally designed to provide a secure grip even when your hands are not at their best.
Each Sora knife is crafted to provide efficiency and convenience in any kitchen. Shun understand how owning a quality knife can transform your cooking experience and bring in their expertise to ensure you get quality products at an affordable price.Overall, Sora knives have been known for their unmatched performance and adding them to your kitchen can transform your cooking.
5. Shun Classic Slim Knife Block Set
This Shun classic series features 6-piece set which comes in a block. Each knife is made with VG-MAX cutting core covered with 34 layers and a stainless Damascus cladding on each side for prolonged edge retention. During the construction process, the blades are handcrafted, ground and bead blasted for an ultra-sharp, corrosion resistant, long-lasting and incredible appearance.
The blade is hand sharpened with a double bevel featuring a 160 on both sides making it easy to use and maintain. Its ebony Pakkawood handle features a D-shape with moisture resistance properties which set this knife set from its peers.Adding these Shun knives set to your kitchen is a significant investment you can do as a homeowner.
6. Shun DMS284 Classic Knife Set
Boasting of its incredibly sharp cutting edge this Shun knife set is made with High carbon Stainless steel which has been carefully forged for increased strength and durability. The blade is then cladded with 16 layers of stainless steel giving it a rust-free Damascus look.
Whether you are looking forward to dicing, mincing, slicing, or preparing your poultry or meat, the 8" piece chef knife will enable you to prepare your meal with ease. Included in this set is a 4" paring knife which enables you to prepare your garnishes, and fruits like a professional.
Its handle is professionally designed to bring elegance in your kitchen. Every piece features a D-shape Pakkawood handle with steel bolster for counterbalance and added strength. Every piece has been constructed to last and can be a great investment which can be passed from generations to come.
7. Shun Hiro SG2 Chef's Knife
If performance and elegance are what you are looking in a knife then why not try out this Shun Hiro SG2 series. The knife features an 8” blade which has been handcrafted SG2 Japanese steel, and 32 layers on both sides. Compared to VG-10 and VG-MAX, SG2 has a dense grain structure which gives the knife incredible edge retention and sets this knife apart.
During the construction process, the blade undergoes through 150 handcrafted steps to ensure every layer has been finely smoothened from heel to spine. The edge has a tsuchime hammered finish which gives the knife an elegant and minimizes drag when performing your cuts.Its handle is made from a black Pakkawood featuring deep blush striations adding elegance to your kitchen. The knife can handle any recipe thrown to it and is a prized treasure for your loved ones.
8. Shun Classic Knife Block Set
When cooking, there are at times when your menu will call for different cutleries and this Shin Classic 10 piece set is designed to enable you to conquer any recipe with confidence. Each piece is created using VG-MAX cutting core for an ultra-sharp blade and incredible edge retention. Cladded on each side is a stainless Damascus steel which gives the blade stunning looks.
Every piece is handcrafted for a durable, ultra-sharp and corrosion resistant blade. Featuring a moisture resistant Ebony Pakkawood handles, this block set is designed to offer a secure and comfy grip. Adding this 10piece set is a great investment which can last you generation after generations and are worth every penny.
Things to Consider When Buying Shun Knives
Shun knives are for different kinds, and each variety is designed for a specified purpose. Some of the most common types you may come across include the shun premium knives, Shun knife block sets, Shun classic knives, and Shun Classic knives among others.
Shun Premier Knives are hand hammered by professionals for a beautiful appearance which enhances the aesthetics and minimizes drag when performing your cuts. The knives are known for their ultra-sharp razor blade and incredible edge retention.
Complementing the quality blade is a professionally balanced handle which offers you good ergonomics.
Shun knife block sets come in different piece sets. Every block contains knives designed for a specific purpose, and your choice would depend on what you are looking for. They are a good pick for anyone who may be looking forward to purchasing different knives.
In most cases, knife block sets from Shun come with honing steel for maintaining your blade which you may never find in other Shun knives.
Shun Classic knives are constructed using high-quality Stainless steel which is combined with 32 layers of steel and metal to increase its durability and its aesthetics. They can be utilized in the kitchen for different tasks including dicing, slicing, mincing and preparation of your recipes and are an excellent pick for anyone who may require a Chef’s knife.
Shun Sora knives are handcrafted by combining stainless steel with VG-10 for an incredibly sharp cutting edge. The blade is then polished with other metals to improve its appearance. Just like the Classic model, Sora knives can be utilized in the kitchen for different tasks and are affordable.
Shun knives handle come in different materials to complement their super sharp cutting blade. In most cases, you will either come across a Pakkawood handle, TPE or Tagayasan material. Pakkawood is a high- quality resin impregnated handle which is robust, durable and moisture resistant.
TPE is a combination of various complex polymers with thermoplastic polymer and elastics features. The handles offer a secure grip and are easy to maintain.
Tagayassan handles are known for their elegance, and durability which make them ideal for use on kitchen knives.
The way your knife handle is designed determines how strong the blade is being held. Most manufacturers use full tang or rivets to keep the edge secure. Laminated handles provide maximum support for the edge and reduce any chances of the handle becoming lose as a result of accidental falls.
Comfort is one of the aspects to consider when buying a knife, but most people pay more attention to the handle design that they forget about the grips. Knives have ambidextrous (symmetrical) or asymmetrical grips. Asymmetrical handles feature a traditional D-shape style and are designed for right-hand users.
Ambidextrous feature the same shape on both sides which makes them ideal for both right and left-hand users.
Handles with anti-slip resistance or have a tacky feel when your hands are wet will help prevent you from losing grip. Always avoid slim handles as they can easily slip out of your hand causing injuries or even damage to your blade.
A strike in the balance of your knife blade and handle should be professionally done for efficiency. One of the great indications of a well-balanced knife is an end cap or bolster. Beside weight distribution, bolster also prevent your fingers from slipping towards the blade leading to injuries.
Ease of maintenance
Though every knife will require proper care, some metals may call for more attention than others. When we talk about maintenance, most people only pay attention to the ease of cleaning. The maintenance of your knife should be viewed in regards to honing frequency, blade properties, cleaning and sharpening tools.
A knife which is easy to clean may not have the capability to retain a sharp cutting edge for long which means you will be required to hone it. Always ensure you choose models which are easy to maintain.
Tips of maintaining your Shun knives
- Use your knife for the recommended purpose. Shun knives are not designed to crush through hard materials like bones or frozen foods but rather for precision cutting.
- When using your knife, avoid using the upward down cutting method. Using this method will only force you to apply much force which tends to strain your muscles making it unhealthy for people who use their knives for long. Worse still; the method is not suitable for the blade as it makes it dull faster. Instead, place your knife cutting blade on top of the recipe you plan to prepare and use the forward-backward motion.
- If you are not well experienced, use slow motions as making quick cuts can injure you or increase the chances of chipping your blade. Also, be vigilant when using your knife to minimize any chances of your blade striking hard surface or objects
- While shun knives blades may be corrosion resistance, moisture growth can cause micro-corrosion which can cause small chips on the edge. To keep moisture at bay, always ensure your knife is properly cleaned and thoroughly dried before storage
- When washing your knives, avoid tossing them in the dishwasher. Contact with other metals can stain the blade leaving hard to remove marks. Though some models are dishwasher safe, it is highly recommended to wash your knives by hand. After unboxing your new knife, it is advisable to clean it with hot water and mild dishwashing liquid and dry it before using
- Avoid leaving wooden handled knives in water for long.
- Keep your blade well maintained by using honing steel and sharpening with the recommended sharpener
- Keep your knives away from children to prevent any chances of misuse
How to sharpen your shun knives
Knowing how to sharpen your knife at home is a great way to save money and all the hassles of sourcing a professional sharpener. To whet your blade, you will need a whetstone. However, note that every blade condition will call for different whetstone grit.
Sharpening a dull knife will require you to use a whetstone grit of 1000 to 1500, while correction other blade imperfections and chips need a coarse whetstone of 300 grit. Polishing your blade to a mirror-like finish requires a sharpener with 4000 to 6000 grit.
- Soak your whetstone in water for about 10 minutes. Look for a slip-free surface and place a dry towel on it. Place your wet stone on the towel and grind your knife using minimal pressure towards and away from your body at a 15 degrees angle.
- Repeat the process on both sides until you obtain a fine burr.
- Using a piece of newspaper, remove the burr from the blade by holding it at the same angle as you did on the whetstone and swipe it right and left in sideways motion.
- Once the burr is entirely removed, wash your knife with hands and mild dishwasher liquid. Wipe it thoroughly and store it.
Frequently asked questions about Shun knives
Are shun knives worth it?
Shun knives are known all over the world for their razor-sharp cutting edge and aesthetics. The knives have been around for years with great features to help increase your efficiency when cooking. They are prized treasures which can be passed from generation to generation.
What are shun knives made of?
Shun uses VG10, VG-MAX, or AG2 steel types to design their knives. The VG-10 is stainless steel produced in Japan with High Carbon content. The steel comprises of 15% Chromium, 1% Carbon, 1.5% Cobalt, 1% Molybdenum, 0.5% Manganese and 0.2% Vanadium.
VG-10 steel is hard and gives the knife an ultra-sharp cutting edge. To increase the blade strength, the VG-10 is inserted in Damascus steel giving you an incredibly sharp edge that lasts longer.
VG-MAX is another quality super steel used by manufacturers to construct knives. The steel is stronger with a long-lasting cutting edge as compared to VG-10. In regards to durability, VG-MAX knives are hardwearing as compared to VG-10 steel.
SG2 is incredibly strong steel which is used to construct high-end knives. The steel usually comprises of high stainless steel and High carbon content. During their construction, a layer of stainless steel is used to cover the Damascus resulting in a beautiful and robust blade.
Knives made from SG2 have a Rockwell Hardness rating of up to 64 which is good enough to retain the edge. Knives made using SG2 steel are sharpened at 160 which gives an ultra-sharp blade for increased performance.
Are shun knives dishwasher safe?
Some shun knives are dishwasher safe while others are not. However, before cleaning your blade, it is highly recommended to be well versed with the right method to use. Handling your cutleries inappropriately will deteriorate their quality or even damage them.
Why are there little chips on my knife even and I do not use the dishwasher to clean them?
Just like most knives, you may notice some small chips on your shun knife even after avoiding the dishwasher. This could be as a result of moisture damage. When moisture is exposed to the weak areas of the cutting blade, you may notice with time your knife slowly starts to chip.
To keep moisture from taking a toll on your blade, always avoid leaving your dirty knife for long. Always ensure you thoroughly wash it with clean water and mild dishwashing liquid, dry it and store it in a block, sheath, storage box or knife rack.
What is the difference between honing and sharpening?
Most people usually confuse honing and sharpening. Honing is meant to re-align your cutting edge to increase its performance. Sharpening, on the other hand, is intended to improve the precision of the blade. During the sharpening process, some metal is shed off revealing a new layer of cutting edge which is sharper.
This implies that sharpening your knife regularly will quickly shed off your cutting edge, but honing your blade will eliminate the need for regular sharpening.
What is the best way to hone your knife?
As much as your knife needs honing, the exercise should be carried out properly to avoid damaging your cutting blade. To align your blade, you will require honing steel. However, not every honing steel will work for your edge. Read your manual to check out the recommended honing steel.
Most knives come with honing guide to help you position it on the right angle. With the help of the honing guide, place your knife on the right corner and make a few strokes on both sides.
If the knife does not come with a honing guide, merely place the honing steel in a vertical position with its tip on your chopping board and draw your knife from the top to the heel. Make repeated strokes to re-align your blade. For double beveled models, ensure you repeat the process on both sides.
How often should shun knives be honed?
Though shun knives are known for their ability to retain an ultra-sharp cutting edge for long, it will require honing to keep the blade in good physical shape. Weekly honing is recommended by the frequency of honing will be dictated by how often you use your knife.