Shun 8 chef knife

8-Inch Shun DM0766 Classic Western Chefs Knife Home & Kitchen

Shun DM0766 Classic Western Chefs Knife, 8-Inch

##short## Product description The classic 8-inch western chef’s knife offers the 22-degree cutting angle some cooks prefer, Western edge meets japanese precision-marrying the perfect blend of both worlds, and looks beautiful doing it, dicing, Home & Kitchen Shun DM0766 Classic Western Chefs Knife 8-Inch, The bolster is ground out more on the right side for proper finger placement, and other foods, classic 8-inch western chef’s knife effortlessly dices and chops its way through all yshun recipes, Shun classic 8-inch ultimate chef’s knife with unique western style cutting edge, Blade core of VG-10 Super Steel with a Pattern Damascus cladding of 32 layers of high-carbon stainless steel; 16 layers on either side, #products_addimges#, classic’s amazingly sharp blade is famous for both edge retention and ease of sharpening, Shun DM0766 Classic Western Chefs Knife, 8-Inch

The wide blade keeps knuckles off the cutting board and is extra handy when transferring cut food from board to pan, and chopping small to medium-sized fruits, the chef’s knife can be gently rocked through fresh herbs or spices to produce a very fine mince, These specially shaped handles rest perfectly in the curve of the fingers, classic knives feature shun d shape ebony-black pakkawood handle, as well as balancing the knives perfectly, Precision blades and handle engineering mean long-lasting use and comfort-no matter how large or small you kitchen prep may be, This all-purpose blade is ideal for a wide variety of cutting tasks, Effortlessly dices and chops its way through all your recipes, D shape ebony-black pakkawood handle, Home & Kitchen 8-Inch Shun DM0766 Classic Western Chefs Knife

Each blade has a core of vg-10 super steel with a pattern damascus cladding of 32-layers of high-carbon stainless steel 16-layers on either side, Home & Kitchen Shun DM0766 Classic Western Chefs Knife 8-Inch, The shun classic 8-inch western chef’s knife is extremely versatile, vegetables, The eight-inch length is perfect for slicing, for a more secure grip, Features 22-degree cutting angle that some chef’s prefer, specifically designed for premium applications, With its curved belly, specifically designed for premium applications, 8-Inch Shun DM0766 Classic Western Chefs Knife Home & Kitchen

Shun Classic Chef Knife 8” UPDATED REVIEW

Shun DM0706 Classic Chef’s Knife can make you fall in love with Shun knives. Because it happened to me as I am a user of shun DM0706 classic 8-inch chef knife. It is easy to say that this Shun classic chef knife has become one of the popular choices for chef knives for its average of 4.8 rating out of 5.

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If you are an aspiring chef and want to make a chef career, this particular brand should be the best of the choices. Moreover, if you are looking for a pure handcrafted Japanese knife then this is the product for you with its 100-year-old excellence in blade making combined with the latest technology and advanced material.

Let’s have a look, What you guys gonna know from Shun Classic Chef Knife Review

  • The story behind I choose this Shun classic knife
  • In-depth Individual parts review of Shun Classic Chef Knife.
  • Design and beauty this knife.
  • Why you should buy this knife/Pros.
  • Some limitations or Cons.
  • Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ).
  • Editor’s opinion about this knife.

Why I choose this knife?

Its hard to believe that This Shun classic knife required 100 handcrafted steps to complete the total process of raw materials to finished product. This hand finished knife is made of the samurai sword tradition and is an ideal choice for the use of professional chefs to home chefs. Shun classic chef knives are specially designed for cutting and slicing vegetables, poultry, and fish and are phenomenal in terms of the user experiences. Its 7.41 ounces weight is perfect and well balanced for handling and occurs no problem when cutting ingredients with it. Though it is generally for right-handed people, you can make an order for the customized version of the left-hand use.

It is a solid purchase for anyone who wants to buy Japanese knife first. The 8 inches perfectly shaped blade allows you to cut ingredients and present dishes in perfect shape. This knife is produced using VG-10 stainless steel reinforced with 16 layers of high carbon stainless steel on each side totaling 32 layers. It is super rust resistant. It’s 60-61 HRC scale and 16-degree angle means it can hold sharpness for a long period of time.

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Moreover, the D-shaped resin-impregnated hardwood prevents it from twisting while in the grip of hand and maintains a firm grip. The thing that makes the Shun DM0706 classic chef knife special is its superior blade. The authentic Damascus stainless steel was used in making Samurai swords and the core layer of the steel which made of V-gold-10-steel makes it sharper and harder.it also carries a lifetime sharpening warranty.

National Science Foundation(NSF) Of USA makes ‘Shun DM0706 classic chef knife’ safer in terms of hygiene

Let’s move on to review

The Blade of the Knife

The Shun DM0706 Classic chef knife comes with an 8 inches VG-10 Stainless steel blade. Because of the hardness of the steel, the blade is thinner, lighter and sharper. Thinner blades are easy to control in times of action. These kind of blade edges are super sharper and works better for fewer strokes. Moreover, lighter blades are easier to control and handle.

The DM0706 knife blade is created to have a 16-degree angle on each side, which means it has a comprehensive angle of 32 degrees. Compare to the European knives which measure 20-22 degree angle on each side, the Shun classic chef knife is far beyond sharper.

When slicing, Microscopic air pockets emerge due to the cladding process on the blade, so that it diminishes friction. Furthermore, there is a Shun logo engraved on the surface of the blade that makes the blade more beautiful.

The Steel what actually have a serious deal

If you want peak performance from a knife at a reasonable cost, then you should go through the VG-10 steel. The VG(Gold)-10 steel is the heart of the Shun 8 inch classic chef knife. Chefs from all over the world of around 60- 70% quests for the Japanese VG-10 steel for its impressive quality.

It is known for its hardness, sharpness and superior ability to retain the sharpness of the edge. For strength and hardness cobalt is added and for retaining sharpness vanadium is added to this premium steel. From Japan, for cutlery, it’s a high carbon Gold standard super stainless steel. There are a lot of steel available but the cladding steel is unique and VG-10 provides the best of the cladding steels. Moreover, it is super rust-resistant.

The Edge

You may experience that many of the local knives get dull sooner than you expect. Over time their edges get damaged very badly and you may have to sharpen the edge frequently. Why tolerate these harassments, where there is a better solution from this professional chef knife!

The 60-61 Rockwell Hardness scale of the steel makes the blade harder. As you know, the more the Rockwell hardness scale counts, the harder is the steel and the more the edge of the blade is sharp. Notably, that count of the scale ensures that the edge of the blade holds its stunning sharp edge remarkably. You just don’t have to sharpen your Shun classic chef knife frequently.

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The Handle, You will ride on

So, What about your comforts with your knife when cutting from harder to softer ingredients in your kitchen? Besides, the steel, blade, and edge of your knife, the handle is also a core part of your knife. That is the part by which you take your knife in your grip while using.

Obviously, without comforts in handling your knife and not ensuring the hygiene and safety while using, the other efforts you have made will go in vain.

The D-shaped Handle made from laminated Pakkawood is the peak of quality knife handles. The resin lamination makes the handle moisture resistant. Though it seems smooth, you may surmise that it is slippery. But, wait before making any concept without using it.

Moreover, The certification for commercial use in the kitchen from the National Science Foundation(NSF) makes it safer in terms of hygiene.

Design and Beauty

From design to beauty the Shun classic chef knife will amaze you. The wood grain pattern of the 20cm chef knife comprised 16 layers of the quality folded Damascus steel on both sides and the curved belly not only brings sharpness, hardness but also enhances the beauty of the steel.

Moreover, a Shun cutlery logo on the blade adjacent to the handle increases its beauty. The black pakkawood hardwood impregnated coated with resin further enhances beauty to the already stunning look of this knife. Certainly, design and beauty of the Shun classic chef knife is the piece of real craftsmanship from Japan.

Why should we buy it?

  • Extremely hard, sharp and highly anti-corrosive.
  • So easy for slicing ingredients.
  • Super edge retention quality.
  • Comfortable grip with the D-shaped resin coated handle.
  • Lifetime warranty with the free sharpening service.

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  • It costs a bit more than the other comparable knives.
  • Only for right-handed people. But you can order a customized handed blade, which may cost more.
  • Sharpening service is not totally toll-free. You have to pay the shipping cost.
  • 60-61 HRC rated edge is pretty hard. Carelessness may occur to Brittleness.

Let’s have a Video Review

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

Q:1- How about the weight of this knife?

Ans:- This knife is pretty much lighter than the other German knives. The blade of this knife is much thinner. You can easily handle and balance this when cutting.

Q:2- How about sharpening this knife?

Ans:- Don’t use an electric sharpener yourself. If need uses a whetstone. But if you are a beginner in sharpening, just send it for the free sharpening service. It will be a much better decision.

Q:3- How do I clean this knife?

Ans:- to wash the knife use a soft sponge and dishwasher detergent or a soap. Then dry thoroughly with a towel, so that water can’t remain on the surface of the blade.

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Final Verdicts

There are many brands of knives you can find. But particularly this brand is the one you must adore. Just start using this and you may fall in love with this.

The look, edge, handle of the blade will surely make you love it. It’s lighter weight and sharper thinner blade are the facts you will notice mostly. It is user-friendly to the small-handed people.

You can give this knife as a present to your friend or family who loves to cook. Surely, they will like it and will give you a big thanks. In the end, though it is a little bit pricey, But I can assure you that this Shun classic chef knife will never let you feel down in every aspect. So you are good to Buy Now From Amazon if you really need it and Happy Cooking!

See also Shun Premium Chef knife full Review!


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Is it really worth the money to invest in a set of good knives for your kitchen?

In a word, Yes, absolutely. I get asked this question a lot by family and friends. It always surprises me for some reason. Would you build a deck with say an old bow saw? Would you cut your grass with scissors? Of course not. A good knife is essential in a kitchen, any kitchen. And nothing is more dangerous than a dull knife regardless of its brand! A dull knife will be more challenging to work with, and you can slip cut yourself much easier if you are struggling with a dull blade.

A few months ago I purchased 2 Shun Classic knives. I chose a 6-inch chef knife as well as an 8-inch chef knife. The same day I also bought a 6 inch and 8 inch Wusthof Classic chef knife. For the past five years, I have been using a Henckels knife block set I purchased when I began culinary school. I will say that I LOVE my Henckels knives so much it pained me to think of cheating on them! A little ridiculous, I know. It is who I am. Fast forward to today, and it has been roughly 3 and a half months. I feel like I have given each knife ample attention to be confidently opinionated and provide an honest review.

Shun Knives:

The Shun knives are admittedly more attractive than the “all business” German cutlery with which I am more accustom. The blades are SUPER sharp out of the box. They have a very fine edge that only measures 16 degrees. This makes for a super fine edge which will be amazingly sharp. Unfortunately, an edge this fine will not stay sharp for long periods of time. Sharpening will be required more frequently and will depend on the amount of use. For the average home cook, 3-4 times a year is probably sufficient (according to the retailer).

Shun knives are constructed of 2 types of metal, VG10, and high carbon stainless steel. By sandwiching these metals together, Shun has created a stronger, lighter, and more stain resistant knife. The sandwiching of the metals also creates a beautiful pattern on the blade. The lightness of the knife really is impressive and such a nice feature anytime you have a lot of knife work. Another gorgeous feature is the wooden handle. The handle is made of PakkaWood and is uniquely shaped for ultimate comfort and stability.

Enough about the technicalities. How do they hold up? Well, honestly not as well as I’d hoped. What started out as love has taken a turn towards slight disappointment. Both Shun knives show significant wear already. The tip has broken off, and the blade edge has chipped in multiple places. Despite being dishwasher safe, I only clean these knives by hand and dry immediately. NEVER put your knives in the dishwasher. The detergents are harsh, and the extreme temperatures are hard on the blades as well. I also use a recommended cutting surface and store these knives in my knife block. There is no reason, in my opinion, that these knives should already have this type of damage.

Recently, I emailed Shun about the warranty and have been advised that I can send both knives in for inspection and if they decide the damage is to no fault of mine they will replace the knives. If they deem the damage my fault, they will sharpen and attempt to correct damage, but that is the only action they will take. I have not yet decided if I will send them in or not. The process will take approximately 4-6 weeks. I will keep you all updated. Thus far I can say my customer service experience has been positive. They were very responsive and positive in their email.

UPDATE: Fast forward a year and a half, and I am still using these knives. I look at the chips as adding character and reach for these knives any time I have a lot of chopping to do. Lighter and more comfortable, these are a great option for me.

Wusthof Knives:

Wusthof, a German-based company, makes the second knife included in this review. Their knives boast a 22-degree angle edge, and it is recommended to sharpen these right out of the box to attain full sharpness. I am actually sporting a cut on my palm from grazing the tip last night while cooking. Needless to say, after three months they are still super sharp! These knives have a wider angle which aids in edge retention, so these stay sharp much longer. I still do not need to sharpen these knives after daily use for three months.

Wusthof Classic blades are forged from a single piece of high-carbon stainless steel. Like Shun, they are stain resistant. The handle is made of a synthetic material so there is no need to worry about bacterial buildup. Wusthof knives are of considerable weight but are oh so effective!

How have these held up? In a word, wonderfully. There is no wear whatsoever. No scratches, dings, or discoloration. The Wusthof knives still look new out of the box. I cannot come up with a single complaint about these knives. Trust me, I tried!

It has become clear that I still prefer German cutlery. Still, the beauty and sharpness of the Shun knives are impressive. Unfortunately, I do not feel like they are the best choice for my kitchen since they are showing wear so early on. The 8 in Wusthof retails for around $130, and the Shun retails for $145. The 6 in Wusthof retails for approximately $110, and the Shun comes in at about $130. For the money, I feel like the Wusthof knives were the best purchase. Both Wusthof and Shun knives are available on Amazon.com

At the end of the day, it really comes down to individual preference. What fits well and feels stable in your hand is important. What performs best and holds up to your daily routine is what is best for your kitchen. Take care of your knives, and they will take care of you! Cheesy, I know, but very accurate.

UPDATE: I use both brands of knives daily. For more massive cutting, think butternut squash, I still reach for my Wusthof knives. For marathon chopping sessions I reach for the Shun set as it is much easier to use since it’s lighter and the handle is more comfortable. Both sets are still in fantastic shape and will be in my kitchen for a long time.

Be sure to check out my How To Choose The Best Cutting Board article too!

XOXO – Leslie Morrison 6 Shares


I enjoy cooking, and although I’ve never had any formal culinary training, I’m always trying new techniques and working new ingredients into my dishes. I’m certainly not a “follow the recipe exactly” type of guy either, and I prefer to think of cooking as a fluid art form that I can add my personal touch to as I experiment. Sometimes it doesn’t work out quite right, but I always learn something I can apply to future dishes.

As I’ve advanced as a cook, I’ve slowly added better tools to my kitchen. Good cast iron skillets and a dutch oven are a must, and they truly are the healthiest cookware you can use. Aside from good cookware, quality cooking knives are the number one way to upgrade your kitchen setup. For years I used cheap chef knives and inferior kitchen shears, all the while placing my fingers in constant danger as I cooked. What’s worse, I really love vegetables and I find chopping them and preparing them almost like a meditation.

Finally, I upgraded my kitchen with a new chef’s knife from Shun, and my cooking has become even more enjoyable.

Why Shun

It was late in my teenage years when I fell in love with Samurai films. Akira Kurosawa was the king of the sub-genre, and I watched and re-watched films like Seven Samurai, The Hidden Fortress and Rashomon, enjoying every moment. What does this have to do with kitchen knives? Well only just a little really. In evaluating premium knife brands, I came upon Shun Knives by KAI and my interest was piqued. Shun crafts culinary knives in the tradition of Japanese sword smiths, and for someone who loves Samurai films but doesn’t really see much of a need to own a Samurai sword…a Samurai-esque kitchen knife will do just fine! No Shun cutlery isn’t exactly a mini Samurai sword, nor should it be. But it is crafted to the same standards that Japanese sword smiths demanded out of their weapons. For me, that’s enough to make it stand out from the crowd of culinary knives available. As a bonus, they’re handcrafted, and you know you’re getting better quality than a production knife.

Shun Classic Chef’s 8in. Knife

My first experience with Shun Cutlery was the Classic Chef’s 8in. Knife. It is marketed as a “true does-it-all” cooking knife, and it is certainly that. First, and most importantly, it is extremely sharp. This makes any slicing or cutting task almost effortless. For example, when I cut into a bell pepper, the Shun knife severed the slice with minimal effort. When compared to my budget chef’s knife, I had to peal the slice off to get a clear cut. There are no concerns like that with the Shun Classic Chef’s Knife. This knife cuts through meat effortlessly as well, something I’ve always had trouble doing with budget chefs knives. The only thing the Shun Classic Chef’s Knife isn’t approved for is cutting bones (use a meat cleaver instead) and thick skinned fruits and vegetables like melons (opt for a vegetable cleaver).

The Shun Classic Chef’s Knife excels at cutting meat, something not all chef’s knives do well.

The blade itself is Layered Damascus that has 68 total layers (34 on each side). Shun layers different types of metal alloys together, and they are forged together into a single piece. After that, the blade is acid etched to create rippling patterns on the side of the blade. The result is nothing short of an impressive and beautiful blade, and one that will stand out in your kitchen.

The 8 inch knife is a good size for most of my needs. The tip is nimble and I’m able to make precision cuts easily. I really enjoy how the PakkaWood handle feels in my hand, and it provides plenty of surface area so my grip never slips. If you look carefully at the handle, it has ergonomic styling (a “D” grip) to help it fit exactly in the palm of the hand. I’m a righty, so I can’t comment on how it would function in a lefty’s hand, but I imagine it would be much of a problem. For me, it doesn’t matter which hand I hold it in, the grip feels secure. I can see the PakkaWood handle lasting far longer than any traditional wood handle, especially if properly cared for. Shun does note that hand oils and elevation can cause some discoloration or swelling/shrinking in the handle overtime. Since I live at a mile above sea level, it’ll be interesting to see if anything changes in the handle overtime.

Close up of the “D” shaped handle.

Sure, the knife is a bit heavier than other chef’s knives I’m used to, but I’ve found it to be just the right weight for me. If you go with something too light, the knife doesn’t quite give you the handling you need at the cutting board in my opinion. After many chopping, slicing and dicing sessions, the Shun knife is still as sharp as the day it came out of the box. You will want to hone it every couple weeks or so depending on how often you use it to maximize continued sharpness, but it’s not going to go dull on you after a month of use, that’s for sure.

All in all this is a magnificent chef’s knife well worth centering your kitchen cutlery around. Shun has a wealth of knife styles to choose from, and many are more sophisticated than this knife, but as far as a go-to choice for those uninitiated in quality knives, I can’t think of a better place to start.


  • Hand sharpened 16° double-bevel blade (32° comprehensive)
  • Steel: Proprietary VG-MAX cutting core, 34 layers each side (68 total) stainless Damascus cladding
  • Handle: D-shaped ebony PakkaWood®
  • Blade length: 8 in. (20.3 cm)
  • Handcrafted in Japan

Care And Use Instructions

Once you decide to upgrade to a quality knife like the Shun Classic Chef’s knife or Shun Classic 3 Piece Set, you’ll want to take special care to keep it in the best condition possible. After all, this is an important investment for your kitchen. The first thing to pay attention to is how you cut with the knife. Using an up and down “chopping” motion is hard on the knife and will reduce its lifespan. Instead you’ll want to “glide” into what you’re cutting by pushing forward as you cut into the item and then pull back as you come back up. Shun likens it to sawing a log with a hand saw, and I think that analogy works pretty well.

Once you have use of the knife down, you’ll want to care for it properly. Never ever put it in the dishwasher. The temperature is just too hot for the knife and the dishwasher detergent can cause harm as well. Instead hand wash it with a gentle dish soap and dry it immediately afterward. The best place to store the knife is in a knife block. Placing it in a drawer with other utensils is both dangerous (the knife is extremely sharp after all), and other utensils can damage it if they click around in the drawer next to it. If a knife block isn’t an option, you can use a knife sheath to keep it protected.

Next, make sure you’re using a proper cutting surface with Shun knives. Wood is the only approved surface for cutting with a quality knife, so keep those plastic, glass or granite cutting boards away from the knife. Using improper cutting boards or storing the knife improperly can cause little chips in the blade of the knife and effect its lifespan.

I took the Shun Classic Chef’s knife out of it’s comfort zone on a camping trip and it performed just as well away from the kitchen. (Note: I used the knife on a plastic cutting board -very briefly- since packing my large wooden cutting board wasn’t practical. I don’t recommend using a plastic cutting board for any period of time…and hopefully the manufacturer won’t disown me!)

As for sharpening, Shun knives require sharpeners specially designed to sharpen the 16° blade angle. The best option is to choose a Shun Knife Sharpener combo or Whetstone. You’ll also need a honing steel to perform maintenance on the blade every few weeks or so. Before you invest in a whetstone, the honing steel is the better buy early in the knife’s lifespan.

Final Thoughts

Whether you’re a culinary professional or just a hobby cook like me, the Shun Classic Chef’s 8in Knife is an excellent option for an kitchen upgrade or simply your go-to knife. Be warned though, once you add one to your collection you’ll want a few specialty knives to go with it!

The Ultimate Guide to Shun Knives and Knife Block Sets

An In depth Shoppers Guide To Shun Sora, Classic, Dual Core, Kanso, Premiere, Blue and Classic Pro Knives and Block Sets

Shun knives are often hailed as top of the line for Japanese cutlery. A lot of chefs will tell you they’re also overpriced, and maybe they’re right, but Shun has a certain assurance of quality and style that you don’t get with a lot of other brands. Whatever the price, Shun is a fantastic knife that makes either a great gift or addition to a block set you already have.

One of the benefits of getting into Shun knives is they have a pretty decent customer service who are generally helpful for anyone who’s not exactly an expert. They put out quite a bit of content out there that’s helpful for beginners (or not-quite beginners who are too afraid to ask at this point), and like any good company wanting to stay in the good graces of its customers, they offer free sharpening on all their knives.

At the moment, Shun produces seven different sets, and even though they’re all mostly Japanese-style, there are a few differences that separate them in terms of ideal use and skill level. We’ll try to cover them here as comprehensively as we can, with the exception of their limited releases.

For quick reference, here’s a rundown of all their sets along with their defining features and relative cost compared to other Shun sets:

  • Sora: $ — Thermoplastic handles – Jump to review
  • Classic: $ — All inclusive set – Jump to review
  • Classic Pro: $$ — Specialized with more precise cut – Jump to review
  • Dual Core: $$$ — 2 Premium steels forged together – Jump to review
  • Kanso: $ — Rustic design – Jump to review
  • Premier: $$ — Hammered finish – Jump to review
  • Shun Blue: $$ — Uses high carbon steel – Jump to review


Shun Sora 6 Piece Set Specifications

  • Set includes: 8” chef knife, 6” utility knife, 3.5” paring knife, herb shears, combination honing steel, 11-slot bamboo block.
  • VG-10/420J steel
  • Double bevel grind
  • Textured PP/TPE handle


  • Comfortable handle
  • Good edge retention
  • More affordable Shun option
  • Easy to find as a set


  • Not as visually striking

Sora is one of their newer lines featuring a few small tweaks in elements you’ll see in their other knives. Here they’ve put a VG-10 core between two layers of 420J steel to keep the edge cutting smooth longer and increase corrosion resistance to some degree. This steel folding really aren’t anything that new for Shun. They’re always folding crazy stuff together to make a better cutting edge, and you’ll see it in a lot of other knives in this blog.

The really outstanding feature here is the handles, which for once aren’t some kind of wood or wood-synthetic. They’re a surprisingly nontraditional thermoplastic blend. That doesn’t sound as cool or classy on paper, but I think anyone who’s handled this kind of almost-rubber material on a well-made knife will attest to the possibilities. These handles are comfortable, and make maintenance a lot easier since you don’t have to worry about swelling if it gets wet.

Also, as one of the more reasonably priced Shun sets, the Sora line is worth considering for anyone thinking about trying Shun knives out and the Shun Classic stuff doesn’t seem like your thing. It’s a pretty small series right now. It mostly has different kinds of chef and utility knives (both Japanese and Western), but Sora is fairly new, and I have a feeling they’ll be adding more knives as this series becomes more popular.



Shun Classic 10 Piece Set Specifications
  • Set includes: 8” chef knife, 7” santoku knife, 9”hollow edge carving knife, 6” utility knife, 5” hollow edge nakiri knife, 4.5 inch Honesuki knife, 3.5” paring knife, Shun multi-purpose kitchen shears, 9” combination honing steel, 13=slot bamboo knife block.
  • VG-MAX steel core
  • Rockwell Hardness 60-61
  • D-shaped pakkawood handles


  • Wide variety of knives
  • Good edge retention
  • Easy to find as a set


  • Less comfortable in left hand
  • Least precise cut of the Shun sets

This is Shun’s first and largest series. It includes a wide variety of both Japanese and Western-style knives, which is a range of options you’ll only find in a couple of their other series. In that sense, this is not what you’d call traditional Japanese cutlery.

If you’ve ever wanted to find the closest thing to real Damascus steel in the modern age, though, this is probably it (along with some of these other Shun sets you’re about to see). The blades of Shun Classic knives are made with a VG-MAX core that’s folded with lesser high carbon steel to add tensile strength similar to what’s going on in the Sora line.

All the Shun Classics are made with a double bevel grind, which is one important detail that separates Shun Classic from Classic Pro. On the bad side, that means these knives aren’t as ideal for things like sushi or a lot of the finer cutting you need to do for some Japanese dishes. On the good side it means that edge will last longer and there’s less chance of it chipping, which, thanks to the hard steels and thin blades they make, tends to happen easier with Shun than some other companies. Because of that, you could think of the Classic series as a sort of one-size-fits-all entry series compared to the other increasingly specialized sets made by Shun, possibly with the exception of their Sora series.


Classic Pro

  • VG-10 steel
  • Single bevel edge
  • Graffiti etched blade
  • D-shaped pakkawood handle
  • Hollow grinds


  • Very precise cut
  • Subtle hollow grind makes for easier honing and sharpening


  • Higher chance of chipping
  • Edge will need more frequent honing
  • Not usually sold as a set

The Classic Pro series is really only similar to the Classic set in the handles. The blades of the Classic Pro are pure VG-10 all the way through with some fancy pattern work done on the blade. The primary difference is the single bevel grind, which is going to give you a much more precise cut than most of Shun’s other sets.

That also means these knives will have to be honed or sharpened more often, and you better know what you’re doing when you cut (hence the “Pro” they threw in the name). If you plan on doing any traditional Japanese dishes, the Classic Pro line should probably be something you check out. It’s hard to find as a set, but since their handles match other tradition Japanese knives, you can add one or two of these into your block with other knives pretty seamlessly.

This series is also a lot more limited. You won’t find a western-style Classic Pro chef knife. It’s pretty much all Japanese. I don’t really see that as a problem though. Like I said before, the handle style matches up with the regular Classics, so if you really want a mix of traditional Japanese and western blades, the aesthetics still match up in the block.


Dual Core

  • VG-10/VG-2 steel
  • Octagon-shaped pakkawood handles
  • Double bevel edge
  • Rabbet tang


  • Very good edge retention
  • Less chance of chipping


  • Getting pretty expensive
  • Not usually sold as a set

Despite the disparity in names, the Dual Core series actually seems more like the next step up from the Classic set than the Classic Pro. The name comes from the steels folded together in the blade: VG-10 and VG-2. These are both high-end steels woven together more or less equally as opposed to the VG-MAX in the Classic set laced with some nameless high carbon substance. This makes the Dual Core knives incredibly strong in terms of edge retention, but they’ve also forged them in a way that’s supposed to keep the edge cutting sharp as it wears away. I’m not really clear on the science of the thing, but as I understand it each steel alternates in a wave pattern along the edge and take turns at cutting, as it were, as the whole edge wears away.

If it were any other company I would start getting suspicious. Two quality steels woven together to keep and edge sharp longer sounds like a gimmick, but if anyone is going to do something like that properly so it actually works, it’s Shun. They might be doing expensive work over there in the hand-crafted magic shops of Japan, but it’s always good work.

This is not a very large series right now. In fact it’s even smaller than the Classic Pro. It’s only a handful of traditional Japanese knives and all of them are fairly large with the exception of the honesuki knife.



Shun Kanso 6 Piece Set Specifications
  • Set includes: 8” chef knife, 5.5” santoku, 6” utility, 3.5” paring, combination honing steel, 8-slot wood block.
  • Aus10 steel
  • Heritage finish
  • Contoured tagayasan wood handles
  • Full tang
  • Double bevel grind


  • Rustic look ages well
  • Simple design means easy maintenance
  • Easy to find a set


  • Handles can be a little rough

I like this line mostly because it stands out from the rest of Shun’s knives. It doesn’t look as polished and perfect. It looks like it’s actually meant to be used and stained rather than set on a pedestal with soft lighting.

That rustic aesthetic does come with one possible problem, though. A couple people say the wood handles feel rough and uncomfortable because they aren’t smoothed and oiled. That’s certainly something you can fix yourself easily enough with oil and sandpaper if it bothers you, but when you’re dropping four to six hundred on a set it really seems like you shouldn’t have to make your own improvements.

If the feel of the handle doesn’t bother you too much, though, the Kanso knives will definitely age better than other Shun knives. They’re made to take scratches and stains without getting ugly, and the Aus10 steel is a little tougher than VG-10 when the heat treatment is right.

The Kanso series also has a little more variety. It has a couple western style blades like a paring knife and a utility knife just kind of modified into a Japanese-ish aesthetic. That’s good, because it’s a lot harder to find knives from other series that would match this block. All in all, Shun’s Kanso knives probably aren’t the most practical option on here, but I think they look the best.



Shun Premiere 7 Piece Set Specifications
  • Set includes: 8” chef knife, 9” bread knife, 6.5” utility knife, 4” paring knife, herb shears, combination honing steel, 11-slot bamboo block.
  • VG-MAX steel core
  • Double bevel edge
  • Hammered finish
  • Contoured pakkawood handle


  • Smooth cut
  • Well balanced
  • Easy to find as a set


  • Very thin blades more prone to chipping

Take the Shun Classic set, now give it round handles and hammer-finished blades. That’s more or less what the Premier set is since they’ve taken a similar approach to a VG-MAX steel layered with lesser carbon steels for strength.

The other added benefit of this series, though, is that the hammered finish does a lot to cut drag and keep food from sticking to the blade. The handles also stand out with a walnut finish. It’s the same pakkawood material Shun uses in most of their other sets, but they made the refreshing decision to provide an aesthetic middle ground between the rustic look of the Kanso and the classic black of everything else they make.

Interestingly, this is one of the largest series made by Shun. They have most of the standard line of Japanese knives, but throw in a few different sizes of western chef knives and even steak knives into the mix. You can cover a lot of different culinary ground if you’re just getting Premier knives.

Be aware, though, the hammer finish and thin blades do make it a chipping hazard. As with all well-made tools, these will perform beautifully for a long time if you treat them right, but for the less experienced, remember these need to be treated with extra care.


Shun Blue

  • Blue carbon steel core folded w/ stainless steel
  • Double bevel edge
  • Rabbet tang
  • Octagon-shaped pakkawood handles


  • Tougher than most
  • Easier to sharpen


  • More prone to rust
  • Not usually sold as a set

The Blue set knives are technically knives made with pure carbon steel, but Shun has hammered the carbon steel core between two layers or mirror-polished stainless steel to cut down on oxidation and make it look a little nicer.

This does a couple things: first, it makes the knives a lot less likely to chip, which is a bit of a problem on most other Shun knives. It will also makes honing and sharpening a much easier process, and ultimately these knives could take on a sharper edge because the steel is softer. There’s also some intention toward rust resistance, but even with the layers of stainless steel added on, you’ll still have rust problems if you aren’t especially careful to keep Shun Blue knives dry and oiled.

In terms of the variety and scope of knife options, you’ve got about the same choices with the Shun Blue as you do with the Dual Core. Nothing western, and only the basic tools in the Japanese kitchen tool box, so this is a pretty specialized set in terms of culinary tradition.



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