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Shun Knives Buyers Guide

Shun LogoIn Japanese, “Shun” (pronounced “shoon” and rhymes with “moon”) is the precise moment during the year when any particular food is at the peak of its perfection. Shun is when fruit is at its sweetest, when vegetables are perfectly ripe, perfectly fresh, and perfectly delicious. Shun is in harmony with the natural rhythms of the seasons.

Shun Cutlery proudly takes its name from this Japanese culinary tradition of preparing and eating the very freshest food at the perfect “shun” moment. It is a tradition we live up to every day, making fine kitchen knives that are always at the peak of their perfection, too.

Incredibly sharp edges and unmatched aesthetics set Shun knives apart from every other kitchen knife on the market today. In the great tradition of Seki’s sword smiths, every knife is handmade by highly skilled specialists and requires at least 100 handcrafted steps to complete. Every day, the legacy of ancient sword smiths serves as inspiration to the artisans in the Kai factories.

Kai’s 100-year-old tradition of blade-making excellence, combined with the newest technology and the most advanced materials, makes every Shun knife a functional work of art.

 
Shun Sora Shun Kanso

Shun Sora


Shun Kanso

The Shun Sora line combines a unique VG10 edge with a 420J stainless steel upper. All Sora blades are laser cut and machine fit together for a perfect balance. The Sora collection is fitted with a polymer blended handle for a firm grip and contemporary style.Sora provides Shun quality at an amazing price. The Kanso series from Shun feature blades with a Heritage finish designed to hide scratches and give the knife a rustic look, combined with tagayasan wood handles that are contoured to fit comfortably in your hand.

Shop Shun Sora Knives


Shop Shun Kanso Knives

 
Shun Classic Knives Shun Premier Knives

Shun Classic


Shun Premier

The Shun Classic Series feature a proprietary VG-MAX cutting core, a high-end stainless steel which is extremely hard resulting in an edge that is incredibly sharp and retains that sharpness longer. The Damascus cladding, with its 34 micro-layers of steel on each side to support the core, offers stain and corrosion resistance and helps food release from the blade. The blade is hand sharpened to a 16º angle each side for top performance. The D-shaped ebony PakkaWood handle is beautiful and durable and does not harbor bacteria. The Shun Premier Collection of knives, still hand crafted by skilled artisans, have the look of the hand-forged knives of ancient Japan. Each blade 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 dimples to reduce drag when cutting.

Shop Shun Classic Knives


Shop Shun Premier Knives

   
Shun Blue Knives Shun Dual Core Knives

Shun Blue


Shun Dual Core
The Shun Blue Collection features a carbon steel cutting core sandwiched between two layers of mirror-polished stainless steel. Because of the carbon steel cutting edge, additional care will be required to maintain the edge and keep it from rusting. The handles are a beautiful grey PakkaWood Until now, it was considered almost impossible to create layered Damascus from two premium-quality stainless steels. But what was impossible is now a reality—and Shun is proud to bring it to your kitchen. The Shun Dual Core series features a Damascus blade made from two premium-quality, high-carbon stainless steels.

Shop Blue Knives

Shop Dual Core Knives

Our Shun guide features a line comparison chart to help you find the difference between each line.


Blade Feature
Info
Sora
Kanso
Classic
Premier
Blue
Dual Core
VG2/VG10 cutting core
Made of two premium high-carbon stainless steels in alternating micro layers; produces a finer grain in the steel for strength and beauty
No
No
No
No
No
Yes
VG-MAX cutting core
Shun’s proprietary VG-MAX is the latest in the VG line of “super steels;” wear and corrosion resistant, holds a fine, sharp edge
No
No
Yes
Yes
No
No
VG10 cutting core
This high-performance high-carbon stainless steel is tough, stain resistant, and takes/hold a fine edge
Yes
No
No
No
No
No
Solid VG10
This high-performance high-carbon stainless steel is tough, stain resistant, and takes/hold a fine edge
No
No
No
No
No
No
Solid AUS10A
A high-carbon stainless steel with high strength, as well as good corrosion resistance, hardness, and wear resistance. Added vanadium refines the grain of the steel so that it takes a fine edge
No
Yes
No
No
No
No
“Blue” carbon steel cutting core
This fine-grained high-carbon steel offers incredible sharpness, edge retention—and yet is easy to resharpen
No
No
No
No
Yes
No
Composite Blade Technology
Proprietary Shun technology that joins two steels in one blade and enables Shun to put high-performance steel where it belongs-on the cutting edge
Yes
No
No
No
No
No
Stainless steel layered Damascus
Supports the cutting core; offers enhanced stain resistance
2 layers plus core
No
68 layers plus core
68 layers plus core
2 layers plus core
71 layers total
San mai stainless steel Damascus cladding
3 layer construction; single outer layer on each side protects and supports cutting core
Yes
No
No
No
Yes
No
Grafitti-etched
Traditionally found on custom Japanese knives, this style of etching is used to identify the maker, the distinctive pattern incorporates the Shun logo and is different on each style of knife
No
No
No
No
No
No
Tsuchime (“hammered”)
Hammering creates tiny pockets of air that act as hollow-ground cavities to reduce drag and quickly release food from the blade
No
No
No
Yes
No
No
Double bevel; 16° cutting angle each side
Edge is sharpened on both sides of the blade, provides control and ease of cutting
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Single bevel; 16° cutting angle
The traditional Japanese single-bevel blade offers an exceptionally strong, sharp edge that is easy to resharpen
No
No
No
No
No
No
Full(F)/Composite(C) tang
Enables the knife handle to attach to the blade, provides strength and balance
No
Yes (F)
Yes (C)
Yes (C)
No
No
Rabbet tang
The tang extends into the handle, but not all the way to the end; this is the way samurai swords were commonly made
Yes
Yes (F)
Yes (C)
Yes (C)
No
No
Handle Material
Info
Sora
Kanso
Classic
Premier
Blue
Dual Core
PakkaWood®
Premium, resin-impregnated hardwood resists moisture, is strong and durable
No
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Tagayasan
Known as “iron sword wood,” tagayasan is notable for its denseness, durability, and simple beauty
No
Yes
Yes
No
No
No
Textured PP/TPE
Provides excellent grip, balance, and easy maintenance
Yes
No
No
No
No
No
Handle Grip
Info
Sora
Kanso
Classic
Premier
Blue
Dual Core
Symmetrical (ambidextrous)
Handle is shaped the same on both sides enabling left- or right-handed use
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
Asymmetrical
Traditional Japanese D-shaped handle nestles into the curve of the right hand; yet some left-handed users prefer it
No
No
Yes
No
No
No
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