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HENKELS VS. SHUN VS. WHUSTOFF

I'm looking to purchase a new chef knife, and upgrade from my 10" Forschner. There are different pros and cons to all three of the brands posted above. I like the handles better on the French knives, yet the blade of the Shun would be chosen any day over the other two. What are some of your experiences? Pros and cons? Thanks.

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  1. global. light, well balanced and ultra sharp, better blade taper than the german knives. shun= way overpriced.

    5 Replies
    1. re: SeanT

      you can easily get Shun knives new and in the box for about 50% off the MSRP. i bought the 7 piece block set for $280 including shipping. I love the Chef's Knife, Utility Knife and the Paring Knife. They are way better than my old Whustoff's. The Bread Knife is ok, but not stellar.

      Here's the Chef's Knife for $80 including shipping and no tax. His rating is almost perfect:

      http://cgi.ebay.com/KERSHAW-DM0706-SH...

      1. re: sprmario

        I did check out the Shun knives on Ebay, but wasn't sure if some of them were knock-off Shun knives because on the description it says Shun quality knives. Are those the real deal, or fakes?

      2. re: SeanT

        Agreed, hands down. Global all the way! For same reasons as SeanT.

        1. re: scout1

          no way. globals are far too light, and the back edge of the blade is so sharp that even the roughest knife calis quickly becomes irritated. furthermore, the blade of the chef knife is incredibly wide making some of the finer cuts more difficult. Although shun knives are more expensive, the difference in price will become irrelavent the moment you hold it in your hand and make that first cut. both brands require a good bit of experience and are somewhat tricky to sharpen, once sharp a shun will hold a beautiful edge for quit a while. i only sharpen mine about once every couple of month, and mine see constant daily abuse. as for the german knives, i would go with whustoff they blow kenkels out of the water.

          1. re: chefd68

            I'd say from comparing them that Messermeister is better than wusthof and henckels for me. And given the choice, I'd take the misono ux-10 or the mac mth 80 over either shun or global chef knives

      3. No matter what, all the pros and cons, the best knife is the one that feels right in your hand. I learned that lesson early in my career. I still have that expensive paperweight.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Quine

          I totally agree with that. I chose Wustoff because they feel good and fit well in my hands and I am very happy with them. I think all three choices you listed have good quality blades, so if I were you I would go to a store that has all three and will let you try them out (Sur La Table usually has some veggies they will let you cut).

          1. re: Quine

            Totally agree. My knifes are a mixture of brands. And my $10 slicer I bought at Safeway gets as much use as my Henkel.

          2. I own several of the first and third brands in your list and I'm quite happy with all of them. I don't have and have never used a Shun, so I can't say anything about them.

            If I had to choose one brand, I'd go wtih the Henkel, I think the blade takes and holds an edge better, I find the handles more comfortable (I have the 4 Star series) and I like the balance a bit better, but I'm picking nits, the Wustoffs are excellent knives as well.

            1. I have chef knives from Shun, Henckels (the standard forged 8" one) and Mundial, and I have a bunch of Wusthof knives as well.

              The Shun is sharp, and stays sharp well, and I like the feel, handle, and its lack of bolster. The Mundial is a great value for the price. I don't think most people could really tell the difference between it and the German knives. You (the OP) mention the handle - it's a matter of personal preference, and of course the standard model is setup mostly for right-handers - but I really like the feel of the Shun handle. To me, it's one of the advantages, but if you don't like it, you might want to try some other knives.

              If you end up getting a German knife, you could look at Messermeister as well - it's pretty well regarded, and the chef knives don't have a bolster, which makes sharpening and honing a bit easier.

              If I were doing it all over today, I'd either go with the Shun, or try out some of the higher end Japanese stuff (e.g., Misono).

              1. I didn't research or buy my knives, so I can't recall the model, but it's a high-end Wusthoff (handle and blade are both metal -- possible forged in one piece) and have been using them for a year, after 13 years with sub-optimal Chicago Cutlery. I loved them for their extraordinary sharpness -- my hand once slipped while chopping and the blade sliced off just the top layer or two of skin -- that's how sharp they were. But they don't hold an edge as long as I'd like, and even subsequent professional sharpenings haven't brought them near their original sharpness. Still, they are the nicest knives I'm ever likely to own, and they get the job done fast. And I find the handles completely comfortable, and I agree with another poster that the handles seem right-handed.

                1 Reply
                1. re: fluffernutter

                  That Wustof sounds like the Culinar model. I have one of those.