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Shun Ken Onion

  • Xericx May 30, 2007 02:15 AM
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aside from looking really really cool....has anyone had any real life experience with this knife?

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  1. Xericx,
    I bought one for my husband and it is wicked sharp! I'm a fan of Global becuase I love how light they feel in my hand so the Shun Onion is kinda heavy for me. The hubby calls it, "The coolest ever" but a few months ago after an unfortunate cut while washing the thing I see he is reaching for it less. Very cool looking and as I said wicked sharp.

    1. Very cool looking, but overpriced. You'd be better off buying something from the standard Shun line at half the price, or a Tojiro or Hattori at japanesechefsknife.com or Korin. They have some of the best prices on Japanese steel without the marketing and import costs of Shun or Global. Good luck!

      1. I got the Onion 8" chef's knife for Xmas, and like it alot. It took a while to get used to, though.

        Taking a pointer from German knife design, its heavy (partial) bolster and handle add a lot of weight to the back of the knife. If anything it feels a touch heel-heavy, rather than neutral balance. Its overall weight is hefty, too. As bubbles4me mentioned, don't get if if you prefer a lightweight knife like a Global.

        It pulls from Japanese knife design, in that its edge is sharp all the way to the back of the heel. This makes it easy for those of you who chop / mince nearer the back of the blade, with the knife tip resting on the cutting board

        The pronounced rocker in the blade and the tall overall height of the knife was the biggest difference between it and my other chefs knives. For several weeks, I felt more conscious of a different hand position relative to the cutting edge, and that took some getting used to. Now I don't feel awkward switching between this knife and my other chefs knives.

        If I had to cubbyhole who'd want to buy this particular knife, I'd say guys with big hands who feel like they want more knuckle clearance. I'm not one of those guys with ham mitts, but I like it anyway.

        It is wicked sharp out of the box, and also takes a great edge on my Japanese water stone. Does it cut any better than my other knives? No. Is it cool lookin'? You betcha. Sometimes that's reason enough.

        1. Since picking up my SHUN Ken Onion knife a couple of years ago, it has become the knife I use the most often. I am a chef and I use my knives every day. I love my KO knife because it just feels great in my hand.

          I didn't have to get used to the curvature of the handle - even after 2 decades of using German, French and Japanese blades, because it contoured naturally to my hand. However, I do not hold my knives by their handles, solely. I choke up on it to the base of the blade itself. I find I have more control and precision this way. There are arguments for and against this practice among pro chefs.

          I love how the knife performs. It is razor sharp, and with regular honing, it keeps it's edge very well. These knives go beyond carbon and stainless - they have formulated and patented all kinds of metal compositions. All the SHUN Knives - KO included are quality crafted, precision instruments. They are not knives you whack things around with. I teach culinary arts as well and my students will show me a SHUN with all kinds of nicks in the blade and I'll ask how it happened. "I was just chopping some chicken bones". I suggested a cleaver instead.

          I really like my Ken Onion knife - I love most of the SHUN knives and they are all I have been buying in the last couple of years. They require a little more work - you have to take care of them. With the PakkaWood handles, you don't want to leave them in water. And you must dry the blade after washing immediately or it will rust. But I think the performance of the knife is worth that little effort - one should take care of their knives, anyways. PLUS, I think Ken Onion is just the coolest knife designer - he crafts the most beautiful knives.

           
          6 Replies
          1. re: javaaddict

            coolio...i have a set of Shun knives in a block....unfortunately the Ken Onion won't fit in there....i was wondering if the shape is good/condusive for cutting or if it was just artsy.....i hold the base of the blade too and have somewhat of a heavy hand and prefer the bigger knives.

            1. re: Xericx

              If you want to store all of your knives in a block, including the KO, get one of the Kapoosh universal knife blocks. I have one and I love it! It doesn't have slots so you can jam lots of knives in it.

            2. re: javaaddict

              Thanks!!

              1. re: javaaddict

                Thanks for the input Java! I tend to agree with you but I don't own one yet. The first time I picked up the KO 8" Chefs Knife it just felt perfect in my hand. I own two other Shun knives which are more of a specialty nature, the Mezzaluna and the Classic Birds Beak parring knife, both of which are fantastic at what they do.

                Not to highjack the thread but have you tried the KO paring knife? To me it seems that the handle is just wrong for the way I use a paring knife. Am I missing something? A paring knife is one of my go to knives and I can't believe with all the design thought and ergonomic study that Ken didn't catch this error in design. Your thoughts?

                1. re: javaaddict

                  Java... is that a new knife in your photo? Or do you have it eched periodically?

                  Two issues I have with your statements about Shun blades -- First, the Pakkawood is completely watersafe -- it's impregnated with a resin, which means you can soak it accidentally with no ill effects. Second you do not have to dry it immediately, as it is stainless steel... they will not rust. If they do rust, something is wrong, and you need to take your knife back and get a new one. Although I would recommend cleaning and washing your knives after use, if you do accidentally leave it hanging around with water over night, or drink too much wine and forget, no biggie!

                  1. re: javaaddict

                    Java... is that a new knife in your photo? Or do you have it etched periodically?

                    Two issues I have with your statements about Shun blades -- First, the Pakkawood is completely watersafe -- it's impregnated with a resin, which means you can soak it accidentally with no ill effects. Second you do not have to dry it immediately, as it is stainless steel... they will not rust. If they do rust, something is wrong, and you need to take your knife back and get a new one. Although I would recommend cleaning and washing your knives after use, if you do accidentally leave it hanging around with water over night, or drink too much wine and forget, no biggie!

                  2. I've handled a couple, and they're gorgeous. However, each one has had an absolutely straight area back by the bolster, which means that the heel of the blade knocks hard against the cutting board when you try rocking the knife back and forth to do chopping.

                    If you got one, check to make sure that the curve in the blade goes all the way back to the heel.

                    Also, I'm not sure it's worth the extra-super-premium price.