help me distinguish these shun knives
the prices of knives are very different, but from what i can tell, the product number of the cheaper one (DM 0717) is the same as the number for the more expensive one. a quick google search for DM 0717 will bear this out http://www.chefscatalog.com/product/2... .
is the cheaper knife an older line or something? it lacks the kanji that you usually see on a shun knife (which, as far as i can tell, should appear on both sides of the blade?)....
I can't really tell a difference. The cheaper one has a different picture, is missing the Shun Kanji, and doesn't have the damascus pattern. My guess is the cheaper one isn't actually a Shun. Kershaw sells the Shun knives, but they are manufactured in Japan by KAI. It could be that the first is just a KAI knife with out the Shun branding.
Although I do own one Shun knife, I'd advise against them for most people. I've found much better price/performance options from other knives. I'd also advise against the Santoku style. I bought one for my wife, and she seems to prefer using my much bigger Gyotu. An 8" Gyotu is probably a better buy.
the shun knives actually have the kanji on one side (the "right" side) *only*, and the KAI branding, made in japan, NSF, etc on the "left" side. both of the knives appear to be shun knives, both have 7" blades, however if you look closely, the more expensive knife has a wider blade (top to bottom) than the original santoku model, priced at $115. dh uses a double set of these regular/original shun santokus professionally and prefers them for general task. he does not like the wider bladed version, which he finds less versatile. i use & prefer the shun 8" standard chef's knife.
knives are a personal preference thing and it is important to hold them in your hands and work with them before you shell out a lot of money for them. see if you can find a store near you which carries both models of santoku-- show up with a carrot or something and ask to be able to work with the knives briefly to see how you like them before buying. i know some people prefer german knives to shuns because of handfeel/weight issues. i prefer the lighter shun knives which are less fatiguing over several hours of prep. i also have a theory that male chefs tend to prefer santokus, women tend to like the curved blades/classic chef-- it has to do with motion styles. that's for another thread, but if you'd like to spring for this knife, make sure you like working with a santoku-style knife first, you can pick up a cheap blade in your local asian grocery store for around $10 before you commit to the bigger purchase.