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Shun or Global knives? Which brand do you like?

Chemicalkinetics Mar 1, 2011 06:43 PM

I haven’t started a fun thread for awhile. We have a few threads about comparing German knives to Japanese knives, but Iet's try something in a narrower scope. The title said it: Shun knives vs Global knives. I am mostly referring the Shun Classic knives versus the Global G series knives.

Which one do you like better? Please provides one or two reasons if you can.

We know some potential advantages of Shun knives are:
Harder steel, fewer breakage reports, free hand sharpening service…
While Global knives have:
Slightly convex ground for edge holding, thinner blade, unusual yet stylish design…

Be respectful and have fun at it.

  1. a
    amitys Sep 7, 2011 08:45 AM

    I own both Global and Shun knives, and while the Globals are very nice I find myself reaching for the Shuns about 95% of the time. The handle is an issue when your hands are wet, I agree.

    1. Chemicalkinetics Aug 9, 2011 05:00 PM

      I am giving this a final update.

      4 people prefer Global, and 10 prefer Shun (29% to 71%). Most of the reasons have to do with "handle".


      cowboyardee…...Global……edge profile

      The Chemist…….Shun……handle
      The Loaf………….Shun…..handle

      5 Replies
      1. re: Chemicalkinetics
        cowboyardee Aug 9, 2011 06:19 PM

        That's some impressive data, and not really what I would have expected. If I ever try my hand in making a knife, I guess I'd better pay plenty of attention to the handle.

        ETA: I notice your opinion isn't represented on that chart, Chem.

        1. re: cowboyardee
          Chemicalkinetics Aug 9, 2011 06:29 PM

          I know, but if I include my opinion, then it will only further increases the gap. I am not surprised that Shun is the preferred one. I am surprised that the "handle" is by far the main reason. In fact, I surprised myself, since I also used the "handle" as my reason and I have always considered myself more of a blade guy than a handle guy.

          1. re: Chemicalkinetics
            cowboyardee Aug 9, 2011 06:50 PM

            Yeah, it was the handle thing that surprised me too. Not that Shun was generally preferred.

            1. re: cowboyardee
              Chemicalkinetics Aug 9, 2011 07:58 PM

              I gave this some more thoughts. I think it is safe to say that many people have issues or concerns of the Global handle, but some do prefer its design.

              If the world only has these two knife companies, then Shun will have a huge advantage over Global, but such is not the case. Shun cutlery positions itself in a more generally accepted position, but also a more competed situation. If a person hate Global handle, then he has a lot of chose from: Shun, Henckels, Wusthof, Tojiro...etc. If a person love Global handle and design, then he essentially has only one choice. There just aren't that many knife designs like Global. So, we can think of Global overall design is targeting for a more focused and niche market. It isn't trying to be the most acceptable design, but rather a design which has significant market share with little competition. That can be a very powerful position. If you think about it, Le Creuset is in exactly the same type situation. It never tries to be or even pretend to be the most acceptable cookware. It tries to offer the most fashionable/colorful cookware with no one come close to.

        2. re: Chemicalkinetics
          Candy Sep 7, 2011 12:11 PM

          I love my Shun Ken Onion Santoku. I don't care for Global or other Shun knives. I really dislike the Global feel. My problem with Shuns (other the Ken Onion) is the lack of a bolster. Because of an auto-immune problem is is really important that I do not cut my fingers. With the regular Shuns this is a real hazard for me.

        3. s
          siRNAcore Mar 21, 2011 08:13 AM

          I have to say that I prefer Global. I have fairly large hands, and I don't find the handles to be a problem at all. I like the balance of the Globals over the Shuns - I feel like I have much better control over the entire blade, from tip to heel with Global as compared to the Shun. I also own chef's knives in both Shun and Global, and in my experience, the Global seems to hold its edge longer than the Shun. I've never had a problem with the Global handles getting slippery, even when I'm doing heavy duty butchering with them (breaking down 5-6 chickens, cubing up 2-3 pork shoulders to make sausage, etc), although I know some people have mentioned that as a concern.

          That said, my wife much prefers the Shun over the Global. She thinks it has to do with our heights (I'm over 6'6", and she's about 5'3"), but I think it has to do with the way we grip the knives. I hold in a pinch grip, she holds onto the handle.

          So there you have the definitive answer: there is no definitive answer.

          1. c
            clint1245 Mar 9, 2011 08:53 AM

            While I have a few Shun classics, which I do like, I think, like others, there are better japanese knives out there. I have not had any global knives, but do have a Global ceramic rod, which I do love. I simply like the look of Globals but even with the rod the handle feels somewhat slippery when hands are wet I can only imagine how a knife would feel. I, however, like a thinner knife then Shun, but IMO Shun wins over Global.

            1 Reply
            1. re: clint1245
              columa Mar 18, 2011 08:36 AM

              I saw a Global in Williams-Sonoma and also did not like it because of the handle. If I tried one for a while I might like it more... but. I have never bought any quality kitchen knives till 2011 and just decided at my age it was time to go for it. I chose as my first knife a Shun Elite Ken Onion 8" chef's knife. I went for the SG-2 powder steel Rhc 64. Like candy, the handle feels so good. This knife is made for the pinch grip. I also have a Shun elite 6" utility knife. It's sharp too. My VG-10 knives are Tojiros. The price is less and the quality as good or better than the Classic.
              chefknivestogo.com is a fun and good price place to shop.

            2. Chemicalkinetics Mar 6, 2011 11:29 AM

              Thanks for the participation. Of the 11 who answered, 3 prefer Global and 8 prefer Shun. Handle is the major cited determining factor:

              buttertart - handle
              cowboyardee - profile
              bg031 – handle

              The Loaf – handle
              wattacetti – handle
              petek – handle
              Candy – handle
              chuckl – handle
              jaykayen – handle and profile
              KaBudokan – handle
              The Chemist - handle

              7 Replies
              1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                cowboyardee Mar 6, 2011 01:36 PM

                Chem - you never said which you prefer. Do tell.

                1. re: cowboyardee
                  Chemicalkinetics Mar 6, 2011 02:04 PM


                  Well, despite the fact that I have always described myself as more of a steel/blade person, I have to say I prefer Shun because of the handle. Yes, I also like Shun's VG-10 better too, but if I look deep down, it was really the handle. It wasn't even the fact that I like Shun handle, as much as I have negative feelings towards Global's handle. It just look too futuristic.

                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                    cowboyardee Mar 6, 2011 02:11 PM

                    "I have to say I prefer Shun because of the handle."
                    Et tu, Chem?

                    1. re: cowboyardee
                      Dave5440 Mar 6, 2011 02:32 PM

                      I'd have to go with the shun as well , handle is the main reason

                      1. re: Dave5440
                        cowboyardee Mar 6, 2011 02:44 PM

                        Et tu, Davefivefourfourzero?

                        Bah..... just throw some electrical tape around the Global's handle and get dicing, i say.

                        1. re: cowboyardee
                          Chemicalkinetics Mar 6, 2011 02:46 PM

                          Betrayal, betrayal :)

                          I would actually suggest putting electric tape around the bolster area. My second issue with Global is all these reported snapping and breaking around the bolster area.

                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                            Dave5440 Mar 6, 2011 03:09 PM

                            The one global I have (boning) the edge broke off , so I'ts now at 40deg, not the best for performance but it hasn't broken again, that with the that handle is a deal breaker

              2. Candy Mar 3, 2011 06:40 PM

                Let me say up front, I sell knives, I sharpen knives and handle many many knives because we don't discriminate and do not refuse to sharpen knives that we don't sell. The only knives we decline are serrated knives. That may change since Chef's Choice has produced a sharpener for serrated knives.

                I hate, despise and loathe Globals. It is the handle. Slippery when wet and uncomfortable to hold. I am a woman with long fingers so most handles fit my hand, I would never voluntarily own one. If given one as a gift I'd try to return it and exchange it. I own an 8" Shun Ken Onion santoku. It is one of my favorite knives. Pricy, but what a knife! The handle fits my hand, the balance is fabulous. The way the handle is designed and the bolster, your hand is forced into the proper pinch and using it is a pleasure. The other Shuns I am not so crazy about. There is no bolster. I have Scleroderma and Reynaud's. I need to avoid nicking my self, nicks can cause ulcers to form on my fingers that take extremely long to heal, I mean months. If I grip it far enough back to avoid nicks, I am using my wrist to cut and chop, not my whole forearm. That is quite tiring. I have been slowly changing my knife selection over to Wusthof Classic Ikons.

                I was given a small paring type knife by a Shun rep. It was the Shun "Alton's Angle" The steel is quite brittle. Thing we used it for was cheese and some salamis. One day not long ago my husband took a look at the knife and noticed that there were nicks in the blade. I said let me take it in and sharpen it. In close examination the blade looked almost serrated a very even line of nicks along the cutting edge of the blade. All were the same depth and very even. Granted that the Japanese knives are more brittle than western knives, this was not something I expected. So I have my Shun Ken Onion Santoku, I will probably buy another Ken Onion, not Santoku in the near future but the rest of my knives will be Wusthof Classic Ikons. I do have a few Kyocera ceramic knives. My most treasured is the micro-serrated. The serrations are almost invisible and in the height of peach and tomato season, that knife slices through like the fruits like they are soft butter. I volunteer at our local farmer's market for the Slow Food's heirloom tomato tasting. I make sure that that knife is boldly labeled with my name.

                1. t
                  The Chemist Mar 3, 2011 11:53 AM

                  Another vote for Shun. Although the blades seem less sharp than perhaps they should be, the handle wins. Global handle = awkward.

                  1. k
                    KaBudokan Mar 3, 2011 09:48 AM

                    Shun for me. I really didn't like the handle of the Global. I like the Shun's D-handle a lot, though in the end, as many of you remember, I ended up with a Tojiro. :)

                    1. buttertart Mar 3, 2011 06:07 AM

                      CK and other knife experts, if you can stand to, could you please look at this Martha Stewart show and tell me what Japanese knife this is she uses to cut the pastry (even the name of the shape) and where I might find one? Knife lust has hit in a big way.
                      http://www.marthastewart.com/tv/marth... - puff pastry show

                      41 Replies
                      1. re: buttertart
                        petek Mar 3, 2011 06:35 AM

                        I can't tell what brand this particular knife is but it looks like a santoku style blade.Most knife manufacturers make this style of blade so you won't have any problem finding one.

                        1. re: petek
                          buttertart Mar 3, 2011 06:46 AM

                          As far as I saw it's not a santoku, no indentations, it's a type of cleaver.

                          1. re: buttertart
                            Chemicalkinetics Mar 3, 2011 06:55 AM

                            Sorry, I have trouble viewing it where I am now. I will look at it later. Santoku does not have to have identations. The identation/scalloped thing is more of a modern/western feature. In Japan, most Santoku do not have them.



                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                              buttertart Mar 3, 2011 07:13 AM

                              This knife has a blunt / curved not pointed end. Santokus are pointed, no? Thanks for the info on the indentations, that I also did not know.

                              1. re: buttertart
                                Chemicalkinetics Mar 3, 2011 07:18 AM

                                Oh. Maybe it is a Nakiri then? Yes, the standard definition of a Santoku has a point (there are exceptions). A Nakiri looks almost like a Chinese cleaver, but it is narrower, for example:



                                Nakiri is one of the most popular knives in Japan.

                                I really need to watch the video later.

                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                  buttertart Mar 3, 2011 07:23 AM

                                  I'd love it if you would. The end has no right angles, curves instead. That second knife pic is to die for.

                                  1. re: buttertart
                                    Chemicalkinetics Mar 3, 2011 04:15 PM


                                    I looked at the video at home. Eiron is correct (Edited: Petek was the one who first stated the knife styles). The first one is what I would consider as a Santoku. It could be the Santoku under her brand. Her second knife looks more impressive. The one she called a Japanese cleaver. It is a Nakiri. The resolution of the video is pretty poor and I cannot make out the characters. On one hand, the first character looks like it belong to Sugimoto, but Sugimoto is not known for Nakiri. More importantly, the rest of the characters do not appear to match up. The Sugimoto knives often have the word Tokyo (東京) engraved on the knife blade. Instead, the knife in the video has the words 金剛.


                                    Either way, the second knife looks to be a good knife.

                                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                      petek Mar 3, 2011 04:50 PM

                                      Umm hello...I believe I was the one who broke this case wide open :D

                                      1. re: petek
                                        Kagemusha Mar 3, 2011 04:53 PM

                                        Good luck with that one!

                                        1. re: petek
                                          Chemicalkinetics Mar 3, 2011 04:57 PM


                                          Oh yes, you did :) You were the first who stated the description. Eiron was the first who posted the captured pictures, so I got sources of information mixed up.

                                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                            petek Mar 3, 2011 05:41 PM

                                            I'm just kidding doctore' .just having some fun.way too much time on my hands.

                                            1. re: petek
                                              Chemicalkinetics Mar 3, 2011 05:46 PM


                                              If you have too much time, then go practice your knife sharpening.

                                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                petek Mar 3, 2011 05:59 PM

                                                yes dominus...apologies :p

                                        2. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                          buttertart Mar 4, 2011 06:20 AM

                                          Damn I wish I had known about this knife when I was in Nishiki Market (also known as heaven on earth) in Kyoto...where best to buy it here?
                                          Thanks all of you.

                                          1. re: buttertart
                                            Chemicalkinetics Mar 4, 2011 07:17 AM

                                            If you like to walk into a store and hold a knife, then Korin in New York, NY is a great place:


                                            Epicurean Edge from Kirkland WA has a great reputation too:


                                            Japanese Wood Worker in Alameda, California also offers some good knives:


                                            I also assume large size Japantowns like that in California has no problem offers good selection as well.

                                            As for online, I think JapaneseChefsKnives is an excellent place. The products unfortunately are only sorted by brands, not by styles:



                                            BluewayJapan from eBay has a good reputation:


                                            I have personal dealt with LinyaJapan. Smaller selection:


                                2. re: buttertart
                                  Dave5440 Mar 3, 2011 09:10 AM

                                  The knife I saw in that video had indentations, but unless they pay her/the network to use theirs knives they won't show the make

                                  1. re: Dave5440
                                    buttertart Mar 3, 2011 09:25 AM

                                    She uses two - the cleaver-y one is later in the video and has an orange handle, I think.

                                  2. re: buttertart
                                    petek Mar 3, 2011 10:09 AM

                                    Hey buttertart: It's not a cleaver or a nakiri.It's either a santuko or a usuba(Photo attached) Why anyone would use a specialized knife like a usuba to cut puff pastry is beyond me,but hey it is Martha Stewart.

                                    1. re: petek
                                      wattacetti Mar 3, 2011 10:16 AM

                                      A nakiri bocho and usuba bocho are essentially vegetable knives which are ground differently. Waste of a knife but knives are meant to cut if one had to make an impression while cuting commercial puff pastry, why not?

                                      Orange handle: Furi's Rachel Rae knife?

                                      1. re: wattacetti
                                        buttertart Mar 3, 2011 10:23 AM

                                        Oh God no, surely MS wouldn't use an RR product?

                                      2. re: petek
                                        buttertart Mar 3, 2011 10:24 AM

                                        The blade looked to be about 8 cm wide to me.

                                        1. re: buttertart
                                          petek Mar 3, 2011 10:53 AM

                                          The second knife she uses looks alot like a nakiri but I don't think the handle is orange,maybe a natural wood handle?

                                  3. re: buttertart
                                    Eiron Mar 3, 2011 11:17 AM

                                    OK, for anyone wanting to help out, there's NO KNIFE in the "Puff Pastry" video!! (jeez...)

                                    The "Cheese Sticks" video uses a santoku (with grantons/indents).

                                    The "Palmiers" & "Napoleans" videos use a nakiri.

                                    1. re: Eiron
                                      Chemicalkinetics Mar 3, 2011 11:19 AM

                                      Thanks. If those are the knives, then yes, they are what I would consider as Santoku and Nakiri.

                                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                        buttertart Mar 9, 2011 09:22 AM

                                        I had hold of a nakiri (sorry, didn't note the maker's name, but they were in the $130- $150 range) in a store in NYC this weekend and found the handle (shaped like a typical Henkels handle, but these were from Japan, Japanese name maker) a bit big/cumbersome. Does the handle vary with makers?

                                        1. re: buttertart
                                          petek Mar 9, 2011 09:57 AM

                                          Handles do vary with makers.I always thought a nakiri would come with a more traditional wa-handle as opposed to a yo-handle(European style).
                                          Which handle do you prefer?

                                          1. re: buttertart
                                            Chemicalkinetics Mar 9, 2011 10:01 AM


                                            From your question, I can tell you are asking why the Nakiri didn't come with the more traditional wa-wooded handle, right? Well, yes, different Japanese makers produce these knives with the traditional wooden handle or the modern handle. Many companies produce both. Here is an example of two identifical knives but with different handles:



                                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                              buttertart Mar 9, 2011 10:04 AM

                                              Both - Yes I was, and thanks very much ck, those prices are more pocket-friendly than the NYC store. I want the traditional handle.

                                              1. re: buttertart
                                                Chemicalkinetics Mar 9, 2011 10:20 AM

                                                If you want a Nakiri knife, feel free to make a new post for suggestion. I did. I actually got an inexpensive nakiri. If you want to look at some inexpensive ones, here are two (both carbon steel knives, not stainless steel)


                                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                  buttertart Mar 9, 2011 11:09 AM

                                                  I think a visit to Korin is in the cards, I'd like to test-drive more of them. Thanks again ck. It's such an appealing shape.

                                        2. re: Eiron
                                          cowboyardee Mar 3, 2011 11:46 AM

                                          I suspect the santoku is from the Martha Stewart collection. Which, though I haven't tried, I would most definitely be wary of.

                                          1. re: cowboyardee
                                            Eiron Mar 3, 2011 11:52 AM

                                            I'd tend to agree. I can tell that it has a black handle, but she picks it up so quickly that I can't be sure of the handle's shape.

                                          2. re: Eiron
                                            buttertart Mar 3, 2011 12:06 PM

                                            Dare I ask, how are those cutting utensils not knives?

                                            1. re: buttertart
                                              petek Mar 3, 2011 12:15 PM

                                              Who said they weren't knives?

                                              1. re: petek
                                                buttertart Mar 3, 2011 12:18 PM

                                                "OK, for anyone wanting to help out, there's NO KNIFE in the "Puff Pastry" video!! (jeez...)"
                                                Eiron at 3:17 pm today, above.

                                                1. re: buttertart
                                                  petek Mar 3, 2011 12:26 PM

                                                  She doesn't use her knife untill the "cheese sticks" video is what I think he ment to say.
                                                  Correct me if I'm wrong Eiron.

                                                  1. re: petek
                                                    buttertart Mar 3, 2011 12:28 PM

                                                    Which is part of the puff pastry show....

                                                    1. re: buttertart
                                                      petek Mar 3, 2011 12:37 PM

                                                      You are correct madame.But It's broken down into 5 parts which might add to the confusion :)

                                                      1. re: petek
                                                        buttertart Mar 5, 2011 06:58 AM

                                                        Oh well.

                                              2. re: buttertart
                                                Eiron Mar 3, 2011 12:25 PM

                                                Maybe my browser brings up a different "Puff Pastry" video than what you intended to show?

                                                When I played the first video in the series, titled "Puff Pastry" (the one with the picture of the raw dough), all she does for 4:43 minutes is MAKE the raw dough. There's NO CUTTING going on in this video. The "Cheese Sticks," "Palmiers" & "Napoleans" videos all had cutting, but not the "Puff Pastry" one that my browser took me to.

                                                But, as I said, maybe you intended to direct me to a different "Puff Pastry" video than where I ended up?

                                                1. re: Eiron
                                                  buttertart Mar 3, 2011 12:39 PM

                                                  I see, the television show entitled "Puff Pastry" has all 4 modules in it, I was referring to the show and those parts of it in which a knife is used.
                                                  Sorry ChemicalKinetics for this thread hijack, would still love to hear from you on the matter if you have time.

                                          3. j
                                            jaykayen Mar 2, 2011 05:05 PM

                                            Shun. Love the handle, and some have good geometry.

                                            1. c
                                              chuckl Mar 2, 2011 03:05 PM

                                              Shun vs. Global is really one of those questions that depend on personal preference. They both cut pretty well, but they have a very different feel and heft. I'm OK with the way the Shun feels in my hand, but I don't think I could ever feel comfortable with the Globals.

                                              1. l
                                                la2tokyo Mar 2, 2011 09:42 AM

                                                Chem do you know what the hardness rating and steels are for Global and Shun?

                                                23 Replies
                                                1. re: la2tokyo
                                                  Chemicalkinetics Mar 2, 2011 09:49 AM

                                                  There are different lines, but if we are talking about their flagship knives, then Global G series has CROMOVA with a HRC 56-58 and Shun Classic series has a VG-10 core hardened to HRC 60-61.

                                                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                    petek Mar 2, 2011 11:56 AM

                                                    I've used both Shun and Global (but not owned) and my vote goes to Shun.Up here in Canada MAC's are very popular more so than both Shun and Global :)

                                                    1. re: petek
                                                      cowboyardee Mar 2, 2011 12:22 PM

                                                      Interesting that MACs are more popular there. Had no idea. Could explain the dismay upthread about them not being included as reference points.

                                                      Which line of MACs are most popular there? I've sharpened up some MAC mightys and superiors (they seem to be fairly popular with line cooks considering limited availability here) but have no experience with their other lines - strangely, I've never seen a MAC pro in person.

                                                      1. re: cowboyardee
                                                        petek Mar 2, 2011 02:23 PM

                                                        Couldn't tell ya which MAC line is most popular up here,but most cooks/chefs that I know have at least 1 MAC pro.

                                                        Chem: I hated the feel of the Global in my hand,just didn't sit right with me.The Shun's were better,except the hideous Ken Onion line.They felt even more awkward to hold and they're real ugly to boot. :P
                                                        IMHO Shun's and Globals attract the home cook crowd(present company excluded) who want a smart looking knife to hang on the wall.The MAC's ain't pretty but they're a little more robust and functional, again just my humble opinion.

                                                        1. re: petek
                                                          bg031 Mar 2, 2011 04:56 PM

                                                          I believe it's the MAC Mighty that's very popular here in Canada. Most of the Canadian cooking shows on Food Network are sponsored by MAC as well, which could explain the popularity.

                                                          I vote for Global just because I love the handle. I love my G4:)The Shun I handled was ok, but I never used it, so...shrug...

                                                          1. re: petek
                                                            Candy Mar 3, 2011 06:51 PM

                                                            I love the Ken Onion knives. They fit my hand beautifully,super sharp and i keep them that way. To me and a # of chefs i know, they are the first choice.

                                                        2. re: petek
                                                          Chemicalkinetics Mar 2, 2011 01:35 PM

                                                          Why the vote for Shun?

                                                          Good to know MAC is more popular up North. This may explain why Kage questioned about the absence of MAC. In the USA, Shun and Global dominates the Western-Japanese knife markets -- I believe Shun has a stronger presence than Global. I cannot remember the last time I saw a MAC knife in a brick and mortar store.

                                                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                            wattacetti Mar 3, 2011 04:37 AM

                                                            Until only a couple of years ago, one couldn't buy Shuns in Canada outside of the House of Knives chain in British Columbia and a single retailer in Winnipeg.

                                                            Global and MAC were generally in plentiful supply and I have seen the MAC Professional and Ultimate series; they're nice but I'm unwilling to pull the trigger on any of them since i'm in the hunt for *the* sujihiki.

                                                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                              buttertart Mar 3, 2011 05:54 AM

                                                              I'd be interested to know if the Global handle appeal is gender-related (as a female Global-fancying "home cook" myself).

                                                              1. re: buttertart
                                                                wattacetti Mar 3, 2011 06:03 AM

                                                                Doesn't appear to be. Of all the chefs and line cooks I know who use Global, it's an even split across gender.

                                                                Global very popular with monied homeowners who don't cook because of those easily-recognizable handles (irrespective of gender or couple pairing).

                                                                1. re: wattacetti
                                                                  cowboyardee Mar 3, 2011 09:40 AM

                                                                  "Global very popular with monied homeowners who don't cook because of those easily-recognizable handles (irrespective of gender or couple pairing)."
                                                                  You don't think Shun's damascus cladding and D-shaped handles have the same effect and intent?

                                                                  You're right that these knives are popular with well to do people who don't cook due to price/looks/reputation, but to be fair they do work reasonably well. I know some pretty good professional cooks who like their Globals or Shuns just fine. You could get much crappier knives for your money. Better too, IMO, but I assume you know that.

                                                                  1. re: cowboyardee
                                                                    wattacetti Mar 3, 2011 10:22 AM

                                                                    No, because in a *wooden* Shun-brand knife block, the pakkawood handles are black cylinders and the cladding is covered.

                                                                    Globals in a metal Global knife block stand out when the kitchen is viewed from elsewhere and the handles are immediately recognizable. One of the reasons why lots of kitchen reno magazines did product placement with Globals when touting high-end kitchen design.

                                                                    1. re: wattacetti
                                                                      cowboyardee Mar 3, 2011 10:45 AM

                                                                      Oh, psshaw. Cause wall magnets are considered gauche among the wealthy?

                                                                      I could see Globals as a fixture of futurist kitchen styling or fitting in with all-stainless design that seemed popular a few years ago. Not every design major who wouldn't know the difference between a braise and a bucket of chicken subscribes to that style.

                                                                      They both clearly serve as status symbols. Read some amazon reviews if you're wondering whether everyone who buys a Shun knows their way around a kitchen.

                                                                      1. re: cowboyardee
                                                                        Chemicalkinetics Mar 3, 2011 11:21 AM

                                                                        Wattacetti and cowboy,

                                                                        I am going off topic for a second. Although Global and Shun may seems expensive compared to Tojiro and others, they are not that much more expensive than Henckels and Wusthof -- and those are still the standard.


                                                                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                          cowboyardee Mar 3, 2011 11:41 AM

                                                                          Chem, that reminds me - you're gonna love this.

                                                                          Henckels went and outdid themselves with the Rolls Royce of knives for people who don't know much about knives.

                                                                          That's right. I introduce the $1000 Henckels. It's 8 inches; it's pretty; it costs a grand - what else could a person want in a knife? I considered making a thread about it, but it seems to fit here.

                                                                          1. re: cowboyardee
                                                                            Chemicalkinetics Mar 3, 2011 11:59 AM


                                                                            I thought the Henckels 1731 was overpriced, but this is just wow.

                                                                            You should still make another post for it. It deserves attention.

                                                                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                              cowboyardee Mar 3, 2011 12:56 PM

                                                                              "You should still make another post for it. It deserves attention."

                                                                            2. re: cowboyardee
                                                                              RGC1982 Mar 4, 2011 07:39 PM

                                                                              This is even more ridiculous -- the Damascus "bread knife". Who needs a $900 knife to slice bread? Now I have seen everything.

                                                                            3. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                              wattacetti Mar 3, 2011 11:51 AM

                                                                              And we weren't OT? BTW, why is the Henckel's Twin considered the standard?

                                                                              Cowboy: have seen several "live" kitchen renos over the last 18 months ranging from very modern to country. Wall magnets seem to be verboten among designers.

                                                                              1. re: wattacetti
                                                                                Chemicalkinetics Mar 3, 2011 12:03 PM


                                                                                I don't know. That is the impression I got from people that Henckels is the industrial standard. It does not mean they are the best, but they are good and popular. Something easy to measure against, like KitchedAid for stand mixers, and John Boos for cutting boards.

                                                                        2. re: cowboyardee
                                                                          Candy Mar 3, 2011 06:56 PM

                                                                          did you know that that D shaped handle is available in right and left handled knives. They are designed for lefties and right handed people. If your source only supplies right handed knives in their Shun line ask them to order a left handled knife for you if you are a lefty.

                                                                      2. re: buttertart
                                                                        jmorri26 Aug 12, 2011 09:17 AM

                                                                        I am well versed in knives and have fairly small female hands and I can tell you I LOVE the handle on my Global chefs knife. I tried Shun but it just didn't feel right in my hand to me. The shape and lightweight of the Global does it for me.

                                                                        My giant handed husband is on rare occasion my stand in chopper and he loves it too (but I think its more because he knows its a "fancy" knife)

                                                                        1. re: jmorri26
                                                                          Chowrin Sep 7, 2011 12:20 PM

                                                                          i like the ken onion handles on shun.

                                                              2. Kagemusha Mar 2, 2011 07:06 AM

                                                                Odd that you neglected MAC with its design/price range.

                                                                10 Replies
                                                                1. re: Kagemusha
                                                                  cowboyardee Mar 2, 2011 07:15 AM

                                                                  Not really. MACs are certainly nice knives. But that's not the point of this thread. It's just comparing the two most popular Japanese knives made for mass market American consumption.

                                                                  Also, if you start adding MACs or Tojiros to the list, the responses get more predictable, at least among the knife enthusiasts here.

                                                                  1. re: cowboyardee
                                                                    Kagemusha Mar 2, 2011 08:05 AM

                                                                    MAC's not popular or mass market? Why not broaden the discussion for a change?

                                                                    1. re: Kagemusha
                                                                      cowboyardee Mar 2, 2011 08:14 AM

                                                                      You're still missing the point. Chem asked Coke or Pepsi. You're answering RC cola. I have nothing against RC cola. If you want a discussion on the matter, start a thread. You can do that, right?

                                                                      In general, I think our discussions about knives on this board are plenty broad. Just not this one particularly.

                                                                      1. re: cowboyardee
                                                                        Kagemusha Mar 2, 2011 08:23 AM

                                                                        The 3 brands tend to cluster and compete in the same market segment, as I'm guessing you might know?

                                                                        1. re: Kagemusha
                                                                          buttertart Mar 2, 2011 08:24 AM

                                                                          I'd never heard of MAC until reading this. The other two have been known to me for years.

                                                                          1. re: buttertart
                                                                            Kagemusha Mar 2, 2011 08:28 AM


                                                                          2. re: Kagemusha
                                                                            cowboyardee Mar 2, 2011 08:39 AM

                                                                            They compete in the same market, but MACs are a little less common and less well known. Probably on account of not having as strong a presence on Amazon and at Sur la Table and Williams Sonoma, at least recently.

                                                                            I'm not telling people not to buy MAC knives. It's just that the point of this thread is to compare two brands that most people interested in cookware have experience with. They're reference points, not recommendations.

                                                                            1. re: Kagemusha
                                                                              Chemicalkinetics Mar 2, 2011 08:40 AM


                                                                              Will you let this go? I know MAC is competing the same price range (more or less) as Shun and Global, but they are not known to most Americans in the same level. This thread is supposed to just be a fun thread to share opinions. Many people have not heard of MAC. For example, if you look at the knife brands offered by Williams Sonoma, Sur La Table, Bed Bath and Beyond, you will see they offer Shun and offer Global:




                                                                              They don't readily offer MAC.

                                                                              If you really feel leaving MAC is being unfair, you can start a new thread. I cannot change the title of this thread.

                                                                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                buttertart Mar 2, 2011 09:13 AM

                                                                                Right, CK, I'm a pretty savvy kitchen utensil consumer and they had escaped my notice so I'm sure there are a lot of people in the same boat.

                                                                      2. re: Kagemusha
                                                                        Chemicalkinetics Mar 2, 2011 07:19 AM

                                                                        Opps, forgot. I do just see Global and Shun knives more often in the stores. Also, I think Global and Shun are competing the same market space. Afterall, Tojiro is more like Shun from a steel/construction point of view. Maybe next time/thread then?

                                                                      3. w
                                                                        wattacetti Mar 2, 2011 06:57 AM

                                                                        I'll play. Shun.

                                                                        I actually built my base knife kit on Shun Classic before supplementing with Pros and other brands. Picked over Global because of the handle (I find the Global handle not as comfortable even though I pinch), balance of specific knives, hardness and cost (at the time, Globals were significantly more expensive than Shuns were).

                                                                        That Global flexible fish knife however, is amazing.

                                                                        1. cowboyardee Mar 2, 2011 05:48 AM

                                                                          I'll play.

                                                                          Global. At least for a chefs knife. Cause I can't stand the Shun's big German beer gut. Shuns have slightly better steel and are easier and more fun to sharpen. But that curved edge is a deal breaker for me, and I like a slightly thinner knife as well.

                                                                          On the other hand, I'd rather have the Shun paring knife. Probably also their bread knife.

                                                                          1. t
                                                                            The Loaf Mar 1, 2011 09:47 PM

                                                                            While I like the idea of an all metal, seamless, cool-looking kitchen knife, I can't get past the uncomfortable handle of the Global. That said, I'm not crazy about the Shuns either. There are lots of other Japanese knife brands I would rather buy.

                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                            1. re: The Loaf
                                                                              Chemicalkinetics Mar 2, 2011 05:44 AM

                                                                              "There are lots of other Japanese knife brands I would rather buy."

                                                                              I agree. I think I should have clarified that I picked these two brands for discussion because they are the best known Western-Japanese style knives in North America and possibly Europe, and almost everyone have seen them in person.

                                                                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                buttertart Mar 2, 2011 06:44 AM

                                                                                I like the Global handle, my veg knife is just like an extension of my (small) hand. Very comfortable. The Shun have always looked dauntingly large to me.

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