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Mar 28, 2011 11:53 AM

Shun knife sharpening - anyone send them to Shun?

When I purchased my Shun (Edo) knives, I noticed that you can send them into the company to be sharpened. I'm a little leery of doing so, because of a non-responsive gift-with-purchase offer I submitted and never received feedback (not to mention, they are slow to respond in general).

Has anyone sent in their knives to them for their free sharpening offer? How long did it take? Where you pleased with the experience?

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  1. I'm pretty sure I read somewhere that Shun is discontinuing their free knife sharpening service.
    How long ago did you purchase your knives?

    4 Replies
    1. re: petek

      Oh, interesting! If that's the case, that answers that question! I've only had them for 6 months (not ready to be sharpened, just planning ahead).

      1. re: The Oracle

        I'm not 100% sure so you might want to contact them directly.They might be sourcing out their sharpening service to someone else.

        1. re: petek

          I think you are correct petek.
          I saw several mentions that Shun had discontinued their free sharpening service in posts on I would be afraid to send mine to them.


          1. re: columa

            Not sure where you live Oracle,but I.m sure you can find someone local who can sharpen your knives.just make sure they use stones and not a grinder like the ones they sharpen ice skates with :)

      1. I sent mine in sometime in December last year and it's back home for Christmas :-)
        I think I got mine back about a week after they received it, possibly 2.
        I was pleasantly surprised since I expected the spa trip to be at least a month long.
        They paid for return shipping.

        I hope they're not discontinuing the free service. They still tell people to send the knife in to their warranty department in their FAQ.

        10 Replies
        1. re: cutipie721

          I still don't know how real it is ... because Shun kept saying as of "April 1st" Shun cutlery... etc. This really makes me wonder if this is some April fool's jokes. I think it is real, but the choice of April 1st is a pretty confusing one. The prices are still cheap compared to many other places, but it still costs money.

          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

            All it took was a 20 second phone call to Shun to get the answers. They are no longer offering in house sharpening and have outsourced sharpening. You can send to one of their vendors for sharpening. Procedures and costs are as listed on their website:

            (I have a Shun in my collection...I take it locally, along with all my other knives - Japanese and German - to someone here in town a couple times a year for sharpening. Hopefully the OP has a similar service locally rather than sending away. The Shun prices for the ground edge knives seem OK but I pay a LOT less for my single bevel knives to be done here locally by hand on stones).

            1. re: ziggylu

              I have a Shun bread knife in my collection. I like it. It is unfortunate that it is real. I have also read the procedures and the costs. The costs are inexpensive, but still far more than "free". Unfortunate. I don't know if I can recommend the Shun knives due to the lack of lifetime sharpening service.

              As for me, I sharpen my knives on my own using waterstones. I am not as good as many other experts here like cowboyardee, la2tokyo, Dave, Pete, scubadoo... etc, but sufficiently enough to keep the knives sharp.

              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                Thanks for the compliment Chem(it is me you're talking about right?),but I'm hardly an expert when it comes to knife sharpening but I love it and I"m always learning something new.:)

                1. re: petek

                  :) Yeah, I was refering you. How about semi-expert?

                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                      I'm still working to be an amateur sharpener, but thanks for the regard!

                      1. re: Dave5440

                        I think that definition depending on whom you are measuring against. Within the knife community, an amateur sharpener means quiet a bit, but as for the general public, an amateur knife sharpener does not carry much weight.

                        So while you may not be the top 10% best knife sharpener among people on knifeforum, you are definitely the top 10% knife sharpener among the general public, considering that most people don't sharpen their own knives. Well most people I know don't sharpen their knives. I would also argue that you two know a lot more about knife sharpening among people on CHOWHOUND.

                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                          Well when you put it like that, thank you

                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                    Chem, I suspect that you can put a damn fine edge on a knife. Thanks for the complement, but there's no need to do yourself a disservice.

            2. I sent mine last year and got it back in about a month with a little passive aggressive note about knife care. Good as new though!

              1. The change in their policy makes me particularly happy that I decided to buy a Tojiro and some stones, rather than going for a Shun, which had been my original plan for an all-purpose knife. The free lifetime sharpening was particularly appealing to me as a novice.

                At this point now (even as a novice), I've discovered I can sharpen the knives on my own with a whetstone in the same amount of time it would have taken me to pack the knives up and ship them off!

                5 Replies
                1. re: KaBudokan


                  :P Yeah yeah... make me sad though because I have a Shun bread knife. I intentionally got the Shun bread knife because I don't want to sharpen a scalloped bread knife. Like you said, at this point, I find it more difficult to recommend a Shun knife over a Tojiro.

                  "I've discovered I can sharpen the knives on my own with a whetstone in the same amount of time it would have taken me to pack the knives up and ship them off!"

                  Yes, that is why I like to sharpen my knives on my own. Yes, it is true that some professional knife sharpeners will do a much better jobs than us, but my very original reasoning has to do with time saving. I can get my knives sharpened in 2-10 minutes as opposed to weeks. Moreover, we can sharpen our knives on a frequent interval . We can sharpen (touch-up) every week or even every day.

                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                    I know I know... I'm a Tojiro fanboy all of a sudden!

                    It is true though - you remember... I was really leaning toward buying a Shun because of the sharpening service. That was a huge advantage to buying Shun. I think they would have sold more knives if they had marketed that aspect of their product; I assume they didn't push it on the public because they were worried about being overwhelmed by people submitting their knives for sharpening.

                    The only reason I didn't get a Shun is because in the process of researching, you guys educated me on sharpening, and I decided to come up with a sharpening "plan."

                    1. re: KaBudokan


                      You are too kind. Yes, I remember you were looking at the Shun knives at first. In fact, you did buy the Shun Sumo Santoku only to return it later, right? I was one of the few who argue for the Shun because of the free sharpening service. I wrote it will actually cost less than a Tojiro in 5-10 years if one is going to take advantage of the free sharpening service as opposed to sending to a standard professional sharpener. I think a Tojiro Chef's knife is about $50 less than a Shun Chef's knife. 4-5 sharpening service would have made up the difference, but I guess that is no longer the case.

                      "I think they would have sold more knives if they had marketed that aspect of their product"

                      Yeah, I agree. In fact, I am pretty sure many people who bought the Shun knives do not send the knvies back to the factory for sharpening. Moreover there must be a better way to reduce the cost than rightout stopping the service. They can increase the turn around time. So instead of sending the knives back to the owner within 2 weeks, they can do so within 4 weeks. They can also limit the frequency of sharpening. They can change the policy for free sharpening to every 2 years or every 3 years. These can reduce the numbers of sharpening service while allowing Shun to keep the "free sharpening service" banner. Right now, it seems Shun has broken a promise for people who had already bought the knives

                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                        "Right now, it seems Shun has broken a promise for people who had already bought the knives"

                        Definitely - I was thinking about that when I saw they were stopping the service. If I had bought a knife a month ago and the free sharpening was a factor in my purchase, I would pretty angry.

                        1. re: KaBudokan

                          I am exactly one of those you speak of who bought a Shun Elite 8" KO chef knife(2/22/2011) and the free sharpening did influence my decision. That said, I want to learn to sharpen my knives myself and really was not sure I would have used the service anyway. I still don't like what they did though.

                          In the short while I have been a kitchen knife nut, though I've had the tendencies for years when I hunted and was a farmer. My criteria of a sharp knife then was if I could castrate 40 or so 300# bull calves smoothly and without having to sharpen it. Cowhide is tough on a knife. Back then, my old Buck folding knife was one that I could get to do the job.

                          I have researched knife steel a lot (but realize I know little). Since Shun has several series of knives I assume we are talking about the Classic here with VG-10 steel, like the Tojiro DP. Comparing Tojiro vs Shun Classics, I would go with the Tojiro period. Just MHO. The only negative I can see is that the mfgs instructions say Tojiro's warranty is only good in Japan?

                          Since I'm only fair with stones, next on my wish list is a Wicked Edge sharpener. I chose that over an EdgePro because of the precision lock of the vise and the ability to record and return to the same position next time. I just like being able to replicate operations.

                          Thanks, all of you for your really helpful comments on this forum.