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Oct 15, 2011 06:14 PM

Shun Knifes?

I am looking at throwing $150 down on a Shun Premier Santoku knife. Does anyone have good or bad experiences w/ this brand. $150 is not a lot fo a good knife but I have never used one of these knifes. I work a lot w/ sushi and sashimi but the knifes I own are Mac's and Globals. Please let me know any information you have.


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  1. Shun knives are good. I have one Shun Classic knife. Premier and Classic use the same VG-10 steel just different handles and looks. Since you own Mac and Global knives, then you have experience with these Japanese-influenced knives. Exactly what are you looking for your new knife?

    Compare to Global, Shun Classic knives have profiles closer to typical Western knives. On the other hand, Shun Classic and Premier knives are made of harder steel than Global.

    There are other good quality knives you can consider too. If you don't care about patterns on a blade, then you may also want to consider the ~$80 Tojiro DP knives, which are also made of VG-10 steel and harden to the same level as Shun Classic/Premier:

    If you like the Damascus like look, then Tojiro also offers one for ~$100, but so do many other brands:

    If you like Tsuchime Hammered Damascus pattern, then $140 Shiki and $150 Ryusen are nice too:

    Recently, strangemd bought a Shiki for his daughter and they love it:

    There are many knives which we can suggest. Please let us know what you are looking for.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

      I am looking for comfort and performance. I work at my restaurant for about 10-12 hours a day and I need a knife that will kep up w/ me. The look of the Shun's are nice but I don't need the looks...I care about performance more. The blade has to be at least 6.75, a 7 inch Santoku would be best. Thanks for all of the links...very helpful!

    2. Chem covered it pretty well.

      Shuns are nice knives. That model won't necessarily perform any better (cut any easier or maintain its edge longer between sharpenings) than your macs or globals. But it will look nicer and maybe feel nicer, which is a perfectly good reason to buy a knife IMO, as long as you know that's what you're paying for. It will also be a little more curved than santokus from makers like mac or global - some like that because they're used to rock chopping with German knives, while others (myself included) dislike that because it functionally shortens the knife.

      If you like the look or feel of the Shun, it's a decent option. There are several other options that have similar looks and similar characteristics in a similar price range - Chem listed a few good ones.

      If you're looking for more of a performance boost instead, I could certainly make some recommendations in the price range along those lines as well.

      In any case, I wouldn't really recommend a Shun santoku as a first choice for cutting sashimi, though I realize that may not have been your intent in the first place.

      16 Replies
      1. re: cowboyardee

        I have 2 Global knifes that I just use specifically for Sashimi. Why wouldn't you recommend Shun knifes for sashimi?

        1. re: whiteasianchef

          I don't know about cowboy, but if you want a sashimi knife and a pure sashimi knife... don't you want a yanagiba, especially considered the fact that you already have 2 Global Chef's or Santoku knives.

          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

            Actually, a couple months ago I bought a Yanagiba knife off of Amazon for under $50 and it has been amazing for sashimi. I don't want to say that I would put it up against my Globals in a sword fight but it holds up. The only neg is that you need to keep the handle clean and re finish it with oil every few months. Here is a link to that knife


              1. re: whiteasianchef

                Ah, you have a yanagiba. For more traditional yanagiba, the white paper steel (shirogami) and blue paper steel (aogami) are the steels of choice. Tojiro makes some relatively inexpensive one. These are real carbon steel knives, not stainless steel:


                However, I know many would say the Tojiro one is not professional enough. I think Masamoto KK series has one of the cheapest professional grade yanagiba:


                So it is $200 for a 240 mm yanagiba. However, as a professional chef, you may able to get a solid discount from some dealers.

              2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                The 2 globals I have are a 2 sided sashimi and a Yanagi. Both 10 inches which is the perfect length for sashimi.

              3. re: whiteasianchef


                Are they the global G11 or G14 or a G7 ?
                The shuns aren't what you would call a traditional sashimi knife not being single bevel

                  1. re: whiteasianchef

                    I almost bought one of those,,,,till I held it I just can't stand the handle. What Is a double bevel "sashimi" knife i've been under the impression that the yanagi is "the' sashimi knife

                1. re: whiteasianchef

                  The problem isn't that it's a Shun but that it's a santoku.

                  I'd recommend a longer, straighter knife. A Yanagiba is traditional, but specialized and has a bit of a learning curve. A sujihiki would work just fine. So would a 240 mm or 270 mm gyuto even, though the food release isn't quite as easy.

                  I mean, a santoku will work - I'm not saying you can't cut fish with one. But a longer straighter knife is just more efficient for cleanly slicing protein.

                  1. re: cowboyardee

                    Yes 7" would be an issue now that you bring it up

                    1. re: Dave5440

                      i need to stop reading the cookware section of chowhound. Everytime you guys post beautiful reasonably priced knives and knife types I don't have i start to feel like my mother when she's watching the shopping network. If my credit card wasn't maxed out from my trip to Japan i'd have bought another 3-4 knives by now. My goal now when I go back to Japan in january is now a hammered damascus knife of some type, and deba, a gyuto and maybe a nakiri and some other random knife. Now the likelihood of my girlfriend permitting that is low, but i can dream!

                      1. re: TeRReT

                        "My goal now when I go back to Japan in january is now a hammered damascus knife of some type, and deba, a gyuto and maybe a nakiri and some other random knife. Now the likelihood of my girlfriend permitting that is low, but i can dream!"

                        Don't go too fast. You really don't want to buy all the knives you ever need in one shot. Then what else do you to look forward to? You will lose your reason to wake up in the morning. :)

                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                          hmm, i thought we were supposed to have one of every knife type in each metal type and with each different handle material, and varying levels of damascus, and made by a company starting with every letter of the alphabet, and then 3 extras no?

                            1. re: TeRReT

                              You left out "for each day of the week".