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Mar 25, 2012 09:19 PM

Looking for Shun brand kitchen knives

Does any one know if or where Shun knives are sold in Toronto (preferably in the GTA...Richmond hill, Markham...) locally or online?

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  1. Slice and Sear (AKA the healthy butcher) might have the best prices in the city.

    Personally I wouldn't recommend buying online, you have to go feel knives in your hand. I dislike the feel of Shun's and wouldn't recommend them, but everyone's grip and preferences are different.

    1 Reply
    1. re: flying101

      I have global and shun for different uses and feel they are both very comfortable but I am not a professional chef, nor a speed dicer!! Here is one good place out of Vancouver who ships to Toronto -

    2. Does it have to be shun? There are now many options in Toronto for better Japanese knives than Shun.

      6 Replies
      1. re: szw

        No. Heard a lot of good things about Shun. And no I haven't hand held the Shuns or any of the other knives mentioned on my thread. Only Henckels. I will go to a WS location when i get the chance (Yorkdale location...too bad they don't have another location uptown).

        I heard the handles on the Shuns will fatigue your hand if you do a lot of prep because they are narrow. So I definitely will go pick them up first before buying.

        Thanks everybody.

        1. re: BDD888

          SHUN Knives are available at "Internet Kitchen Store" on north side of Eglinton West, west of Duplex Avene...they do have a really good website...and agree you must go in person to get the 'feel'. Owner is very obliging.

          1. re: pearlD

            I was just about to post the link to this store. They have a great selection of Shun and other knives. Complete lines. Like the Shun Ken Onion series. Look to have the feel I would want not present in most other Japanese knives with the typical Japanese handles. Very ergonomic design. Will definitely try to go to the shop and handle the knives first.

            1. re: szw

              How so? Have you tried handling the Ken Onion series knives?

              The other two brands sold at the Internet Kitchen Store are Henckels Pro S series and Wusthof Classic. I like the western blade/handle on these two German knives. Found also on some Japanese made knives like those from MAC. Another brand I'm considering.

              1. re: BDD888

                = For the Shun classic =
                -Come sharp and sharpen easily to a very fine edge
                -They look good and come with a nice fit and finish
                -Fairly high performance - thin geometry with an acute edge angle
                -Fairly high edge retention and sharpenability - good core steel (vg 10)
                -They're just about your only option if you want a thin Japanese made knife with a curved German profile (like to make rock chopping easier)
                - One of the more affordable options for a damascus clad knife

                - Fragile compared to German knives. Not as bad by Japanese knife standards but still a little more prone to chipping than most
                - Rounded profile encourages to rock chopping which is harder on a fragile edge
                - Some people hate the D-shaped handles, and they make it harder for lefties and righties to use the same knife comfortably
                - At least performance-wise, there are some better deals in Japanese knives at similar or cheaper price points
                - Curved edge functionally shortens the knife compared to other Japanese chef knives (gyutos). Makes it less well suited for push cutting, straight up-and-down chopping, and doubling as a slicer

                = Additional considerations for the ken onion series =
                - you'll either love the handle or hate it. Many people in both camps.

                - handle is not geared specifically toward rightys, so leftys might find it more comfortable

                - More expensive despite being made the same way with basically the same materials
                - Wavy spine is made for style, not function. You can't really push food around with it

                Personally, there are a lot of Japanese knives I prefer to the Shun classic, and definitely a lot of Japanese knives I prefer to the Ken Onion. But they're still good knives and if you like em best after considering your options, there's nothing wrong with picking em.

        2. Check out MAC knives, too. For my $, better value than Shun. You can tire-kick at W-S.

          1. If you are set on Shun, Willams-Sonoma has them to look at and see in person, but they are very over priced.

            Nella has them in store as well and at a far better price. Healthy Butcher may or may not have them, I can't remember if they have globals or Shun or both, but what they have is well priced.

            If you aren't set on shun, go to Knife on queen street to see far superior knives at much better prices. Also you can go to Tosho Knife arts in Mirvish Village for other Japanese knives as well. Both also have whetstones and can help you with Sharpening, offering both a service or lessons in using the stones.

            Shun are decent knives, but in general they are a higher price and may or may not be the best choice for you. If you want to know more about knives you can ask/search the cookware forum on this site.

            2 Replies
            1. re: TeRReT

              With so many great knife purveyors in Toronto(Tosho,Knife, Healthy Butcher),there's no reason(IMHO) to buy online.The interwebs is a great place to do your research,but shop in person,kick some tires, ask a lot of questionsand support your local business person.

            2. Hi, Places like Williams Sonoma and Sur La Table carry Shuns knives. Personally, I think shuns are very well made and have excellent fit & finish, but I don’t care for many of their designs.

              If you’re interested in a Shun KO, make sure you handle it because the bolster & handle is designed for a specific hand size and a pinch grip only. I tried it when it came out several years ago and couldn’t hold it comfortably. Even if I could, I wouldn’t want a handle that enforces the use of a pinch grip only, doesn’t allow me to alter my grip. Besides the handle and perhaps a more curved blade, the Shun KO is more expensive version of the Classic.

              For me, the Shun Chef's knife blade’ (when viewed from the side) long, deeply curved edge and a high upswept tip has several issues. 1st, the upswept tip makes doing any sort of tip work very difficult b/c you to elevate your arm & contort your wrist in a very awkward way to get it to touch the cutting board. 2nd, the belly or edge curvature is very pronounced, so much so that you have to use a rocking motion, and do so with a lot of hand pumping. It’s also prone to producing cuts that are not completely severed when using a slicing or chopping motion. 3rd, rocking the blade continuously against the cutting board will rapidly dull the tip and forward belly section, and may cause chipping issues.

              The Miyabi knives, by Zwilling J.A. Henckels (Japan) in many ways are better and currently cheaper than Shun. The blade shape on the Fusion version has a much more user-friendly tip for doing detail tip work. Its’ belly is curved enough for rocking, yet flat enough for chopping and slicing, and with a slight adjustment can be used in the push / pull cutting style (which is much friendlier to hard, thin Japanese edges). The Miyabi VG-10 behaves and performs better than Shun VG-10.