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Nov 26, 2012 08:08 AM

Shun vs Global

I'm going to be redoing my knives (read: condensing into a small collection of better quality). I'm definitely a Japanese rather than a Western blade kind of girl.

I love the look and feel of Shun but I'm not sure if their durability is as good as Globals. I'm going to be getting a Chef's for pretty much all around work horse and probably a bread knife, maybe something purely for vegetables.

Which one would you get? Or would you go with another brand all together?

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  1. If you're going to move up in the Japanese world, these two are the "starter" set (think training wheels). There are better blades for similar cost (and sometimes for less).

    An alternative to the Euro-style chef's knife is the gyuto.

    3 Replies
    1. re: wattacetti

      Hm, thanks. When you say there are better blades for a similar cost, which ones are you thinking of?

      1. re: MorningZizi

        Chemicalkinetics has provided pretty much all the reading that you need.

        I've been particularly enjoying a Suisin sujihiki, but I think the choice will depend on your personal preference, what you're doing and what you're expecting.

        Edit: I actually do have several Shuns, both Classic and the original Pro. They were the first readily-available Japanese knives which were not Globals that I had access to. They're capable blades and there's no reason not to buy them if you feel they're comfortable to use. While I do have a Global fish tweezer, I didn't like the feel of the knives back in the day.

        1. re: wattacetti

          I would concur that owning a Korin is a must. They come with range of interesting handles that add character to your collection. Global, Shun, and Suisin knives are very sharp and can be maintained with a honing rod. Another affordable option from a smaller producer:

    2. <I'm definitely a Japanese rather than a Western blade kind of girl.>

      How do you know that? :)

      <I love the look and feel of Shun but I'm not sure if their durability is as good as Globals>

      Why do you think Shun is less durable than Global? If anything, there are more reports of broken Global knives than those of Shun. Now, I am not saying that Global knives are bad. I am just saying that I won't worry Shun knives being less durable than Global.

      I started this following thread for fun, and I hope you may find some uses for its:

      Now, if you want something cheaper, but as good as Shun, then I would consider Tojiro DP:

      Like wattacetti, there are tons of other options too.

      1 Reply
      1. Have you tried out both? If not, I would encourage you to. Before I purchased my Globals I tried out about 10 different knives. I ended up picking Global because it felt the best in my hand. I have pretty small hands, so the narrower handle on the Globals work out really well for me. I have the 10" chef's knife, and a paring knife. I use the chef's knife for 90% of tasks, the paring for 5%, and a cheapo Kitchen Aid bread knife for slicing bread.

        I cannot speak of the durability of one versus the other though.

        1. Cook's Illustrated did a review of 8 higher end Japanese knives, one of which is Global.

          One of my knives is the Misono model that they tested. I find their comments quite accurrate.

          If you don't want to antee up for the subscription, get the 14 day trial membership, read the reviews, then cancel the 2 week trial.

          3 Replies
          1. re: bcd2825

            I read that review too from cooks illustrated, and I didn't like the review. The whole thing about using sand paper to test edge durability just rubs me the wrong way.

            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

              To elaborate on Chem's gripe:

              The sandpaper test only measures wear resistance, which is an aspect of edge retention (and a reason why, for example, Globals have edge retention comparable to harder knives, and also largely why the Aritsugu A type has such great edge retention). But they did not test resistance to edge folding or resistance to chipping, which are about equally important. And of course, they didn't really account for how edge geometry affects overall edge retention. Given their very narrow test, it's not in the least surprising that they found limited correlation between hardness and edge retention. They're right that it's not the be-all and end-all factor in edge retention. But they didn't test the main factors where hardness helps - resistance to folding and warping, especially at low edge angles. Their conclusions about knives, as has often been the case, are under-informed.

              I also wish CI would consider sharpening as a factor in their reviews of higher end knives.

              Still, it's a definite improvement over their old knife reviews that didn't consider edge retention at all. And at any rate, all the knives they reviewed this time are more or less well made, so their final recommendation is going to be a decent knife regardless of their methodology.

            2. re: bcd2825

              I have had Globals in my block at home for 14 years and have zero complaints.

              Make sure you handle any knife you are considering purchasing. It should operate like an extension of your hand. That marriage is tough to achieve when you don't know how the blade feels in your paw.