Wondering, are Shun knives worth it? Shun knives have maintained a high mark on the market among the top-rated and premium quality Japanese knives. They offer a uniquely exquisite design, incredible cutting performance, and superior flexibility.
With these properties, the chef-recommended knives come with a pretty high price tag. We’ve shared a guide to help you figure out the answer to whether or not you should invest in Shun knives before breaking the bank.
Are Shun Knives Worth Buying or Not?
Shun knives are certainly worth buying. While they come with a premium price tag, their design and construction reflect it. The handcrafted knives feature an ultra-sharp and long-lasting blade, beautiful design, incredible cutting performance, and improved flexibility.
The History of Shun Knives
Shun knives have a pretty long history, dating back to their launch in 1908. However, the history of the knife style produced by the company goes back even earlier, dating over 80 decades back.
In fact, the knife-making company was launched and is still based in the same original city as the blade-making tradition.
The company was set up by Saijiro Endo in Seki City. Eventually, the company evolved into what is the Kai Group today, the manufacturers of the Shun knives.
However, these knives were introduced into the western market just a little bit over two decades ago by the Kai Group CEO of the time, Koji Endo, a direct descendant of the company’s founder.
It is Koji Endo who renamed the brand to what is known today as “Shun” which loosely refers to the Japanese tradition of seasonal and fresh eating.
Since their introduction in the western world, the knives have become popular and favored for their thinner blades, sharper edges, and lighter profile compared to the heavier western knives.
Are Shun Knives Handmade?
Shun knives are handmade. Since the inception of the company, Shun knives available on the market across the globe come from one main source and manufacturer. Each knife follows the original knife-making tradition which follows a hand crafting method.
The knife undergoes up to 100 handcrafted steps to maintain the same quality. These include individually wrapping several Damascus steel layers of steel around the VG-MAX steel core.
Are Shun Knives Real Damascus?
Knives manufactured by the Shun brands should be considered real Damascus. Each knife features over 30 layers of Damascus steel surrounding a hard VG-MAX steel core to give them their robust, yet flexible and ultra-sharp blade edge.
Why Are Shun Knives So Expensive?
The high cost that comes with shun kitchen knives typically stems from the skill, time, and material used in their fabrication.
As mentioned above, these knives are fabricated by following up to 100 handcrafted steps that involve the intricate forging of the Damascus steel layers around the steel cores. To achieve these, a significant amount of time and knife crafting skill is required.
Are Shun Knives Full Tang or Half Tang?
Most Shun knives feature a full tang construction. This construction incorporates several layers of Damascus steel surrounding a VG-Max steel core to form a highly robust blade.
The blade is then bound together with the full length of the handle with an end cap for a more durable and snap-free finish.
Are Shun Knives Left or Right-Handed?
Most knives manufactured by the Shun brand feature a left-handed design. In fact, the brand is known to be the leader in left-handed knives. However, you can still find some right-handed or ambidextrous knives produced by the brand.
Are Shun Knives Better Than Global?
Both Shun and Global knives are worth the investment and come with their individual benefits. Therefore, whether you go for Shun or Global knives depends on your preferences.
You should opt for Shun knives if you want a premium traditional Japanese-style knife with beautiful blade patterns, excellent performance, wide handle variety, and great edge retention.
Shun also gives you free lifetime knife sharpening and a lifetime warranty. On the other hand, Global knives serve those who want a modern all stainless steel design, lighter profile, shorter handles, and budget-friendly Japanese knife options.
What Kind of Steel Does Shun Use?
Shun uses a selection of two steel materials for its knife fabrication. The brand uses special VG-MAX steel for the core and several layers of Damascus steel to wrap the core. VG-MAX steel refers to Japanese super steel made in Seki City, Japan.
This type of steel integrates a high chromium, vanadium, and carbon content to give it excellent edge retention, corrosion resistance, and better robustness than steel.
On the other hand, Damascus steel is characterized by a wavy pattern to give it a unique look while maintaining great edge and flexibility.
Combined, the layers of Damascus steel and VG-MAX steel core give Shun Knives incredible Japanese knife properties and undisputed robustness.
Are They Dishwasher Safe?
Shun culinary knives are technically dishwasher safe. However, you are strongly recommended to hand wash your knives. Putting knives (even dishwasher-friendly ones) can very easily risk damages like cracking, chipping, and breaking of the blade.
This is because the washer’s high-pressure wash cycles cause items inside to get knocked around. Knocking the knives around may risk damaging the blades.
Are They Rust Resistant?
Shun brand knives feature a rust-resistant design. They feature a VG-MAX steel core that contains chromium and vanadium-like stainless steel and layers of Damascus steel.
In turn, this gives them a corrosion and rust-resistant finish. So with proper care and maintenance, you can keep your knives free of rust and corrosion indefinitely.
Are They Easy to Sharpen?
Shun Japanese knives are quite easy to sharpen with the right tools. You can easily sharpen them using a whetstone or three-piece sharpening system. You will need honing steel, whetstone, and a sharpening stand.
How Long Do Shun Knives Last?
The longevity of Shun kitchen knives highly depends on their usage and care. If properly cared for, including cleaning, drying, and storage, a Shun knife will last you a lifetime.
Do Shun Knives Come With a Lifetime Warranty?
Knives made by the Shun brand come with a lifetime warranty. This warranty covers replacement parts and other manufacturer defects not affected by normal wear and tear. The warranty length remains for as long as you are the first owner or the company stays in business.
Should You Buy Shun Knives or Not?
Shun knives are certainly worth the investment. Looking beyond their high price tag, these knives come with several advantages.
These premium Japanese styles offer top-of-the-shelf performance, integrating thinner blades, longer-lasting edges, and a beautiful blade finish. Plus, they come with a lifetime warranty to give you great value!
I’m a writer, food lover, and certified culinary expert. I cook for my family and I enjoy it so much. My favorite tools are modern kitchen appliances that make cooking a simple task. I’m a passionate writer and I share only cooking tips, recipes, and what cooking appliances would best for beginners, enthusiasts, and home chefs. I learned a lot from my family and also in my university days. My biggest strength has always been my insatiable appetite to discover new food recipes and try to share them with others.