Product: Shun Classic 8" inch Chef Knife Price: $150 Cheapest Place to buy: Amazon.com Rating: 9/10
So I have been totally hooked on using my Shun knife since the first day I had it. The feel, the weight, the precision are all just great. Not to mention that when this chef opens his knife bag and begins to hone his weapon of choice, all the other cooks and sous chefs turn their heads. Yes it can be expensive, especially depending on how custom you want make the knife. It all comes down to getting the job done and there are some classic Shun knives that give an affordable option for any young aspiring chef.
Why do I like my Shun classic 8″ chef’s knife?
First of all, I like the length of my chef’s knife because it can cut through almost anything I come across in the professional kitchen and at home. I can split entire ribs of celery length wise with ease. This can make tasks go much faster because I don’t have to make cross-cuts because the knife isn’t long enough. Watermelon and Pineapple are good examples for things made easier with my Shun.
I also never needed a carving knife. I have always been able to slice prime rib with ease. The knife is long enough to get enough blade coverage for these types of tasks. I also use my Shun to filet, clean, and portion fish. The blade is strong due to how it is made, layers upon layers. And it also very thin, so I can get between the skin and flesh of a side of Mahi-Mahi with no problem. Anyone who has ever done this knows that sometimes a side of Mahi-Mahi can be over 8″ wide.
You can also make room in that knife bag and get rid or don’t initially buy the bread knife. Now a good bread knife is great, but so is a carving knife and an extra long fillet knife. The Shun is so sharp that it cuts slices of bread with no teeth marks that you get from serrated knives. And how many times have you gone to a serrated knife to make tomatoes easier to cut. Not with this baby! I can cut paper thin slices of tomato or perfect diamond shape dices.
Have you ever had a knife you particularly liked and it ended up getting chipped on the blade or the tip. Shun will sharpen your knife for you and get those out for free, minus a small shipping fee. That is forever. Um, so you don’t have to ever buy another chef knife.
Is there a downside?
Some say that the shape of the blade doesn’t transfer to left-handers as well, this I can’t say for sure because I’m right-handed. Another point about the blade is the high tip. Using the Shun for tip work proves to be a bit cumbersome and this is where you would benefit from another knife such as a paring or utility knife. I personally like the high tip and would rather use a smaller knife for such tasks.
The blade is very strong but it is also very thin. The strength in the blade translates to how long you can go without a need to sharpen it. This unfortunately does not translate into everyday butchering such as breaking down chickens. Cutting the backs or splitting thighs will most likely chip your knife. I use a less expensive German alternative for these tasks.
Compared to Similar Products
First and foremost, I want to warn against similar looking knives for under $30. They will have descriptions such as Sushi Sashimi Knife. I have bought one of these versions in hopes that I could get a good quality Japanese steel knife for cheap. Boy was I wrong. The blade set into the handle was very flimsy. The blade itself was not sharpened. So be prepared to have a grinding wheel (yeah right!). Even if I did sharpen the knife myself, there was not a lot of blade to work with, so you most likely would end up with a filet knife.
I mention elsewhere on my site that Calphalon makes an excellent Japanese steel knife. Their Katana series are an excellent alternative to a Shun Classic Knife. I had used one of these for the first couple years of my career.
When put up against any German engineered knife, I will go with the Shun every time.
Enough said? Read on.
So I am a big fan of their life-time sharpening policy. I love how they look. They really are very sexy knives. You can get a decent Shun for under $200. It does the job of most other knives so you can carry fewer knives in your bag. The blade keeps its edge longer than most other knives.
If you think you are ready to buy your very own Shun, you can find one through here.