Shun Knives Review

The most popular Shun knife on Amazon –
Shun Classic Chef’s Knife

Shun is translated from Japanese as “at the peak of perfection”. Each Shun knife takes at least 100 handcrafted steps to complete. Any Shun knives review looks like the review of the hand-forged knives of ancient Japan!

Shun knives handles

  • PakkaWood handles, made from resin-impregnated natural hardwood, are waterproof, durable and will not harbor bacteria. See the ebony handles of the Shun Classic, Classic Pro and Ken Onion lines, walnut handles of the Premier and charcoal and crimson handles of the Shun Reserve line.
  • All Shun lines of knives have a full tang.
  • Shun knives handles can have a traditional Japanese style (D-shape of the Shun Classic and Classic Pro lines – they are shaped for the right-hand users), the Western style of Reserve knife handles, or be ergonomic (Shun Ken Onion knives).
  • No gaps and misalignments.
  • Perfect balanced weight and grip among many other pros stressed in this Shun knives review.

Shun knives blades

  • Double-beveled blade of most Shun lines, except for the single-bevel blades of the Shun Classic Pro knives.
  • Different texture of blades. They can be the Damascus-clad blades, hammered, graffiti-etched.
  • Razor-sharp blades of Shun knives don’t bruise or torn delicate foods to a 16° angle sharpening. Most European style of knives have 22-24° angle.
  • Blades are made from the advanced steel, also known as “super steel” which holds the edge (VG10, SG2).


Shun knives review helps you understand the difference between different lines of knives the manufacturer offers.

Shun knives lines

1. Shun Classic.

Knives have ebony PakkaWood D-shaped handles; Damascus cladding VG10 cutting core, stainless steel, double-beveled blades. The Classic line offers different shapes of knives blades.

To compare prices for different lines, as an example, see 8″ Shun Classic chef’s knife – it costs $95.95 on a discount (list price is $175) on Amazon.

2. Shun Classic Pro.

Knives have the same ebony PakkaWood D-shaped handle like in the Shun Classic line; single-bevel, graffiti-etched blade of traditional Japanese shapes; Solid (pure) VG10 stainless steel; blade backs are gently hollow ground.

8 1/4″ Shun Classic Pro Deba knife costs $209.95 on a discount (list price is $263).

3. Shun Premier.

Knives have the same PakkaWood handles, but they are contoured and walnut (not ebony like in the both previous lines), ended with the embossed cap for balance; Damascus cladding, VG10 stainless steel cutting core, double-beveled blade with the texture called hammered tsuchime to release food with ease.

8″ Shun Premier chef’s knife costs $159.93 on a discount (list price is $225).

4. Shun Ken Onion

Knives offer ebony PakkaWood handles; curved shape of blades and handles which differs the Ken Onion knives from the other lines; rounded oversized bolster; widened grip to relieve tension in hands. Damascus-clad double-beveled blades with the VG10 cutting core. The blade looks like the Classic line.

8″ Shun Ken Onion chef’s knife costs $229.95 on a discount (list price is $313).

5. Shun Reserve.

Knives of this line are finished in the Western style and that differs it from other lines; handles are the same PakkaWood, but they are charcoal and crimson with inlaid mosaic crest, not ebony or walnut handles of the other Shun lines. Handles are three-riveted and have a full-tang which makes Shun Reserve blades slightly oversized. The blade is double-beveled, nickel-stainless steel layered Damascus (it is shinier), SG2 micro-carbide steel cutting core for edge retention (all other Shun lines have VG10 core – also tough, stain resistant and hold the edge).

8″ Shun Reserve chef’s knife costs $259.95 on a discount (list price is $415).

One of the main features that differs all the Shun lines is the overall design of knives. As per the Shun knives review, the overall Western design of the Shun Ken Onion and Reserve lines offers slightly heavier knives. The Eastern design of the Classic, Classic Pro and Premier lines offers thinner and lighter knives.


Shun recommends to wash knives by hand with dish soap without citrus extracts. Then the knives should be rinsed, have towel dry and air dry for some time before storing them into a block, case, magnetic bar, etc. Shun knives should not be put into a soapy water in a sink.


Shun knives can be honed with a Shun steel regularly (weekly) or be sharpened with a ceramic rod, a whetstone, the Shun electric sharpener which sharpens the blade at the needed 16° angle, or you can simply use the professional sharpener service.

Along with this Shun knives review, see other reviews of different Eastern and Western manufacturers.

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