Customer Reviews: Shun DM0716 Classic 4-Inch Paring Knife
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on April 13, 2009
I bought this knife to complement the rest of my selection that I have been purchasing one knife at a time. I had tried Wustoff, Henckels, and Global before settling with Shun knives. I am a culinary student at the art institute and was turned on to Shun knives by my chef instructor who gave me a lead on certified Shun Dealer. I fell in love with these knives the first time I tried them. I knew I wanted the 2-1/2 inch bird's beak knife, which is why I decided on the 4" paring knife instead of the 3-1/2". If you are not pursuing the bird's beak knife then the 3-1/2 inch paring knife is great. Also, if you own any Shun knives, make sure you get the Shun Honing Steel with the built in angle. Shun knives retain their sharpness longer than other knifes in this category because they are fabricated with a smaller angle to make the blade than their competition. Most knives form a 45 degree angle to make the blade with two sides at 22.5 degrees each. However, Shun forms their blades with 16 degree angles on both sides to form a 32 degree blade. You should use the steel at least once a week and Shun offers "lifetime" warranty with free "factory-edge" sharpening any time you want. Depending on use, you should send the knives into Shun once a year for sharpening.
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on May 29, 2008
I own three knives: a Shun 8" bread knife, a German 9" chef knife, and this one. This is only one of the three I seem to use day in and day out. It's incredibly sharp, incredibly comfortable to hold, and is the perfect utility piece. I see no need to own a knife block full of specialty blades you'll never use. If you're just starting your set, start with this one. Highly recommended.
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on January 19, 2009
I recently purchased this Shun 4'' paring knife along with Mac 8'' chef's knife and a Global 5-1/4'' santoku, and this knife is every bit as sharp as the more expensive Mac and Global brands--scary sharp, in fact. Plus, the Damascus style steel is simply a work of art. I've used this knife for everything from apples to mushrooms to green onions, and it moved through all of them effortlessly and without damaging the food. I sharpened it recently--not that it needed it really but just because I wanted it as good as when it came--and it regains its original edge in a just a few swipes across a ceramic steel. Finally, the handle I think is the most comfortable of all the knives I purchased, long enough to fit easily in your hand but not so big that it reduces functionality. While Shun knives are certainly becoming very popular in the U.S., it's popularity well deserved, and this knife has found a busy role in my kitchen and was worth the extra cost over its inferior competitors. I'm glad I made the investment--there's simply no comparison between this knife and a Forschner paring knife, which I used previously.
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on July 3, 2012
The first one I got had a blade that was dented in one spot and bent in another. That would have been enough to send it back, but it was also overground in one place and underground in another. I can deal with undergrind, but overgrind basically ruins a knife (it creates a "hole" that is a huge pain to sharpen). It didn't help that the endcap was poorly finished. Naturally, I had Amazon replace it (very good service, by the way).

The second sample did not have the dent or bend in the blade. However, it had overgrind and undergrind in the same places as the previous knife, though not so bad that it was ruined. Finish on the endcap was worse than the first sample, but I can live with that so I kept it.

If you get one without these issues (or if you don't care about them), then I would give it 4 stars. Shun grinds their knives very thin behind the edge and usually has very good fit and finish. The blade is not too thick, and I really like the length. It is one of the better paring knives in this price range (~60). One thing I don't care for is that Shun's VG10 does seem to be more brittle than others (I have about a dozen knives in this steel from Spyderco, Henckels, and Tojiro). The other reason I docked points is that the Forschner/Victorinox paring knife is thinner, gets just as sharp, costs ten times less, and seems to have better quality control. Oddly enough, the Forschner also comes in better packaging (not that it should matter).
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on September 4, 2015
Shun classic DM0716 paring knife is the second smallest paring knife in Shun's classic series. As you might already know, classic series knives are sort of westernized Japanese kitchen knives, like most of the Shuns. Classic series are damascus clad Warikomi Awase knives. Cladding is stainless damascus steel, and the core is VG-10 steel. Add pakkawood, D-shape handle to the package and you get the Shun classic series knife. The DM0716 paring knife is a medium side blade, relatively light for its size. Fit and finish are what you'd expect from Shun. In other words, build quality is very good. Parts are precisely ground and machined, fit together perfectly, no gaps anywhere. Blade finish is very good and the edge out of the box is one of the best on production knives I have ever seen. I'm just stating the facts as they are, even though I am no big fan of Shun's designs. I didn't like their designs, most of them to be precise, and that's my personal take, which you may or may not share. Still, my taste has nothing to do with the knife quality, or blade steel properties, so you have to decide that part for yourself. I mean whether you like the design or not. For the record, as far as the blade design goes, I did like DM0716 paring knife.

The blade geometry of the Shun DM0716 paring knife is quite typical utilitarian shape, drop point blade, can't call it Japanese nor western. Rather universal, quite widespread shape. The blade measures 103.00mm (4.06") in length, at its widest it's 22.40mm and thickness at the blade heel was 1.83mm measured using digital calipers. As I said in many other reviews, Shun knives tend to be on the thinner side, and this paring knife is no exception. The blade is mare using traditional Japanese cladding construction, as described above. Jigane or soft cladding is SUS 401 stainless steel, 32 layers, and hard inner core, hagane is made out of Takefu VG-10 steel at 60-61HRC. The steel itself is nothing new, very solid performer, and very widely used in Japanese and western high end knives. This is not another wonder/super steel, but does the job. I wouldn't place it on top of the list, but for most of the people, who are not into exotic, latest super duper alloy experiments, VG-10 is a good one. The edge on all Shuns is ground to 16° per side. And on all the Shun knives I have seen the edge was nicely polished. As for the blade usability, compared to other paring knives, I find it to be more useful as a paring knife than its smaller version DM0700 paring knife. I haven't compared them directly, as I had them at different times, but based on the use of each one, plus the fact that when I had the DM0700 parer, I also had 4" long Tojiro flash paring knife, which is sort of similar with Shun DM0716. Based on all that experience, I couldn't really find any paring/peeling job when the small one felt much better than the 4" knife. In other situations, 3" blade was definitely lacking. Other than that, there isn't much to say about the blade. Whatever fits better your cutting job and style

The handle on the Shun DM0716 paring knife is the standard pakkawood D-shape handle found on all classic and some other series knives. The bolster, nicely made connects the blade to the handle and at the end, there's a stainless steel buttcap, which on occasion comes handy in crushing garlic, or even small nuts. Although, I myself crush garlic with using the blade of the gyuto or chukabocho, whichever I am using at the moment. Anyway, back to the paring knife, the handles on some of the Shun knives are the biggest reason I dislike them. On Shun classic santoku and Shun Elite Santoku it is way too thick and disproportional, I felt the same way about Shun elite honesuki and Shun DM0702 classic utility knife. Well, perhaps I could go on, but anyway, you get my drift. However, I am happy to report that the handle on DM0716 parer is much better and proportionally designed compared to the other knives listed above. I'm no big fan of the D type handles, but given the fact that there is no other choice for Shun classic line, it'll have to do. May be you'll like them more than I do, or you are not as picky about the handles as I am. Well, I do use that type of handles on the knives, it's not like it'll give you cramps It's just a matter of convenience for me, and as usual I replace D handles with octagonals. As for the positives, pakkawood is a really good choice for the kitchen knife handle. While it's still wood and isn't impervious to elements, still it's a dense wood, has a nice feel to it, and as far as wood goes, it is quite resilient.

Well, simply put, I don't really like Shun knives because of their designs. No complaints about their build quality, or their performance. So, you should draw your conclusions based on that. For what it's worth, I did like DM0716 paring knives better then its smaller cousin, both by design and for its performance. I have one VG-10 steel paring knife already, Tojiro flash, which is a little harder than the Shun parer, plus a few other small knives, like Watanabe Ko-Deba knife and Watanabe kamagata paring knife from Shirogami I steel, which performs considerably better compared to VG-10, but it is not stainless and requires more care than VG-10. So, the bottom-line is that if you are interested in exotic, latest super duper steels like me, then you might wanna skip this knife. On the other hand, if you just want a good, working kitchen knife and you are ok with the design and the price, then Shun parer might be the one. Easy to maintain, good performer, very well made knife. Just keep mind, this is a Japanese knife, not a western one, so be a little more careful with it.
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on July 19, 2013
This knife is very good at making precision cuts and it looks awesome. This knife is made from harder steel than many famous German knifes. This means it is sharper and holds it's edge longer. It also means that the blade is more fragile and will chip or break if you try to cut hard (like a bone) or frozen food. If you are spending this much on a knife do yourself a favor and learn how to care for it, there are a lot of helpful videos YouTube.
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on November 30, 2010
There is not much I can add that hasn't been covered in the other reviews. I completely agree with all of the accolades. I am 6' tall and have large hands so I went to a cooking store and held every paring knife they had and the Shun's larger handle was the only one truly comfortable for me.

My wife has small hands and she loves this knife as well. She was not used to really sharp knives when we got married and even though I warned her, she did cut herself the first time she used this knife. As other reviewers mentioned, this knife arrives scary sharp out of the box.

For cutting and chopping anything smaller than an apple, this is the knife we use. The blade is wider than that on many paring knives which makes it easier to get even slices off items like cucumbers or tomatoes. But I agree with the culinary student's comment that the blade is a bit long to comfortably use the tip of the blade for cutting the eyes out of potatoes for example.
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on March 21, 2012
I'll start by saying that I've been in the market to upgrade my current knife set. I got my eipcurean board (from amazon, of course), and I was ready to go!

I have Henckels...eversharp...and they are good quality knives to start your cooking with. I have some other older knifes that are simply not what they used to be... Simply put, I have outgrown what I have and I wanted some finer precision instruments!

After about 30 hours of research, I decided to go with some Shun classic knives. I ordered the Shun steel with 1000/6000 stone (from amazon too) so I could keep the blades sharp. I ordered this knife and the Ken Onion 8 inch chef's knife (this is the greatest knife I've ever handled but I'll save that review for that page)....

The paring knife is NOT that sharp out of the box. Period! I used the steel to hone it and now it's where it should be. For those who are impressed at how sharp the knife is when you first get it, you can do better.

I have been using the knife daily now and there is no question that it is a fine cutting instrument. Problem is that the darn end already broke a bit...a very, very small amount...and I have no idea what it did this on...I sharpened it and honed it again and it looks fine now, but I'm afraid that with the hardness of a Shun, these blades might be a bit brittle.

Time will tell...will update later...

I also ordered another brand knife and I'll see how durable it is and report back...
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on November 21, 2012
Years ago, I bought Chicago Cutlery, which was supposed to be very good at the time, but after just a couple of uses it was dull. Then I heard that Henkels was the knife to own. I purchased several of them, not knowing there is a big difference in grades. Mine wasn't worth a darn, and wouldn't hold an edge. Recently my brother got on a knife kick and started talking about Shun after his research. I ran across the Shun Ken Onion chef's knife as an Amazon Lightning Deal about 3 months ago, and bellied up the $150. I had buyers remorse until I received my order and began using it. It is incredibly sharp, makes cooking so much easier, and the remorse quickly dissapated! Then, just a few weeks ago, this Shun Classic 4" paring knife showed up in the Lightning Deal. I hit the order button just in time. We used it to slice boneless ribs last week, and I've been using it on pears. What a pleasure it is to cut with! Like the chef knife, the blade is beautiful and so is the handle. I wouldn't care what it looks like, because of the quality and performance, but how great to be nice looking, too. I read that the blades chip easily if you hit bones, etc. I haven't had any problems, but also haven't owned them all that long.

I highly recommend Shun knives, but watch for a good price on Amazon since they are pricey.
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on October 29, 2012
This knife is surgical! Seriously it's very sharp. It looks and feels beautifully crafted. It comes from an old world manufacturer doing things right. The hand feel and weight are excellent. I got this on sale but would have paid full price. Compared to my "German made" Henckles....well there is no comparison! I found myself wanting to buy more pieces and go to culinary school or at least dedicate some time to some great cooking! But beware, buying high-end stuff is addicting and before long you'll be upgrading your whole kitchen to go along with your new knives!
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