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).
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.
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.