Customer Reviews: Shun Ken Onion 7-Inch Santoku Knife
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on June 12, 2011
This is an amazing knife. It was given to us by someone who got it new, but promptly cut themselves badly with it. They no longer wanted it in their kitchen as they considered it too dangerous.

As one who owns both diamond hones and Japanese waterstones for sharpening our kitchen knives and my chisels, gouges, and planes, I thought I knew what a sharp stainless chef's knife was. (Most our stainless knives lose a good edge fairly quickly--not this one--there is a huge difference in "stainless".) This knife with it's 16 degree bevel is so much beyond the rest of our knives that there is almost no comparison. As my wife can cut herself with a sharp paring knife--she is a bit "klutzy"--I have lovingly forbidden her from using "my" knife. I do not want to come into the kitchen and find she has accidentally lost pieces of her slender fingers in the stir fry. This is no idle comment...this knife will cut through meat like you cannot believe. The edge is so fine that it ought not be used on bone. Also, it requires plastic or wood cutting boards. The previous owner was a bit careless with this knife and bumped it into something hard and put a tiny notch (almost invisible to the naked eye) in the blade. If you want a truly amazing chef's knife, this knife ought to be on the short list. However, if you are clumsy with blades or just pile them in a drawer, think again. Also, if just anyone might be grabbing it and using it--be careful!
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on January 11, 2010
I have used the highest quality American and German knives but I have never seen anything like these knives. Never before have I found the term "razor sharp" to be more true. These knives are simply astounding. It takes almost no weight at all to cut through veggies, the blade just slides down through. I cut up an onion that was at room temperature and I did not experience even the slightest sensation of a tear. I used the knife to cut a whole chicken into pieces and the blade just sliced through the joints of the bones. These knives are so sharp that you quite seriously need to clean them with the greatest care. My wife wiped a blade and actually cut her finger. I tell you that you will be simply amazed by these knives and will wonder why anyone would ever pay for German or Swiss steel when you can get these for the same price or less. I guess that shows the irrational power of brands over reason.
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on August 9, 2010
This knife is WONDERFUL. I have arthritis in my hands and while I have small hands, gripping a small handle is very uncomfortable, the handle on this knife is perfect. Cutting anything is like slicing through butter, the knife is very sharp and does all the work. While pricey, I have no regrets about buying this knife.
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on August 5, 2012
I got my Shun Ken Onion 7" Santoku DM0517 from Amazon's lightning deals, received the knife in 4 days, pretty fast delivery.
I have some faith in Japan made products. But I have to say I am a little disappointed while unpacking and examing this knife. Please note, I said unpacking, not the actual experience using the knife. I am sure you will find plenty of people saying how sharp the knife is, I am just sharing my point of views and things I see but not mentioned from other reviewers.

While unpacking this knife, I have noticed few small things, maybe they aren't big deals for most buyers, but It's always nice to know more, that's why I am writing this review and uploading photos to share with you.
The good:
1. This knife is has hollow edged on both side. Why does this matter? well, as a lefty, using a knife with hollow edge on the right side of blade doesn't help slices from sticking to the blade.
2. I wasn't sure if the knife will come with the bamboo stand since the product feature and the picture didn't say much, but at the very end of product description it did mention about the bamboo stand is included. And I am happy to see the stand is right next to the knife when I opened the box, but interestingly, the bamboo stand is different from what's printed on the box. It actually looks like the same holder as DM0523 Shun DM0523 Ken Onion Hollow-Ground Santoku Knife With Arch Bamboo Stand, 7-Inch.

The not so good:
1. The bamboo stand has a narrow bar at the bottom to stop the knife from touching the counter top. It is pretty thin/narrow, it can be a little wider for more blade tip protection.
2. The blade and bolster are not created as one piece, I actually see a small gap between the bolster and the back of the blade heel, so there are possibility of germs and residues getting stuck in the gap.
3. The tan doesn't go all the way to the end (not full tang). And I can feel the sharp edge of rivets and the metal edge of the tang when I run my fingers through the handle, it's not like they can scratch my fingers, but I was expecting a smoother touch.

I will update when I learn more about this knife. Hope these are useful.

***** 12/11/2013 Updates *****
I think it is only fair to share my experience after a period of time, because most items remains it's best condition in the first few weeks, but maybe not after few months, or years.

Ok, first of all, I don't cook every day but about twice a week, so the knife is still pretty sharp (hand wash only) still cut through onions without too much effort. Let me borrow my sister's words "when I cut an onion using Zwilling J.A. Henckels, It is easy and smooth, but I do feel a little resistance. But with Shun, i am a little worried about my fingers, because I don't feel that resistance, with little force, it just went directly to the chopping board."

With all that said, here comes the not so good part again.
1. The hollow air pockets aren't helping too much especially chopping onions, they still stick on the blade. I guess it is only for big whole piece slices.
2. Because the thickness and height of the blade, it is not good for cutting watermelon slices ( or any item is much bigger or taller than the knife's height ). I have another knife with thinner blade, it cuts through a watermelon much easier than Shun, even though Shun is sharper.

In short, this is a sharp knife, nice for most kitchen tasks, for anyone who is interested in invest a little more now and have a nice tool for the long term, I will suggest Shun, but maybe not this model.
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on December 13, 2011
I have had this knife for 2 years now. I may as well throw out all the other knives I own, cause this is the only one I use! The handle fits in you hand like a glove. If you do a lot of chopping like I do this knife is for you. My hand never tires, nor do I get blisters on my index finger like I do with other knives. If you buy this knife you won't be disappointed.
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on January 6, 2012
I love Shun knives and have many. This one is very sharp and excellent for fast chopping. It has a nice wedge handle so that you can grip it easily. The knife has some weight but is not particularly heavy. I also have the Kaji Ken Onion Shun Santoko and it is heavier. Also, I believe this knife is supposed to be the substitute for the Kaji which isn't made anymore (which is really a shame because it was my favorite knife). Other differences include that the Kaji has a metal ending on the handle and this handle is all black.

It came with a wood holder. The holder (the wood piece) seems useless. Either we just couldn't figure out how to put the knife in it so it wouldn't fall out (their are no directions) or the knife is supposed to fall out. Seemed very dangerous to have the knife in such a poorly constructed frame.
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on April 7, 2014
Shun's blades are among the best, Ken Onion's ergonomics and handle feel and balance are among the best. Great knife. This is my second. Since Ken no longer designs for Shun these will eventually be impossible to obtain. Since this is one of my favorite knives I bought one for strategic reserve.
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on July 9, 2014
Sharp. Sharp. Sharp. I maintain the edge with a ceramic rod. (This ceramic rod sharpens quite agressively:

This is such a great knife. I expect it is designed for a man's hands which would be bigger than mine, but even still it sits so comfortably in my hand.

I have yet to find a local knife sharpener (kind of small town) who can get it back to it's amazing Shun edge but even still it slides through tomatoes like butter.
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on December 16, 2015
Everyone seems to be talking about how sharp this knife is, and it indeed holds a marvelous edge. But I think every top-of-the-line chef's knife will do that as well. For me, there are two other criteria that are much more important. How does it feel in my hand? How do I feel when I use it?

I have owned this knife for many years. I didn't buy my knife from Amazon. I followed advice suggesting the most important thing was to make sure a chef's knife fit my hand. I tried it, and bought it, at a local store. The Ken Onion designed handle shape is amazing. The knife simply just falls into place. The design is perfect. My previous knife was an 8" Wusthoff traditional chef's knife. Also a great knife. But I have to say I love the Santoku shape. I have much better control over the location of the tip. For example, chopping an onion and wanting to get close to the root as you make your slices; it is effortless. The balance is outstanding. I have never noticed any hand fatigue.

So it is a great tool. But perhaps even more important is the joy I get from using it. To this day, every time I take it out to use it, I am emotionally affected. Seriously. It is beautiful. By look and by feel, I can tell I am using a well crafted instrument. And there is joy in that, a certain amount of inspiration that makes the work to come more rewarding. Knifework should not be dreadful. You should look forward to the prep work; that's kind of the point. I'm not a line cook. I'm a home cook. I know it sounds melodramatic, but this knife has become an important part of the joy I get from that process.
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on August 2, 2012
Wonderfull tool extra sharp nice and heavy feels like a professional knife should feel in your hand. The only concern i have is what other reviews are stating that not recommended to cut through bone and anything hard. Knife might chip and warranty will not cover it. Also you have to mail it to professional to sharpen it which now is a charge ise to be free from shun for life of your knife.
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