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Shun SG0404 Elite 8-Inch Chef's Knife

by Shun
13 customer reviews

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  • 8-inch chef's knife from the elegant Shun Elite collection
  • Handcrafted in Japan of incredibly sharp, strong SG-2 steel
  • Beautiful black PakkaWood handle with inlaid design
  • Decorative flourishes on handle and blade edge
  • Wash by hand; lifetime warranty; gift-boxed
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Product Description

Product Description

The ancient traditions of Japanese samurai sword-making, meet today's state-of-the-art steel technology in the new Shun Elite series of knives by Kai. Like the traditional samurai sword blade, Shun Elite is extremely sharp and flexible; ideal for food preparation. But unlike the traditional blade, Shun Elite features a center layer of a new type of "super steel" called SG-2. This new "super steel" starts out in a powdered form. Under heat and pressure it combines to make a much denser alloy which in turn creates the finest molecular structure used in knife making today. The result is an edge that will hold longer than any other steel on the market. Even better for busy chefs. Shun Elite's superior edge will respond quickly and easily to a honing steel when it needs a quick touchup. For added strength and protection, the SG-2 is clade between two outer layers of quality 410A stainless steel for beauty and tireless handling. Shun Elite features an ergonomic handle of handsome PakkaWood®. This premium-quality hardwood laminate combines the beauty and feel of hardwoods with the strength and performance of plastic. Inlaid with a traditional symbol, the handle is also enhanced by thin rings of brass and copper separating it from the bolster. With this kind of beauty and performance, Shun Elite will soon become the knife chefs reach for again and again.

Although a bit intimidating at first, this 8-inch chef's knife from the fabulous Shun Elite collection will soon become a favorite for everyday chopping, mincing, and slicing. The blade is so sharp it practically melts through even the toughest winter squash. Like all Elite knives, this one features a sleek black PakkaWood handle, made of a hardwood-resin fusion, which showcases an inlaid traditional Japanese emblem and fine rings of copper and brass near the bolster. A distinctive flourish, called a "hamon," along the edge of the blade recalls the samurai swords once made in Seki City, Japan, where Shun Elites are handcrafted. Any chef would feel honored to receive this exceptional, gift-boxed knife.

Shun Elite knives stand out for their incredible sharpness, sharper even than Shun Classics, thanks to the newest powdered steel alloy known as SG-2. The process used to make SG-2 results in a fine-grained, very dense blend of ingredients that creates a smooth-as-silk knife edge. Shun edges are formed to an unusually keen 16 degree angle, which is one reason they're so prized among chefs who value uniformly thin slices, a necessity in Japanese cuisine. Covered by a lifetime warranty, Shun Elite knives should be washed and dried--carefully--by hand, and stored when possible in a wooden block to protect the blade. --Ann Bieri

Product Details

  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 1 x 1.9 inches ; 13.6 ounces
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Domestic Shipping: Item can be shipped within U.S.
  • International Shipping: This item is not eligible for international shipping. Learn More
  • ASIN: B000NW6DHE
  • Item model number: SG0404
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #256,267 in Kitchen & Dining (See Top 100 in Kitchen & Dining)
  • Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

83 of 88 people found the following review helpful By Amozarte VINE VOICE on September 24, 2007
First and foremost, let me start this review with a few general notes...

I am NOT a professional chef- I work in finance. I am a cooking enthusiast who decided to get serious about my kitchen. I admit that my needs are vastly different from those of a culinary professional.

That said, I must mention that reviews are great but I highly recommend going to a local kitchen supply store that will allow you to test drive knives.

Just about every celebrity chef has his or her own preference- I first heard about Shun knives from Alton Brown, who uses Shun Classics. I happen to prefer the Elites and my brother swears by Wüsthof. The other reviewer of this item prefers Global.

The reason for the wide variety of opinion is that buying knives is a very personal thing- what's right for one might be very wrong for another! The only way to ensure you are happy with your investment is to take each for a spin and decide for yourself.

One more general word of wisdom- don't buy a set unless you would buy each and every component independently. Manufacturers have a bad habit of including one or two items that you really don't need, like a tomato knife or three different sizes of utility knife. Common sense says don't pay for the extra knife/accessory you don't need and therefore won't use.

Now, let's review this knife...

At $220 it should go without saying, but I'll say it for the sake of being thorough: this knife is sharp, *extremely* sharp. However, my personal feeling is that when you reach these high end price tags, you will find that all of the major brands will give you an adequately sharp blade. Beyond that, you need to concern yourself with edge durability and comfort.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By D. E. Hardy on March 16, 2008
I work in a professional high class kitchen, and I also enjoy competing in cooking competitions where extreme accuracy and precision are essential with all of my knife cuts. I bought this knife about three months ago to replace my global 8-inch chefs knife that I had been using for the last five years. I have quite a collection of chef's knives to include Global, Wusthof, and F.Dick. Each has their own place in my arsenal, but this Shun is my top pick when perfect knife cuts are needed.

Now my global is a great knife and I still use it at home, but it has been worn down quite a bit from years of constant use and abuse at work, and as preparation for my last competition, I really wanted something new and unblemished so as not to interfere with my knife cuts. Here are a few things to note about this knife that may help you decide whether or not to spend the big bucks:

First, Unlike the Shun Classic series, the Shun Elite does NOT use the D shaped handle, and can therefore be used by left handed people like myself without having to find the left handed knife. News Flash - There isn't one.

Next, it's a beautiful knife and impeccably sharp just like all the other high end knives. I use this knife primarily for knife work that requires perfection, and break out another knife for more workhorse related tasks such as chopping through chicken bones, or making miropoix. I wouldn't use this as an everyday "beater" knife.

Honestly, if I did not work in a high class professional kitchen, and I were looking to buy a nice knife for occasional home use were extreme precision wasn't necessary, I probably wouldn't spend the extra dollar on this knife. The other knives of its class such as Wusthof and Global are absolutely great knives.
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40 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Todd March on May 18, 2007
My 20 year old Henckels (that have served me well) needed sharpening recently, and while picking them up I had to inspect the Shun knives so many are talking about; I ended up buying two Shun Classic knives--an 8" Chefs Knife and the 3.5" paring knife. After getting home and using them wildly for two days, side by side with my freshly sharpened Henckels, I was less than impressed with these supposedly "wicked sharp" Japanese knives.

Yes, they were sharper than my freshly sharpened Henckels 4 Star's, but not in a great and dramatic way, and considering I had spent $180 for two knives, I wasn't exactly thrilled. The Shuns were, however, much more comfortable and much more sexy (for cutlery) than my classic Henckels, no doubt about that. Still, I wanted something ultra "Japanese" sharp with those insane 16 degree edges. I returned the two Classic knives and invested even more (almost double the original amount) in the same two knives from the Shun Elite line--an 8" Chefs knife and a 3.5" paring knife. I had done my homework and read about the new powder steel technology involved with these Elite knives (and how many see this as the future for finer cutlery), and how the blades started and stayed sharper because of this harder SG-2 powder steel (Rockwell rating of 64). All in all, it sounded good, but these were BIG bucks I was laying out, and I had been less than thrilled with the Shun Classic knives...

Well, happy to report that these are the Japanese knives I have been dreaming of--EXTREMELY sharp and sushi-knife like; they go through food as if they are powered, as if everything is butter. The Chef's knife is the sharper of the two and dicing a raw potato or cutting through a butternut squash is a marvelous experience with these knives.
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