Shun Premier Chef's Knife, 8-Inch
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- 8-Inch chef's knife; the perfect all-purpose knife for chopping and slicing both meats and vegetables
- Features layered Damascus steel with a striking, hand-hammered finish (known as 'Tsuchime' in Japanese)
- Hand-hammered finish reduces drag when cutting, keeping foods from sticking to the knife blade
- Premium pakkawood handle nestles comfortably into the curves of the palm and allows for a variety of comfortable and secure grips
- Dishwasher safe; hand washing and air drying recommended; limited lifetime warranty
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A must-have for anyone who loves to cook, this all-purpose chef's knife by Shun Premier comes in handy for a variety of food-prepping tasks. Use it to chop, slice, dice, and more--everything from carrots and potatoes for a savory stew, green peppers and onions for a homemade pizza to fruit for a summer salad. The knife features a large 8-inch blade with a slight curve that facilitates smooth rocking back and forth when cutting, and its large surface area allows for scooping and transporting ingredients from the cutting board. Durably constructed from layered Damascus steel, the knife's blade comes with a hand-hammered finish that not only adds intriguing visual appeal, but that also creates a hollow-ground surface, which reduces knife-drag when cutting and prevents food from sticking to the blade. The knife also comes equipped with a premium Pakkawood handle in a walnut finish, which offers a comfortable, secure grip. As a sleek and stylish finishing touch, Shun embossed its logo on the endcap of the knife's handle. The high-quality knife can safely go in the dishwasher, but for best results, washing it by hand and letting it air dry is recommended. The 8-inch chef's knife measures 13-1/5 by 4/5 by 1-4/5 inches and carries a limited lifetime warranty.
From the Manufacturer
Why Buy Shun Premier
Calling to mind the handcrafting techniques of ancient Japan, the Shun Premier possesses the grace and beauty of hand-forged knives of old. Every blade is made of VG10 steel, clad with stainless Damascus, then ground for lateral stability and incredible precision. Where the steels meet, a wavy line called a Hamon is formed--similar to when samurai swords are tempered using a clay-baking technique. The striking hammered finish ("Tsuchime" in Japanese) acts as a series of hollow-ground cavities, reducing drag when cutting as well as quickly releasing food from the blade. The rich walnut PakkaWood handles nestle comfortably in the hand, and the Shun logo embossed on the bottom adds balance and beauty to the knife, whether in the hand or at rest in the block.
NSF certified for use in commercial kitchens.
- Blade core consists of high carbon VG-10, a Japanese super steel known for its edge retention, allowing the knives to hold their sharp edges for years
- Blades boast a 16-degree angle, making these the sharpest knives out of the box; this is sharper than traditional European blades, which are usually sharpened to 20 to 22 degrees
- Clad with 16 layers of SUS410/SUS431 Pattern Damascus stainless steel on each side for strength and flexibility; this metal is corrosion-resistant and easy to maintain
- Damascus styling adds to the beauty of the knife while the microscopic air pockets created by the cladding process reduces friction during slicing
- Hammered finish, or "Tsuchime," acts as hollow ground cavities, reducing drag when cutting
- Comfortable oblong handle nestles in the palm and provides control, keeping the knife secure in the hand during use
- Pakkawood handles, made of resin-impregnated hardwood, are NSF certified for use in commercial kitchens
- Produced in Seki City, Japan, the capital of samurai sword manufacturing
- Rockwell hardness rating of 60-61 ensures that it takes and holds its incredibly sharp edge longer
- Hand wash and dry recommended; limited lifetime warranty
Kasumi Method of Knifemaking
Kasumi is a traditional Japanese style of knifemaking in which an extremely hard core of high-carbon steel is clad--that is, sheathed or covered--with an exterior jacket of another steel. The somewhat "softer" exterior cladding protects the inner cutting core. In Japanese, kasumi means "mist" and is so called because the exterior steel can have a lovely misty appearance when compared to the harder cutting core.
Kasumi construction provides an ultimate mix of properties: an extremely sharp edge and ease of sharpening. This clad construction is similar to how samurai swords are traditionally made.
Hammered Tsuchime Finish
In Japanese, Tsuchime (Tsoo-CHEE-may) simply means "hammered". It does two things: gives the knife a look that is reminiscent of the handcrafting techniques of ancient Japan; and creates tiny pockets of air that act as hollow-ground cavities to reduce drag and quickly release food from the blade. Shun's gorgeous new Premier line features a hand-hammered tsuchime blade finish.
Many Shun cutlery lines are characterized by the beautiful Damascus patterning on the blades. In Japan, this is also known as suminigashi, or ink pattern, because of its resemblance to the undulating patterns made by ink in water. To create this style of blade, a cutting core of VG10 is clad on each side with 16 layers of Damascus steel, made up of SUS410 and SUS431 stainless steel. Then the blades are bead-blasted to reveal the elegant, waved pattern.
In addition to its beauty, the Damascus has two purposes. First, it protects and supports the extremely hard cutting core. Second, it helps the blade glide through food even more smoothly. You will find Damascus cladding on knives in our Classic, Ken Onion, and Premier series.
PakkaWood is a premium handle material made of genuine hardwood impregnated with resin. The resin makes it moisture resistant, strong, and durable. Sanding and buffing brings PakkaWood to a beautiful gloss finish. As with natural wood, no two pieces of PakkaWood are exactly alike.
|Blade Material:||VG-10 hardened Japanese steel cutting core, clad with 16 layers of SUS410/SUS431 Pattern Damascus stainless steel on each side, for a total of 33 layers of metal.|
|Cutting angle:||16 degrees per side (comprehensive angle 32 degrees)|
|Handle Material:||PakkaWood (resin-impregnated hardwood); oblong ambidextrous handles|
|Sharpening recommendations:||Weekly honing to maintain the blade, sharpening as needed with professional sharpener or Asian-style electric sharpener|
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|Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping|
|Sold By||Amazon.com||Amazon.com||Dalstrong Inc.||Cutlery and More||eKitchenWorld||Amazon.com|
|Blade Material Type||Stainless steel||Carbon||Hand-Hammered,Hand-Crafted AUS-10V 67 Layers||Stainless Damascus with SG2 Core||Stainless steel||Steel|
|Color||Brown||Black||Black G10 handle, nitrogen cooled AUS-10V w/vacuum heat treatment, damascus 66-layers, Honbazuke sharpening, full tang, premium packaging, lifetime warranty, Dalstrong support.||Stainless Steel||Steel||Brown|
|Item Weight||—||7.41 ounces||0.6 lb||0.52 lb||1.18 lbs||0.54 lb|
|Material Type||Steel||Stainless Steel||Heat and Nitrogen Cooled AUS-10V to 61-62 Rockwell||Stainless Damascus with SG2 Core||MicroCarbide MC63 Steel dust - Betulla Masur||Steel|
|Size||8 Inch||8 Inch||8" Blade, 8" Included Guard||8-inch blade||8"||10 Inch|
Top customer reviews
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This knife is a bad ass. You know that guy that seems cool, but has that weird look in his eye and you're fairly sure he could end you if he really wanted to? Yeah, that's this knife. Compared to the knives that are provided by the vast majority of restaurants, well its like putting Butter Bean versus Jon "Bones" Jones. I've put this knife through its paces and here are my observations. Take it as you will.
(1)Beautiful. I get alot of "Ooohs" and "Aaahs" from people who haven't seen it before. "Oh my God" is a common phrase by people who hold it, and "Holy s*** I want one" is common by those who take a couple swipes with it.
(2)Sharp. Out of the box you can cut ripe tomatoes, apples, onions, etc extremely thin very, very easily. Thin enough that light passes through it. Can you shave arm hair with it? No. You cannot. You'll need to sharpen it yourself or have it sharpened professionally for that. Nevertheless its night and day what this knife can do when compared to your average professional kitchen knife.
(3)Comfortable. I've tried quite a few different lines from quite a few different knife companies and this knife ranks right up there in the top for me. I'm 6'2" 255 lbs, mediumish hands and I have plenty of room on this handle. Fits very well to my hand and is easy to maneuver. I didn't think I would like this rounded handle as much as I do the "D" shape of the Shun Classics, but I find I prefer the Premier weight/handle.
(4)Weight. I've used German-style knives pretty much my entire career and I was fairly certain I would hate this knife simply because it doesn't have the heft that a German brings to the table. I was wrong. I hate to admit it, but I was. The blade is so thin and so sharp that heft becomes nothing more than an unnecessary entity under most circumstances. Not only is the heft unnecessary in most cases, but this blade allows extremely precise cuts. On a lark, I wanted to see what it would do versus a plastic 3 1/2 oz souffle cup. It went all the way through it in a single pass without even the slightest crinkle in the cup. Quite literally hot knife through butter. Cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, etc are a freaking joke. Quite literally effortless.
(5)Durability. I'm putting this as a pro mostly because the steel holds an edge decently well under normal usage. Cutting vegetables, breads, deboned meats etc this knife will make you giggle with glee. It is not however designed for bones or for being a can opener. It is a precision tool. If you want something that will smash through product then you are probably looking for a higher end Henckel, Wustof or F.Dick knife. With a simple daily honing after use the blade will hold a close-to-factory edge. Sharp enough to shred paper, but not quite as sharp as when you pulled it out of the box (obviously).
(1)Price. If you're like most cooks, buying a knife at this price point is an investment. Its beautiful and performs extremely well, but you're always nervous its going to get dropped or misused by some idiot on the line that has no qualms about using items that aren't his/hers when you're not looking. Or it magically walking off. There are some pretty respectable SETS of knives that can be had for the price of this single knife.
(2)Blade height. Honestly, most of the time the blade will simply slice through things making this con inconsequential, but there are times where it is necessary to use the heel to cut through something and in this circumstance the blade isn't tall enough to accomplish the task without you smashing your knuckles into the product. There are only really one or two items in my current menu where this happens, but it absolutely makes me cringe when it does.
(3)Debris. While the handle is beautiful and very comfortable to the hand, it tends to collect pretty much anything it comes in contact with. The blade isn't much better. The "hammered" texture doesn't seem to have as much impact as one would think.
To say that I'm not in love with this knife would be a complete lie. It is easily the best knife I have ever owned and I would recommend the knife whole-heartedly. That said, the price point that this knife can be had at will make the vast majority of professional cooks cringe simply because of the environment that it is expected to survive in. Even as I write this review I am seriously considering buying a cheaper set that hopefully performs pretty close simply because the idea of this knife getting ruined makes my fists clench. Also, don't let water or acidic products sit on the blade for extended periods of time. Its kind of a no-brainer, but when you get used to abusing house knives, seeing the discoloration on this knife can make you a sad panda even though it wipes off pretty easy if caught in time.
UPDATE January 20, 2013: I've been using this knife for almost a year now. I have since purchased several other chef knives, including a $240 gyuto made with CPM-154 steel. I still keep coming back to my Shun. It is my go to knife for 90% of the stuff I do in the kitchen. I still have not experienced any of the chipping that some reviewers were complaining about, so it makes me assume they are mistreating this knife. For me, the Premier is the perfect balance of weight, utility, and beauty at a very competitive price. The blade is rigid(no flex) and while noticeably heavier than most gyutos and lasers, it is also noticeably lighter than German-style French knives. The VG-10 is about as good a steel as you're going to find at this price point. Good edge retention, but not superb. One of the best investments I have ever made.
UPDATE March 21, 2013: I figured I should mention my absolute favorite trait about this knife, and that is the finish and the geometry of the blade create a surface with virtually no drag. The combination create a performance trait that I have yet been able to replicate with another knife. It is particularly evident when doing your horizontal cuts for dicing an onion. With the grinds on other knives (Henckel/Miyabi products especially) they seem to create alot of drag and you almost have to rip the knife through the cut. The Premier is nearly effortless and it has caught some experienced cooks by surprise who had their hand on the back of the onion instead of on top where it belongs. Caution is warranted while you get used to this knife's characteristics.
I used this knife for a brief period, and my personal opinion is that at the price, much better options exist. It isn't that the knife is terrible, but more so that it is priced higher than other knives with the same level of performance. For example, a Tojiro 8in Chefs Knife costs less than a third the price of this Shun, and, while not as cosmetically pretty, I think it performs much better and that Tojiro produces better VG-10 steel than Shun does. If this Shun was around $60-80, it would be an awesome addition to the kitchen. But at this current price range, I think there are better options available.
Being a bit of a knife nut, I have purchased many different style kitchen knives over the years. Some have been less than $5 and some over $500. There are many knives closer to the $5 side that I like a lot, and when looking at a less expensive knife, I try to form my opinion keeping in mind it has greater value than very expensive knives. For example, I really like my Mercer chef knife and while I do not like it as much as my 270mm Konosuke Fujimaya or my Takeda, it costs 1/6th of the Kono or Takeda.
As noted above, I think pricing affects the assessment of how well a knife does or does not perform, and the Shun is priced competitively with knives that are better in every which way. The price of the 8 inch Premier puts it in a price range with the Konosuke HD, but there is a gigantic performance gap that makes it impossible to even compare the knives. Consequently, I find it hard to justify the Shun given within the hardcore chef knife communities that Konosuke is considered to be one of the best or THE best.
As some other reviews show, Shun knives are sometimes known for being a little more chippy than others. I had a different 8 inch Shun chip on me and I was cutting a soft surface over an end grain maple butcher block (widely considered to be the best material for a cutting board.) Shun makes it very clear that the Lifetime Warranty DOES NOT help you if chipping occurs, and Shun tends not to cover chipping that occurs even from normal usage. So I feel at this price you can get a knife in the same (or better) steel with a superior heat treatment, resulting in a tougher blade that holds an edge longer and is less likely to chip.
I also find that I prefer the Eastern rounded or octagonal handle (seen on other Shun models and most every Japanese knife more than this handle, and that this handle makes the classic pinch grip hard, which in parts make the fulcrum cutting motion rather difficult to do. Some people may prefer this asymmetric style (kind of a hybrid of the Western handles), but if you use the pinch grip a lot, chances are you will find you get more control and comfort with an octagonal handle.
So if you are considering this knife, my personal advice is to consider some of the other options before buying this Shun, such as the Konosuke HD or HD2 given the Kono is priced the same. There are many brands that make knives for the less than or the same price as the Shun, which I think you will like much more. Just a few makers include: Hiromoto, Kikuichi, Masamato, Kaneshige/Konosuke, Yoshihiro, SETO, Suisin, Misno, Tanaka, Takamura, and Tojiro. For a budget knife, Tojiro is probably my favorite brand and their $55 8-inch DP chef's knife is a fantastic performer.
Your mileage may vary.
I respect Japanese craftsmanship very much.
Recently, my friend gave me a new Japanese chef's knife "GOUGIRI" as a celebration of the renewal opening of my restaurant.
The Shun knife is just as nice as the knife they gave me.
My impression of the Shun is that it is heavier than my new knife, which is why I prefer not to use my Shun for a long time at my job.
The blade shape is also slightly different. When I cut whole turkey or lobster, I use my other knife because I am slightly scared my Shun will chip. GOUGIRI's blade is not too tapered or too thin, so I feel less anxious using it on tough ingredients. Any other ingredient though, I feel like they cut just as well as each other!
Another point you have to keep in mind if you are buy this product is that if you purchase a Japanese knife, you have to sharpen it on a whetstone.
I really love to do it on weekends, since it helps me destress.
When I sharpen my Shun, I feel the VG10 steel blade is harder than when I sharpen my other knife with the AUS8 steel, so it may difficult to sharp exactly for beginner.
All in all though, I highly recommend buying a Japanese knife if you are planning to invest in a knife to use for your whole life!