Shun SG0404 Elite 8-Inch Chef's Knife
We don't know when or if this item will be back in stock.
- Enter your model number to make sure this fits.
- 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
Customers also shopped for
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Have a question?
Find answers in product info, Q&As, reviews
Please make sure that you are posting in the form of a question.
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
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Added 3/18/2011.......I'm leaving all five stars because this knife is every bit as wonderful as I first wrote. No deletions about that. However, must add this note because the Mac 8" Chef's knife that I bought a few weeks ago is superior in performance at the cutting board and is also cheaper. I wrote a separate review for it.
Original post from 12/22/10....... Knife is very well balanced and a pleasure to use. Blade is thinner and lighter than the four-star Henckels it's replacing and much sharper. I find all movements easier with the Shun. It really is a pleaure to use. My Henckel's has been a work-horse for years and I keep it very well maintained. It and the Shun will slide through paper like razors. However, in use at the cutting board doing actual work there's no comparison that favors the Henckels. Side-by-side, the Henckels feels like a cleaver. My "work horse" will be retiring.
I also have a Shun Classic Ken Onion 8" which is quite a pleasure to use but it is thicker and quite a bit heavier and has an unconventional blade contour. If your hand fits it and you "get" it, it's quite wonderful but some people might find it a little strange. This Shun Elite knife isn't like that. It's contoured pretty much like any other French Chef's knife but it works a lot better. Nothing to get use to at all except superior performance.
I purchased partly out of curiosity about the Rockwell 65-66 hardness of the core-steel. (Other Shuns are 60-61; Henckels is more like 56-57) I've never owned a steel knife this hard. Hoping for longer lasting edge but too early to tell about that. Surely do feel good about it at this early date. The warranty and free sharpening were other incentives.
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.
As for durability, I'll say again that at this end of the price range you should naturally expect to get a knife that will last decades- no matter what brand you buy. The differentiator here has little to do with whether or not the knife will break, but rather how often you'll need to hone and sharpen your blades. (Honing and sharpening are NOT the same thing.)
While I haven't owned this knife long enough to make promises regarding the edge durability, the SG-2 alloy used in the Shun Elite will supposedly hold it's edge for quite a long time- even longer than the VG-10 used in the Shun Classics. If true, this would mean you could expect to get more cutting done between honings. Again, I can't vouch that this is true but that is the expectation Shun has set.
Finally, we come to comfort- you just have to feel comfort for yourself, but here are a few of my thoughts. Let me start with the comfort factors I *didn't* like about the competitors:
Global: Weight & handle length. For me, the Global was just too light. It is a proverbial feather. I fully understand that this would be a huge benefit were I chopping, dicing, and mincing for hours every day- but I don't. And since I'm a somewhat burly fellow, the lack of heft was disorienting for me. The handle is also a little on the short side for my big hands, which left the end of the handle bumping into the inside of my palm.
Wüsthof & Henckels: Weight & handle shape. Both of these German-made knives are like battle axes. Holding them, I felt that if raging barbarian hordes stormed my kitchen I would be able to defend myself by wielding a Wüsthof/Henckels as a broadsword and my dutch oven lid as a shield. They both seemed to be strong on power and brute force at the expense of agility and nimbleness. The handles felt quite boxy and lacked any elegance to their touch. (The Henckels was a little smoother than the Wüsthof but both were very boxy.)
Now for what I liked about the Shun...
The handle was curvaceous, contouring to the peaks and valleys of my fingers and palms. The length was just right so that the knife felt perfectly balanced in my hand. The weight was neither too heavy nor too light. I felt like I could muster enough force to chop through anything, yet maintain grace and control while doing so. I attribute this to the thin 16 degree edge of the Shun, as opposed to the "normal" 22 degree edge of most knives.
While the Classic and the Elite had different handles, both were quite comfy and ergonomic. The winning element of the Elite over the Classic was the ambidexterity of the handle. You must choose either right or left handed with the Classic, which is a problem for me since I'm a lefty and my wife is a righty.
In the end, settling on the Elite was a very easy decision for me but it could not have been made without holding and cutting with each knife myself. Even if everything I have just described resonates with your personal tastes please please please make sure you go out and try before you buy.
Admittedly, I did not purchase from Amazon but not because of price! There was actually no material price difference between Amazon and my local store. I simply felt honour-bound to buy from the folks who allowed me to test drive the knives.