About Shun Knives

Shun Knife

Shun Cutlery's mother company, the Kai Corporation, has more than 100 years of blade-making experience. Today, Shun knives are still handcrafted in a specialized process involving more than 100 steps by experts that balance traditional techniques with modern technology and materials. These blades are also sharpened to a 16-degree cutting angle, making them thinner, lighter, and sharper than classic Western blades.

In addition to a number of Western-style blades, such as utility, chef's, paring, bread, and boning knives, Shun offers four classic Japanese-style blades. These include:

  • Deba, or jutting blade. Its versatility allows users to fillet fish with the front of the blade and dissect small bones with the rear part of the blade.

  • Nakiri, or vegetable chopper. This type of knife excels at chopping a variety of vegetables.

  • Santoku, or three advantages. Similar to a European chef's knife, this knife is named after its three main uses: cutting vegetables, meat, and fish.

  • Yanagiba, or willow blade. This blade is suited for slicing, particularly when preparing food in incredibly thin cuts.

Shun Knife Series

To help you find the perfect piece of cutlery for your kitchen, KaTom offers several series of Shun knives. Read about each of them below to figure out which one is right for you.

Classic Series

The blades on Classic series knives are made from VG-MAX steel, which offers corrosion-resistance and durability, and each side is clad in more than 30 layers of Damascus steel, which is then ground and bead-blasted to create a beautiful and unique pattern. These knives are equipped with a D-shaped PakkaWood® handle, finished in ebony and designed for maximum comfort for right- or left-handed users. The Classic series offers the widest variety of Japanese- and Western-style blade shapes.

Classic Pro Series

The Classic Pro series also offers user comfort with a D-shaped PakkaWood handle. The blades in this series are made with VG10 stainless steel, which provides stain resistance and edge retention, and etched with unique designs that add visual appeal.

Dual Core Series

Knives in the Dual Core series stand out for their unique blades. The dual-core construction features a herringbone pattern, created from forging 71 micro-layers of alternating VG10 and VG2 stainless steel. These knives are also designed with traditional Japanese handles that are a comfortable octagon shape and finished in ebony PakkaWood.

Premier Series

Designed to evoke the hand-forged knives of ancient Japan, Premier series knives feature comfortable handles crafted with walnut PakkaWood. The blades in this series have a VG-MAX cutting core surrounded by more than 30 layers of stainless Damascus cladding and are given a hammered tsuchime finish.

Reserve Series

Reserve series blades are outfitted with Shun's most impressive steel, SG2 powdered steel, which is given more than 30 layers of Damascus steel on each side. The handles in this series are crafted from a combination of charcoal and crimson PakkaWood, offering a beautiful and unique pattern. This line exclusively features Western-style blades.

Sora Series

Blades in the Sora series are created with a san mai, or three layers, cutting edge, which is made with a VG10 core enhanced by two layers of stainless steel. This is accompanied by a 420J stainless steel upper potion. The two sections are laser-cut and braze-welded together, with a wave pattern adorning the joint for added visual appeal. The traditional Japanese handle design is made with a comfortable and easily-maintained PP/TPE polymer blend that gives these knives a contemporary look.

Wasabi Series

Knives in the Wasabi series feature single- or double-beveled blades made of polished, high-carbon stainless steel. The traditional Japanese-style handle is made from polypropylene and attractively finished in black. The handle also completely surrounds the blade, making it a hygienic knife that doesn't give dirt and bacteria a place to settle.

Shun Knife Sets and Accessories

Many Shun series knives are available in sets. For your convenience, these are available in a number of different combinations, and may come with a knife block or other holder. Shun knife blocks and holders, including rolls and bags, are sold separately and can have six to 22 slots. Shun also provides whetstones and electronic sharpeners to help you round out your culinary collection.


No matter which series you choose to invest in, your knives will need to be maintained. Shun recommends practicing proper knife technique, as improper use can cause irreversible damage to the blade, and storing your knives in a block, case, sheath, or other protective case.

To further protect your equipment from damage, your Shun knife should be hand-washed with a gentle dish soap. Shun offers a free sharpening service at their Tualatin, Ore., facility, but Shun knives can be sharpened by other professionals or by users themselves with a whetstone or electric sharpener. Knives should also be regularly maintained with a honing steel, which realigns the knife's edge.