Home Buying Guides Knives Shun Classic Knives Review: Are They Worthy?

Shun Classic Knives Review: Are They Worthy?

Shun Classic Knives Review: Are They Worthy?

For your kitchen to be complete, you need the right set of knives. There are so many brands out there, and sometimes it’s challenging to choose the perfect knives for your cooking needs. 

Whether you’re a beginner, a home cook, or a knife enthusiast, you’ll appreciate the Shun Classic knives. We have been using these knives over the years, and we must say that they’re worth it. 

Out of all the knives under the Shun Classic series, the Shun Classic 8” Kiritsuke is by far our favorite. There are no limits to the tasks it can perform. From butchering meat to dicing vegetables, it’s an all-in-one tool. 

We understand how overwhelming it can get with all the knife reviews out there on the internet. 

So, to make things easier for you, we’ve prepared this Shun Classic knives review. First, we’ll check the best-selling Shun Classic knives out there. Then, we’ll take a look at the different features of these knives and answer some FAQs along the way. So, let’s delve in!

Shun Classic Chef’s Knives Review

Shun offers a fantastic collection of knives that are suitable for all your kitchen needs. Let’s have an in-depth look at each of the best-selling Shun Classic knives out there.

1. Shun Classic 8-inch Kiritsuke

Shun Classic 8-inch Kiritsuke

Key Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 13.5 x 0.88 x 2 inches
  • Blade Material: VG-MAX steel
  • Item Weight: 8 ounces
  • Handle Material: Ebony Pakkawood

The Shun Classic 8” Kiritsuke is referred to as the master chef’s knife. This is no surprise, seeing how it can perform a variety of tasks in your kitchen. So whether you want to chop, slice, or dice, this multi-purpose knife is what you need. 

Whether you’re new to cooking or you’re an experienced chef, you’ll find the Shun Classic 8” Kiritsuke easy to use. It’s not only a great cooking tool but also a beautiful knife that’ll look beautiful on your countertop or magnetic knife board. 

This lightweight knife is well balanced and can sometimes be used in place of a paring knife. In addition, the Damascus steel used in manufacturing this knife leaves an attractive flowing pattern that takes craftsmanship to a new level. 

2. Shun Classic Blonde 8”

Shun Classic Blonde 8”

Key Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 16 x 3 x 1.3 inches 
  • Blade Material: Alloy steel 
  • Item Weight: 11.3 ounces 
  • Handle Material: Pakkawood

The Shun Classic Blonde 8” comes with all the features of knives in the Shun Classic series. However, one of the differences is that this knife features a blonde handle, hence, its name. It’s an all-around knife and can be used for slicing, dicing, and mincing.

This blond masterpiece is clad in VG-MAX steel and wrapped in 34 layers of Damascus steel. Just like the name implies, the blade is 8 inches in length.

The handle, made from Pakkawood, gives you the perfect grip. So whether you’re right-handed or left-handed, you’ll have a smooth cutting experience. 

3. Shun Classic 6-Piece

Shun Classic 6-Piece

Key Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 17.6 x 13.8 x 9.4 inches 
  • Blade Material: Stainless steel 
  • Item Weight: 8.88 pounds 
  • Handle Material: Pakkawood 
  • Number of Pieces: 6

The Shun Classic 6-Piece features a collection of cutting kitchen tools that’ll make cooking a joy. It comes in a Pakkawood block that’ll transform your countertop into a beautiful piece. Whether cooking at home or working in a restaurant, you’ll find these knives easy to use. 

Like all the other knives in Shun’s Classic series, this 6-piece set features blades produced with VG-MAX steel with 32 layers of Damascus steel on both sides. 

The handles are D-shaped, made from dark Pakkawood, giving you an excellent sturdy grip. So if you’re looking for a durable, non-corrosive, and sharp cutting set for your kitchen, you should consider the Shun Classic 6-piece. 

With this set, you get: 

  • 3.5-inch Paring knife
  • 7-inch Santoku knife
  • 8-inch Chef’s knife
  • 9-inch Combination Honing steel
  • Dark Wood knife block
  • Multi-purpose kitchen shears

4. Shun Classic 5.5” Santoku

Shun Classic 5.5” Santoku

Key Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 16.12 x 0.75 x 2 inches 
  • Blade Material: Stainless steel
  • Item Weight: 8 ounces
  • Handle Material: Pakkawood

If you have small hands, you’ll understand how difficult it may be to find the perfect knife that makes cutting stress-free.

However, with the Shun Classic 5.5” Santoku, you don’t need to worry about the size of your hands. This is because it features a curved belly that enables you to rock the knife slightly, making cutting, chopping, slicing, or mincing an easy task.

The only notable difference when comparing the Shun Classic 5.5” Santoku is the size. It has a 5.5-inch blade, which is a small size for a knife. However, you’ll appreciate the size if smaller knives are easy for you to handle. 

The Santoku knife doesn’t stray from the Shun Classic signature VG-MAX Steel and Damascus finish. We understand why, though; both materials are known to produce strong and quality blades that’ll give you your money’s worth. 

So whether you’re chopping up some vegetables or slicing fruits, the Shun Classic 5.5” Santoku will be a great addition to your knife collection.

5. Shun Classic Utility Knife

Shun Classic Utility Knife

Key Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 10.75 x 1.37 x 0.6 inches
  • Blade Material: VG-MAX Stainless steel
  • Item Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Handle Material: Ebony Pakkawood

Featuring a narrower and straighter blade, you can expect precision and power when using the Shun Classic Utility Knife. 

Whether you’re a stay-at-home mom, a cook, or a knife collector, you can be assured that the blade will maintain its sharpness for a long time. It’s, after all, a member of the Shun family, popularly known for its sharp edges. 

In addition, this utility knife is the perfect blend between a chef’s knife and a paring knife; it’s like killing two birds with one stone. Also, if you look for both quality and beauty in your knives, this cutting tool will give you both. 

In terms of beauty, it’s clad in 68 layers of Damascus steel, 34 on both sides, giving it a beautiful pattern that’s a sight to behold. 

Also, it’s made with VG-MAX steel which gives the knife the right hardness needed to produce a long-lasting knife that’ll be your go-to kitchen tool for years. Plus, it measures 61 on the Rockwell Hardness Scale, and that’s quite impressive if you ask us.

6. Shun Cutlery Classic 5-Piece

Shun Cutlery Classic 5-Piece

Key Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 17.68 x 10.24 x 5.04 inches
  • Blade Material: VG-MAX Stainless steel
  • Item Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Handle Material: Ebony Pakkawood
  • Number of Pieces: 5

The Shun Cutlery Classic 5-piece Starter Block Set includes three knives that every cook will love to have in their kitchen. The set is complete with honing steel to help you keep the edge of your knives sharp. 

The set also comes in a Slimline block that’ll take up just a little space on your countertop. 

The Shun Cutlery Classic 5-piece is made from VG-MAX, which is rust and corrosion-free, with razor-sharp edges cut at 16-degrees. In addition, this set features handles made from Pakkawood, and it houses a full tang, which allows for perfect balance.

So whether you’re slicing vegetables, making BBQ, or peeling some fruit, you’ll find this knife set extremely useful.

With the Shun Cutlery Classic 5-Piece, you get:

  • 8” Chef’s knife
  • 6” Utility knife
  • 3.5” Paring knife
  • Honing steel
  • Slimline block

7. Shun Classic 8”

Shun Classic 8”

Key Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 15 x 5 x 3 inches
  • Blade Material: VG-MAX steel
  • Item Weight: 7.1 ounces
  • Handle Material: Ebony Pakkawood

This handcrafted chef’s knife features an 8-inch blade. Shun Classic 8” also features a full tang, allowing for perfect control. Again, this is a feature that runs through all the Shun knives. 

Its razor-sharp edge makes it easy to slice your vegetables and fruits. And if you’re going for thin slices, this knife will be a great asset in your kitchen.

However, you should avoid using the Shun Classic 8” to chop hard vegetables or butcher meat because of its thin and fragile blade.

Features of Shun Classic Chef’s Knives 

Now, let’s delve into the different features of the Shun Classic series that make this brand popular in the knife market.

Blade Material

One of the first things you should consider when looking for a knife to buy is what material it’s made of. The Shun Classic chef’s knife is made of VG-Max steel. This is by far one of the best materials used in the production of knives. VG-MAX is high carbon steel that includes additional cobalt, chromium, and tungsten. 

The blade is impressively durable because of the presence of additional cobalt. As a result, you can be assured that this blade won’t chip and crack for a long time. This means that the blade is long-lasting and can be used for years while being in good condition. 

No matter what you cut, it’ll still be tough and durable. However, we don’t expect you to use it to cut tough stuff like bones. But, apart from that, it can prove to be a reliable tool in your kitchen.

Even more impressive is that the blade is wrapped in over 68 layers of Damascus steel. Apart from the fact that Damascus steel has a sharp edge, it’s also hard and flexible. This is necessary for good edge retention. 

Hardness and Edge Retention

As mentioned earlier, the Shun Classic chef’s knife is made of strong and durable materials; hence, the hardness level is one of the best. 

Also, because the knife incorporates additional chromium into the VG-MAX steel, you should expect fantastic edge retention and sharpness. 

So, if you’re tired of sharpening your knife over and over again because it keeps going blunt, you’ll enjoy using the Shun Classic chef’s knife. It’s one of the sharpest knives out there.

Whether you’re cutting meat, vegetables, or fruits, you don’t have to worry about your knife losing its sharpness.

Overall Durability and Corrosion Resistance

We’ll not go into the materials used in the production of this knife since we’ve already done that, but Shun’s Classic chef’s knife is durable because of these special materials. 

Although the blade is corrosion and rust-resistant, you should remember to keep it dry when you’re not using it. VG-MAX is rust and corrosion resistant, but the same can’t be said for Damascus steel. 

We’re not saying that it’s totally unable to prevent rust. You just have to maintain your knife well to make sure it lasts longer before rusting.

The Tang

The tang is the part of the knife that extends into the handle. A knife is either full tang or partial tang. Shun Classic chef’s knife is a full tang knife. This means the blade extends fully through the handle. 

This key feature adds to the durability of the knife. In addition, you get a more balanced knife. 


Shun Classic knives usually come in three sizes, 6”, 8”, and 10”. Being the smallest among the three sizes, the 6” is around the size of a utility knife, and we advise you to use the 8” for your cutting and slicing. 

The 10” is bigger and heavier, but you might find it a bit problematic for delicate tasks, especially if you have smaller hands.

Weight and Balance

One of the reasons why a full tang knife is ideal for all your cutting needs in the kitchen is because it’s more balanced. Hence, it’s easier to chop for longer periods. In addition, the tang is housed in a D-shaped handle, allowing for easy grip for both right-handed and left-handed users. 

Also, Shun Classic chef’s knives are lightweight cutting tools and can be used for a long time without having to rest your wrists after some minutes.

The Handle

Shun Classic chef’s knives feature a handle made from Pakkawood. Pakkawood is a wood and resin composite popular for its durability and resilience to hard-wearing. Knife handles made from Pakkawood can withstand both heat and moisture. So it’s no surprise that the Japanese knife-making company will choose this material in making knife handles.

With Pakkawood, the knives are resistant to heat and moisture, but are they easy to grip? We all know how important a grip is when it comes to using knives in our kitchen. 

Here comes the importance of the D-shaped handles; you won’t have to worry about losing your grip on the knives, whether you’re a home cook or a professional chef. 

Also, although most Shun Classic knives have ebony handles, some designs feature blond Pakkawood handles like the Shun Classic Blonde 8”.

Overall Appearance

Overall, we can say that the Shun Classic chef’s knives are a work of art. They’re an expression of Japanese craftsmanship and design. 

Not only are they ideal for your cooking needs, but they can add to the aesthetic of any kitchen. The blades are a sight to behold due to the beautiful pattern created by the 34 layers of Damascus steel.

Why Should We Buy Shun Classic Knives? 

There are countless knives out there. So what makes Shun Classic knives worth buying? Keep reading to find out.

Razor Sharp

Think of all the times you’ve had to pause in the middle of cooking to sharpen your knives because they wouldn’t stay sharp. 

Having a knife that can easily cut through your fruits, vegetables, and protein is such a time-saver. That’s what you get with Shun Classic knives. We can’t stress enough how Shun chooses one of the best metals in producing its blades. 

Also, Shun Classic knives boast a hardness of 61 Rockwell. So it’s no surprise that their edges stay sharp for long. Plus, when a knife is wrapped in 34 layers of Damascus steel on each side, you know it’s going to have amazing edge retention.

Handle Comfort

The material used in making the handle of a knife can go a long way in affecting how easy it is to hold. So whether you’re chopping, slicing, or mincing, you want to use a knife that gives you a correct grip without causing stress on your hands. 

This is where the handle comes in. Shun Classic knives are made from Pakkawood, giving it a glossy finish. Their D-shaped handles will make you look forward to cooking in your kitchen. 

It’s important to note that your knife can be sharp with the most comfortable handle, but you might encounter challenges like a sore wrist if you’re not using it the right way.

Rust and Corrosion Free

Knives are exposed to a lot of moisture in the kitchen. Whether it’s moisture from the vegetables or fruits you’re slicing or water from your taps as you wash your knives, you can’t keep them away from moisture. 

That’s why Shun Classic knives are made with VG-MAX steel; a metal that’s rust and corrosion-resistant. It would help if you still kept your Shun Classic knives dry, though. Moisture can end up destroying your wooden blocks or cabinet drawers.

Tips for Using Shun Classic Knives 

Shun Classic knives are made from materials that ensure you get value for your money. However, if you want your knives to stay in top condition, you should know how to use them. Let’s look at some of the ways you can do this.

Cutting Technique

When cutting with a Shun Classic knife, use cutting boards made from softwoods, silicone, or rubber. This will help your knife maintain its sharp edge. Avoid surfaces made from hardwoods, glass, or ceramic. You want your Shun Classic knives to last for as long as possible.

In addition, always cut your ingredients by making smooth slicing movements. Push the knife forward and downward, then pull it towards your body. 

Honing and Sharpening

Yes, Shun Classic knives can retain edge sharpness for a long time. However, if you need to sharpen your knife after using it for some time, you should know the right way to sharpen the knives. 

Keep in mind that you take away pieces of metal from the blade when you sharpen your knives. Hence, the more you sharpen, the more metal is taken from your knife.


Do Shun Knives Stay Sharp?

Yes, Shun knives are made with quality materials like VG-MAX steel that ensure you get an extremely sharp blade. However, the level of sharpness can be reduced based on how you use it. Therefore, you’ll need to hone it regularly to maintain sharpness.

What Should You Not Cut With a Shun Knife?

Shun knives were designed for precision cutting purposes, not for stabbing or piercing. Therefore, you should avoid using them for bones or vegetables with thick skins. 

Is Shun Sharper Than Wusthof? 

Wusthof knives are cut at a 14-degree angle. On the other hand, Shun cut its knives at a 16-degree angle. Hence, Wusthof knives are sharper than those produced by Shun.


As you see, the knives in the Shun Classic series are ideal for beginners, cooks, or chefs. Whatever your knife needs are, a Shun Classic knife will make cooking in your kitchen fast and easy. 

We hope this article helped you choose one of the best-selling Shun Classic knives out there. However, to refresh your memory, we’ll recap our top three picks. 

Our first pick is the Shun Classic 8” Kiritsuke. It’s the master chef’s knife on our list, and you should go with it if you want a beautiful, versatile tool in your kitchen.

The second place goes to the Shun Classic Blonde 8”, which gathers all the features in the Shun Classic series along with a blond handle. So if you want to decorate your kitchen with a blond tool while maintaining quality, this is your way to go.

Lastly, if you have small hands and are looking for a knife with a suitable size, then the Shun Classic 5.5” Santoku should be your go-to choice.
And if you want to check other knives’ reviews, you can take a look at our Tomodachi knives review and Serbian chef’s knives review.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here