Pros: Construction, Material Quality, Sharpness, Overall Quality, None
Cons: Material Quality, Design, Durability
Know what you are getting
These Shun knives just aren't as fantastic as the hype. Don't get me wrong, they are nice for what they are. Now that the price is more reasonable, they are getting closer to being worth it, but know what you are getting. People seem to love them until they actually live with them for a while. I think the reviewers here are right on. Your friends will come over and admire them, but you'll probably just leave it on the magnet bar for people to admire and use another knife for daily work. These are Japanese knives from a Japanese company. They are meant for slicing, not chopping down through the material and whacking into your cutting board. If you push straight down through your carrot and it makes a loud grate and then a clack from hitting the cutting board, you are using it wrong. You should pull through gently with control and your slices should be silent. That's separating the cell walls, which is best for high-end preparation, rather than crushing cells (think the perfect surface on a slice of sashimi). You have to treat the edge like some kind of delicate glass. That's the theory, at least, and mine shows no chips after a six or seven years of use. I've chipped other Japanese VG10 knives before I got schooled by a master chef. The tendency to chip comes with this blade material and hardness, just as it would for a high end blue steel knife. That said, yeah, the blade material is hardened to the point of brittleness. Most users should avoid it. One commenter states that this is a vegetable knife, another says it's not for meat, but it's a "san"toku which means "three" jobs: meat, vegetable and fish. It's just not a resilient enough blade to *do* those three jobs fully. It will chip on hard vegetables (like splitting a pumpkin or rutbaga), and it'll chip if you try to part out a leg of lamb when it hits bone. Then you have to pick and choose what you cut, and it's mostly stuff like tofu, soft vegetables, fruit, boned meats, filleted slabs of fish. It seems that the main use is just to own a damascus-clad VG10 blade and show it off on your magnet bar. I find myself grabbing a mid-level Henckels santuko to do almost every job that I should be able to do with this knife. When I'm showing off, I have an Al Mar that's virtually the same in character, but prettier. You'll notice I pick material quality as both a pro and a con. It is. It's both it's signature asset, and the reason that I think these knives don't suit their purpose that well.