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When you see the Shun Premier Santoku Knife in person, your immediate reaction will be “It looks beautiful!” rather than “It looks strong and durable.”
Made in Seki, Japan, which is known as the city that created the Samurai Sword, Shun Premier adopted their special Samurai sword making technology into producing top high-end Japanese kitchen knives. The Shun Premier’s very sophisticated and delicate blade makes the knife look more like a decorative samurai sword than some sort of kitchen knife.
The Shun Premier Santoku Knife has the following special features:
High carbon VG-10 steel/ 16 layers of SUS410/SUS431 pattern Damascus stainless steel
Hammered finish called “Tsuchime”
Comfortable oblong handle/ Pakkawood handle
Rockwell hardness rating of 60-61
The Shun Premier Santoku knife follows the profile of a traditional Japanese cutlery including using Japanese super steel, VG-10, Damascus pattern, and Tsuchime.
VG-10 is called Japanese super steel and is very popular in Japan’s high-end cutlery industry. VG-10 steel consists of high carbon steel and stainless steel like other regular kitchen knives. The difference between VG-10 steel and other regular high carbon stainless steel knife is the percentage of high carbon steel in VG-10. Usually, the portion of carbon in a high carbon knife is 0.5%. However, the portion of carbon in VG-10 is up to 1% to 1.5%. This exceptionally high portion of carbon in VG-10 makes for an extremely hard blade. The hardness of the Shun Premier can be shown in Rockwell hardness ratings. The Rockwell C Scale is used for showing how strong a blade is. A rating of 60-61 is the perfect hardness for a kitchen knife, holding the edge long yet not making the blade brittle.
Another striking feature of the Shun Premier knife is its Damascus Pattern. The Damascus Pattern is the traditional Japanese knife-making technology, which covers the VG-10 hard core of the blade with 16 different layers of SUS 410 stainless steel. It allows for better corrosion resistance, flexibility of the blade, and a beautiful wave-like pattern.
On top of the Damascus Pattern, the Shun Premier added another special technique, Tsuchime, to the blade, creating a very unique look to the knife. The Tsuchime technique is basically a hammered finish, whereby the blade is literally hammered to create the dents on the surface of the blade. These dents are used to prevent the chopped food from sticking to the blade. Usually, a santoku knife has the hollows along the blade for easily releasing the cut food from the blade, but the Shun Premier Santoku knife does not have these hollows because they already have the many dents on the blade created by the Tsuchime technique.
Also, the Shun Premier Knife’s oblong shaped Pakkawood handle creates a comfortable grip and a classic, sophisticated look.
If you are curious about a traditional Japanese kitchen knife, the Shun Premier Santoku knife is the best choice for you. It truly satisfies all aspects a quality santoku knife should have: excellent function, a sharp and long-lasting edge, a strong and durable blade, and the stunning look created by the Damascus pattern, and Tsuchime technique.
Reviews from Shun Premier Santoku Knife, 7-Inch Users
It came down to the Premier Chef's Knife and the Premier Santoku. It was a very close call, but I found the santoku to have a slightly better balance. The hammered finish on top of the blade is not just attractive, it effectively releases thin slices from the side of the blade as you work. The handle is also very distinctive and beautiful, slightly bulkier and more contoured than the Classic Shun and providing excellent comfort and control.
I can make near paper thin slices that fall right off the knife. It is exceptionally sharp, which for me is great. My wife, however, nearly cut the end of her finger off because she didn't give this knife the proper respect. So, like all great knives, you need to be careful.
It's a piece of art which makes chopping veg and fruit a doddle. It slides through whatever I cut like it was warm butter.
First, it is beautiful, and lets face it, for this level of knife it really should be. The Amazon picture does not do it justice, as it has a wonderful mirror polish over the hand hammered sides. Handles are personal, and I like the handle quite a bit, and have fairly average sized hands and use a fairly standard pinch grip.
I love the Shun knifes. They are expensive but life warranty and I had only great experiences with them. One of my shun knife broke (just the tip) and I had it fixed for free (you just have to ship it to them. So I just got this one and I find it beautiful on top of extremely sharp and well balanced.
I test drove the Miyabi and Global 7" Santoku knives and both are also quite good. I like the Miyabi Kaizen Santoku as much as the Shun, but the Shun in this case was the better deal. The Global was just as wickedly sharp, but I am not a fan of the handle or balance. As many have noted, the Shun knife comes razor sharp and able to shred newsprint or shave hair off the back of your arms, and more importantly, slides effortlessly through carrots and crisply through long angled cuts of spring onion.
VG10 is hard enough and wear resistant enough to stay razor sharp with nothing more than a few weekly swipes on a steel, but also can be sharpened much more easily than some very hard steels. It is a near perfect knife steel. The resin impregnated wood handle is glossy and beautiful, and as durable and sanitary a choice as micarta, and better than the phenolic handles on most German blades.
This is simply the finest knife I have ever had the pleasure of owning. I compared it with my existing set of knives and to put it bluntly (pardoning the pun), the Shun Premier is simply on another planet. It's a piece of art which makes chopping veg and fruit a doddle. It slides through whatever I cut like it was warm butter. Amazing. I have no hesitation in recommending this item.
VERY sharp, so respect the knife. Better than my Henckles or Zwillings. Leaves them in the dust. You will not be disappointed. Beautiful blade, each special, different, as this knife is made from metals mixed then folded. You can read about the process…it's amazing, hard work, but you end up with a piece of art. Sharp art.