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View Full Version : Whats the Deal with Shun and VG-10 Steel?



ams
10-31-2012, 06:50 PM
I have a couple of Shuns (classic pairing knife and a pro usuba) and it'll be time to sharpen soon. Why do people hate Shun's so much? Is it the actual VG-10 steel or that they are mass-produced, overpriced and use western profiles? Is sharpening VG-10 steel any different from any other type of steel?

I love my Shun pairing knife and I like the Usuba (although in hindsight I should have bought a "true" usuba with a completely flat profile but oh well) so I don't understand why people shun shun's (no pun intended) unless sharpening is a nightmare.

EdipisReks
10-31-2012, 07:01 PM
they are kinda expensive, and the chef knives have a lot of belly. what do you mean by "completely flat profile"? an usuba has a chisel grind, and a concave back. the Shun usuba is an usuba, as far as i know.

kalaeb
10-31-2012, 07:03 PM
I loved my shun pairing knife. But overall, overpriced vg 10.

brainsausage
10-31-2012, 07:08 PM
they are kinda expensive, and the chef knives have a lot of belly. what do you mean by "completely flat profile"? an usuba has a chisel grind, and a concave back. the Shun usuba is an usuba, as far as i know.

I think he's referring more to the edge geometry, as opposed to the ura- or lack thereof...

ams
10-31-2012, 07:38 PM
The edge profile (correct term?) of the Shun Usuba is not like that of a true usuba, it has a sort definite "belly" to it not a completely straight edge. The cutting style is more akin to a push cut and not a needle-nose cut. Experts please correct me if I'm wrong.

EdipisReks
10-31-2012, 07:50 PM
The edge profile (correct term?) of the Shun Usuba is not like that of a true usuba, it has a sort definite "belly" to it not a completely straight edge. The cutting style is more akin to a push cut and not a needle-nose cut. Experts please correct me if I'm wrong.

the Shun usuba i've used was very similar to the carbon steel traditional usubas i've used, in shape.

Pensacola Tiger
10-31-2012, 08:04 PM
Shun:
http://cdn.cheftalk.com/2/22/800x600px-LL-220ece5b_Usuba.jpg

Epic Edge:
http://www.epicureanedge.com/pics/566_1_b.jpg

Lefty
10-31-2012, 08:06 PM
I wouldn't develop any sort of complex over using and liking Shuns. The paring knife is very well liked by almost everyone and you still have better knives than 92% of people out there.

They have a rep for being overly chippy and VG10 can be a pain to deburr. Just flip it back and forth a whole bunch of times with opposing stropping. It'll either abrade right off, or get so weak it snaps off almost all by itself.

If chipping is an issue, throw a microbevel on one side and you should all but get rid of that problem, if used "normally".

knyfeknerd
11-01-2012, 07:44 AM
The Shun usuba(which they originally labeled a nakiri) does not have an ura. It is single bevel, but no ura.
Shun VG-10 sucks and is difficult to sharpen.
I had several and wouldn't touch them again.
Just my 2 pennies.

tk59
11-01-2012, 09:31 AM
They are hollow ground on the back side but they are sharpened like a typical double beveled knife. Shun edge profiles are more curved than others and VG10 steel is kinda chippy. Deburring is not great but not terrible. The balance esp. on the smaller knives is wonky because the handles are so heavy. They are okay knives though. I have a santoku with the little kullens that I loan out to family members. It comes back every few months for resharpening.

jgraeff
11-01-2012, 10:20 AM
i use a shun classic from time to time, i can get it sharp of course but not scary sharp for more than 5 minutes. The edge plateaus and is very chippy. I will have tons of microchips at the end of one shift, i dont let them bother me anymore and only use it when i have to.

I have used the sg2 version and its much better than the vg10

EdipisReks
11-01-2012, 10:41 AM
They are hollow ground on the back side but they are sharpened like a typical double beveled knife.

it's been a long, long time since i used the Shun usuba, but i don't remember the shape as being problematic, but i was just using it to mince some garlic and shallots at a friend's house.

EdipisReks
11-01-2012, 10:42 AM
i use a shun classic from time to time, i can get it sharp of course but not scary sharp for more than 5 minutes. The edge plateaus and is very chippy. I will have tons of microchips at the end of one shift, i dont let them bother me anymore and only use it when i have to.

sounds to me like deburring wasn't complete.

Dave Martell
11-01-2012, 11:27 AM
Yeah deburring Shuns can be a problem. If your Shun chips easy then that's the issue for sure.

I hate, and refuse to, sharpen Shuns by hand but for belt sharpening they're the easiest knives to get screaming sharp.

jgraeff
11-01-2012, 12:33 PM
Hmm weird.. Never had that problem on my other knives.. Il look into it today gotta sharpen some anyway.

jayhay
11-01-2012, 01:13 PM
The build and finish on Shuns is fine. VG10 steel is harder to sharpen than other types of steels, including stainless. This is not unique to Shun. The profile/geometry on some of the knives is questionable, as they have big belly and a high tip. The Ken Onion line has some of the worst blade geometry IMHO. And they are generally expensive/at a high price point for what they are. I've owned Shuns, my coworkers own Shuns and my chef buddies have all owned shuns. I can honestly say it's a fair blade overall, but you can do better for less money.

eto
11-01-2012, 03:40 PM
I know there use to be some QC issues. A fella I know bought this whole beautiful shun set. I personally don't like shuns. So when I checked his knives out they were all bent in some way or another. I think they got better though.

KeiOkay
11-10-2012, 01:11 PM
[QUOTE=Dave Martell;153822I hate, and refuse to, sharpen Shuns by hand but for belt sharpening they're the easiest knives to get screaming sharp.[/QUOTE]

Would you mind telling us the other knives you also feel this way about?

JBroida
11-10-2012, 02:50 PM
I know there use to be some QC issues. A fella I know bought this whole beautiful shun set. I personally don't like shuns. So when I checked his knives out they were all bent in some way or another. I think they got better though.

seriously? i would say about 90% of the shuns i see have issues... twisting, wavy grinds on the sides, high and low spots, etc.

eto
11-10-2012, 03:31 PM
seriously? i would say about 90% of the shuns i see have issues... twisting, wavy grinds on the sides, high and low spots, etc.

Jon it was almost like watching ocean waves crash to shore when I sighted the knives. Terrible!

JBroida
11-10-2012, 03:33 PM
seriously... it always surprises me too... i really expect better... but its the same everytime. I feel very confident saying maybe 10% of the ones i have seen were "good".

keithsaltydog
11-10-2012, 04:33 PM
I have sharpened alot of dull & chipped Shuns.They have a good distribution network here, sell them in quite a few places.I agree you can get Japan Gyuto,that are same price range or lower that are better blades.

I think that the way most people treat knives that they have bought in a store,would chip any Japanese thin edge Gyuto.Knife care teaching should be mandatory when people buy a fine blade.On a forum like this most know how to sharpen& take care of their knives.A Majority out there do not do either.

tk59
11-10-2012, 04:39 PM
seriously... it always surprises me too... i really expect better... but its the same everytime. I feel very confident saying maybe 10% of the ones i have seen were "good".They aren't THAT bad. I haven't seen that many, esp. not recently but every one I've picked up cuts pretty well except for the profile issues. They just aren't great for the price.

EdipisReks
11-10-2012, 04:41 PM
i haven't really spent much time with Shuns made in the last couple years, so i can't say if they suck now, or something, but i've never seen that. i've also yet to see the bad grinds on the Henckels Kramers i've examined, either, so maybe Ohio is just knife heaven, or something. :)

cclin
11-10-2012, 06:41 PM
I know Shuns didn't get any love in KKF but I don't have any issues with mine! In my opinion, my $99 Shun has better F/F than most ~$150 japanese knives & even better F/F than some of my $300+ knives(Carter, Watanabe, Takeda...). I have few expensive japan knives + America custom knives & I still using my Shun everyday!! if you are OK with vg-10 and find a shun you love with good price(40~60% off)....just grab it!! my:2cents:

dennis7490
11-11-2012, 01:34 PM
I'm not a chef, but i cook a lot at home and love knives. I have 3 shuns. A 5" Santouki (sp?) a 7" Santouki, & a 6" boning knife. I also have an old 8" Henkels chef, a 6" Dexter boing knife, and my newest knife, a Moritaka 150mm petty made with Aogami #2.

when i first got the petty i cut myself 3 times. I got used to it and now use for 90% of everything i do in the kitchen. the boing knife is in a drawer, brand new and used less than 10 times. it's too stiff and thick to properly bone a leg of lamb...for me. I use my $20 dexters.

Everything has its use and place. Shuns are not terrible, but I will not get another. I will most likely get another Japanese high carbon knife, a 210 mm gyuto. I know the experts out there will cringe, but I shapon my Moritaka on an old oil stone, but without oil or water. touches up very quickly and beatifully. Way faster than any shun I have, and stays sharper longer.

JBroida
11-11-2012, 02:29 PM
They aren't THAT bad. I haven't seen that many, esp. not recently but every one I've picked up cuts pretty well except for the profile issues. They just aren't great for the price.

maybe people just bring me f-ed up ones... i wish you could have seen the one i sharpened yesterday... the sides looked like rolling hills.

Dave Martell
11-11-2012, 04:48 PM
I see a lot of rolling hills too Jon and bird's beaks as well.

knyfeknerd
11-11-2012, 05:11 PM
Sorry, I'm just a Shun hater. They are an abomination. I'd rather use a Sani-Safe stamped knife with a rubbery handle than ever buy another Shun. No, a Bud-K! A Jay Fisher! A Cutco!
Maybe I'm going overboard, but some of their lines are so stupid and wacky. The Kaji ? I think that's what they're called. They look like someone brought Dr. Suess back from the dead and gave him a license to blacksmith. Don't get me started on the Ken Onion's or the Alton Brown ones!!!!
Leave the Shun, take the cannoli.

keithsaltydog
11-12-2012, 03:04 AM
I think people like Shuns because they shine & have damascus patterns.Not ness. a good reason to buy a knife.Their 10.5 Yanagi(a little on the short side)costs 189.00,has almost no hollow grind,very shallow.Has a cheap feel to it,but not a cheap price.

tk59
11-12-2012, 01:26 PM
The Shuns I've seen have generally been ground as well and cut as well or better than a host of knives I've tried that are FAR more costly. Are there better deals? Yes. Are they gimmicky? Yes. Do they feel wonky? Sure. Are they sub-par or below average? No. I'd say they are in better than average territory as far as cutting and fit and finish. The rest is subjective. I can't believe you people have me defending Shun of all things... :spankarse:

JBroida
11-12-2012, 01:33 PM
i hope i have some customers stop by with some for sharpening next time you come to visit... then we can look and see what i am talking about. I dont think they are bad knives by the way... i was just expressing my surprise at the fact that the vast majority i see have visible grind defects on the sides of the blades.

tk59
11-12-2012, 01:39 PM
Okay. I'll bring mine if I can get it back from my sister in law so you can experience the awesomness of a 165 mm dimpled santoku.

Lefty
11-12-2012, 01:40 PM
Dimples are a grind issue, if you ask me! ;)

tk59
11-12-2012, 02:05 PM
A good salesman knows how to turn a negative into a positive. They are a gimmick, not a grind issue.

Lefty
11-12-2012, 02:42 PM
Hahahah. Better yet, an optional feature, not a gimmick. :D