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View Full Version : Shun blue steel vs Al Mar Ultra... looking for a new knife



shade
12-14-2012, 04:00 PM
Hi all, I'm looking to buy a new kitchen knife. I'm using a chicago cutlery hand-me down 8 inch crap knife, which i can sharpen very well, but obviously it doesn't keep it's edge for very long. so anything is large upgrade. I have the money now, and want to get a lasting knife with a price range of 150-250. I tend to do alot of chopping and cutting, though not as much as a professional kitchen, there are times when its close. I'm very knowledgable when it comes to knives in general, i understand the rockwell scale, angle of sharpening, the differnt steels, etc, and i'm also very good at learning how to adapt to the differnt styles, and advantages / disadvantages of differnt knives. I prefer a knife that is a little more forgiving in maintence, and i prefer japanese style knives (light, more agile, larger blades), im looking for around a 10inch blade, something that is rust resistant, or rust proof. I know, japanese knives and rust proof isnt exactly used in the same sentence.

I've researched the heck out of this, and i've really come down to 2 differnt knives. I would love to hear pro's and con's and any info on them or help you can give.

Shun VG0008 Blue Steel 10-Inch Kiritsuke Knife
http://www.amazon.com/Shun-VG0008-Steel-10-Inch-Kiritsuke/dp/B0090YWEOC/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_nC?ie=UTF8&colid=2CL49GL8VRIAB&coliid=I2CPCOCSOIVGDS

I love the semi kiritsuke style of the blade, and i've heard great things about shun, though i also hear they are priced high vs quality then other knives. The handle is ok, but im not as much of a fan of wood.

Al Mar Ultra Chef Knife
http://www.amazon.com/Al-Mar-Ultra-Chef-Kitchen-Stainless/dp/B001D0IWCE/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_S_nC?ie=UTF8&colid=2CL49GL8VRIAB&coliid=IFDF7CFR98EOA
Now i love the handle. I haven't been able to find much on Al Mar except i know they are near legendary in the folding knife catagory. I would love to hear any expierences on this one especially.

They both seem to be laminated VG10 (correct me if i'm wrong) with stainless steel. So i imagine it gets the best of both worlds, while sacraficing only a little sharpness. They both are harder, japanese style knifes (rockwell 62~) which is more ideal for me, as i don't do alot of bone cutting. The majority of my work ends up being onion's, tamato's, lettice and raw/cooked beef/chicken, usually boneless.

I'm also curious to people's expierence with laminated knifes, and kiritsuke style knifes. If they could combine the handle of the Al Mar with the Kiritsuke blade of the shun i would probly have a near perfect knife. Any help is appreciated.

EdipisReks
12-14-2012, 04:09 PM
the Blue Steel Shun is made of Blue steel, not VG10. i wouldn't buy either. the handle on the Al-Mar looks like a nightmare. i'd buy this (http://www.japaneseknifeimports.com/kitchen-knives/gesshin-kagero/gesshin-kagero-240mm-powdered-steel-gyuto.html), probably, in that kind of price range, and i wanted stainless steel.

James
12-14-2012, 04:19 PM
keep in mind that the shun is an actual kiritsuke. If you want a chef's knife, you won't be happy with the shun.

shade
12-14-2012, 04:26 PM
the Blue Steel Shun is made of Blue steel, not VG10. i wouldn't buy either. the handle on the Al-Mar looks like a nightmare. i'd buy this (http://www.japaneseknifeimports.com/kitchen-knives/gesshin-kagero/gesshin-kagero-240mm-powdered-steel-gyuto.html), probably, in that kind of price range, and i wanted stainless steel.

Ahh, blue steel so basicly it can rust then? The knife you linked looked good except for the blade, the handle, and well, it's not what im looking for. Like i posted if i could find the blade shape and handle with good materials it would be pefect. That knife lacks either.

shade
12-14-2012, 04:30 PM
keep in mind that the shun is an actual kiritsuke. If you want a chef's knife, you won't be happy with the shun.

From what i gathered, kiritsuke is thinner and provides thinner cuts, where the Al Mar has a slightly wider back. Are there certain things that the kiritsuke cannot be used for that the Al Mar can be?

JBroida
12-14-2012, 04:34 PM
fwiw, its a double bevel knife based on the description... so a kiritsuke shaped gyuto.

daveb
12-14-2012, 04:59 PM
What ER said. Neither. Anytime a "Japanese" knife length is expressed in inches you prob want to keep the mouse rolling. Think 240. Maybe 270. The new (mid 2013 release) Shun blue steel series was discussed here recently - a search for "shun" should find it readily. I can't recall Al-Mar offerings ever being discussed though that handle would be a winner in the ugly knife contest.

You don't mention sharpening in your post. Suggest that be part of your decision process. Most local retailers, culinary stores, etc, are ill equipped to sharpen Japanese knives for you.

This site is supported by some excellent retailers for knives and sharpening equipment. They all offer entry level guidance and products that will better suit your needs as described.

Regards,

Dave

Pensacola Tiger
12-14-2012, 05:06 PM
From what i gathered, kiritsuke is thinner and provides thinner cuts ...

I don't know where you're doing your gathering, but that isn't the case.

The Shun is actually a kiritsuke shaped gyuto. Shun calls it a kiritsuke as a marketing gimmick. True kiritsukes are single-beveled knives, sort of a cross between a yanagiba and an usuba. They have spines in the 4 to 5 mm range. They can in no way be considered as a general purpose knife in a Western kitchen.

Now there are several kiritsuke shaped gyutos available, if that is the blade shape or profile that you are interested in, but they tend to be a bit out of your price range. Because it is basically flat, with very little belly, the profile is more suited to push-cutting rather than rocking, so keep that in mind.

As to your two knives that you invite comment on, the Shun is carbon steel clad in stainless, and the edge is prone to rust if not cared for properly. The Al Mar is stainless clad in stainless, but from experience I can't recommend a stainless handle. YMMV. You also could do better than VG-10 for a core steel.

Rick

James
12-14-2012, 05:08 PM
ahhh you guys are right haha. I was fooled by the construction of the knife.

EdipisReks
12-14-2012, 06:34 PM
it's not what im looking for.

so what you want is a gimmick. got it.

Crothcipt
12-14-2012, 06:53 PM
from what you posted I would recommend either a global g4 http://www.global-knife.com/products/global_g.html

Which has your gimmick with a reliable starting steel. or even a

http://korin.com/Togiharu-G-1-Moly-Gyutou

But you may not like the western handle.

I would also recommend what Edipis recommended. It has better steel than a moly blend.

quantumcloud509
12-15-2012, 04:12 AM
Dear OP: please tell us more about what you want and ask us many questions, we are here to help, I highly suggest you do not pull the trigger on either of those knives. There are prettier and far better behaving knives around, that maybe we could sell you or point you to which will last longer, work harder, and stay sharper longer, and in the end be way more bang for your buck. Above all else, please spare yourself a headache and dont purchase the overhyped sh...eck....shuu....eck...shun

Lefty
12-15-2012, 06:09 AM
I really like the knife EdipisReks recommended. Those are nice knives at a nice price, Jon! :D

WiscoNole
12-16-2012, 12:47 PM
Ahh, blue steel so basicly it can rust then? The knife you linked looked good except for the blade, the handle, and well, it's not what im looking for. Like i posted if i could find the blade shape and handle with good materials it would be pefect. That knife lacks either.

this (http://www.amazon.com/Guy-Fieri-ER-28-Stainless/dp/B002W5VXV6) should be right up your alley

SpikeC
12-16-2012, 05:42 PM
Harsh!

SpikeC
12-16-2012, 06:04 PM
You may like the looks of the Al Mar handle, but have you held on in your hand? It looks to me like it might get very uncomfortable to use for any length time. There is a good reason why most knife handles are shaped the way that they are, and significant deviations are often regretted!