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Thread: Are Shun Premiers that bad? Thinking about a set for a beginner

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by labor of love View Post
    this line is fancy hammered damascus clad stuff, the aesthetic is in the same ballpark as shun premiers, but with better profiles, lower prices and better steel http://www.japaneseknifeimports.com/...us-series.html
    +1 on this new line from JKI. Until these became available, didn't see anything that was similar to Shun Premier aesthetics, but with the profile and steel that is popular on KKF. I have a couple Shun Premiers (sold the 8" recently), and they are fine knives. If you get them on sale, they are quite nice. I personally like the Premier handles and haven't had issues with Shun's steel, my major negative is the pro belly profile.

  2. #12
    Senior Member EdipisReks's Avatar
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    I own 4 Heijis, a Singatirin Honyaki, and a white steel #2 yanagi/usuba set. having said that, i think you'd have a hard time beating that setup, if you aren't interested in spending the next 3-5 years learning to sharpen, and if you throw the steel hone away and replace it with a cheap ceramic one. it's the 3-5 years of sharpening experience that almost everybody here forgets. i can't forget it, because i've had so many pass-around knives come across my cutting board.

  3. #13
    Senior Member brainsausage's Avatar
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    VG-10 still dulls during use. I don't see how encouraging one to spend too much on a block of wood to hold too many knives in, is an excuse for not learning to sharpen. There's multiple sharpening services( Dave, Jon, Mr. Sugai) out there as well that could facilitate the purchase of a better two knives, as opposed to this questionable set IMO.
    The AI does not love you, nor does it hate you, but you are made out of atoms it might find useful for something else. - Eliezer Yudkowsky

  4. #14
    Senior Member EdipisReks's Avatar
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    All steel dulls during use, especially carbon. Sending a knife out for sharpening is a real pain in the ass. The Shuns I send out to people seem to last most of them 2-3 years (the ones who this wouldn't be the case for don't send me Shuns), and these are foodies (and I'm always shocked at what comes back, but they are usually still "wife sharp"). Given this, I think it's a decent set. I only sharpen for friends, in an audio forum I run, and almost never for pay, so perhaps my group is strange.

  5. #15
    Senior Member brainsausage's Avatar
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    'Wife sharp' hah! I like that... You're probably right, I've just never had a good experience with either shuns or vg-10. I don't care for the shun profiles in general, and vg-10 gives poor feedback both when cutting and sharpening IMO.
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  6. #16
    Senior Member EdipisReks's Avatar
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    The typical Shun chef knife profile is garbage, for sure. I've never had problems with the steel, though. I find that problems with steel go away when you have a good coarse stone and use it, though.

  7. #17
    Senior Member Brad Gibson's Avatar
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    Shuns are not the great things they portray themselves to be. In a pro kitchen they could possibly be the worst thing ever created. People get them seeing how shiny and cool they look and abuse them in the same way they abuse a German knife and they chip, break tips, and are probably the second most dull knives I see next to globals. If properly taken care of, I could see a shun being a great knife. You don't take a Japanese knife to a honing rod period. And you don't treat it like a beater that you can throw around and drop on the ground and it will be okay. Japanese steel is very fragile and should be taken care of as you treat a piece of crystal or a baby. Wipe it clean, set it gently, and most importantly CARE about! You need to take care of your knives and keep them sharp and I think you can find joy in any knife that you buy as long as you like the profile and looks of it.
    "A recipe has no soul. You as the cook must bring soul to the recipe." -Thomas Keller

  8. #18
    Senior Member EdipisReks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brad Gibson View Post
    Shuns are not the great things they portray themselves to be. In a pro kitchen they could possibly be the worst thing ever created. People get them seeing how shiny and cool they look and abuse them in the same way they abuse a German knife and they chip, break tips, and are probably the second most dull knives I see next to globals. If properly taken care of, I could see a shun being a great knife. You don't take a Japanese knife to a honing rod period. And you don't treat it like a beater that you can throw around and drop on the ground and it will be okay. Japanese steel is very fragile and should be taken care of as you treat a piece of crystal or a baby. Wipe it clean, set it gently, and most importantly CARE about! You need to take care of your knives and keep them sharp and I think you can find joy in any knife that you buy as long as you like the profile and looks of it.
    there are lots of Japanese made knives that should be tossed in the trash, let alone put to a rod. Does this forum seriously have no sense of perspective?

  9. #19
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    Welcome to the Forum.

    Dealing with higher end knives, the question you should ask yourself, is how much care are you willing to put into the care and upkeep? As with most things, the greater the price, the more skill is needed by the buyer to use the item and maintain it.

    The German style knifes, such as Wustoff and Henkels are an easier to knife to use and maintain, because they are made out of a softer steel. Which means they can take a lot more abuse then a Japanese knife. When the edge of a German knife hits a hard object it will likely roll, while the edge on a Japanese knife will actually chip. The downside of a German knife is that they are heavy, don't get as sharp, and won't stay as sharp as long as a Japanese knife.

    Japanese knifes are made out of a harder steel, which means the knifes can be longer, stiffer, lighter, and take a much keener edge then a German knife. Japanese knifes can be made out of carbon steel which will react, right in front of your eyes. Japanese knifes are more fragile then German ones. To get the most out of a Japanese knife, one has to learn how to sharpen.

    Shun knives are popular because they are available in most kitchen stores. The stores usually have generous return policies, so you can return the knife after trying them. The typical policy of most Japanese dealers, is that once the knife is used its yours. The only way they will return it, is if something is wrong with the knife.

    People first getting into Japanese knives, are attracted to Damascus. It is a very striking look. Most of us will pick up one or two. There is a realization, that it's better to have the money put into the performance of the knife, instead of the appearance, at least until one is a better sharpener. A lot of the high end knives are made out of Damascus style steel.

    The main objection to Shun has been the profile on their chef knife. It is set up to rock chop, like the German knives. I think people coming from German knives, find the Shun chef knife, to be a natural fit. The Japanese chef knife the Gyuto is designed to push cut. Of all the chef knives, I've tried the Shun was my least favorite. I didn't like having that tip, waving around, especially in a small kitchen. I did enjoy the Shun nakiri and santoku, in a small kitchen.

    Shuns are normally the first Japanese knife, that people pick up. I don't think that they are an easy knife, for a beginner to learn to sharpen on. Dave with Japanese Knife Sharpening, has noted that Shun's take the keenest edge among stainless steels, when they are sharpened on leather straps.

    Except for manufactures I don't know anybody who is a fan of knife sets. The chef knife does 95 percent of the work in the kitchen. Everything else is secondary to it. I'd put most of my budget into picking up a good one, plus a few stones to maintain it.

    When it comes to buying knifes all of us, benefit from an experienced dealer, who can answer our questions. All the dealers who have sub forums would be excellent resources. Most of us are comfortable recommending Jon at Japanese Knife Imports because, he will sell what a person needs, not necessarily what they want. He will explain why a knife is or isn't a good choice. Before Jon got the store, he was a member of all the forums. A knife nut who is living the dream.

    Shun is a nice introduction to Japanese Knives, especially for people coming from German knives. The stores that usually carry Shun have generous return policies, so people can buy knowing that they can return the knife if it doesn't work out. Many people will be happy with their Shuns, for the few that enjoy Shun, but want more, Shun is a gateway to higher end knifes.

    Jay
    I'm a over-sized, under-educated, two onions a month, cutting fool.

  10. #20
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    Wecome to the Forum I have sharpened many Shun Premiers.I find they are easy to sharpen.You have to be careful not to mess up all that surface bling.The steel rod in that Shun set I would not use on the thin VG-10 blade.

    For 500.00 you can buy a few quality knives with better Geometry & steel than the Shuns & have coin left over for a whetstone.Learning to sharpen whatever knives you get is the key to good performing blades.If for home a magblock strip on the wall is a way to store your knives.

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