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

  1. #21

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    Me actually thinking is there soooooooooo many alternatives to Shuns looks and F&F? Where are them? Masamoto? Really?

    Yeah, Hattori comes to mind, and what else really? We can talk performance but this is for people that have already strong preferences.

    I wouldve snagged those shuns, and had eyecandy in the kitchen.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by don View Post
    didn't see anything that was similar to Shun Premier aesthetics, but with the profile and steel that is popular on KKF.
    Really? - Almost all of the big makers sell a Tsuchime/hammered damascus line - It's probably the most popular OEM blade out there, available in Yoshihiro/Togiharu/Kanetsune/Kikuichi/Takayuki/JCK flavours, plus others I've probably missed.

    My two cents:

    The profile of the Shun chef's is unconventional for a gyuto, and almost universally denounced on the forum. I am not a fan myself.
    There is nothing wrong with their VG10 - It is a high-performance steel at good hardness. The tales of chipping/crap steel come from poor sharpening/user abuse and not least the fact that it is fashionable to criticise Shuns, which are not as esoteric as many knives discussed here.
    The price of the Premiers is competitive with other VG10 "Tsuchime"/"Hammered Damascus" series, plus the Shuns have fancier handles than these. The best value for money in these series is probably the JCK Gekko, although Korin's curent 15% off sale puts the Togiharu hammered damascus (the same OEM knife imo) in the same ballpark.

    Some will advocate that the 19c27/Swedish steel "Hammered Damascus" knives are superior to the VG10 knives.

  3. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Timthebeaver View Post
    Really? - Almost all of the big makers sell a Tsuchime/hammered damascus line - It's probably the most popular OEM blade out there, available in Yoshihiro/Togiharu/Kanetsune/Kikuichi/Takayuki/JCK flavours, plus others I've probably missed.
    Come on... Togiharu hammered? Or yoshihiro damascus? Last time I checked out Shuns FF and feel were light years from yoshihiros, or Ive seen Gekko. Them feel very cheap, Im not saying they are bad, esp for the price, but FF or look is not the same league.
    It is the bling, but theres nothing wrong in liking it.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by bieniek View Post
    Come on... Togiharu hammered? Or yoshihiro damascus? Last time I checked out Shuns FF and feel were light years from yoshihiros, or Ive seen Gekko. Them feel very cheap, Im not saying they are bad, esp for the price, but FF or look is not the same league.
    It is the bling, but theres nothing wrong in liking it.
    Like I said - much more bling handle on the Shun, don't dispute that that the fit and finish is better either - which makes them good value.

    The blade is the same material however.

  5. #25

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    I checked the website and this is what I would take for similar money

    http://www.cutleryandmore.com/kasumi...fe-set-p110037

    Actually not a bad value, if you can get along without bamboo block.

    or these
    http://www.cutleryandmore.com/miyabi...ck-set-p129089

  6. #26
    Senior Member jimbob's Avatar
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    I was in your exact shoes not that long ago, $500 bucks to spend on some good knives. Thinking that shun and global were the bees knees until i came across this forum. You really dont need all the knives in those sets, i got a gyuto/chefs, petty and parer in the hattori fh line and it was absolutely all the knife i needed. I have since tried a friends shun premier and can honestly say my hattori was considerably better, the heat treat done on them is arguably the best on VG-10 steel. Now, i have a bonafide knife addiction and many more knives, but i would heed the advice these guys give you, which for the most part will be similar for most things, they know their ****. Also, i dont believe it is that hard to keep your knives usably sharp on stones, to get them screaming sharp is a different story....

  7. #27
    Senior Member labor of love's Avatar
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    shuns profiles are deal breakers, sorry. just watching all the wrist action required to use one makes me feel tired.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by labor of love View Post
    shuns profiles are deal breakers, sorry. just watching all the wrist action required to use one makes me feel tired.
    Some of the Shuns I have had to sharpen have so many waves & dips in them I have to use the edge of my stone,I agree it is not the steel or the bling that turn me off it is the profiles.

    Though the larger Shun premier Gyuto is better that the 8" version.It is thin at the edge,sharpens up nicely,Very pretty knife.I can understand why people go wow seeing it.I feel that most all of Shuns chipping is knife abuse.They sell these things in all the department & Culinary stores cases of shun lines.Alot of people buy them.Think about it most people have zero knowledge about knife care,buy a pretty thin Shun wt VG-10 steel,break the tips put chips in the edge then I repair & sharpen them & give them a short version in no uncertain terms about knife care.

  9. #29
    Senior Member ChiliPepper's Avatar
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    Have to agree with the steel question: if the maker knows its trade, Vg10 is not a steel to be snobbed per se. My first japanese knife was a Hattori HD and despite having tested very decent stuff like Yusuke's AEB-L or Yoshikane's SKD11, it still impresses me.Shuns? Not a fan for the profile and price but never tried them, so can't comment.I'd pick a selection of different knives over a set any day. And it's right: you need at least a waterstone and practice: a dull knife is not fun, brand notwithstanding.

  10. #30
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    Johnson,

    First, welcome!

    Second, you're on the right track. Yep, the Shun Premiers look pretty, and feel decent in the hand, but you're going to find very few endorsements here, based on performance, profile, and chipping issues, and most people on here think you can get better steel than VG-10 (and Shun's VG-10 seems to be on the lower end of the VG-10 steels by various knife makers. You were already sensing this in the question posed in your thread title (the short answer is, "Yes, it is that bad--at least for the money you're paying." You can do much better.)

    Many folks on here know an incredible amount about knives, and many of us are obsessed with them (I'm more the second than the first). The collective consensus is going to be that you should go with something different.

    Very few people here are going to endorse a knife set in a block. Once people get past the idea of having a matching set (which isn't that hard a place to get to), you'll probably be able to see the wisdom of buying the shapes and profiles you need (at least at first--beware that you could be entering the slippery slope of the very pleasurable obsession of the knife quest), which gives you the option of getting good value at various price points. Most knife sets include some knives that get little to no use, which pretty much cancels out any of their initial value. I now really like looking at my knives and having various styles and makers in the collection—it looks so much cooler. And is so much better than any set from any individual maker.

    The questionnaire is designed to elicit a response, so people can gauge what you know and like (or the opposite), and to give you helpful information. It was designed with community input and discussion. Simply put, if you take the time to put in answers (even non-answers are helpful), people are going to be able to give you much better answers.

    Saying, “What knife should I buy?” is a bit like saying, “What car should I buy?” You’re not going to get good suggestions until you give some idea of how you are going to use either, what features are important or not, etc.

    At the very least, what are you using now? What kinds of things do you most frequently cut? And you will need a way to keep whatever you buy sharp.

    If you want to do this right, invest in a good gyuto—it will cover a very large percentage of most people’s needs. You can also look into a decent parer (or petty/utility knife), but it doesn’t have to match the quality of your gyuto. I think 120mm is a good all-around size. Or you could go with a longer petty and just use cheap Forschners for paring, and buy new ones occasionally. That is bigger than a parer, but still feels like a smaller knife, and the added size will give you some more options. I don’t think you need a sujihiki/slicer to start off unless you mention a strong need for that. You’ll also need to put some of your money into maintenance and sharpening.

    You can get some entry level gyutos for ~$100, but you have a lot more, and better options at the $150-200 level (quite easy to go higher—just ask! ;-). You could spend $50-75 on the petty, and then will need perhaps a ceramic hone or strop, and at the very least a combination stone. It might also be a good time to upgrade your board, depending on what you’re using now. Edge grain at the least, maybe end grain if you care enough to want to spend that money on something that will extend the life of your edges the longest. Having a fairly large board is nice if you have the space—it can make prep easier and more enjoyable.

    If you have money left, you could get a bread knife and/or suji/slicer. Or those could wait if you prefer (or if you need the time to save a bit more money).

    Above all, the gyuto will most likely get the bulk of the use, so devote as much as you can to that (and things that will keep it performing at the highest level).

    And keep your old chef’s knife around to use anytime you want to protect your new gyuto, to give to your less-careful friends and family “helping” in the kitchen, and for sharpening practice.

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