Review of the Shun Dual Core 8" K-tipped Gyuto
Thanks to Gary (glc), who generously furnished this knife for a passaround, I was able to spend a week using this latest of Shun's offerings. My initial impression when I unpacked it was that it is a quality knife, with Shun's typical excellent fit and finish.
According to Shun, the blade is a coreless damascus of 71 layers of alternating VG10 and VG2 steels. There is no core steel. Other knives of similar construction are the Echizen series of knives, and coreless damascus knives by custom knifemakers such as Devin Thomas, Del Ealy and Randy Haas. One of the marketing claims by Shun is that "the two steels will wear at different rates creating micro serrations along the edge so that the ... edge feels sharp longer."
These are some measurements:
Weight: 192 g
OAL: 344 mm
Edge length: 206 mm
Height at heel: 47.4 mm
Spine above heel: 2.00 mm
Spine at midpoint: 1.85 mm
Spine at start of K-tip: 1.85
Spine 1 cm from tip: 0.65 mm
In a totally unfair comparison, I put the Shun up against a Devin Thomas 270 carbon damascus gyuto. Unlike the DT, the damascus pattern of the Shun is not sharply etched, but is relatively smooth, and consequently there was little of the drag that is present when cutting with the DT. Product did tend to stick to this style damascus somewhat more than to the sharply etched damascus.
The profile is much flatter than the Shun Classic, with almost no "belly". Push cutting was a pleasure with this profile. The tip was thin, and made dicing onions almost fun.
The geometry is well executed, and the blade moved through product smoothly and with little effort or wedging. Halving a raw sweet potato lengthwise was the only time I noticed any wedging.
The handle was well finished, with a sight taper. It has a slight texture that improces the grip when the handle is wet. The ferrule is nicely sculpted, and feels good in a pinch grip.
One of the things I was unable to determine was the edge retention of the dual core steel. A week of home use just wasn't sufficient to produce any discernible degradation of the edge. Nor an I able to comment on any sharpening characteristics.
If the knife was an inch or two longer, I'd have no problem using it as my primary knife, but it is just a little too short for my liking. If you normally use a 210 mm gyuto, this knife may be worth a look, especially if you can get it at a price close to $200.