Shun composite blade technology

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tostadas

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LOL so instead of a full blade San Mai, only the portion behind the edge has core steel. This means that if you ever use the knife more than the first part, you're left with just 440 steel. That's really cheaping out...
I mean it depends how deep it is. With warikomi, it'd be a similar scenario. Same-ish scenario for Shihan who only quenches the edge (at least for some of his knives)
 

tostadas

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I mean it depends how deep it is. With warikomi, it'd be a similar scenario. Same-ish scenario for Shihan who only quenches the edge (at least for some of his knives)
If you look at the image, I'd estimate maybe 10-15mm max. Also look at the location of that weld. Seems like a silly design to me.
 

tostadas

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How often you have weared more than 10 mm of VG10 steel? I’m pretty sure that it would be enought for my lifetime.
Personally never.

But having a weld line so close to the edge seems like it could potentially be problematic. Also I just don't see the benefit of 1cm of San mai from a usage standpoint. Is there any improvement compared to mono vg10, or a standard full blade San mai? I feel like shun is trying to get the look of a cladded knife while skimping on materials as much as possible.
 

Jason183

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Not a fan of warikomi construction, it seems liked the even worst version of it. But if it only cost liked $30-$50 for 180mm gyuto then it might be reasonable.

I definitely won’t use it for abusive tasks
because Chipping is the worst nightmare, and I heard Shun’s VG10 is easy to chip. In case huge chip really happened, You can’t turn it into Sujihiki or petty.
 

blokey

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That's what you see in Shibazi's cleaver, they only have 2cm of hard steel.
 

M1k3

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I don't understand. Seems like an added complicated step? For....? 🤷‍♂️
 

Tapio

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Personally never.

But having a weld line so close to the edge seems like it could potentially be problematic. Also I just don't see the benefit of 1cm of San mai from a usage standpoint. Is there any improvement compared to mono vg10, or a standard full blade San mai? I feel like shun is trying to get the look of a cladded knife while skimping on materials as much as possible.
I don’t think that anybody expects any performance or visual benefits over full San mai or mono VG10. it’s It’s obviously made to cut the costs. These “composite” knives cost much less than Shun’s full San mai Classic line. They offer a high performance yVG10 edge and are even cheaper than their mono AUS10A Kanso line. A higher quality edge with less money. That’s a proper improvemen, right?

What kind of problems you expect to happen?
 

Tapio

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I definitely won’t use it for abusive tasks
because Chipping is the worst nightmare, and I heard Shun’s VG10 is easy to chip. In case huge chip really happened, You can’t turn it into Sujihiki or petty.
I wouldn’t use any skinny high HRC blade for abusive tasks. I also have heard how Shun’s VG10 will instantly chip. Never had any problems. At some point a Shun Classic Nakiri was my main kitchen knife and I used it a lot.
 

blokey

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I mean it depends how deep it is. With warikomi, it'd be a similar scenario. Same-ish scenario for Shihan who only quenches the edge (at least for some of his knives)
He does it for A2 blade, but A2 is also an air hardening steel so rest of the blade is still on the hard side.
 

tostadas

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I don’t think that anybody expects any performance or visual benefits over full San mai or mono VG10. it’s It’s obviously made to cut the costs. These “composite” knives cost much less than Shun’s full San mai Classic line. They offer a high performance yVG10 edge and are even cheaper than their mono AUS10A Kanso line. A higher quality edge with less money. That’s a proper improvemen, right?

What kind of problems you expect to happen?
Ah, I didn't bother to check the link to the actual knife. Didn't realize it was their budget line. The way they try to market it seems like they want to present it as such a high end product with a bunch of different metals. There's still a significant up charge for what it is, but if it's supposed to be their low end model then can't complain too much. Don't know that I'd consider vg10 as a separate tier from aus10 though.

In terms of potential problems, I was referring to the weld which can introduce a weak point due to discontinuity. Having it immediately adjacent to the already thin cutting edge is my concern.
 
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blokey

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Ah, I didn't bother to check the link to the actual knife. Didn't realize it was their budget line. The way they try to market it seems like they want to present it as such a high end product with a bunch of different metals. There's still a significant up charge for what it is, but if it's supposed to be their low end model then can't complain too much. Don't know that I'd consider vg10 as a separate tier from aus10 though.

In terms of potential problems, I was referring to the weld which can introduce a weak point due to discontinuity. Having it immediately adjacent to the already thin cutting edge is my concern.
It should be fine as long as they do it right, Cleaver king has been doing this for quite some time and they are much smaller operation. This kind of construction is really common in Chinese cleavers, CCK stainless, Dengjia 9Cr15mov cleavers all use the same construction.
 
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How often you have weared more than 10 mm of VG10 steel? I’m pretty sure that it would be enought for my lifetime.
I've definitely worn that much vg10.

Especially if you ever chip your edge or break your tip. That's a lot of lost material needed for a repair. For people that don't have a large collection of blades they use, and use them pretty much daily. It doesn't take that much time at all.

I have basically a nakiri I use, and a 210 gyuto. Also a boning knife that is more rarely used. I have a few more blades, but those mostly don't get touched. I tend to gravitate towards my 2 vg10 blades for work, because they make more sense in that scenario. my point is they've been used up a lot.
 

tostadas

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It should be fine as long as they do it right, Cleaver king has been doing this for quite some time and they are much smaller operation. This kind of construction is really common in Chinese cleavers, CCK stainless, Dengjia 9Cr15mov cleavers all use the same construction.

But half a cleaver is much more material than that tiny sliver
 
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On the metallurgy, side do note that it is brazed and not welded so there is no molten steel involved. I assume this process is done before heat treatment in which case there is certainly no reason for it to make the edge steel any worse.

I actually don't think this is a terrible idea for a budget line. You don't get a ton of benefit from having more core steel than that as the blades get pretty thick BTE by the time they are sharpened down that far and the knives are cheap enough that they probably aren't worth it too thin. On the other hand, the softer spine could allow for easier corrections to blade warps although it does make them somewhat more likely. But as people have said. Hardly revolutionary.
 

Pie

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For “normal” people, who won’t even consider sharpening or repairing a knife, the cost savings is significant. Sounds pretty good..

Problem is, this target audience won’t know VG10 from iron cladding. The budget crowd (I’m really just guessing) isn’t going to be experiencing any benefit of VG10 over Henkel stainless. So in the end, shun delivers a better performing knife to those who prioritize lower cost as opposed to performance.

I’m not sure this makes a ton of sense in my head. Yeah they get a better product but in the end it might not actually matter 🤷‍♂️. Luckily Im not in danger of buying a shun.

Edit - bendiness irritates me in certain applications. This would be a downside. But nobody’s going through regrinds and polishing progressions with their $70 shun.
 
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Kippington

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It should be fine as long as they do it right, Cleaver king has been doing this for quite some time and they are much smaller operation. This kind of construction is really common in Chinese cleavers, CCK stainless, Dengjia 9Cr15mov cleavers all use the same construction.

Also reminds me of this kind of quench:

 

Bolek

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The cutting edge harder than the spine seems reasonable to me. Nobody complain that you have not enough hard steal in a honoyaki.
 
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The cutting edge harder than the spine seems reasonable to me. Nobody complain that you have not enough hard steal in a honoyaki.
Yeah but by the time you have sharpened up to the softer steel on a honyaki you have removed a considerable amount of material, to the point that it would likely look like a petty knife rather than a gyuto.

I don't think anyone thinks the idea that a soft spine is bad. Or even brazing two different steels together is. Just that the amount of steel you have is so little here.

I didn't even look at the price on this blade, but I would say if they are charging anything above 40 dollars this knife is overpriced. Someone could get a stamped blade that had core steel running through the entire blade for that price. I've had a blue #2 stainless clad kanetsune in my saved folder on Amazon for like two years, and the tojiro dp a1 nakiri with vg10 steel in the core was around the same price.
 

Tapio

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I've definitely worn that much vg10.

Especially if you ever chip your edge or break your tip. That's a lot of lost material needed for a repair. For people that don't have a large collection of blades they use, and use them pretty much daily. It doesn't take that much time at all.
I was using a Shun VG10 (VG-Max) knife every day as my main knife many years ago. The blade kept a keen edge for a long time and didn’t have any chipping problems. I needed to remove very little metal to keep it sharp. A quick touch up with a 3000 grit stone and newsprint few times a year was enough to keep it sharp.
 

Jovidah

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There's not necessarily a lot wrong with it; it's basically warikomi construction. I don't really see a point in the current day and age, where the difference in materials costs is probably negligible for the pricerange Shun sells at..
My guess is they're doing this mostly to add a cheaper line that's more competitive with the cheaper Chinese stuff without cannibalizing their more expensive lines.
 
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I was using a Shun VG10 (VG-Max) knife every day as my main knife many years ago. The blade kept a keen edge for a long time and didn’t have any chipping problems. I needed to remove very little metal to keep it sharp. A quick touch up with a 3000 grit stone and newsprint few times a year was enough to keep it sharp.
Your definition of a keen edge must be very different from most here.

I don't really see a point in the current day and age, where the difference in materials costs is probably negligible for the pricerange Shun sells at..
This is what is most surprising to me too. Hard to believe that this is cost effective to Shun vs regular san mai. It must be though if they do this. Just hard to believe they save enough in materials to make the process worth it🤷‍♂️
 
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Just to show what a year or two of use has looked like on on my vg10 miyabi.

Brand new

eyJidWNrZXQiOiAiZmlsZXMua25pZmVjZW50ZXIuY29tIiwia2V5IjogImtuaWZlY2VudGVyL2hlbmNrZWwvaW1hZ2VzLz...jpg


Mine today. I need to polish it up back up. I recently just thinned it out on my belt grinder because I didn't want to waste time doing it by hand.

20220629_123326.jpg
 
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