Shun, a steel maker brand known for its cutting-edge technologies, is formally owned by the Kai Corporation. Kai Corporation is a Japanese group founded by Saijiro Endo in 1908. It is famous for its cutlery, utensils, beauty care, and confectionery. Kai tapped into blade production in 1971 by establishing Endo Cutlery Co., Ltd. A few years later, Kai ventured into the western market in 1977.
Since the acquisition of Kershaw knives and the establishment of Kai Cutlery Co., Ltd, the company and its steel production have been the number one choice of restaurants and chefs due to its high performance and comfortable knives. The company continues to integrate and refine craftsmanship after over a hundred years of progress and innovation. It aims to uplift kitchens worldwide by creating better products for more people.
Shun should be on top of your list if you are looking for a long-standing, high-performance selection of the best Japanese knives. From their wide range of categories, from classic to the premier, you will find the perfect kitchen knife that fits your requirements.
Best Known For
Shun is best known for its wide variety of kitchen and utility knives that are durable and robust. Its premium quality knives are known for their edge performance and outstanding aesthetic, making it a chef's top choice.
From their classic to the premier collection, Shun is known for using VG10 stainless steel in most of their models. VG10 is Japanese stainless steel designed by Takefu Specialty steel. It is a high carbon and vanadium material and is considered steel gold. VG10 exhibits excellent edge retention, corrosion resistance, toughness, and sharpness.
In recent years, Shun Cutlery have moved to their own proprietary VG10 steel, called VG-MAX. It is difficult to say how different the steel is from classic VG10, but performance does appear better.
Shun's most commonly used handle material is Walnut wood, which is hard and resilient. The wooden handle also adds aesthetic due to its texture and natural patterns.
Sharpening and Maintenance
VG10 is a challenging and sturdy material for stainless steel. Still, on a positive note, it is highly machinable and easy to grind in case of age and brittleness. Although some caution is required with harder steels as more material can be removed with each sharpen.
For the handle of Shun knives, which is wood, rub with neutral oils or carnauba wax to maintain its protective waterproof layer.