Shun Classic Chef Knife Review

Kenn Muguna Profile image

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Updated June 27, 2022

Japanese knives have always been known to carry a sense of panache with them, and the Shun Classic chef knife is certainly no different. It could very well be due to the fact that they’re handcrafted from start to finish. Either way, Shun knives have also been known to maintain traditional styles that adhere to modern standards. This makes it great to have in your kitchen in contrast to the other more modern European or Asian style cutlery. The Shun classic chef knife also has an ebony Pakkawood handle which is essentially a hardwood that’s been infused with resin. This makes it easy to wash, and great for continuous use. While these features might make this Shun chef knife sound quite good, does it really make the cut as the best chef knife? Let’s find out. And while we’re at it, do you think that this knife could count as one of the best survival knives?

Why We Like It – Shun Classic Chef Knife

Inspired by the rich bladecraft history of the Japanese comes the Shun Classic chef’s knife. It’s an 8-inch long kitchen knife that bears a Pakkawood handle and a VG-MAX stainless steel formula for the blade that guarantees a sharper edge, with both strength and durability.

  • Great edge retention ability
  • Handcrafted
  • Very comfortable handle with great grip
  • Only right-handed model available


This Classic Shun knife used to have a blade that is made of VG-10 steel but now they’ve migrated to VG-MAX. This type of steel is great for kitchen knives since it is more durable, more resistant to rust, and has a better ability to hold a sharp edge. The blade also has a wavy pattern on it that is reminiscent of Damascus Steel, but it’s only Damascus Layering, with 68 total layers of alternating steel and 1 VG-MAX cutting core. You definitely won’t get this with the budget-priced Victorinox Fibrox Straight Edge knife. Due to the sharpness of the blade steel, it is advised that only a wooden cutting board be used, as any other surface can cause the blade to chip.


All Shun knives bear a Shun cutlery logo which can always be found adjacent to the handle, and this Classic knife is no exception. At 8-inches long, this knife Shun is great for a lot of things, but it won’t replace specialized tools such as the paring knife. Quite similar in design to the Wusthof Ikon 8-inch’’, the Shun Classic knife also features a double-edged blade, and this allows it to perform a wider range of tasks compared to its single-bevel counterparts.

You Might Like: If you’re looking for a longer chef knife, then hop over to our Shun Classic review.


Using a honing steel to sharpen this Japanese knife every once in a while should keep it ready for use, but because of the VG-MAX steel, you won’t be doing this too often. This is also evident through its impressive Rockwell hardness rating of 61 which is similar to that of the Mac Knife Hollow Edge 10’’. What you need to ensure however is that the knife is kept in an appropriate knife block, and not in the drawer with other utensils. Also, most chef knives also don’t have a handle that can compare in comfort to most Shun cutlery knives, and this gives Shun classic knives a huge competitive edge.

Shun Classic Chef Knife Wrap Up

Once you buy this Shun Classic knife and use it, it’ll only be a matter of time before you go looking for a complete Shun knife set, after which you’ll be well on your way to becoming a “Shun chef”. That is just how good knives Shun are.

Kenn Muguna Profile image