Shun Classic Alloy Steel Chef Knife, 8-Inch

Last updated: July 10, 2023


Professional and home chefs will appreciate this chef knife's durability and water-resistant finish. The specially formulated VG-MAX steel blade is especially impressive with a sharp edge that quickly dices onions and chops peppers. It's important to note that while the handle is sturdy and easy to hold, it's quite short. This may be an issue for cooks with shorter hands.

We looked at the top Chef's Knives and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Chef Knife you should buy.

Product Details

Key Takeaway: This chef's knife is great for beginners and pros alike.

In our analysis of 45 expert reviews, the Shun Classic Alloy Steel Chef Knife, 8-Inch placed 3rd when we looked at the top 12 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

From The Manufacturer

Born of the ancient samurai-sword-making tradition and hand-finished for precision and beauty, Shun Classic is an ideal choice for anyone buying their first Japanese knife or 50th. The high-quality line of cutlery makes a worthwhile addition to any chef’s arsenal of tools–it’s used by professional chefs and home cooks alike. Produced in the widest variety of specialized styles, the Classic line features both traditional European blade shapes and innovative cutting-edge designs. Shun Classic’s amazingly sharp blade is famous for both edge retention and ease of sharpening. Each blade has a core of VG-10 “Super Steel” with a Pattern Damascus cladding of 32 layers of high-carbon stainless steel–16 layers on either side. While the wood grain pattern enhances the knife’s beauty, it also adds durability and stain resistance, and reduces friction when cutting. Made from VG-10 stainless steel, Shun knives are specially constructed to be harder, less brittle, but also more flexible than traditional steel formulations. The VG-10 core is then clad with 16 full layers of SUS410 high-carbon stainless steel on each side, for a total of 33 layers. These layers not only protect the VG-10, they create an exquisitely-detailed surface reminiscent of Damascus or pattern-forged steel, the kind once used for Samurai swords. As a result, the knives are simply stunning to look at–much like antique Damascus knives but without their tendency to rust. As an additional benefit, the slight patterning helps slice rather than crush delicate foods and keeps cut food from sticking to the blade.

Our Expert Consultant

Julie Chernoff
Culinary Expert

Julie Chernoff is a long-time member of Les Dames d’Escoffier (past president of the Chicago Chapter, and current co-chair of the LDEI Legacy Awards Committee), the Association of Food Journalists (AFJ) and the International Association of Culinary Professionals.

Chernoff is the dining editor of Better, a lifestyle website and print magazine. Her journalism started in the test kitchens of Weight Watchers Magazine. She holds a BA in English from Yale University and is a graduate of the California Culinary Academy. She has spent the last few decades styling, photographing, teaching, developing recipes, editing, thinking and writing about food.

Expert Reviews


What reviewers liked

Food professionals and consumers found it comfortable to hold and easy to use.
Maintains sharpness for a long period of time.
Carbon steel core. Made by hand from 33 layers of Damascus steel.

What reviewers didn't like

Blade lost its sharpness relatively quickly after extended use in GHRI tests.
Is not lengthy.
Some complaints that blade is thin and chips easily. Others say the handle is a poor fit.
View our Chef Knife buying guide for in-depth advice and recommendations.

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