Shun Classic 8-In Chef’s Knife
Last updated date: January 10, 2020
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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.
Update as January 10, 2020:
Checkout The Best Chef’s Knives for a detailed review of all the top chef's knives.
Professional and home chefs will appreciate the Shun Classic 8-In Chef's 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.
In our analysis of 42 expert reviews, the Shun Classic 8-In Chef's Knife placed 4th when we looked at the top 10 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.
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Our Expert Consultant
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.
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An Overview On Chef's Knives
Whether you make your living as a professional chef, or you simply love spending time in the kitchen cooking up delicious meals for friends and family, you’ll need a good quality set of chef’s knives. These knives are designed to make chopping fruits and veggies a breeze and slicing meats smooth and painless. Before choosing a chef’s knife, there are a few things you’ll want to consider.
“A chef’s knife is like an extension of you,” says Julie Chernoff, food journalist, dining editor of Better magazine and member of Les Dames d’Escoffier. “It must feel comfortable in your hand and be well-balanced, which makes buying one online a little troublesome. Ideally, you should go to a kitchen store where you can actually test it out in person.”
To start with, there’s size. An 8-inch knife suits most cooks better than the larger 10-inch, which is too large for many domestic kitchen chores, or a 6-inch, which is too small.
First, examine the blade of the knife. You need a knife made of steel, like the Shun Classic 8-In Chef’s Knife. This knife features a specially formulated VG-MAX steel blade that has extra tungsten. The blade is sharper, less susceptible to rust and strong enough to slice through tough cuts of meat.
You may also want to purchase a blade based on the types of food you plan to prepare. The Mac Knife Hollow Edge 8-In Chef’s Knife has dimples across the bottom of the blade that make slicing stickier fruits and vegetables much easier.
While you’re examining the blade, look for how the sharpness of the knife’s blade measures up against industry standards. The Cangshan D Series 8-In Chef’s Knife, for example, has an Initial Cutting Performance (ICP) of 130 (anything above 110 is considered excellent) and a Total Card Cut (TCC) of 601 (anything above 550 is considered excellent).
“The blade should be curved from its tip to the heel, which allows a gentle rocking of the blade when cutting without losing contact with the cutting board,” explains Chernoff. “I also prefer a full-tang knife, meaning the knife is one solid piece of mental from the blade tip to the end of the handle. The handle pieces are attached to either side with pins — this adds both strength and durability to the chef’s knife, although it does make the knife heavier.”
Of course, you’ll want your chef’s knife to have a solid handle. You may opt for a traditional wood handle, or a uniquely designed plastic handle like that of the Victorinox Fibrox Pro 8-In Chef’s Knife. Not only does this thermoplastic Elastomer (TPE) handle keep your hands from slipping as you repeatedly cut through produce, but its ergonomic shape also works to reduce hand and wrist fatigue, which is a lifesaver when you’re cooking for a large group.
“I like a handle that is easily gripped and has a good solid bolster — the thick part of the blade above the handle — to protect my fingers and add stability,” Chernoff notes.
Finally, hold the knife in your hand and see how it feels. Do you prefer a lightweight and thin model, or one that is more heavy and wide? Are you looking for a classic style, or does a modern style suit you better? Sometimes choosing a chef’s knife comes down to your personal preferences.
But remember: you’ll get the most out of your knife if you take good care of it.
“Most importantly, respect your knife,” Chernoff says. “Keep it sharp and keep it clean. Never put a quality knife in the dishwasher; it will dull.”
The Chef Knife Buying Guide
- Take care when cleaning your chef’s knives. Many brands are not listed as safe to put in a dishwasher. Instead, you’ll need to wash them by hand with traditional dish soap and hot water. Dry them afterward with a lint-free towel to prevent the possibility of rust, which can occur on certain types of steel blades.
- Store your knives in a knife block, or cover them with a plastic sheath to protect the blades.
- Keep the chef’s knives out of the reach of small children. As you teach your older children how to safely use knives for food preparation, you’ll want to supervise them at all times. Every knife should be viewed as a dangerous tool that could cause harm when not used carefully, especially when used by pre-teens and teens that may not fully understand how sharp the knives are.
- Always place a cutting board under the food you’re slicing with your chef’s knife. This reduces the wear and tear on the blade of the knife that happens when you cut on other surfaces, like granite and marble.
- Check to see whether the knife you’re interested in has any accolades or awards that further reinforce that the utensil is top-quality. For example, if you see “National Sanitary Foundation (NSF) approved” on the packaging label, you can feel confident that the knife was tested and successfully met a set of strict requirements to earn that NSF certification.
- When shopping for the best chef’s knives, you’ll want to compare prices of knives that are of similar length. When it comes to 8-inch knives, you’ll find the Mac Knife Hollow Edge 8-In Chef’s Knife and the Shun Classic 8-In Chef’s Knife are on the higher end with a price tag of about $150. The Victorinox Fibrox Pro 8-In Chef’s Knife and the Cangshan D Series 8-In Chef’s Knife are priced much lower at approximately $35.
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