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Shun vs Wusthof- The Ultimate Guide To Buying Knives In 2022

Last Updated: June 21st, 2022

Cooking might be the world’s most elegant art. In cooking, a kitchen knife speaks a lot about the chef. Picking out an ideal knife can be a life-changing decision for every chef. In this article, we will be comparing Shun vs Wusthof knives so that you can make the right decision later on. 

Shun knives refer to Japanese-made knives that have incredibly sharp edges and are cut at 16-degree angles. Wusthof is a German brand that makes knives that cut up at an even lower angle of 14-degrees. 

Are you interested yet? Well, then scroll down and keep reading before you end up making a decision that could change your cooking style as a chef. 

Shun vs Wusthof – At A Glance

Shun Wusthof
Place Of Origin Seki City, Japan Solingen, Germany 
Design Japanese style Western or German-style
Number Of Products 11 6 forged, 1 stamped
Blade Material Highly refined “super” steels (VG10, VG-MAX, SG2, and High-carbon “Blue”) High Carbon, Stainless Steel
Handle Material PakkaWood, tagayasan, Micarta, thermoplastic elastomer, or polypropylene Polyoxymethylene, Polypropylene, Richlite, and “Grenadill” African Blackwood
Angle Of Edge 16-Degree Angle Per Side 14-Degree Angle Per Side
Hardness Of Blade 61 in Rockwell Hardness 58 in Rockwell Hardness

Key Differences Between Shun and Wusthof

We have given you a table of differences to allow you to get a quick glance. In this section, we will be diving deeper to understand the difference between the two before deciding on the superior knife.

Below, we have compiled some of the critical differences and their details. 

Aesthetics

Wusthof knives are built according to western designs and designed for prolonged usage. The central theme of their knives is to increase the comfortability while decreasing the amount of fatigue the user feels while using the knife.

On the other hand, Shun knives are based on the Japanese Kasumi knife-making style. They have a broad and flat blade that gives them a distinct look utterly different from a german knife. 

Wusthof’s have a modern look that complements their well-balanced hilts. On the other hand, shun knives have a more oversized handle. While the handle doesn’t offer much grip compared to its counterpart, it is not to be underestimated. 

While the Shun chef’s knife hilt materials could differ, it is mainly from lightwoods and other light carbon components, including PakkaWood, tagayasan, Micarta, and thermoplastic elastomer. As a result, the knife is supported quite well. 

Blade Material

Shun blades are often called “super steel” due to their high carbon steel being used to make the knife’s blade. 

Besides, the steel has been refined quite a few times before forming into the final blade. The high number of refining ensures a superior edge that doesn’t chip off easily. 

While Wusthof blades aren’t as hard as shun blades, they aren’t to be underestimated. They are made from high carbon stainless steel to retain their elasticity and rigidness even under extreme pressure. 

Moreover, since the blade is stainless, it won’t corrode or rust. You can use Wusthof blades for an incredibly long time.

Sharpness

Wusthof might have a slightly better edge over its Japanese counterpart when it comes to sharpness. While each blade for the knives has similar built quality and rigidness, you need to hold them from different angles for maximum efficiency when using the knives. 

When using Wusthof knives, you need to apply the least amount of force at 14 degrees to get the most cutting force output. On the other hand, this application angle for shun knives is 16 degrees. 

Since we can maintain a lower angle when using Wusthof, it is safe to assume that Wusthof has a greater sharpness than shun, although this value is negligible. 

Sharpening And Maintenance

While you need to maintain and wash your knives each time after use, sharpening frequencies can differ between the two. 

With Wusthof, high maintenance is not a necessity. However, the blade can dull quickly. Hence you might need to sharpen the blades at regular intervals. As long as you point at the edges, you will be able to use the knife for a long time. 

On the other hand, shun blade is more rigid than kitchen cutlery. While they require a moderate level of maintenance, you don’t need to sharpen them using a whetstone and knife block at all!

How Do Wusthof knives differ from Shun knives?

There are plenty of reasons why the Wusthof knife is different from the shun knife. While some of these reasons might be common knowledge, I am sure that many of them will turn out to be a surprise for you. 

Below, we have listed some of the reasons a Wusthof knife could differ from a shun knife. Do note that the differences could also be factorized depending on different models. Here we will be talking about the common reasons instead of the unique ones.

  • Wusthof knives are German while Shun knives are german.
  • Wusthof knives are minimalistic and straightforward. Shun knives are unique and feature a Damascus design that gives them an old or retro look. 
  • Shun blades are made from Highly refined “super” steel or Japanese steel, whereas Wusthof knives are made from stainless steel.
  • Shun knife handle is made from PakkaWood, tagayasan, Micarta, thermoplastic elastomer, or polypropylene. Wusthof knife handles are made from Polyoxymethylene, Polypropylene, Richlite, or African Blackwood.
  • All shun knives are handcrafted, whereas Wusthof knives are machine manufactured.  

An Overview Of Shun Knives

Shun knives are one of the best possible knives any chef can get. This is an enormous conglomerate that has been at the peak of the industry for centuries.

Shun cutlery and crafts have shops in 30 countries where they have even established a partial monopoly along with the Santoku knife brand that sells boning knives. 

The main advantage of shun knives is that they are tailored to fit any user, from newcomers to professionals. They are sleek and robust blades that ensure that the edge never depreciates. 

What Are The Main Line Of Shun Knives?

While there are plenty of shun knife models, only seven exist in the mainline of the brand. Below we have compiled these seven mainline models along with their descriptions.

Shun Classic:

The very reason why this is called the classic is that it was the first knife made by Shun. It was initially cumbersome and thick. However, with the advancement of cutting-edge technology, the old steel blades were replaced with a more advanced core and a light hilt that well balances the overall weight of the knife.

The blade features a Damascus casing which makes it resistant to corrosion and stain. Additionally, the edges do not chip off even at the most resistant contact while retaining some elasticity. 

Shun Kanso: 

These knives are what you usually think of when we talk about Japanese knives. The blade has a rustic appearance, while the sophisticated handle increases the stability of the knife. 

The blade has been designed with the utmost care to hide all scratches that it comes in contact with.

Shun Sora:

This knife is a much more affordable option for kitchen knives than all other models. It has high stability in the upper blade edge along with a handle that doesn’t slip easily.

The blade is made from an alloy of VG10 and 420J rated steel that is also stainless to prevent rust formation. 

The blades have been laser cut to perfection and come with sharp edges enforced with the most sophisticated blade mechanism.

Shun Classic Pro

The Shun Classic pro lineup is an advanced knife variant. They have everything featured in the classic knife, along with much more. 

The hilt has been designed with a hollow interior for balancing the heavy blade body. 

Shun Dual Core

The knife is manufactured using the method where two different types of steel are welded together to form an alloy before being ready to use. Combining these two strong stainless steel produces a rugged and durable blade with edge retention.

Dual-Core knives tend to be gigantic in size and so are typically used as butcher knives. 

Shun Premier

This knife is indeed premier in both terms of expense and usability. These are knives that are meant to look like ancient cleaving knives. The hammered finish allows the blade to reduce drag and prevent sticky food from attaching to the handle.

Shun Blue

Shun blue’s final entry in the mainline isn’t as famed as the other entries. This is because it is still new in the industry. 

The blade is made from carbon steel with 2 different layers of stainless steel that have been welded together for stability. It also features hilts made from PakkaWood, which further elevates the balance that the user would be able to experience. 

An Overview Of  Wusthof Knives

If any other knives could contend against Shun knives, Wusthof might be more than strong enough to be a contender. Just like Shun, this brand has survived through the centuries.

Wusthof has its headquarters in Solingen, Germany. Interestingly, Solingen is called the “City Of Blades” because it houses many knife brands other than Wusthof like Ja Henckels that sell pioneer paring knives like Zwilling JA Henckels. Wusthof worked with both hand-forged and stamped forged knives.

What Are The Main Line Of Knives That Wusthof Produced?         

While there are plenty more models, if we talk about the mainline Wusthof is the proudest of, there are four hand-forged knives. We have listed these four of the best kitchen knife models below, along with their descriptions. 

Wusthof Culinar

The culinary is another favorite among professional chefs in the West. It features a blade with a satin-finish handle for balancing out the heaviness that the blade carries. 

The blade has been designed thoughtfully with a complex tang archetype and further reinforced with a single piece of high carbon steel using precision-forgery techniques. It is perfect for someone who prefers to use elegant knives.     

Wusthof Classic

Wusthof knives have one of the most traditional designs that far outnumbers any other competitors. You can also customize the knife from a selection of 80 sizes and shapes of the hilt.

All the knives are made from steel infused with a high amount of carbon and come with ultra-comfortable handles made out of the most breathable material that promotes anti-fatigue for the user. Most chefs prefer to use this knife because of its simple, minimalistic build.

Wusthof Classic Ikon

These knives are an upgraded version of the original classic. While the blade itself is the same, they use different handles. 

Wusthof Ikon handles are also enforced with a riveting mechanism that provides comfort and balance. As a result the knife rarely slipped from your hand.

What’s more, unlike the classic, the Ikon comes with ergonomic handles. Whether you are looking for a bread knife or steak knife, ikon can fulfill your demands.

Wusthof Grand Prix II

The Grand Prix II is a sophisticated knife that has been carefully planned out and experimented with before the final manufacture. It has an excellent ergonomic handle supported with complete tangs that provide the ideal support and balance. 

Additionally, the knife has been built with slipless technology so that the food you are going to cut doesn’t slip off while you are trying to cut it.

How To Prevent Rust In Knives?

If you have bought an expensive knife from knife-smiths like Shun or Wusthof, you will be required to maintain your knife at all times. The knife is the identity of a chef, and a rusted chef’s knife means that the chef is inept at his profession. 

To keep your knife safe from rusting, you can take the necessary precautions before or after buying the knife, depending on your situation. Below we have listed some of these points that you might be able to use to keep your knife safer from rust formation:

  • Clean the blade properly each time you have used it.
  • Wipe the knife with citric acid sources like lemon juice or vinegar. 
  • Never soak your knife or let it sink in water for extended periods. 
  • Apply blade oil to your knife.
  • Hone and sharpen your knife using a whetstone. 
  • Force a patina on the surface of your knife.

Related: The Difference and Full Comparison of Patina vs Rust

FAQs On Shun vs Wusthof

What Is Damascus steel?

Damascus steel refers to a unique technique of forging steel to ensure its durability and flexibility while ensuring that the edge isn’t compromised.

In the past, people used to make swords with this technique. Nowadays, many knife models are made using this technique.

What Are Shun Knives Best Suited For?

Shun knives can be an ideal solution for kitchen knives depending on how you use them. A typical shun Japanese blade is excellent for slicing or push-pull cuts.

If you are a newcomer chef, you will enjoy chopping vegetables and meat using this Japanese-style knife built with precision edge technology. 

What Are Wusthof Utility Knives Used For?

Wusthof utility knife sets are used mainly as a multi-purpose cutting tool in the kitchen. While they are too small for chopping meat and thick vegetables, you can use them for cutting fruits and smaller, less tough vegetables.

Do note that they come in a knife set so that you can use them accordingly.  

How To Take Care Of Your Knife?

Knives are like the identification card for a chef. If your knife is rusted, it means that you might not be a good chef. You might want to clean your knife each time you have used it. Additionally, rub lime juice to keep the rust away.

How Long Should An Ideal Slicing Knife Be?

Slicing knives need to be extended. However, if they are too long, it could prove to be a problem. A typical slicing knife is usually around 15 to 25 cm-any less than it would not be a slicing knife. Any more and there would be several disadvantages associated with it. 

Conclusion

If we find the better of the two between Shun vs Wusthof, then it might be a complicated answer to conclude.

We are in favor of Wusthof due to its lower pricing and the fact that most of their knives have a more outstanding sharpness and can be further customized. 

Of course, you might have your own opinion on the favor of Shun since Shun is more robust and nowhere near inferior to the German brand. You are more than welcome to share your opinion with us!

What’s more when compared to global knives, Chicago cutlery, and Zwilling knives. Mercer culinary, Henckels knives and any other stamped knife brands- Shun and Wusthof blades are the dominating brands in their respective networks.

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