Keep my Shun Premiers? Or...

Joined Feb 21, 2012
Hello all.  First post, new to site.  A little background:

I’m not a chef or experienced cook by any means.  Typically, I only prepare about two to three meals a week, as I’m otherwise on the road for work.  I’ve been preparing my meals for the past 15 years with a $10 Tramontina 8” chef.  Dull as can be.  Never once looking down the aisle for anything else.

Since I watch plenty of HGTV and DIY, I began—out of curiosity—to venture over to Food Network and the Cooking Channel.  Wow, I never knew what fun I was missing.  I’ve since started to explore the cooking world, and restored an old commercial kitchen’s 28.5” x 15.5” cutting board by lots of sanding and Howard’s Butcher Block Conditioner.  I love that board!  Bought a Chicago Cutlery 6.75” santoku, which never gets used (seemed like a popular knife).  For some reason, I just don’t like the way it performs; however, part of it might be my completely unschooled technique.  I just like the 8” chef better, though it has WAY too much belly.

Anyway, watching all these shows got me interested in the tools of the trade, as well.  Thank God for DVRs, because my pause button is getting worn out on the cooking competitions, by trying to see what the contestants are using (I take knives used by hosts of shows with a grain of salt, as they’re probably sponsored…).  I’ve seen the gamut:  a guy beating Morimoto and his Nenox with a Grand Prix I santoku… and he did EVERYTHING with it; others beating competitors using Ken Onions and Glestains with Forschner Fibroxs or Dexters.  Hmmm…

So, realistically, while the tool might have little to do with the outcome, it—to me, anyway—might have something to do with the fun.  I inherited my grandfather’s knives, which included a Wusthof and three Henckels, all of them 12”, all of them circa mid-60s (from what I can gather).  Specifically, the Wusthof is a Trident Dreizack 4582-162/12”; one of the Henckels is a 102-12” chef.  The remaining two are slicers. 

The Wusthof is beautiful.  Looks completely unused.  Easily twice the knife the Henckels chef is (IMHO).  Would I pay double for it? Yes, comparatively speaking.  And if it wasn’t so long, or heavy, I wouldn’t be here.  But alas, I need (want) something in between the crappy old 8” Tramontina and the skull-splitting 12” Trident sword. 

I’ve read pages upon pages of stories similar to mine, and while one could easily make an informed decision based on many well thought-out recommendations, there’s an urge to get my own tale out.  Partly because I’d like a personal recommendation, partly to chat, maybe… probably 70/30, or 60/40… but maybe that’s because I’m right-handed… ;)

To the substance:  In early December, I purchased a Shun Premier paring and 7” santoku for one of my daughters, as Christmas gifts (not knowing a thing about knives… they just looked cool).  CKTG was out, so I had to purchase them from two different retailers; but from CKTG I did purchase a bamboo gift box and a Shun 11-shot bamboo block (keeping the block).  After receiving the Shuns (bought at the then-discounted prices), I realized they were totally inappropriate for her.  She’d never use them, and would never build on to the set.  Got her something else she really wanted:  a PS3.  :/  Oh well…

So, now I have two brand new knives, only taken out of the boxes to feel the handles.  Though the $190 I have invested in the two knives (had to pay shipping from the two different retailers who had them in stock) could be used on something else, I have to question myself:  presuming I can get every dime out of these knives, can I replace them with something of equal or better performance for the same dollar?  The handles are nice; f&f, warranty, sharpness… it’s all there, but this forum seems to advise (strongly) away from Shuns. 

I, like some others, have a “matching set” ocd problem.  It’s the way I’m built, I guess.  Everything symmetrical and matching.  (Even the 70/30, 60/40 grinds have my skin itching… don’t know why)  And I know what has been stated here before, that nothing looks more amateurish than a matching set of knives, and after watching MANY competition shows, I agree; but no one is going to see my knives, and to purposely mix my future set based on the fear I might look amateurish…

I imagine:  New Chef 1 bought A, B, C; New Chef 2 bought B, C, A; New Chef 3 bought C, A, B… and not because one knife always fit the category better than another.  They just randomly came in and bought stuff that didn’t match—on purpose—so they wouldn’t look new…  Now, if the best knife, for a given price-point, in each category, was different… well that’s something I think I can live with and justify to my OCD… I think…

Preferences:  My technique is completely untaught, though I do want to learn the most appropriate, most efficient technique; however, that said, I do like the way the finger guard feels on the Trident 4582, when I pinch it.  It seems to anchor the knife in place.  The handle is fine.  But the Shuns’ are, as well.  I can live with either.  And while there is something about that finger guard, I can learn to live without it, if proper technique doesn’t need it.  I’m totally willing to learn.

Like others, I don’t want to buy an $85 knife (knowing there’s that $150 knife out there that I should’ve bought), if it’s going to just sit in the block after I eventually spend the $150 on what I should’ve bought to begin with; only to regret that, because if I’d just spent another $30, I could’ve got THIS!  Or another $40, and I could’ve had THAT!  I’ve gotten so frustrated, pouring over CK2G, JCK, C&M, SLT, WS, MK, and on and on, along with every thread I could find on each knife, that I’ve almost convinced myself to live with my Tramontina… almost. 

My questions are as follows:

For the $80 I’ll get selling the Shun Premier paring, is it worth keeping, or is there a better for the price?

For the $110 I’ll get selling the Shun Premier santoku, is it worth keeping (and learning to use/appreciate), or is there a better for the price?  Or is it really not a recommended style to even keep?

(Truth be told, if I do abandon the Shun santoku, there’s no way I could keep the paring… and therefore would not buy anything else in the line.  Idiotic, I know.  It’s just how I am.)

For the $80-$120, what’s the best 240mm gyuto?  Tojiro DP?  Fujiwara FKM?  Kanetsugu Pro-M?  Kagayaki?  Others? 

How about in the $120-$180 range?  Masamoto VG?  MAC Pro?  Others?  Shun Premier*?

* The only reason I’d consider the Shun Premier 10” chef is:  1)-if I keep both in-possession Shuns; 2)-because it looks as if the blade has a more French profile that the Classic, though I don’t know if it’s so.  If not French-profiled, the current Shuns are definitely going on eBay, and I’m starting from a clean slate.

And, then, I have to ask myself, will having an other-than-Shun chef in one of the aforementioned price ranges, while keeping the other Shuns (if that’s the general consensus), make me wish I’d have gone with a Shun chef just to satisfy my OCD?  Probably, unless it’s something like a Miyabi Kaizen… which kind of matches…

Sorry so long, but I know more information—for me, anyway—helps clarify things a bit better than less info, even if it’s difficult to get through.  Thanks in advance for any help.

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Joined Feb 4, 2012
If interested in the French profile you could always go with either K Sab or Elephant TI, as French as it gets...

Just a few more things you may want to add though...

Blade material preference,

If Japanese, which handle preference,

Sharpening thoughts.

Good luck and Cheers,

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Joined May 31, 2011
It's hard to know where to begin, EdSchmitz, in part because it's very clear you HAVE been reading a great deal on this forum (and maybe others).  I love your writing, your wit, by the way -- and both your extensive reading and your wit come together very clearly when you write: "I’d like a personal recommendation, partly to chat, maybe… probably 70/30, or 60/40… but maybe that’s because I’m right-handed… ;)"

So that given, please accept my compliments and sincere admiration, as a background to whatever comes next.

I think the interest in a "matching set" is ridiculous.  But then, if you cop to a disorder, to OCD, then you already know.  And I can't give you any real help -- there are professionals who will take your money. And I'll leave it alone beyond expressing that bit of prejudice -- I just want you to know I'm completely bracketing that aspect of your needs and leaving it to others, or leaving you on your own with it.

Also, given that you *have* read at some length on this forum, you know a couple of things already (which I'll foreground) -- generally speaking, the Santoku is not the most beloved type of knife among those who love knives inordinately.  Yet, if it's what you like, and therefore what you should have, then you avoid the biggest reason for -- what you've already alluded to -- the disdain of Shun.   That is, the Classic and Elite especially have really execrable profiles on their chef's knives.  But a Santoku is a different beast, where the profile matter less (and is automatically sort of crappy, or so those of us who don't care for them will say).

And the paring knife is probably about as good a paring knives get.  I have a small collection of paring knives (those with names include a Sabatier Nogent, a Tojiro almost-sheepsfoot, an F. Dick 19-oh-whatever) because of some inexplicable accumulative faculty expressing itself through my budget at various times.  Still, my preferred parer is a Victorinox/Forschner $4.00 thing, that gets sharpened a few times and then replaced.  The only real time I feel I need a short parer is for coring strawberries -- which I perhaps do more than most, but I still don't do too often.  Leave stems on and just twist them off one by one upon consumption is an increasingly preferred method.  For anything else, a petty (or a utility knife) in the 6" or so range is better.  I use a longer one, even more often, just because I happen to have it and love it.  But a 6" slicer is pretty much ideal for anything either in-hand or on the board; a more versatile knife, it will slice and portion "proteins" (in quotes because I have another sort of very insular rant about use of that term for animals, but I'll leave that alone for now). 

So you have a very nice, very expensive knife for coring strawberries, at least according to my own usage.

If you have limited space, and don't do a whole lot of prep in your cooking, then you should stick with what you got.  If you want to explore a gyuto or chef's knife, then you have to look further. Chinacats' post will get you some way toward thinking about it.

I've never used a Shun premiere gyuto, so perhaps, given your OCD, that's a way to go.  Generally speaking, the Shun knives are more expensive than they should be.  The Classic (especially) and the Elite (as mentioned) both have crappy profiles.  The Premiere line, from the small pictures I just looked up, do seem, indeed, better. Even a lot better.  But maybe still with a higher tip than would be ideal.

Also Shun knives tend to be thick at the heel and not have much going on in the way of distal taper.  But (again) maybe that's completely different with the Premiere line (I realliy don't know).

An advantage of Japanese knives, in general -- and we can find exceptions, which I'm not exploring here -- is that they are lighter and thinner, with something approaching a French profile (often something flatter); this makes the longer knives more agile.  So a gyuto is a much more agile/nimble thing than you might think, given your experience with the *very* long and very German knives you have; but don't think you need something as short, as "cut off", as a santoku to get a light, agile, knife (is the point I'm making).

And to reiterate, and remphasise, something Chinacats said... let us know about your plans for sharpening.  A super expensive dull knife is just as crappy as a super inexpensive dull knife.

And also... to hit on another theme of your post... some EXCELLENT cooks, including -- no doubt -- some of whom you've seen on Iron Chef, use crappy knives and aren't very skilled knife users.  It's not the most important thing to a finished product.  (And this point may make you consider spending less money than the likes of me would normally tend to encourage).  Better knives and better knife skills make prep more fun (if you're a little crazy) and a lot less drudgery (if you're more normal).

And then we get into what the knives look like... this apart from the whole "matching set" idea which I don't mean to let out of its brackets.  If you spend real money you *do* want something you like to look at.  But unless you decide to commit to learning good knife skills, the profile is less important; and unless you commit to a good sharpening plan, an expensive knife is ever-less important.

So no brands mentioned yet.  Hmmm.  We have to figure out how much you're ok with what you have already, first.
Joined Feb 21, 2012

On the French knives:  I’d actually looked at those two lines after seeing them referenced on this (or another) forum, but I seem to be leaning in the Japanese direction of a yo handle and somewhat French-profiled blade… though I can’t completely discount considering a wa handle—especially having never held one—if the feel/action is anything like how the Shun Premiers feels… though I doubt that it is.

On blade material:  I really don’t know.  To clad or not to clad… I guess THAT is the question…  And knowing now that my knife doesn’t go in the dish washer, and anticipating that it’ll never get set aside to rust, I don’t have a problem with a rust-prone blade, provided it’s not stinky.  Otherwise, it’s all up in the air.

On sharpening:  I bought a cheap two-stage pull-through and fine/coarse hand sharpener from the local megastore, and have sharpened (to the extent those tools could) just about everything in the house (except my heirlooms).  Other than that, I don’t know anything about proper sharpening, but understand to go with a good tool should be a good care plan.  CKTG has some good starter kits, but I think I’ll need to pick the blade(s) first, then pick whichever stone(s) or device(s) that best suit the chosen knives. 


I do appreciate the kind words, and don’t worry, I’m not clinical.  I will tend to apologize for—or simply point out—some personal tendencies I have which I know might annoy people… even if I don’t feel a need to correct them.  It’s my way of letting you know that yes, I am aware that this may be annoying to you.  It is what it is; however, any reference to OCD was, in retrospect, probably inappropriate, and derogatory to those truly afflicted with it.  If I have offended anyone, I do humbly apologize.

That said, my preferences are more for standardization, either with feel/performance, or with like manufacturers, in an effort to enhance/maximize efficiency and familiarity.  I am pretty stubborn about that, and in my experience, the advantages have outweighed the inconveniences.  If I like a particular item quite a bit, find little or no problems with it or the manufacturer support, then I can be somewhat confident that any future items from that line (or manufacturer) will be sound purchase decisions as well. 

Aesthetics do play a role, without question, but not as much as feel/function.  Do I want five different types of steel, five different handle styles, five different angles to sharpen?  Not particularly.  Could I concede if they were the best at each function given a particular price-point?  Yes, but I would prefer to compromise a little bit of performance or dollars on a few of them to standardize most or all of them. 

If I really like the Tojiro DP gyuto—the steel, handle, performance, support—why not get more from them?  Why not all from them?  I’m pretty much starting from scratch, so to me, it takes the guess work out of it, and makes this trial and error process a one-time headache.  I could be wrong.

I do think the foundation for my choices should be somewhat anchored with what many consider the primary tool:  the gyuto.  From that decision, if it turns out to be a good choice, I’ll look to what else is available in the line, and for the items I want that aren’t offered (or that are stupid-expensive for the function), I’ll of course get from someone else.  No big deal. 

But if consensus is that you really can’t get better performance than what I have for the money I’ve invested (in the Shun Premiers), I’ll look at their chef.  But like I said, since the gyuto is to be my anchor, if that Shun Premier 10” chef I’m looking at doesn’t meet the criteria of a good profiled blade (going by recommendations I’ve read here), or it’s not a good knife in general, as goes this, so goes the rest of my Shuns.

Joined Feb 13, 2008
Hi Ed,

You're bringing a great deal of common sense, some research, and a growing level of sophistication, but you also have some threshold assumptions which aren't serving you well.

Reading your (excellent) posts -- and reading between their lines as well -- I get the feeling that we should nail down sharpening and maintenance issues before getting really specific on the "which knives" questions. 

For what it's worth, I try to steer most seekers away from Shun chef's knives because of their profile.  Their other knives aren't as awful in that respect, but they aren't what you'd call high value either.  Tojiro DPs, for instance, have better blade geometry (profile aside), similar VG-10/san-mai construction, but cost considerably less. 

Your "matching handles" idea can be made to work, but with certain limitations.  To some extent, those are imposed by budget, to some by efficiency, and to some extent by which profiles are available from any given manufacturer.  Because it's typically the most used knife by far and performs the widest range of functions, it's worthwhile for most people to invest in a better quality chef's knife than the other knives in their kit.

Joined Dec 12, 2010
You're opening up a little bit of a pandora's box asking about Shun on these forums  :)

IMO - Shun's are nice knives.  They are, IMO, overpriced.  Which is likely due to the fact that they are mainstream, have great brand recognition, and they're sold at places like Williams Sonoma and Sur La Table who tack their own 30% markup on the price.  And like BDL states, the profile of the chef's knife can be pretty undesirable for some folks.  The profile is more comparable to a Wusthof or Heckles than most of the j-knife options you'll read about here.  If you like to rock the knife on the board when you chop/dice things, you'll probably like the Shun just fine.  

Price not an object, I would not choose a Tojiro DP over a Shun Premier.  No chance.  IMO the Torjiro is a comparable knife to Shun due to the steel but is considerably weaker aesthetically (which does matter a bit to me) and fit & finish.  With Shun you'll almost always get flawless fit & finish and beautiful knives, with most j-knives the fit & finish is often marginal or "acceptable".  Some don't like the handles of the Shuns, I really like them.  You have some in your possession now so you could certainly play with them and decide yourself whether or not you like the handle.

If someone was starting from scratch and wanted to buy a new knife and they didn't give a crap about aesthetics I'd have no problem recommending a Tojiro.  But you already own the Shun Premier and you're looking to take what, a 40% loss on them by reselling them?  I wouldn't.

I have 2 Shun's (first two j-knives) and have recently owned Hattori HD, Carbonext, Mac Pro, Messermeister, Sakai Yusuke and a Tojiro (bread knife).  IMO they're all nice knives and a lot of it comes down to personal preference.  One of the big problems you'll have, as far as I see it, is you won't know what you prefer until you try them all, I know I didn't.  So if you just want to make a decision on some nice knives and get back to cooking, then stick with the Shun's.  If you want to explore the wide world of j-knives, sell them and start doing some trial and error.

All "IMO" of course :) 
Joined Feb 21, 2012

Thank you for the compliment.  Though I tend to elaborate (completely my nature), it’s all in an effort to make the post (and my point) unambiguous; but as you can see, technical writing (short and to the point) is NOT my forte.  And by the way, I over think just about EVERY purchase lately, not just this one.  I’ve found buyer’s remorse (for me) is worse than my indecisiveness… even though it gets on the nerves of everyone I know.  It’s a burden I have to bare…  ;)

I’ve seen most recommendations for the gyuto price points I’ve specified:  < $120 = Fujiwara FKM, Tojiro DP; $120-$180 = Masamoto VG, MAC Pro.  In doing my groundwork, I put those items (including others from the recommended retailers) in an ascending order, up to where I felt comfortable.  Read as many owner reviews as I could, and would inevitably come up with reasons to eliminate all of them.  I’m always back starting from scratch. 

I’ll take your cue on the sharpening and maintenance.  I don’t have a plan, other than the recommendations I’ve read here from you and others.  I am mechanically inclined, so I feel whichever method or devices I end up with will be used properly.  I’ll not subject the time and patience from forum members for naught.  Every suggestion is considered and appreciated!


The Shun products I have (4” paring, 7” santoku) are indeed quality tools.  I have not, and will not use them if I’ll be selling them.  I got them during the holiday discount, before the substantial across-the-board price increase, so I’m pretty confident I’ll be getting every dime back, and still for under what they’re priced at currently (which is kind of ridiculous… unless they’re really worth that).

The aesthetics and feel (of the Shun Premiers) are very nice, but I’m sure some other brands are as well.  And you’re right, I probably won’t know what I’m going to eventually be happy with until I try several; but this is where my gains come:  from others’ pains! 

Today, I had a chance to drop in a Williams-Sonoma store, and the profile of the Shun Classic 10” chef’s blade really didn’t match what I’d been looking at (haven’t seen the Premier 10" chef in person).  Though I do admit that I can only say what I’m looking for (in the direction of knife type) is on the word of at-home and professional cooks and chefs, mostly from this forum.  The techniques used with the gyuto-type blades on the shows and videos I’ve watched just look more efficient than the German-profile blades.  So, I think that’s the direction I’d like to steer. 

Joined Feb 4, 2012

I noticed you didn't mention could consider the pro series Mac?  The fit and finish is good quality and they seem to be a decent value.  You'll be happy to find that they are sharp out of box which will buy you a small bit of time before they need an initial sharpening...oh yeah, thing to mention is that some knives (steel) seem easier for some (me) to sharpen than others.  For instance,  my Sabatier's seem easier (less strokes and less pressure) to sharpen than the few Japanese knives I own.  I'm not suggesting French knives, but there are likely differences among the types of Japanese steels which you may want to find out about, such as:  are some easier to sharpen, hold an edge longer (if you don't enjoy or haven't found your love for sharpening), resist rust if that matters.  A few of the basic options are shirogami, aogami (and aogami super) as well as a few of the stainless options of which I'm not personally familiar--except for VG-10 and that is by name only--it is supposed to be a pretty good stainless material if you want to go that route.   

Good luck...

Joined Feb 21, 2012

Actually, I am considering them (the MAC Pros).  I’ve also looked at the Hiromoto AS.  I’m not really worried about a little rusting, as I only cook occasionally, and typically clean the tools off quickly.  Carbon is also a consideration—you know, to start off with, to experience its high and low points—like a Fujiwara FKH. 

I hate the thought of having multiple tools of the same type just to see what I end up liking the best, but I understand that very well may be how it turns out.

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Joined May 31, 2011
The FKH is reportedly a particularly reactive and stinky carbon.... I'd suggest avoiding starting there. The FKM is a more reasonable place for stainless than the FKH is for carbon.
Joined Jan 19, 2011
Hi Ed...

I enjoyed your post big time, just like Wag mentioned, you have a great writting style and is a joy to read your elaborate post, it reminded me my first posting in cheftalk, because I start asking about shuns and once I started reading the replies, I saw that the shuns were not the only (or the best) choice on high performance knives.

After a lot of reading and getting feedback from BDL, Wagstaff, Chris lehrer, and some other fine and knowledgeable gentlemen... I got a Mac pro gyuto and I can't be happier with my choice, now I own some Tojiros (Wich are great knives at an excellent price) but the Mac is still the king and is my very personal knife in my kitchen at the restaurant.

At first I wasn't sure of getting it, because I didn't like it very much in the looks department compared to the shuns, the Mac looked too plain to me, not sophisticated at all, and the handle seemed to be very classic looking. For me it missed some "bling factor" but since people with much more experience than me were suggesting it... I got it and I don't have a single complain on it, excellent fit, finish, profile and handle. Is very sharp OOTB too. 

My two cents on the subject./img/vbsmilies/smilies/wink.gif

P.S. And just like it was mentioned before... Don't forget on the sharpening stuff, no matter how good a knife is, it will become dull after some use. 

Best regards.

Joined Dec 12, 2010

And you’re right, I probably won’t know what I’m going to eventually be happy with until I try several; but this is where my gains come:  from others’ pains! 
The problem with this is that it's pretty darn hard to understand the nuances of different knives until you actually use them.

I've skimmed this thread 3 times and I'm not sure I understand what you are even looking for in a knife.

Speaking specifically of your main gyuto:

1. Do you want carbon, semi-stainless or stainless?  Some forum searching will lead you to the pro's and con's to each.

2. Do you prioritize durability or do you want to sharpen to fairly acute angles and expect high edge retention?  Do you want every day cooking sharp or really, really sharp?  Do you want to be able to steel it to bring it back to life or not?

3. Do you want a workhorse "do it all" gyuto?  Do you ever cut things out of the freezer?  How about lobster shells?  Hard squash?  What about thinly sliced raw fish?  Do you want the knife to specialize in an area or be pretty good at everything?

4. What's your preference for stiffness?  Do you even care?

5. You think you want a flatter profile but I'm not even sure you know how flat you even want, just that the knifenuts are pushing flat.  There's a wide range of in-between on these from super flat to big curve. 

The other important questions, handle (yo vs wa) and price seem to be addressed already.

For the record, a truly flat knife is going to be a dud and difficult to work with.  Some experts with awesome skills might make it work but most folks on the internet yapping about how flat their knife is are doing it for their ego.  Here's two common japanese gyutos, the Mac Pro on top and the Carbonext on the bottom.


If you follow the cutting edge of the Carbonext on the bottom from left to right, then do the same with the MAC, it should be noticable how much more "belly" the MAC has.  That said, what's harder to see is that the Mac probably has more truly flat space at the heel, like darn near 5" worth of flatness (this knife actually was very difficult for me to use and I think it was even slightly hollow ground a little in the flat area so I had a friend fix it, which included giving it just a smidge of relief in the heel).  And all THAT said, I highly doubt you even would notice or care during every day use.  When most folks talk about "push cutting", or cutting objects with a primarily up and down motion without the tip on the board, you're going to be doing that with the 6ish inches of the blade closest to the heel and guess what, we're pretty darn flat in that region on both knives.  IMO what'll happen is you'll get a knife and after a few weeks of using it your technique will intuitively start to match the blade shape and whether your're using one of these two, a Tojiro, Fuji, your Shun, etc. you won't have any problems with a knife having too much or too little belly.

All things considered, you really do need to give us more info on my quesitons 1-5 above otherwise we're just throwing out popular names, maybe "value leaders" at a certain pricepoint.  
Joined Feb 21, 2012
Sorry for the long delay.  Been on the road quite a bit lately, and time at home has been spent getting things ready for the road again. 


I definitely don’t want a stinky blade.  I can only imagine what it’d smell like… I guess kind of like an old knife from my grandfather’s fishing box.  Not what I want in my kitchen!

Luis J,

Thanks for the kind words.  I agree with what you’ve said.  I pretty much feel the same about things I purchase, and I really appreciate the advice, from all points, from professional and home cooks alike.  It’s helping me narrow down what I want. 

And, those little nuances can certainly add to—or take away from—the appreciation of an object.  I admit that’s probably what’s making this process take so long for me!  I sincerely don’t want a drawer (or block) full of similar items.  I’d rather use that money for other essential items in my kitchen. 

Last night, I watched my favorite Iron Chef, Bobby Flay, use the Shun Premier 10” Chef (Flay vs. Stein, 2011).  I recognized the knife immediately, and for a moment, felt somewhat vindicated in my initial desire for this knife... but knowing I’ve not seen it in a prior competition, or a subsequent one, made me think it was a one-time thing.  Hmmm… have to wonder why that was…

I think the MAC Pro is now one of the several I’ve narrowed it down to.  Hard to find fault with something that’s been recommended so many times!


1.  I’ve tried to read up on the different types of metal, and have found fans of all three types you’ve mentioned.  Everyone seems to like one type for certain reasons, and there doesn’t seem to be the perfect metal out there (budget constrictions, of course).  So, unless I purchase and experiment with each and every one, I guess I won’t really know.

2.  I think I prefer durability and everyday sharp.  I’m not a razor nut, I guess.  Something to get the job done for periodic cooking would be fine.

3.  A do-it-all gyuto or chef’s knife is pretty much what I’m looking for.  I might have to use it for freezer or hard items, but I don’t currently, or know when I will.

4.  On stiffness, I think I would care if I knew how much or how little this would impact typical prep cutting.  I really don’t have a comparison, other than the old 12” Trident vs. the 8” Tramontina POS.  If given a choice of those two extremes, I’d choose stiff. 

5.  I like where you went with this.  The 12” Trident has a fairly good flat section near the heel, because it’s long to begin with, and I find myself using that to my liking.  The tip also isn’t so inline with the flat section as to keep me from rocking it, so that I like.  So yeah, something overly flat seems like it would be difficult to work with.  I like the looks of the MAC’s profile.  It seems to be a good compromise of flat and curved.

You’re right about getting caught up in the hype.  I’ve read a lot about preferences for flat blades, and admittedly have been searching in that direction because that’s what’s been recommended by people who know far more than me.  I do agree I can probably end up learning to work with whatever I end up with, and will be happy with it.  Thanks for that slap on the back of the head!

Again, thanks to all for the time spent on helping me here!

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Staff member
Joined Mar 29, 2002
Flatness is one of the things I love about my Chinese Chef's knife.
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