Shun advice, which line to get? Elite Vs Bob Kramer vs Kaji, and Michel Brad



So I currently have the Shun classic line and love them and love the support and warranty. I was thinking of upgrading to the Shun Elite, and then discovered the Bob Kramer line both from Williams Sonoma and surlatable, as well as the Kaji series. They all seem to be made from the SG2 Steel so other than the handle what is the difference in all 4 paring knives even though they are the same steel, other than the handle. OH and of course the michel bras which is coated in titanium, but I hear that wears off.. Any advice help would be appreciated as I am about to spend a couple hundred on upgrading my knives. Should I just go with the "cheaper" elites?

Thanks in advance :)
Joined Feb 13, 2008
When it comes to paring knives, in fact almost anything other than chef's knives, profile doesn't come into play much.  Between the Elites, Kajis and Kramers, the only differences are price, handles and cosmetics. 

If you want a very hard, PM (metallurgical powder) knife, SG2 is a good alloy with good edge characteristics, and fairly easy to sharpen as PMs go.  But I can't really see any practical benefits for a paring knife, and consequently cannot justify the very high prices and the extra trouble sharpening.  

Shun Kramers are not actual Kramers.  I can understand that some people find the pattern welding very attractive, but understand that the Damascus look outside layers are not part of the steel core that provides the edge, and is of no practical benefit.  

The Michel Bras are ridiculously overpriced by any standards.  And, fwiw, titanium provides absolutely no practical benefits either.  It's advertised as "anti-oxidant," which doesn't mean anti-oxidant in the same way as broccoli.  It's just copy-speak for rust resistance.  But since the knives are already stainless, so what? Can you say, "gimmick?" 

By the way, how are you planning to sharpen and maintain your $120, 3-1/2", PM paring knife?  Paring knives, because they get used for all sorts of tough kitchen jobs like cutting string and opening packaging -- not to mention opening non-kitchen packages -- dull quickly and need frequent sharpening.  Even super hard knives like a Shun SG2.  A once-a-year trip to the factory isn't going to do it, and neither is a "steel."   

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Thanks for your advice; I went to Williams Sonoma today to check them out. I loved the way the Kramer’s looked, they did feel light. I did not like the handle of the Kaji. The paring knife I use quite a lot. Second to my Santuko really and almost as much as my 8” chef’s knife. If I upgrade I think I want to start with that since it is the cheapest. Then go with a new chef’s knife. Be it shun or something else. I think I will end up with the elite.
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