Shun Classic handles, Messermeister, Wusthof

Discussion in 'Cooking Equipment Reviews' started by stuartv, Feb 14, 2006.

  1. stuartv

    stuartv

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    Greetings All,

    I am in the market for new knives. For various reasons, I have pretty much narrowed my choices down to Wusthof Classic or Shun Classic. My main reservation with the Shuns is that I have not been able to find any to actually hold. Until today. Sort of.

    There is one place here (in Tallahassee) that sells Shun and I went by there today. They only Classics they had in stock were a large cleaver and a carving fork. The main thing I wanted to see before ordering some knives is how the handle felt in my hand. The handle on the cleaver felt just fine. I liked it better than the handle on the Wusthof Classic that I also hefted while I was there.

    Q1: Is the handle on that cleaver exactly the same (size and shape) as the handles on the knives? It looked like it based on the pictures I've seen. It had that Shun Classic D shape to it. But, I wanted to confirm that with someone who would know for sure.

    While I was looking at the Shun and Wusthof, I noticed they also had a selection of Messermeister Asian Precision series knives. I hefted a 7"-ish Gyuto from that line. The handle on that felt just like the Wusthof Classic handle. But, the blade on it seemed very flexible. Almost flimsy. Too flexible for that kind of knife, it seems to me.

    Q2: Is that flex normal for those (the Mess. Gyuto)?

    Q3: Is the blade on a comparable Shun Classic (like the 8" Chef's knife) going to be thin and flexy like the Mess.? Or will it be thicker and stiffer, more like the Wusthof Classic Chef's knife?

    Thanks!
     
  2. stuartv

    stuartv

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    Wow! No input on this. Hmm.

    Well, here's another question for ya'. I have heard several comments that Shun are very good, but overpriced compared to some other knives that are just as good.

    Do you think that a Shun Classic 7-pc Asian Block Set for $240 is overpriced and money better spent on other comparable knives? Or money better spent on individual knives bought as Open Stock? There are several of these for this price (and some other Shun Classic sets for similar) on eBay. The price seems SO inexpensive for those knives, it's hard for me to justify spending the same amount of money to just buy, for example, one santoku and one bread knife. Or even 3 or 4 comparable knives of another brand.

    Another way of asking this would be, if there are other knives comparable to the Shun Classics for less money, please tell me where I can get the same or similar set of knives (as a set or open stock) for the same money as these on eBay.

    Thanks!
     
  3. mangilao30

    mangilao30

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    No one on this one, I'll give it a shot. I like so many kinds of knives and get some for gifts so I can't say I have a favorite. If you like the feel then go for it. Personally I like Wustof, Sabatier and my Kiwi Brand cheapie Chinatown kinfe. I think one just has to try them and then decide.

    We have the Wustof Classics, Globals and Sabatier, get as many for the different jobs as you can afford. Like this one:

    http://www.cutleryandmore.com/details.asp?SKU=3199

    They call it a ham slicer but it is great for carving melons, pineapples, for super thin slices of meat etc...

    Also must haves are paring, curved paring, fillet, cleaver, bread, steak, chef 8 inch, and in my book good scissors.

    Why stick to one brand?
     
  4. mezzaluna

    mezzaluna

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    Stuart, did you do a search on this board? We have a lot of previous threads on knives.
     
  5. stuartv

    stuartv

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    Mezzaluna,

    I've searched and read everything I could find on here on this subject. I didn't find anything that told me how the flexibility of the Shun blades would compare/contrast to Wusthof and Messermeister.

    And, while I saw a lot of references to other brands as being less expensive for just as good, the few that I could track down and spot check (to compare to the deal I found on Shun) did not price out to be less expensive. Which is why I asked if anybody knows of anything specific that is as good for less money.

    Anyway, as this point, I bought the Shun set on eBay and have now received and am very happy with the knives. And I am skeptical that I could have gotten anything else that is as good quality for any significant amount less money, which makes me even happier with them.

    Mangilao30,

    Thanks for the response. I know it's silly, but it's part of my anal retentive/OCD that I want to find one brand that has everything I want or might want in the future and then go with that. I like my stuff to match! :) As I said above, I got the Shun set and really like them so far. I will probably add a tomato knife, an offset deli knive, a boning knife and a 10" chef's over time, but what I have so far will carry me pretty far.
     
  6. suzanne

    suzanne

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    Not silly, but maybe a little unreasonable. First, I'd be surprised if any one company made all the sizes, styles, and shapes you might want. Second, the materials any particular company uses may not be suited to a given style of blade. Finally -- that takes all the fun out of buying knives!

    I'd rather have knives that work for each job rather than ones that match (but that's me). I've got 35-year-old carbon-steel and stainless-steel Sabatier, F. Dick (from school 10 years ago), Wusthof, Global, Messermeister (my favorite for chef knife), Sanelli, Furi, KitchenAid, and the most adorable little Kyocera paring knife. ;)
     
  7. stuartv

    stuartv

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    I realize that it is extremely unlikely that one brand and series of knives would include the Best knife for every different possible kitchen task. But, my take on that is this: I am not a professional cook. FAR from it. And so I temper (pun intended) my view on purchasing knives with my experience in motorcycle riding and racing (something in which I have worked professionally).

    When someone asks me "what bike should I get?", my answer depends on whether they are buying to actually race, or merely to have fun on. Maybe do track days. But not go out and compete in a series and try to win championships.

    If they are "going Pro", then my answer, like yours, is that there is a different "best bike" for each series and class that they might choose to compete in.

    But, if they are (like my cooking) a dilletante, then my thought process on a recommendation changes to something more like this: Here's a range of choices. They are all so close that you (in your novice/amateur usage) will never really experience any practical, functional difference. So, of these high-quality choices, pick whichever you like best. Whether that is because of looks, price, comfort, or whatever.

    In that vein, I have now chosen Shun Classics. I realize that their Tomato Knife might not be as good as a Wusthof Tomato Knife, even though their Santoku is better (just as a made-up example). But, all their knives are good enough that the small differences really aren't a significant factor to a hacker like me. Whereas, having everything match makes me happy. The Shun Classic line has everything in it that I can currently imagine ever wanting, so that is what I've gone with.

    If I were a professional cook, or anticipated becoming one, I would probably shop differently. But I'm not. And I love my new Shuns!
     
  8. mezzaluna

    mezzaluna

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    Use them in good health, Stuart, and enjoy the many meals that will come from them.
     
  9. salvances

    salvances

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    I must say that I recently bought a Katana Series chopping knife from Caphalon and it is now my favorite of dozens of knives.