Shun vs. MAC knives

Joined Jul 7, 2011
My daughter a chef in Laramie swears by her MAC knives.  I just bought 3 Shuns.  We both have small hands, do a lot of prep and like to efficient.  We both agree on having knives more female specific that being a bit lighter and built for a smaller hand.  Hence we both agree on Japanese knives over German.

I don't love my Shun's yet but do like them.  

What is your opinion on both knives pros vs cons.

Merci' Avril
Joined Feb 13, 2008
Shun and MAC both make many knife lines, each of which includes a variety of different profiles some of which are available in several sizes.  Without knowing the specifics about your and your daughter's particular knives it's impossible to venture an opinion as to the relative merits of your respective sets.

Still I can make a couple of very general observations:  Nearly all MACs are made very thin while many (most?) Shuns are a bit thick at the heel.  Consequently, it's usually easier to get a MAC very sharp than a Shun -- and I'm all about the sharpening.  Shun consistently makes knives of exceptional "fit and finish," while MAC tends to be a little more casual.  I don't care for most Shun chef knives profiles -- a very exaggerated "German" with too much arc, too much belly, and their tips are too high; but I do like the MAC chefs (very French) quite a bit.  Just personal taste, though.

I understand what you like about the handles and weights, but don't think they're particularly "female" specific.  Some handles are particularly unfriendly to large hands -- not including Shun or MAC -- because they're too short... but we're not talking about that.  Otherwise, handle comfort is usually more a matter of good ergonomics and the user's grip than hand size.  MAC in particular is known for handles which nearly everyone finds comfortable.

Also the modern trend is toward lighter knives for cooks of all strengths and sizes.  Of course an exception is that heavy-duty tasks require heavy-duty knives.  Another is that some people (not including you, your daughter or me, but including plenty of women) like "heft."  There's no right or wrong in this.  Again, it's just taste.

The most important thing to remember is that beyond personal taste, and even beyond "knife skills," knives are all about sharpness.  It doesn't matter how sharp a knife came from the factory, they all get dull eventually.  And any dull knife -- no matter how expensive or otherwise perfect -- is just a dull knife.  If your daughter sharpens frequently and keeps her knives very sharp, but you only use a steel and don't really sharpen yours for years... hers are going to work a lot better, no matter how much more you liked yours out of the box.  

Joined Jan 9, 2014
Oddly enough, I live in Laramie right now.   Used to lead kitchen at one spot, now back in school and moonlighting and managing weekends at another spot.  

But as for MAC vs. Shun, I prefer MAC (at least the ones I've used.)  I use a ten inch MAC Chef's series and I love it.  It's not flashy but it's practical and a workhorse.  It's a thinner blade than the Shuns I've used.  The handle is money.  It is gyuto style (basically japanese doing french style) , which I infinitely prefer to German style knives (which the shuns i've used are more aptly described.)

 I've also had some time with a MAC Mighty 8 inch and it was a very nice knife, in fact, it was the reason I bought my current knife.

So basically, for the price, the MAC Chef's series is great.  I'd take it over Wusthoff, Henckell, Victorinox and Global in a heartbeat.

I want to try more Shun knives to make my position clear.  Really I'm just sold on Japanese Gyuto knives.
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