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Shun vs Global

Shun vs. Global: Which One Is the Best Japanese Knife Brand?

People love Japanese knives for their unique design, durability, and performance. There are many Japanese brands still making knives for the kitchen, but Shun and Global are very popular among others. These two companies use different techniques, and materials to produce high-quality knives.

However, this comprehensive guide will walk you through which company is very popular among professional chefs and new cooks.

I will talk about their differences, similarities, what materials they use, price range, and their popular knife series. So let’s dive into this!

Comparison Table for Shun and Global Knives

Brands Shun Global
Launched Year 2002 1985
Blade Material VG10, SG2 and VG-Max  steel CROMOVA 18
Sharpness  16⁰ angle per side 10-15⁰ angle on each side
Design Damascus and hammered blade design All stainless steel design
Rockwell Hardness Rockwell scale of 61 56-58 Rockwell scale
Handle Materials Pakkawood, Tagasayan, Polypropylene/thermoplastic Textured CROMOVA 18 stainless steel
Durability Less durable Lasts longer
Performance Sharper  Less sharp
Price Slightly expensive More affordable

Shun Knives Overview

In terms of reliability, Shun knives are among the best. These knives are very lightweight and they also have different handle designs which give them a stylish look. Apart from that, they are equipped with very sharp blades which are cut at 16 degrees on each side to enhance performance.

The company is one of the best Japanese knife brands which are highly recognized throughout the world due to their exceptional quality.

All the knives from this company are crafted using high-quality steel materials which feature a combination of iron and carbon. Due to this construction, Shun knives are very durable and easy to maintain.

A Small Brief About Shun Knife Company

Shun knives were introduced in the Western market in 2002 by the KAI group. However, this group was established way back in Seki Japan around 1908 by a man called Saijiro Endo. The company has a wide variety of knives which range from quality knife sets to individual pieces.

All their knives are made by professional craftsmen with close attention to detail. As a result, they have an exceptional quality which makes them among the most popular models in the market.

What Materials Do They Use for Their Blade?

The materials used in the construction of the blade determine the overall performance of the knife. In this regard, Shun knives are made from top-quality VG10, VG-Max, SG2, AUS10A, and AUS8A steel materials. Their construction contains equal ratios of carbon and small amounts of different alloys such as vanadium, iron, chromium, molybdenum, and cobalt among others.

  1. VG10/VG2– Some Shun models are equipped with VG10 stainless. One of the major benefits of this material is that it is highly resistant to corrosion. Apart from that, it boosts the toughness and hardness of the knife. VG2 is also present in some VG10 Shun knives and it helps the knife to have a sharper edge.
  2. VG-Max– The VG-Max is an advanced model of VG10 steel since it contains more carbon. As a result, knives that are made from this material are highly durable. They also have a very sharp edge which makes them easy to use.
  3. SG-2 – Blades that are made from the SG-2 have an excellent cutting edge and are also stable. As a result, you don’t need to use too much force when using them.

What Types of Handle Designs Are Available?

In order to enhance your comfort, Shun knives are equipped with different types of handles which include Pakkawood, Polypropylene/thermoplastic, and Tagasayan.

  • Pakkawood– This material contains a mixture of hardwood and resin which gives it a similar look to natural hardwood. Due to the presence of resin, these handles are highly resistant to moisture, heat, discoloration, fading, and impact.
  • Tagasayan– Tagasayan handles are common in the Kanso collection. They are made of dark-grained wood. They are very durable and are also designed to provide excellent grip when cutting.
  • Polypropylene/thermoplastic– The Shun Sora Collection contains handles that are made from polypropylene or thermoplastic materials. The good thing about these materials is that they have a great texture which gives you a comfortable grip.

Are Their Knives Single or Double Bevel?

Shun produces both single bevel and double bevel knives but most of them have a double bevel.

Some of the double bevel knives from Shun are the Classic Series, Sora series, Dual-Core Series, Hiro Series, Kanso Series Blue Steel Series, and Premier Series. Only the Classic Pro Series has a single bevel.

A double bevel edge means that the knife is sharpened at a similar angle on both sides of the blade.

The good thing about knives with a double bevel is that they are long-lasting and easy to sharpen. As a result, they are suitable for all cutting tasks since their blades are designed to slide easily when cutting different ingredients.

Single bevels are sharpened to an extremely sharp edge or angle on one side which makes them sharper than those with double-bevel edges. However, the chip is more easily as compared to the double-bevel blades.

Are Their Knives Easy to Clean?

Shun knives are very easy to clean since you only need to hand-wash them using warm water and soap. Their handles are also resistant to water.

However, you should never clean them in the dishwasher. You should also dry the knives using a clean cloth before you store them.

What About Their Knives Price Range?

Due to their outstanding quality, Shun knives are a bit expensive. However, their price varies according to the collection or series.

The Shun Dual Core is the most expensive while Kasno and Sora collections are the cheapest. The Classic series which is the best-selling series from Shun has an average price. Overall, Shun knives are more expensive than the Global models.

Most Popular Shun Knife Series

shun knife series
Below are the most popular knife series from Shun.

01. Shun Classic Series

This series is the most popular series from Shun. It uses the Shun’s unique VG-Max Steel on its cutting core. This core provides a sharp and durable cutting edge. These knives also feature 34 layers of folded Damascus steel on the two sides which make them highly resistant to stains.

Additionally, they have Pakkawood D-shaped handles which give you excellent grip and comfort when cutting. Shun Classic 8” Chef’s Knife with VG-MAX Cutting Core and Shun Cutlery Classic 5-Piece Starter Block are among the best in this series.

02. Shun Dual Core

In terms of design, these knives are among the most stylish models on the market. Unlike other Shun series, these knives are made of two types of high-carbon steel which are VG2 and VG10. They also feature a rabbet tang just like the way Samurai swords are designed.

Another unique thing about the Dual Core series is that their handles have an octagon shape and are made of Pakkawood. A Saya sheath is also included to enhance your safety.

Shun Dual Core VG0017 8-inch Kiritsuke Knife and Shun Dual Core 6.5-In Nakiri with Premium Stainless Steel Blade will give you incredible performance in your kitchen.

03. Shun Premier

These knives are very popular and are made by Japanese artisans using hands. They feature a VG-MAX core and hammered Damascus steel which enhances their appearance. Their hammered texture creates dimples which help to reduce friction when cutting.

This also ensures that the food doesn’t stick on the blade. They are also equipped with a walnut-colored handle which is made of Pakkawood. This handle has a symmetrical shape which makes it perfect for both left and right-handed chefs. The Shun Premier 7” Santoku Knife Hand–Sharpened and the Shun Cutlery Premier 8” Chef’s Knife is the best in this series.

04. Shun Sora

The Shun Sora is among the most affordable collection from Shun. These knives contain 3-layers of VG10 steel on their cutting edge and they also feature a stainless 420J polished upper. Due to this, they have excellent edge retention which means that they are easy to use.

In addition, they have textured PP/TPE handles which provide excellent grip. If you are searching for a reliable Shun Sora model, Shun Sora Chef’s Knife 8-Inch, Cutlery VB0706 will be an amazing choice.

Advantages of Shun knives

  • Made of high-quality materials
  • Stunning blade design
  • Lightweight design
  • Thinner edges to give you control
  • Ergonomic and durable handles
  • All the knives from Shun are very sharp right from the box
  • More stylish than the Global knives due to the Damascus patterns

Disadvantages of Shun knives

  • Expensive
  • Most of them are not full tang

Global Knives Overview

Global Knives is among the most reliable Japanese brands when it comes to the production of quality cutlery. Their knives have an outstanding one-piece CROMOVA 18 stainless steel construction which means that both the blade and handle are made of stainless steel. The handle has a textured pattern to prevent the knife from slipping.

Another great thing about Global knives is that most of them are hand-sharpened on both sides of the blade at an acute angle to enhance sharpness.

Whether you are searching for a top-quality chef’s knife, bread knife, utility knife, meat cleaver, filleting knife, paring knife, peeling knife, or any other type of knife, Global knives will give you the best value for your money.

A Small Brief About Global Knife Company

The Global knife company was launched in 1985 in Japan and it is owned by the Watanabe family. Their first knives were inspired by the Japanese Sword-smiths and up to date, this company continues to produce top-quality knives which last for many years.

All the knives from this company are weighed before being released into the market to ensure that they have the best weight balance. They also have a slim, modern, and innovative design that sets them apart from other models.

What Materials Do They Use for Their Blade?

Another major aspect of Global knives is that both the blade and the handle of Global knives are made of CROMOVA 18. This material contains a combination of Chromium, Molybdenum plus vanadium chemicals and as a result, these knives are highly resistant to stains, rust, and corrosion.

Apart from that, Global blades are very sharp and strong which makes them easy to sharpen. They also have perfect edge retention. Another thing you need to know about these blades is that they are ice-tempered to a Rockwell hardness scale of 56-58 to boost the overall cutting performance.

What Types of Handle Designs Are Available?

The handles of Global knives are made from CROMOVA 18 stainless steel just like the blade. However, they have a textured black pattern to give you a comfortable grip when cutting. Again, their handles have a dimpled design which is filled with sand to enhance the balance between the blade and the handle.

Are Their Knives Single or Double Bevel?

Global knives are hand-sharpened at 10-15 degrees on each side and most of them have the traditional double bevel design. Due to the beveled design, they are extremely sharp and are able to maintain their sharpness for a long time.

Are Their Knives Easy to Clean?

When it comes to maintenance and cleaning, Global knives are very easy to clean because they are wholly made of CROMOVA 18 stainless.

However, you should only hand-wash them if you want them to last for many years. Putting them in a dishwasher can affect their sharpness as well as their durability. (Read this article if you want a dishwasher-safe kitchen knife).

What About Their Knives Price Range?

Global knives are available in different price ranges but generally, they are cheaper than the Shun models. This is mainly because they are made of a softer material than the Shun models but in terms of performance, they are sharper than Shun knives.

Again, Shun knives come with different handle designs which makes them more stylish than the Global knives.

Most Popular Global Knife Series

Global Knife Series
Some of the best Global knife series include;

01. Global Classic

The first Global Classic Series was crafted by Komin Yamada in 1985. Up to now, the quality of Global Classic Knives is the same. They have a CROMOVA 18 steel blade and are able to maintain their edge longer than most knives.

They also have a hollow handle, which is filled with sand to create a perfect balance between the blade and the handle. Global Cutlery Stainless Steel 35th Anniversary Classic 5-inch Santoku Knife is one of the most popular knives in this series.

02. Global SAI

These ones are designed using the Samurai traditional sword-making process. They feature 7 dots on the handle to demonstrate the Samurai’s principles and codes of honor. They also have a 3-ply blade which is made of CROMOVA 18 core.

Apart from that, they have a stylish hand-hammered finish to enhance their overall appearance. A good example of these knives is the Global SAI-M03 Santoku Knife 5” or the Global SAI-01 Chef’s Knife 7 ½” Silver.

03. Global UKON

Global UKON Knives combines the aspects of traditional sword-making procedures with modern designs. These knives go through C.A.T.R.A testing to ensure that their edge is 10% sharper from the factory.

An excellent example of Global UKON Knives is the Global UKON 3-Piece Knife Set GU 3001 and the Global UJON Nakiri Knife with 14cm Square Tipped Blade.

04. Global NI

This one is the latest model from Global knives. It has very similar features to the Classic Collection but it has an advanced Asian-inspired design. This means that it has a thicker blade and a round spine to enhance balance as well as control. Global NI 6-Piece Knife Block Set GN-6001 and the Global NI Asian Chef’s Knife 6 1/2 –inch are among the most reliable models.

Advantages of Global knives

  • Unique all-steel design
  • Sharper than the Shun knives
  • They are well-balanced
  • Highly resistant to stain, corrosion, and rusting
  • Ergonomic handles that provide excellent grip
  • Lifetime limited warranty
  • Excellent edge retention

Disadvantages of global knives

  • Some people do not like their handle design

Should You Buy Shun or Global Knives?

It is not easy to say which knives are better between Shun and Global knives. Both brands produce high-end knives using the traditional Japanese sword-making techniques since the two brands are based in Japan.

However, if you are searching for a knife with a high Rockwell hardness or one that has excellent edge retention, Shun knives are the best. These knives also come with different handle designs to enhance your comfort. Apart from that, they have hammered Damascus patterns which give them a modern look.

On the other hand, Global knives are the best for those searching for a cheaper alternative since they are less expensive as compared to the Shun models.

They are also more lightweight, sharp and they have excellent edge retention. Besides that, they are made from top-quality CROMOVA 18 steel which is resistant to rusting and corrosion.

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