The four knives in this Shun Classic 7-Piece Bamboo Block Asian Knife set all feature the Damascus style steel that gives Shun’s VG-10 blades their superior edge-holding ability and strength. A central VG-10 layer forms the cutting edge and is hardened to Rockwell 61 — excellent for sharpness, but too brittle to stand alone as a blade. Sixteen layers of SUS410 high carbon stainless steel form the sides of the blade, supporting the hard core layer with the same resilient construction as used in traditional samurai swords. The resulting edge can be ground to 16 degrees rather than the 22 degrees, which is the best that German cutlery can offer.
Shun knives slice effortlessly through meats, fruits, and vegetables, moving through the work without distorting or tearing. The rippled surface of the layered steel blades reduces friction much like a santoku but without the hollows ground in the blade. Efficiency increases without a loss of blade strength. The knives handle well, built with black pakkawood handles of layered hardwood and resin which is unaffected by chemicals or heat stress. The D-shaped handles orient fingers with the blade automatically for naturally precise use.
The set includes a four-inch paring knife, six-inch utility knife for boning and sandwich prep, seven-inch santoku for precise slicing, and a one-inch bread knife. Kitchen shears and a sharpening steel are also part of the set, which fits into a large 11 slot knife block built of stable and hard laminated bamboo. The block allows room for expansion of the set, which will need some backup by heavy chopping blades. The VG-10 knives excel at slicing, but edges could chip on bones and other hard materials.
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