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Shun Premier Santoku, Damascus Tsuchime Finish

KAI Forged Kitchen Knife 7 Inch

Posted by JT Hats

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Shun Premier Santoku, Damascus TsuchimeNow one of the most popular kitchen knife styles in America as well as Japan, the Japanese santoku stepped up several notches in quality with the distinctively beautiful Premier series from KAI Shun Cutlery. From the line that won the Blade Magazine 2010 Kitchen Knife of the Year Award, the Shun Premier 7-Inch Santoku offers better performance and a handle you'll love.

The most obvious difference is the steel, since the Premier Santoku shows the rippled hand-hammered surface of a Japanese forging process called tsuchime. The polished steel enhances the low-friction effect of the knife's layered Damascus-type steel by reducing surface contact even more than in the Shun Classic series. This knife doesn't needed the familiar ground hollows of modern santokus to slide effortlessly through vegetables, fruits, and meat. Slices tend to fall off the hammered surface of the Premier instead of stacking up and rolling away.

The Premier series uses a 33-layer Damask steel blade with high carbon stainless steel layers on each side of an SG-10 steel core. Ground to 16 degrees on each side, this thinner bevel holds an edge better because the steel itself is harder, tempered between Rockwell 60 and 62.

Shun's Classic series used a D-shaped handle many western chefs found strange, but the Premier series uses a comfortable design you'll find familiar instead. Made with walnut-colored Pakkawood -- a resin-hardened composite of real wood -- the grip sits permanently between two solid stainless steel bolsters. The end cap displays the Shun insignia.

See the Yoshikin Global Japanese Santoku for a look at one of Anthony Bourdain's favorite santokus.

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