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Shun Classic Utility Knife

Japanese Slicing Knife

Posted by Ken

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Shun Classic Utility Knife If you were to refer to this in the proper Japanese terminology, this would be called a petty, which evolved from the term "petit gyutou" or "little cow sword".

Regardless of how you refer to this little knife, it's an excellent knife. Typical of knives from Shun, it is a blend of the Japanese and Western knife design and aesthetic, featuring laminated "warikomi" construction, with soft stainless damascus sides, and a VG10 steel core.

Kai/Shun doesn't seem to harden their VG10 to the same levels as other makers using VG10, a likely concession to the Western market where people are more accustomed to using knives made from softer steel.

At RC60, it's certainly hard enough to deliver much of the performance for which VG10 is known, so it will take and hold a more acute and refined edge than comparable German and Western knives. The blade is quite thin and performs as such gliding through small cutting tasks with ease. While unquestionably a fine knife, it isn't without some drawbacks. The shallow blade makes for a real knuckle buster if you aren't careful when using it on a board and the handle is small, although quite useable.

These characteristics are very common amongst Japanese petties, and are by no means unique to this knife. With few exceptions, the blades on petties are rarely deep enough for my taste, or more accurately, my delicate knuckles.

I possess average sized hands and find some of my older German utility knives with beefier handles are somewhat more comfortable in my hand. For actual performance and aesthetics, though, it's hard not to like this little knife.

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