The Shun Premier 9 Inch Honing Steel matches the appearance and quality of the Shun Premier line chosen as Blade Magazine’s Kitchen Knife of the Year for 2010. If used carefully, this hone maintains the razor edges of the plain-edged Premier knives, but a good set of waterstones will have more effect on their hard SG-10 steel.
In design, the honing steel is an excellent match built with the same solid steel end cap and resin-injected black walnut Pakkawood grip. A thick stainless steel guard keeps distance between the hand and the blade of the knife you hone. The steel will maintain knives with ordinary temper as well as the harder blades of the Shun Premier product line, but using this steel on the Premier knives requires some careful adjustment in technique.
Shun Premier’s Damask steel blades use many layers of tough high carbon stainless steel to support one hard layer of cutting edge. That edge is ground to a more acute angle than European knife edges, and the SG-10 is also tempered to a hard and long-lasting Rockwell 60 to 62. The efficient but thin edge won’t hold up to as much side pressure as ordinary knife steel. Using too much pressure on the honing steel could chip the edge. Shun actually recommends waterstones for sharpening its plain-edged knives.
If you want a honing steel to match a collection of Premier blades, this is still an excellent sharpening steel for all the European-style blades in your kitchen. Just be cautious with the Premier’s.
See the KAI Combination Whetstone Sharpener with Stand for a home sharpening system appropriate for the fine edges of the Premier knives.
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