Shun Classic Chef Knife 8” Review

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If you have never heard of Shun knives before, and you have never used a knife from this brand, then you really don’t know what you are missing out on. When it comes to Japanese cooking knives, this brand is very well known, trusted, and reputable too. Shun is a brand that is known for delivering very high-quality kitchenware at very reasonable prices.

The specific knife that we are here to take a closer look at today is the Shun 8” Classic Chef’s Knife, one of the most popular, durable, sharp, and reasonably priced chef’s knifes on the market today.

Now, it does come in at nearly $200 after everything has been said and done, but let’s keep in mind that this is actually a more than reasonable price for a kitchen knife that comes in at such a high level of quality. Let’s get to it and take a closer look at the Shun 8” Classic Chef’s Knife to find out exactly what it is all about.

Why I Choose this Knife?

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Shun Classic Chef Knife 8” Review

What we want to do right now is to take a look at any and all key features about the Shun 8” Classic Chef’s Knife. We’re going to look at the blade design, the materials used, the edge and edge retention, overall durability, comfort, and much more. Right now, you are going to find out everything there is to know about this awesome yet affordable chef’s knife.

Blade Material

The first thing that we want to know about the Shun 8” Classic Chef’s Knife is what it is made of, which in this case is so called VG-MAX steel, which is a type of high carbon steel that also incorporates additional tungsten, chromium, and cobalt. When it comes down to it, this is by far one of the best materials that could possibly be used to make a knife of this kind.

For one, due to the addition of more cobalt into the metal mixture, it allows this blade to be extra tough and durable. It’s not the kind of thing that is going to crack or chip on you anytime soon. We wouldn’t use it for chopping bones, but other than that, it should be able to deal with any punishment you throw its way.

Second, the addition of chromium into the metal mixture allows for added sharpness and edge retention, something that we will discuss in more detail further below. What we really like is how the Shun 8” Classic Chef’s Knife comes complete with lots of chromium, which is great because it allows for added corrosion resistance. When it comes down to it, this has to be one of the toughest blades out there at this time.

However, that’s not all, because that’s just the cutting core. That VG-MAX steel core is then wrapped with a full 64 layers of high quality Damascus steel, or to be exact, 32 layers on both sides. Damascus steel is of course very hard and durable, not to mention that it allows for excellent edge retention too.

Hardness & Edge Retention

In terms of overall hardness, while the Rockwell hardness rating of the Shun 8” Classic Chef’s Knife is not actually listed, we know for a fact that the materials used to make this blade are very strong, and generally speaking, you can expect that VG-Max cutting core and the Damascus steel exterior to feature a hardness rating of at least 65, which in case you do not know, is very hard indeed.

Let’s not forget that the addition of chromium into the VG-MAX steel allows for added sharpness and edge retention, a feature that the 64 layers of Damascus steel also share.

When it comes down to it, the Shun 8” Classic Chef’s Knife has to be one of the sharpest knives out there, and moreover, due to its excellent hardness, it also keeps its edge for a very long time, and also does not need to be sharpened either. Whether it is meat, veggies, herbs, or anything in between, the Shun 8” Classic Chef’s Knife should be able to cut through it all no problem.

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Overall Durability & Corrosion Resistance

We do just want to summarize that thanks to the special metals used when making this knife, it is very durable overall. This is the kind of kitchen knife that should last you for years to come.

Now, while the VG-MAX cutting core is super rust and corrosion resistant, do keep in mind that the Damascus steel exterior is not quite as rust resistant, although still more than good enough to prevent rusting if the blade is well maintained. Just be sure to keep it dry when it is not in use.


Ok, so as you might be able to tell by the name of it, the Shun 8” Classic Chef’s Knife features an 8 inch blade. In our opinion, this size of blade is more than ideal for a chef’s knife. It is more than long enough to deal with most kitchen cutting, slicing, and chopping tasks, but still short enough to be maneuverable and ideal for smaller tasks. That said, 8 inches is quite long, but luckily there is also a 6 inch model available, and if both of those are too small for you, there’s also a 10 inch model available too.

The Tang

What we do want to quickly touch on here is the fact that the Shun 8” Classic Chef’s Knife is a full tang knife. In other words, the tang of the blade goes down all the way through to the pommel of the handle, thus ensuring maximum durability, plus as you are about to find out below, full tang knives come with another added bonus too.

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Weight & Balance

Right off the bat, it is worth noting that the Shun 8” Classic Chef’s Knifecomes in at just over 7 ounces, thus making it a fairly lightweight knife overall. It’s more than light enough to use for hours on end without fatiguing. Even better than that is the fact that this knife is full tang, and thanks to this, it is very well balanced. In fact, for this price point, it’s one of the best balanced blades out there. It’s all about ease of use and ergonomic friendliness.

The Handle

The next thing worth talking about here is the authentic pakkawood handle that the Shun 8” Classic Chef’s Knife features. For one, pakkawood is quite a durable material overall, so you really don’t need to worry about it breaking or cracking.

Second, this pakkawood handle features a water resistant finish, so you don’t have to worry too much about it getting wet, but that said, it should not be left to soak, and if possible, it should be dried off immediately after use.

Now, what does however stand out here is that the Shun 8” Classic Chef’s Knife’s handle is very comfy to hold. The circular handle is ergonomically designed for comfort. That said, it is rounded and quite slick, so it doesn’t exactly provide you with the best grip when the handle or your hands are a little wet.

Overall Appearance

The final thing that we want to touch on here is the fact that the Damascus steel pattern on the exterior of the blade does look very nice, plus it matches the black pakkawood handle quite nicely too.

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Why should we buy it?

  • Extremely durable
  • Very sharp
  • Great edge retention
  • Ideal for most tasks
  • Comfortable handle
  • Fairly rust resistant
  • Easy to maintain
  • Well balanced
  • Full tang


  • Handle is technically designed for right handed people
  • Should be kept dry whenever possible – not 100% rustproof

Let’s have a Video Review

What & Who is the Shun 8” Classic Chef’s Knife Ideal for?

When it comes down to it, we think that the Shun 8” Classic Chef’s Knife is ideal for anybody who needs an all around great kitchen knife, a true workhorse that can take care of more or less any task in the kitchen. Besides chopping through bones and finely fileting and boning fish, the Shun 8” Classic Chef’s Knife can do it all.

The slightly curved blade makes it a good rocker, which means that it works just as well for slicing chunks of meat as it does for chopping veg and mincing herbs. If you only ever buy one knife, something like the Shun 8” Classic Chef’s Knife is what you need to go for.

Final Verdict

The bottom line here is that if you need a chef’s knife that is durable, sharp, retains its edge for a long time, and is very comfortable to use, not to mention an all around workhorse, then the Shun 8” Classic Chef’s Knife is a fantastic option to consider.

Buy Now From Amazon if you really need it and Happy Cooking!

See also Shun Premium Chef knife full Review!

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