Wusthof vs Shun – The Best Chef’s Knife To Buy

In this post, I will compare the Wusthof vs shun knives that come from the best kitchen knife brands.

Both the two brands produce high-end kitchen knives above the average knives in terms of price and quality.

The initial cost of buying knives set from these brands may seem expensive but they last like forever. Since they are both quality kitchen knives, it can be difficult to choose which knife to buy.

There are several differences between the Wusthof and shun kitchen knives that are great to know before making a decision.

I’ll be focusing on the most important features of the knives for informed decision making. Also the similarities and differences between the Wusthof and shun to understand the advantages and disadvantages.

This article covers every aspect of Wusthof vs Shun knives you would like to know together with the best knives from both brands.

Some great factors to consider when buying a knife is the weight. Different varieties of knives have different weights and also sizes.

The balance of the knife should be well balanced from the blade to the handle.

Also, Read: Wusthof Classic Knife Set Review [The Top 6]

Quick Overview of the Wusthof vs Shun

If you are in a rush to read the whole guide, then here is the paraphrased comparison between the two.

Wusthof kitchen knives are made from Germany by the Wusthof brand while the Shun knives are made in Japan.

The German knives, Wusthof cut at a 14-degree angle while the Shun knives cut at a 16-degree angle. This means the lower angle makes the Wusthof knives sharper than the Shun knives.

In terms of the product line, the Wusthof knives come in 5 unique lines of quality kitchen knives. The shun knives come in 11 lines of kitchen knives all with a Japanese design.

The appearance of the Wusthof vs Shun knives is different from each other due to different manufacturing processes. Wusthof knives are heavy made from thick stainless steel with durable edges than the Shun which are thinner but made of harder steel.

The Shun knives are attractive than the traditional Wusthof knives. Due to their sharp edges, the Shun knives don’t maintain the sharpness hence regular sharpening is required.

Wusthof vs Shun Knives Comparison

DescriptionWusthof KnivesShun Knives
StyleGerman/western styleJapanese style
Place Of ManufactureGermanyJapan
Product Lines711
Blade MaterialHigh Carbon, Stainless SteelHighly refined "super" steels (VG10, VG-MAX, SG2, and High-carbon "Blue")
Handle MaterialPolyoxymethylene, Polypropylene, Richlite, & African BlackwoodPakkaWood, tagayasan, Micarta, thermoplastic elastomer, or polypropylene
Blade Hardness (Rockwell ) 58 61
Edge Angle14-Degree Angle Per Side16-Degree Angle Per Side
WarrantyLimited Lifetime WarrantyLimited Lifetime Warranty
Price Check Price On Amazon Check Price On Amazon

Wusthof Knives Overview

Wusthof knives are made in Solingen, Germany since the year 1814. Solingen is known as the “city of blades” because most German knife companies like Zwilling J.A Henckels are based there. Other manufacturers in Solingen include Boker, DOVO, WKC among others.

The company has set the standards in the manufacturing of both forged and stamped knives. Out of the Wusthof lines of knives, there are two lines for stamped knives (Gourmet and Pro) while the others are forged knives.

Forged knives are the best and can compare to the Shun knives due to their quality, designs and high performance.

Design/Aesthetics

The Wusthof knives come with a general style of traditional western knives. Both knives from Wusthof lines are designed for comfort, safety, and high performance.

These knives are well balanced with a full tang to ensure the knives are sturdy and have great balance.

The Wusthof lines are designed with a full bolster that also adds to the balance and safety. A bolster prevents the hands from slipping to the blade

Materials

All the Wusthof kitchen knives blades are made of carbon steel (X 50 Cr Mo V 15) that is mixed with vanadium and molybdenum to boost the hardness. The material is rust-resistant, hard for durability and free from corrosion.

Handle materials are made of Polyoxymethylene, Polypropylene, Richlite, and “Grenadill” African Blackwood. The handle materials vary on the product line but most of the knives have the Polyoxymethylene material.

Process

The process of manufacturing includes the use of different technologies made in a 40-step process. Wusthof knives have a patented sharpening technology called precision edge technology (PEtec). It has the best edge retention and superior sharpness of the knives.

The knives are hardened at about 58 HRC (Hardness Rockwell C).

Maintainance

Despite the knives being durable and hard, proper maintenance and care will extend the lifespan of the knife. Wusthof recommends regularly aligning the blade using the honing steel to keep the blade straight.

Also, cleaning by handwashing with warm water will keep the blade from damage in a dishwasher.

Wusthof knives Lines

Wusthof Classic

Firstly, the Wusthof Classic line is the traditional knife with the most comprehensive selection of forged knives. It has more than 80 items with different handle sizes to choose from.

All the knives are made from high carbon stainless steel and come with triple-riveted handles made of synthetic material.

The classic line of knives is most prefered by many chefs because of their well-balanced, quality, sharpness and performance. See Wusthof Classic Knives on Amazon

Features

  • High-quality handles with 5 different handle sizes
  • Over 80 items in the line
  • Triple-riveted for durability and strength

Ikon

Wusthof Ikon comes with the same materials as the Classic line of knives. The difference in Ikon knives from the other Wusthof lines is their ergonomic handles.

Features

  • Ergonomic design
  • wooden handle to enhance the aesthetic appearance of the knife

Classic Ikon

The Wusthof Classic Ikon knives are similar to the Wusthof classic but the handles are different. They come mostly in a 7-piece set of knives with a well-designed aesthetic appeal.

Their handles are also triple riveted, full tang for comfort and balance for easy handling of the knives. See Wusthof Classic Ikon on Amazon

Features

  • Triple-riveted, full-tang construction
  • Well balanced
  • Precision-forged from a single piece of steel
  • Innovative handle design for control and comfort
  • It comes with a distinct second bolster
  • Easy to sharpen

Grand Prix II

This line has over 35 items that come in different handle sizes. The difference is the handles between the other Wusthof knife lines. See Wusthof Grand Prix II on Amazon

Features

  • Full tang construction
  • Excellent ergonomics
  • Perfect balance
  • Slip-resistant handle
  • Stainless Trident logo

Wusthof Culinar

This line of Wusthof knives are well designed and balanced with satin finish handles. The handles are of 18/10 stainless steel. They are full tang construction and precision-forged from a single high carbon stainless steel piece. See Wusthof Culinar on Amazon

Features

  • Elegant designs
  • Full tang construction
  • Satin Finished Handles

Shun Knives Overview

The Shun knives are manufactured in Seki City, Japan since 1908 with 11 kitchen knife line collections. Shun is a big name in the knife industry with it’s quality, appealing knives.

KAI group owns Shun along with other kitchen knife brands like Zero Tolerance and Kershaw.

Shun has many different lines with each offering a variety of technologies, finishes, and materials.

Design

Shun knives are designed for comfort and easy to use with unique, sharp angles and sleek finishes. Some of the knives feature Damascus design that consists of different types of alloys.

The premier design is easier to clean and maintain making it a top choice to use every day.

Material

The Shun blades are made from superior steel like VG10, VG-MAX, SG2, and High-carbon “Blue”. The handles of the knives come with PakkaWood, Tagayasan, Micarta, thermoplastic elastomer, or polypropylene materials.

Most of the shun knives handles are made of PakkaWood which has a comfortable grip.

Process

Shun knives are handcrafted through a 100-step process with a focus on quality materials, unique designs, sharp angles, and light knives.

Shun Knives Lines (The Main Lines)

Sora Line

The Shun Sora line is an affordable collection of kitchen knives that is well balanced. It combines VG10 together with 420J stainless steel upper to create a quality blade material.

The blades are laser cut and sharp edges that are enforced with KAI’s proprietary composite blade technology.

The handles are made of polymer creating a firm grip contemporary style that is easy to handle. See Sora Line on Amazon

Features

  • 420J Stainless steel upper
  • Proprietary composite blade technology
  • Modern ‘Hamon’ design
  • Razor-sharp 16-degrees Sanmai edge
  • Features traditional style handle with Shun logo

Classic Line

This is the first Japanese knife line, the original that has a heavy, thicker blade than the other Shun knife lines. The classic line is made from proprietary VG-MAX cutting core which is advanced stainless steel.

It has a Damascus cladding that is stain and corrosion-resistant. The edges are sharp and hard to retain the sharpness for long periods.

The handles are made of PakkaWood with a D shaped design and are durable. PakkaWood handles are beautiful and prevent bacteria from entering the handle. See Shun Classic Line on Amazon

Features

  • Proprietary VG-MAX cutting core
  • PakkaWood D-shaped handle
  • Stainless Damascus cladding
  • Razor-sharp 16-degree cutting edge
  • Full composite tang

Kanso Line

This line features blades with a Japanese design and heritage finish. The design can hide scratches and gives the knives rustic appearance. It combines Tagayasan wood handles that are comfortable grip. The knives are full tang. See Shun Kanso Line on Amazon

Features

  • Japanese AUS10A blade steel
  • Full tang construction
  • Tagayasan wood handle
  • Razor-sharp 16-degree cutting edge

Shun Premier

Premier knives have the look of the ancient Japanese hand-forged knives. It is made with VG-MAX  cutting core and both sides have 34 layers of Damascus stainless steel.

The handles are from the PakkaWood material with a hammered finish that helps to cut drag and prevents food from sticking to the handle.

It is one of the largest lines produced by Shun with a variety of standard line Japanese knives.

Features

  • VG-MAX cutting core
  • Hammered finish
  • Contoured PakkaWood handle
  • Double bevel edge

Classic Pro Line

The Classic Pro Line is an upgrade of the classic line of Shun knives. They have an etched design and all the knives have a single-beveled and hollow-ground back.

It is made from VG-MAX cutting core with a full composite tang. Also, the handles are made of PakkaWood. See Classic Pro Knives on Amazon

Features

  • Proprietary VG-MAX cutting core
  • Stainless Damascus cladding
  • Full composite tang
  • PakkaWood D-shaped handle
  • Etched blade design
  • Razor-sharp 16-degree cutting edge
  • Hollow-ground back

Dual Core

The name comes from the steels folded together in the blade that is VG-10 and VG-2. The combination of these two strong stainless steel produces a hard and durable blade with edge retention.

Most of the knives from the Dual-core line are large and they are not many right now. See Shun Dual Core on Amazon

Features

  • VG-10/VG-2 steel
  • Octagon-shaped PakkaWood handles
  • Double bevel edge
  • Damascus blade
  • Rabbet tang

Shun Blue

This collection is made of carbon steel cutting core hammered between 2 layers of mirror-polished stainless steel.

The knives are less likely to chip and are easier to sharpen as well as honing. See on Amazon

Features

  • Blue carbon steel core folded w/ stainless steel
  • Octagon-shaped PakkaWood handles
  • Rabbet tang
  • Double bevel edge

Wusthof vs Shun Comparison: The Differences

Cost

As covered above the brands has a broad line of high-end kitchen knives. These knives come with different prices depending on the design and quality.

Both kitchen knives from the brands are expensive than other average knives on the market.

Blade Design/ Material

The shun knives mostly have the hammered and Damascus designs. Blades of shun knives are thinner than Wusthof blades which makes them lighter.

On the other hand, the Wusthof blade comes with the traditional European appearance and smooth finish. Most of the blade has a bolster that prevents the finger from slipping to the blade.

The Wusthof blades are made from high carbon stainless steel regardless of the knife line. The stainless steel is mixed with chromium and molybdenum to increase the hardness.

The shun knives blade is made from VG-MAX, VG10 stainless steel, SG2 stainless steel, high carbon Blue steel. The materials also are strengthened by the chromium and molybdenum elements.

The difference between Wusthof vs shun in terms of materials is minor.

Handles Materials & Design

All the Wusthof lines come with different design of handles with a tang to increase the balance and sturdiness.

Wusthof handle materials are made of Polyoxymethylene and Polypropylene except for the Ikon and Epicure lines.

The Epicure handles are made with Richlite that comes from recycled wood fibers while the Ikon line has African Blackwood (“Grenadill”)

Shun handles are also different from Wusthof with every line having slightly different designs. The handles are rounded and have a thin bolster compared to Wusthof.

In addition,  Shun handles are mainly made of PakkaWood, Tagayasan, polypropylene, Micarta, thermoplastic elastomer. The material depends on the product line

Hardness

The hardness of blades or metal is measured with the Rockwell scale. Comparing the two kitchen knives from Wusthof and Shun, clearly, they have a different hardness level.

Wusthof blades have a Rockwell hardness of 58 while the Shun knives have 61. This makes the Shun knives to be harder than Wusthof knives.

Sharpness/Edge Angle

Wusthof knives are sharp with the edges cut at 14-degree angle per side to make them sharper than Shun knives. Sharp edges make slicing items easier without much energy needed.

Shun knives edges are cut at a 16-degree angle per each side which makes them also sharp.

Product Lines

Wusthof has 7 product lines while shun has 11 unique product lines.  Each line has its defining design and selling point increasing the diversity of the products.

Wusthof vs Shun Comparison: The Similarities

Maintainance & Cleaning

Maintainance of the knives is not hard as both recommend cleaning by hand washing to prevent damage that can occur in a dishwasher.

Also, after washing the knives with soap, it’s great to dry them completely to avoid corrosion from moisture. Proper storage is recommended to prevent contact with other metals that can dull the blades.

Warranty

Both brands offer limited lifetime warranties to customers. This means the warranties do not cover damages from normal wear and tear or careless usage.

Quality And Durable Products

It is right to say both Wusthof and Shun knives are high quality and durable knives. The materials that manufacture these knives give them the hardness, sharpness, safety that is unmatched in the market.

Variety

Wusthof and shun knives have many product lines with different knives styles to choose from. You can get a set consisting of quality pairing, boning, serrated knives to make you cutting tasks easier.

Video Review

Verdict (Wusthof vs Shun Comparison)

Finally, Deciding on which one to buy between Wusthof vs Shun is not that easy. Both are top quality brands from countries with excellent craftmanship.

If Geman and Europen style appeals to you, then the Wusthof knives are the way to go. Wusthof has over two centuries of experience in knife manufacturing that makes them the pillar of the industry.

Wusthof comes with durability, well-balanced and sharpness, therefore, it makes slicing and cutting a breeze.

Shun gives you the best Japanese style of knives in all types. From Santoku, Hankotsu, Nakiri, Sujihiki, Gyutou, this is the brand to buy from.

Above all, I am sure if you choose any knife from Wusthof or Shun, you’ll end with the best from the market.