🥇 Wusthof vs shun: Get german knife or a Japanese one?

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There are many reasons as to why you should invest in a high-quality kitchen knife. If you buy the right one, it will be your last purchase. And again, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that you have a knife that will possibly outlive its usefulness. You know that you need to invest in your kitchen; this is the easy part. The challenge lies in choosing the right brand. Today we’ll compare Wusthof vs shun knives and perhaps you’ll be in a better position to choose the right one.

First, to be honest, both brands make superior knives. In as much as these two kitchen knives have contradicting features; they’re both durable and will give you value for money.

Wusthof vs shun: Quick summary

Like your typical Japanese knife, Shun (pronounced shoon) knives are known for their (extremely) sharp cutting edges. From the factory, this cutting surface is inclined at 16 degrees on both sides for even cleaner cuts. It’s no surprise that Wusthof knives are contemporary and Western-inspired considering that they’re manufactured by a Germany-based brand. Wusthof knives’ edges are inclined at 14 degrees. If it’s sharp cuts you’re looking for, then Wusthof is your go-to-brand.

All Shun’s 11 knife models are inspired by the retro Japanese culture. They’re lighter on the hand and have an elegant design. Wusthof knives have a beautiful Western look too. Truthfully speaking, the right kitchen knife should have an unapparelled performance while being easy on the eye.

Shun knives have a higher composition of steel and even though this is where they derive their cutting strength from; they may chip due to tear and wear. Wusthof knives are known for maintaining straight edges even when under heavy usage.

Shun vs Wusthof: Blade design

If you’re looking for that classic hammered pattern, then settling for a Shun blade will be a no-brainer. In the manufacturing process, the skilled craftsmen at Shun hand-hammer this classic pattern onto the blades after several layers of steel have been laid and forged together. This unique blade design is both an aesthetic and a functionality feature. It’s now known that uneven blade surfaces create air pockets between the food their slicing and the blade effectively reducing drag when cutting. There’s quick release too. Wusthof blades have that familiar smooth and sturdy cutting edge. Wusthof knives typically come with a thick lip (also known as the bolster) where the handle and the blade join. This bolster gives the hand a tight grip while also adding onto the overall sturdiness of the blade.


Even though shun knives have varying handle designs, they’re generally rounder than your typical Wusthof knife. Perhaps they borrow this beautiful design from ancient Japanese swords. The thick steel butt at the end of Shun knives make up for their thinner bolsters. Shun handles have an exposed tang (the upper visible part of the blade that runs through the handle) made of composite steel.

How do you choose the right handle? I believe that when choosing a knife, the most important aspect you should consider is how comfortable the grip is. Keep in mind that you will be using this knife on intense chopping sessions. Would you opt for one with an uncomfortable handle? I doubt. You’ll be the judge.

Handle Material

What is better German or Japanese steel?

There are many ways by which German and Japanese knives differ. With the shape of the blade being the most pronounced difference, German knives have blades inclined at lower angles (about 17.5 degrees) while Japanese knives have shaper edges with up to 14 degrees cutting inclinations. If you’re used to western knife brands like Shun, Global and perhaps Miyabi, you will quickly notice that Japanese knives aren’t symmetrical. The typical Japanese knife is angled at 70% to the right meaning that left-handed people are disadvantages. German steel knives are better as they can be used by all chefs.

Are Shun Knives good?

It depends. Out of the box, they have a smooth, sharp edge that you will fall in love with. Sadly, they won’t stay this sharp for long (especially under heavy usage) and you’ll find yourself sharpening them more times than you would love. As per the manufacturer’s’ word, the average chef sharpens them three to four times a year.

Are Shun knives forged or stamped?

A forged knife can be identified by its bolster (that wide lip where the blade meets the handle). This bolster makes the knife sturdy but it’s an expensive and labor-intensive manufacturing process. Shun makes great knives and they could either be forged or stamped based on the model. As you would expect, the forged ones are pricier

Are Wusthof Classic Knives good?

Wusthof classic knives are forged. Most people agree that forged knives are good as they’re comfortable to hold and often have a longer lifespan. Professional chefs enjoy using them as they’re sharp and light.