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Old 11-11-2009, 04:04 AM   #1
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Furi Vs Shun?

Hi All,

I dont think Ive seen a knife-specific forum before. I'm excited!

I have two questions which you can hopefully help me with. I'm toying with the idea of buying a Shun chefs knife, and from all my reading, they're great. At the moment, I use a 20cm (8 inch) furi professional chefs knife. I keep it quite sharp, and it works quite well.
If I was to go to a Shun, would the difference be something dramatic/noticeable?

The Shun in question is the subject of the next question. Ive narrowed it down to one of two:
Shun Classic Chefs Knife - 8 inch
Shun Elite Chefs Knife - 8 inch
Both knives get very good reviews, but are rarely cross-reviewed. While the cost isnt really an issue, I have reservations spending virtually twice as much on the Elite over the Classic. Has anyone seen/handled/used these knives, and can offer an opinion?

In terms of use, I'm an enthusiastic home chef, and I work with a lot of fresh produce (fruit/vegetables). Most average home cooks think my knife skills are somewhat impressive (but I'm under no illusions - I'm not a pro!). While I do like my furi, I'm in a position to splurge on something a little better...

Appreciate any thoughts!

Many Thanks,
Andrew

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Old 11-11-2009, 06:26 AM   #2
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for vegetables, check out the Nakiri
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Old 11-11-2009, 07:28 AM   #3
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The Shun Classic will be a giant step up from the Furi; the Elite will even better. But although the Shuns are nice, if you're prepared to spend enough to buy an Elite there are better choices out there. The only real issue with Shun is that their Chef's Knive is shaped in the classical German way. Most Japanese knives of that general type (either a Gyuto or Western Deba) are more French shaped. The difference is the "belly" or the amount of curvature along the cutting edge of the knife. Those who are "old school" or familiar with the "classic" European patterns will love the Shuns. Those steeped in the French or Japanese traditions will not be so pleased with them.

If you're set on a Shun, I can give my opinion of them. I have owned a lot of Shuns, a combination of Classic and Elite. Both are great, and either will show you a level of sharpness you never dreamed existed. Both have great fit and finish and are beautiful. The Elite does step away from the Classic in several ways. They're even more attractive and are even more ergonomically appealing (ie they fit the hand better). They will also hold a keen edge longer than the Classic.

Either will be a big step up from what you're using. But if you aspire to something even better I can can recommend a few that will really blow your mind.
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Old 11-11-2009, 05:54 PM   #4
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Hi Guys,

Thanks for the feedback so far...

justplainbill:
Not a fan of the style of blade. A friend has a cheaper one, and while it may be great for vegetables, I'm after a general purpose chefs knife.

Rob Babcock:
I'm not familiar with the differences in curve on the French/German knives. However, I have two furi knives: One came with a knife block, and the other is the professional one, purchased seperately. I much prefer the curve on the professional one. I find its curve is more gradual along the blade, whereas the other knife has a longer flat section from the heel of the blade. Just preference on the curve.
I'm not sure how this ties into what you've said...

Thanks for your thoughts on the Shun. Having used both, do you think the difference in price is worth the step up to the Elite?

It'd be ignorant of me to not hear what else is out there around the Elite price range. My thoughts on what I'm looking for are:
- Relatively easy blade care (wash/dry only, not oiling)
- Sharp with good edge retention
- Chef-style blade
- Not a fan of the octagonal handles

-Andrew
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Old 11-12-2009, 01:56 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheAlfheim View Post
I'm not familiar with the differences in curve on the French/German knives. However, I have two furi knives: One came with a knife block, and the other is the professional one, purchased seperately. I much prefer the curve on the professional one. I find its curve is more gradual along the blade, whereas the other knife has a longer flat section from the heel of the blade. Just preference on the curve.
I'm not sure how this ties into what you've said...
If I'm understanding you correctly, the latter is shaped more like a gyuto. Maybe this will illustrate what I mean.

This Shun Elite typifies the classic German Chef's Knife shape. Note the sweeping curve of the belly and the very high line the point takes with respect to the edge:



This Gyuto by Akifusa, on the otherhand, has a more classically French shape with less curvature. The tip is also lower with regards to the centerline of the knife blade:



Quote:
Originally Posted by TheAlfheim View Post
Thanks for your thoughts on the Shun. Having used both, do you think the difference in price is worth the step up to the Elite?
That's a tough one. The Elite is definitely nicer than the Classic and will keep an edge longer. They're more attractive, too. However, I have the same Akifusa pictured above and find it superior to either. It's also a little bit cheaper than the Elite. It gives up a bit in the aesthetics department but I find it to be a superior cutter, more fitting of my knife techniques. A lot will come down to how you like to cut.

The Elite is a great knife, though, no doubt about it.
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Old 11-12-2009, 10:40 AM   #6
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how do you plan on sharpening these? if you want the best performance out of any knife, you are going to want to get a set of whetstones

shun is much better than furi

as for the classic vs elite, i have and really like the classic....i agree with rob that the steepish curve is not the best, but the knife is still great....if i buy a new knife, ill go with more of a gyuto shape.....one other thing to consider with the elite is that it is harder than the classic - this will help keep the edge longer, but will also make it more difficult to sharpen at home (hence my first question)....may also make it more prone to chipping, but if you are treating your knives right (you are, right?), this shouldnt be too big of a problem

also, depending on what type of knife owner you are, shun offers free lifetime sharpening....they prob wont be quite as good as skilled sharpening job on stones, but its a nice feature
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Old 11-12-2009, 11:00 AM   #7
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How about this Kitchen Knives - by type - Gyuto / Chefs Knife - Tojiro Flash 240mm chef knife - from Chef's Armoury
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Old 11-12-2009, 03:24 PM   #8
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I've never used the Tojiro Flash. But I've used quite a few DPs. I'd expect any Tojiro to be pretty good but I can't give you any first hand account ot the Flash.
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Old 11-13-2009, 02:20 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Babcock View Post
If I'm understanding you correctly...
A picture says a thousand words....


Above are my two furis. The top one came with the knife block, and is my least favoured. The bottom is my preferred knife. The main differences in the blade are the curve near the tip, and the curve mid-way through the belly.
I much prefer the second knife. The rocking motion that I cut with suits this shape of blade.

Today, I went to a chef supply store and handled about a dozen knives, including the Shun Classic (sadly, no Elite in-store). From the knives I handled, there's three that I liked and would like to handle again:
Shun Classic 20cm
Ice Bear Suminagashi
Wusthorf Ikon Classic 23cm

I'm going to attempt to find an Elite to handle before I make any decisions.


Rob Babcock:
Thanks for the specific design information. Now I know my French from my German :-)

TheNoodleIncident:
The plan for sharpening will be either professionally sharpened, or I'll buy some stones and do it myself. Ive sharpened many knives over the years, so I'm not afraid of manual sharpening techniques.

NAchef:
I'm not sure I like the style of the handle on that knife. If I find one in my travels, I'll definately have a look though...



From the two new contenders (Ice Bear Suminagashi & Wusthorf Ikon Classic 23cm), does anyone have any thoughts? Especially when put next to the Shun Elite?

Thanks!
-Andrew
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Old 11-13-2009, 09:49 AM   #10
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be careful about "professional" sharpeners....they often use belt grinders, which removes too much material and can ruin the temper....if you go with the shun, they may not sharpen it to the correct angle either....stick with the hand sharpening, or send it back to shun....for top notch sharpening, check out japaneseknifesharpening.com

of the knives listed, i know about the shun and the ikon because i once had to choose between buying those two....the ikon will be just as sharp as any other wusthof knife because its the same steel....it does have some design improvements, such as no bolster, which you will appreciate....the shun is made with a better steel that can get sharper and stay sharper longer....so, the shun will still outperform

so, i would take the shun over the ikon....whether to go with the classic or elite is another issue....as we already said, the classic is a great knife, but the elite does have a harder steel that will hold its edge longer....but is the cost worth it? im a home cook and think my classic is great, but the choice is yours

also, do you use a pinch grip? if not, you should try it....it gives most people the best control....if you use the pinch, how the handle "feels" means alot less (because you are holding the blade, not the handle), so you can base your purchase on more important factors
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Old 11-14-2009, 02:27 AM   #11
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Wow, I didn't know Ice Bear made knives! I've only seen their stones.
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Old 11-17-2009, 08:39 PM   #12
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Hi Guys,

So Ive scoured Sydney and (eventually) found a retailer who carries the Shun Elite knife. I took a trip out there today to handle it. Sadly, I was underwhelmed. The most significant issue, which scratches it from my list, is the way the blade connects to the handle. The steel there is sufficiently wide that its uncomfortable on my 2nd finger when I grip the knife.

So it narrows my list... The plan is to go back to the original knife shop, and handle the other knives on my short list (including the Shun Classic).

TheNoodleIncident:
Thanks for the Wusthof/Shun comparison. A friend recently pointed out that the furi is made in a german-style way, so to get better diversity, I'm better off going for a Japanese knife.
I do use a pinch grip.

Rob Babcock:
Yeah, the Ice Bear ones were quite nice. I'll definately handle them again when I go back out looking...

-Andrew
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Old 11-18-2009, 09:26 AM   #13
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well, enjoy whichever knife you decide to buy! take good care of it, and sharpen it well, and you will get many fun years out of it
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Old 12-14-2009, 11:40 AM   #14
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we bought our first Shun Knife these days.. the big Santoku and the Cfes knife will be the next for christmas..
We'd already fallen in love with this one and even if I can't tell you anything about Furi I'm sure you won't be disappointed with the Shun.
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Old 01-20-2010, 06:36 PM   #15
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Hi All,

After everyone's advice, I picked up the Shun 10 inch chefs knife. Now that Ive had it for a number of weeks, I can give my impression/feedback.

In my opinion, the higher price point of the Shun over the Furi is well justified. The Shun is a really nice knife to use. The comments about it being "crazy sharp" are accurate. It does take some care though - I always wash and dry the knife after each use. A gentle brush against the sharp edge resulted in a little blood.

I was originally going for an 8 inch, but the salesman convinced me to get the 10. I dont regret it. With a pinch-grip, the size is large, but for most tasks, its the right size.

I'll be keeping the Furi knives I have. I'm a little too cautious around the Shun to bash it around - and this is where the Furi will come in.

I'm sufficiently happy with the Shun to say that I would recommend anyone thinking of stepping up to this price point of knife, should consider the Shun.
My only word of caution is that the curve of the belly of the Shun might not be for everyone - make sure you check it out first.

Cheers,
Andrew

And a photo of my knife:
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Old 05-08-2010, 08:20 PM   #16
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Good choice on your shun... for me 10in blades are awkward to cut with, I have had an 8in classic for a couple years now and I love it. Im considering stepping up to the elite when I get some cash.

As far as sharpening it check this and this out..
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Old 05-09-2010, 02:44 AM   #17
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Wow, I didn't know Ice Bear made knives! I've only seen their stones.
Ice Bear don't actually make anything. They subcontract out and then put their brand on the final product. It is a superior product and I'd have no issues with buying another Ice Bear knife, same way as I'd happily buy another E H Dehillerin knife.
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Old 05-10-2010, 08:08 AM   #18
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you really want to be careful with any electric sharpener...they are def convenient, but tend to remove too much material, create too much heat and only leave you with a semi-sharp edge (compared to what it could be, at least)....also tend to scratch up the sides, which may not affect performance , but why scratch up your nice new knife? it may be better than not sharpening at all, but there are much better options and you won't realize how much you are missing out...best option is using stones, but you also have the option of sending them back to shun for a free sharpening

i know one of those was made by shun, but you still need to be cautious...just like the sharpening steel they include in the sets (do NOT use that thing), it's just something they sell so they have an answer when the masses ask "how do i sharpen these?"
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Old 05-10-2010, 11:36 AM   #19
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funny you brought that back... ;o)

we bought #3 today.. the utility knife for everythin in between Santoku and little Chef ;o)
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