Originally Posted by Billdolfski
Most of my knives are Wusthof, which I'm very, very happy with. After perusing several catalogues, I found a Shun Classic 10" Chef's knife for the same price I'd be spending on the Wusthof.
Anybody ever use any of the Shun Classic knives? Any input?
I realize this thread is a bit old and you may not still be looking, but I thought I'd chime in. The Shun knives are terrific, IMO. They're comprised of a core of VG10, a very, very hard steel, laminated with 16 layers of softer stainless. The hard core will take a breathtaking edge and hold it very well; the softer steel protects the core from chipping. Shuns are vastly sharper than German knives and their bevels are sharpened at 16 degrees per side (vs 22 or so for German blades). There's no contest in the cutting department- the Shun Classics will greatly outperform conventional European cutler.
The only caveat re the Shuns is that, like nearly all Japanese knives, you have to be a bit careful about working with things that could chip them. The upside to high hardness is edge retention and the ability so sharpen at a very steep angle. The downside of hardness is that the edge is just slightly brittle vs the much softer German style blade. Use a cutting board (not a glass one!), don't cut frozen food and watch out for bones and you'll have no problems. My Shuns have performed wonderfully in several professional kitchens with no problems at all.
Note: you probably want to avoid the "Pro" line, unless you're specifically looking for Japanese-style blades. That line is for tradition Japanese cooking; you'll probably find Usubas and Deba, while they superficially resemble European styles, are not well suited to the same tasks. For one thing, they're only sharpened on one side (ie they're single bevel knives). A deba resembles a French knife but won't rock/chop the same way.
The Classic line is made up mostly of Western style knives. For the money they're very hard to beat.