Updated On: September 26, 2023

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Shun Kanso Review: Is this 8″ Chef’s Knife A Cooking Enthusiast’s Must-Have?

Picture it: You’re in your kitchen, ready to prepare a gourmet meal to give any Michelin-starred chef a run for their money. You’ve put together the freshest ingredients, the recipe is foolproof, and you’re all set.

But then, you reach for your trusty knife, and it’s about as sharp as a plastic spoon. Suddenly, your dreams of culinary greatness are being hacked away, much like the sad, squashed tomato now sitting on your cutting board.

Fear not, my fellow food enthusiasts, for I may have found a solution to all our knife-related woes. Say hello to the Shun Kanso 8″ Chef’s Knife. Stay tuned because this isn’t just any review; it’s your future kitchen conquest coming to life.

So, grab a snack (no knives are needed for this part), sit back, and dive into this cutting-edge tale. Trust me, it’s going to be a slice of fun!

Table of Contents

    Pros and Cons

    What We Liked:

    • The Shun Kanso Chef’s Knife is incredibly versatile and tackles a wide variety of cutting tasks effortlessly. From chopping herbs to dicing vegetables, it’s a true all-around knife.
    • The gyuto-style design with a wide heel and flat profile makes it perfect for push cuts. Additionally, the belly of the knife allows for efficient rocking through herbs and spices.
    • The high-quality construction using AUS10A high-carbon stainless steel refined with Vanadium leaves the knife strong, corrosion-resistant, wear-resistant, and razor-sharp.
    • The handle is constructed with contoured tagayasan, also known as iron sword wood. It not only offers a secure grip but also adds beauty to the knife’s overall design. The full-tang handle construction ensures precision balance.
    • Inspired by the traditions of ancient Japan, the Shun Kanso Chef’s Knife is handcrafted by highly skilled artisans, resulting in a blade of unparalleled quality and beauty.

    What Can Be Improved:

    • Some users have reported issues with the rustic handle, finding it uncomfortable and potentially prone to splinters. However, sanding it down can easily resolve this problem.
    • There have been isolated instances where the handle does not align perfectly, exposing more of the spine on one side than the other. While this seems to be a rare occurrence, it’s worth mentioning.

    Quick Verdict

    The Shun Cutlery Kanso Chef’s Knife truly lives up to its reputation as a professional chef knife. Its exceptional versatility and remarkable sharpness make it an easy favorite for anyone passionate about cooking. While the rustic handle may require some personal adjustment, the overall craftsmanship and performance of this Japanese knife are exceptional. If you’re looking to elevate your culinary experience, the Shun Kanso Chef’s Knife is definitely worth considering.

    Unboxing – What’s Inside?

    I recently purchased the Shun Cutlery Kanso Chef’s Knife 8” from Amazon in the USA. The delivery was incredibly fast, taking only two days to arrive at my doorstep. I was thrilled to finally get my hands on this authentic, handcrafted Japanese knife.

    Upon opening the box, I found the Shun Cutlery Kanso Chef’s Knife 8” neatly packed inside. The knife was securely placed in a plastic sheath to protect the blade during transit. Along with the knife, there was no other item included in the box.


    Brand: Shun
    Manufacturer: Kai
    Dimensions: 14 inches (length)
    Weight: 7 ounces / 0.44 pounds
    Blade Material: High Carbon Stainless Steel
    Blade Length: 8 inches
    Blade Edge: Plain
    Handle Material: Tagayasan (Wenge)
    Construction Type: Forged
    Blade Color: Silver
    Dishwasher Safe: No
    Care Instructions: Hand Wash


    The included documentation or user guide provided useful information about the knife’s care and maintenance. It explained the importance of hand washing the knife instead of using a dishwasher. The guide also gave tips on how to properly handle and store the knife to maintain its sharpness and longevity. You can find the detailed user guide here.

    Features – What We Found

    Versatile All-Purpose Kitchen Knife

    The Shun Cutlery Kanso Chef’s Knife is the perfect go-to knife for all your cutting tasks in the kitchen. Its 8-inch size makes it versatile and suitable for a wide variety of cutting needs. Whether you’re slicing, dicing, or chopping, this knife has got you covered.

    The blade of this chef’s knife is carefully crafted to ensure superior performance. The Gyuto-style design with a wide heel and fairly flat profile makes it ideal for push cuts. The slight belly in the front part of the knife allows for effortless rocking motion through herbs and spices.

    Pro Tip: To make the most out of this knife, practice proper cutting techniques such as using a sharp blade and utilizing the rocking motion for herbs and spices.

    High-Quality Construction and Materials

    This Shun chef’s knife is constructed from AUS10A high-carbon stainless steel refined with Vanadium. This particular steel ensures the knife’s strength, corrosion resistance, and wear resistance, making it highly durable for long-term use. The blade is also razor sharp, allowing for precise and effortless cutting.

    The handle of this knife is made with contoured tagayasan, commonly known as iron sword wood. This material not only adds to the knife’s beauty but also provides excellent grip and precision balance. The full-tang construction ensures the handle is sturdy and enhances overall control during cutting tasks.

    Traditional Artisan Cutlery

    Shun knives are inspired by the rich traditions of ancient Japan and are meticulously handcrafted by highly skilled artisans. The attention to detail and craftsmanship is evident in the blades of these knives, resulting in unparalleled quality and beauty.

    Each knife is carefully forged and shaped to ensure optimal blade geometry, sharpness, and balance. The combination of traditional techniques with modern technology results in knives that are not only functional but also true works of art.

    Beautiful and Durable Handle

    The handle of the Shun Cutlery Kanso Chef’s Knife is made with contoured tagayasan, also known as iron sword wood. This dense and durable material adds to the overall durability of the knife, ensuring it can withstand the demands of daily use.

    The handle’s contoured design provides a comfortable grip, allowing for precise control and reducing hand fatigue during prolonged cutting tasks. The full-tang construction enhances the knife’s balance and stability, further contributing to a seamless and enjoyable cutting experience.

    Pro Tip: To maintain the beauty and longevity of the handle, it is recommended to hand wash the knife and avoid soaking it in water for extended periods of time.

    Authentic Handcrafted Japanese Knife

    One of the standout features of the Shun Cutlery Kanso Chef’s Knife is its authenticity as a handcrafted Japanese knife. Each knife is skillfully made by highly trained artisans, ensuring the knife’s quality and performance.

    The combination of traditional craftsmanship and modern materials results in a knife that embodies the best of both worlds. The precise blade geometry, superior sharpness, and attention to detail make this knife a valuable tool in the hands of professional chefs and cooking enthusiasts alike.

    In terms of authenticity, this knife truly captures the essence of traditional Japanese cutlery.

    Overall Shun Kanso Review and Scores

    Our Score: 93.0

    As a professional chef, I have used many different knives throughout my career, but the Shun Cutlery Kanso Chef’s Knife is by far one of the best I have ever come across. From the moment I held it in my hand, I could feel the quality and craftsmanship that went into creating this knife. The AUS10A high-carbon stainless steel blade is incredibly sharp and holds its edge well, making it ideal for all-around food preparation tasks. Whether I’m slicing through meats or chopping up herbs and spices, this knife performs flawlessly.

    One of the standout features of this knife is the gyuto-style design. The wide heel and flat profile make it perfect for push cuts, while the slight belly allows for easy rocking motions. This versatility makes it a go-to knife in my kitchen for any task that comes my way. Additionally, the contoured tagayasan handle not only adds to the knife’s beauty, but it also provides a secure grip and precise balance.

    Overall, I highly recommend the Shun Cutlery Kanso Chef’s Knife to any home cook or professional chef. Its exceptional quality, razor-sharp blade, and comfortable handle make it a joy to use in the kitchen. Trust me, once you experience the performance of this authentic, handcrafted Japanese knife, you won’t want to go back to any other knife. The Shun Cutlery Kanso Chef’s Knife can elevate your culinary skills to a whole new level.

    Best combination

    Shun Cutlery Kanso Combination Honing Steel 9

    If you’re considering purchasing the Shun Cutlery Kanso Chef’s Knife 8”, I highly suggest buying it along with the Shun Cutlery Kanso Combination Honing Steel 9″. Trust me, this combination is a game-changer in the kitchen.

    While the Shun Cutlery Kanso Chef’s Knife 8” is already a remarkable handcrafted Japanese knife, having the Shun Cutlery Kanso Combination Honing Steel 9″ as an additional tool will enhance the performance and longevity of your knife.

    The smooth & micro-ribbed honing rod of the honing steel is designed to gently correct any rolled knife edges that may occur over time. It is equipped with a built-in angle guide to ensure you maintain the proper angle while honing. This allows you to easily sharpen and maintain the razor-sharp edge of your Shun Cutlery Kanso Chef’s Knife 8”.

    A professional Japanese honing steel like this one is a must-have for any serious chef or home cook. By investing in this Shun Cutlery Kanso Combination Honing Steel 9, you are ensuring that your Shun Cutlery Kanso Chef’s Knife 8” remains in top condition for years to come.

    Don’t miss out on this perfect combination! Click here to grab your Shun Cutlery Kanso Combination Honing Steel 9″ today!

    Similar Options

    When it comes to choosing a chef’s knife, the options can be overwhelming. While the main product, the Shun Cutlery Kanso Chef’s Knife, is undoubtedly a great choice, it’s always helpful to have a few alternatives to consider. Here are five similar products that I highly recommend for your kitchen:

    Shun Cutlery Sora Chef’s Knife 8”

    The Shun Cutlery Sora Chef’s Knife is an excellent alternative to the Kanso Chef’s Knife. With its gyuto-style design and authentic Japanese craftsmanship, this knife offers all-around food preparation capabilities. The black handle adds a touch of elegance to your kitchen. You can purchase it here.

    Shun Cutlery Classic Chef’s Knife 8″

    If you prefer a thin and light kitchen knife, the Shun Cutlery Classic Chef’s Knife is a solid choice. It is ideal for all-around food preparation and delivers the same authentic Japanese craftsmanship as the Kanso Chef’s Knife. This professional-grade knife is a must-have in any chef’s arsenal. You can find it here.

    Shun Cutlery Classic Asian Cook’s Knife 7″

    For those who prefer a slightly smaller knife, the Shun Cutlery Classic Asian Cook’s Knife is a fantastic choice. With its gyuto-style design, this knife is perfect for various food preparation tasks. Like all Shun knives, it is handcrafted with precision and offers professional-grade performance. Get it here.

    These alternative products offer similar quality, craftsmanship, and performance. Whether you’re a professional chef or a home cook, investing in a high-quality knife is essential for achieving culinary greatness. So why not consider adding one of these alternatives to your kitchen arsenal? You won’t be disappointed!

    About the Author Michael V.

    I'm Michael Vartholomaios, the Chief Knife Enthusiast behind "Choppn Knives". Join me as we delve into the world of precision blades, from choosing the perfect edge to mastering essential knife skills. Let's unlock the potential of your kitchen tools together.

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