Not quite as stellar as the Global G-2's. Though it gets excellent scores for cutting performance in one professional test, a second source rates it slightly below the G-2 in every category: cutting performance, sharpness and overall quality. The Shun DM0706 is also a bit heavier than the G-2, a quality that some users may prefer and others dislike. Although both knives are sharp, one professional source says the Shun isn't sharp enough for use by a professional chef right out of the box. Consumers at Amazon.com are less particular, however; they declare the blade very sharp and say it holds its edge well as long as it's honed regularly with a sharpening steel.
Most testers, both professionals and home users, find the Shun's handle comfortable to grip. It's particularly comfortable, users say, for those who have small hands and use a "pinch hold." Several Amazon.com users urge prospective buyers to handle and test the knife before purchase because both lefties and those with larger hands often find the handle awkward to use. Professionals and users do agree that the knife is very well balanced.
Features multi-layer construction. A core of VG-10 steel is clad in multiple layers of Damascus stainless steel with a high carbon content. Multiple users complain that this high-carbon steel is vulnerable to chipping and breakage. These are problems with the Global knife as well, but complaints are more prolific with the Shun. Also, like the G-2, the Shun has a very narrow edge that can't be maintained with an electric sharpener. If you try it, one Amazon.com customer warns, "your razor-sharp knife will become plain-ol'-sharp."
The shape of the blade is similar to that of the Global G-2, with the curved edge typical of most chef's knives. Unlike the Global knife, however, the Shun has a bolster (a lip of metal between the blade and handle), which may explain why the Shun is heavier. The handle itself is made of PakkaWood, a blend of resin and hardwood veneer. Although this material is dishwasher-safe, Shun recommends washing the knife by hand to prolong the life of the blade. The handle is D-shaped: straight on one side and curved on the other to fit comfortably in the right hand. As a result, the handle tends to feel awkward for lefties. A left-handed version is available by special order.
A very distinctive-looking knife. Its outer surface of Damascus steel has a wavy, wood-grained pattern, marked with a single character for the manufacturer's name. The black PakkaWood handle is free of rivets and capped with a steel end cap. Overall, it has a distinctly Asian look and feel that reviewers variously describe as "beautiful," "cool" and "a work of art."
The Shun Classic 8-inch chef's knife DM0706 is a Japanese chef's knife with a finer edge than most European knives. However, it's heavier than some Japanese knives, such as the Global G-2 8-inch Cook's Knife (*Est. $120). The choice between the two is largely a matter of personal preference. The Shun may be better for those who prefer a slightly heavier blade or simply love its distinctive styling. However, the Global is the better choice for left-handed users, and it also edges out the competition in terms of performance and durability. For these reasons, the Global narrowly beats the Shun for our top pick.
Report Credibility: Very Good In this article, ConsumerReports.org rates knife sets rather than individual knives. The main knives in each set, including the chef's knife, are evaluated on their cutting performance, handle comfort and balance. The overall score for each set accounts for features such as sharpness and corrosion resistance. ConsumerReports.org currently lists results for more than 50 knife sets on its website, including the Shun Classic Chef's Set -- which includes the Shun Classic 8-inch Chef's Knife DM0706. Other tested knife sets include high-end brands like Wüsthof and Henckels and budget brands like Ginsu and Chicago Cutlery.
Review: Kitchen Knives, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, Not Dated
2. Choice magazine
Report Credibility: Very Good The Shun Classic 8-inch Chef's Knife DM0706 goes up against 12 similarly sized chef's knives, including knives from the Global, Wüsthof Classic and J.A. Henckels Four Star lines. Multiple testers -- male and female, right-handed and left-handed -- chop a variety of foods with each knife, and a laboratory tests the knives for sharpness. Commentary on each model highlights good and bad points, along with personal preference details like weight.
Review: Kitchen Knives, Editors of Choice magazine, Jan. 30, 2008
Report Credibility: Good About 115 owners review the Shun Classic 8-inch Chef's Knife DM0706 at Amazon.com, giving it an overall rating of 4.7 stars (out of 5). Owners love this knife's great balance and sharp factory edge, which most users say lasts well -- if the knife is regularly honed with a sharpening steel. Users are split over the handle; owners with small hands love this knife, while lefties and those with larger hands are less enthusiastic. We also saw a few durability complaints; several users say the blade chipped or broke with normal use.
Review: Shun Classic Chef's Knife, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of October 2012
Report Credibility: Good Brett Moore, About.com's guide to gourmet food, discusses seven popular chef's knives. Material and construction are discussed briefly, but cutting performance isn't really addressed. Moore praises the Shun Classic's multi-layer construction, which he says results in a nonstick blade. He also describes the knife as "very beautiful" with its distinctive marbled steel and black PakkaWood handle. (Note: ConsumerSearch is owned by About.com, but the two don't share an editorial affiliation.)
Review: Top 7 Chef's Knives, Brett Moore, Not Dated
5. Food & Wine Magazine
Report Credibility: Good In this article, Emily Kaiser Thelin and Emily McKenna identify the top Japanese knife brands after editors tested more than 100. She describes Shun knives as comfortable and "gracefully sharp," mentioning the Shun Classic 8-inch Chef's Knife DM0706 as a good example. Other brands earning a spot on the list include Mac Professional and Global. However, it is unclear just how these knives were selected or how they were tested.
Review: Japanese Knife Guide: Winning Brands, Emily Kaiser Thelin and Emily McKenna, July 2009
Report Credibility: Good This website touts itself as "a food lover's link to professional chefs." Cooks of all kinds, from restaurant chefs to amateur home cooks, meet here to share ideas and experiences. As a result, some reviews are written from a professional perspective and are highly detailed. The handful of reviews for the Shun Classic 8-inch Chef's Knife DM0706, however, are all brief and echo the comments made at Amazon.com. Users like the knife's sharpness, lightness and good edge retention, but some find it hard to sharpen.
Review: Shun Classic 8-Inch Chef's Knife, Contributors to ChefTalk.com, As of October 2012