The Shun Ken Onion Chef's Knife, which is available in several blade sizes ranging from 4.5 inches to 14 inches, has an unusual design with a curiously curved spine and a wavy Damascus-patterned blade. It's named for its creator, Ken Onion, an award-winning designer of innovative knives. Most reviewers find the Shun Ken Onion Chef's Knife comfortable to hold, but some owners, particularly those with larger hands, find the ergonomic bump on the handle uncomfortable. The blade's 16-degree angle improves its sharpness but makes it more difficult for an average home user to sharpen.
Cook's Illustrated magazine includes the Shun Ken Onion Chef's Knife in a review of innovative chef's knives, and the knife is also featured in a roundup of Japanese cutlery in Bon Appétit magazine. Most owners on Amazon.com rate the knife highly, but a few are critical of the unusual design and cost.
1. Cook's Illustrated Magazine
The Ken Onion 8.25-inch chef's knife is compared to eight other knives with innovative designs. Editors rate the knives on four factors: handle, blade, kitchen tests and edge retention. Pros and cons are listed for each knife, and recommendations are made.
Review: Innovative Chef's Knives, Editors of Cook's Illustrated magazine, March 1, 2007
2. Bon Appetit
The editors of Bon Appétit outline five knife types in this slide show. The Ken Onion chef's knife is singled out as a "designer" knife, with an exaggerated blade curve that makes rocking motions easier. It's unclear whether these knives were tested for this article.
Review: The Home Chopping Network, Huge Garvey, March 2011
3. Bon Appetit
This article discusses three knives (including the 10-inch Shun Ken Onion Chef's Knife) that blend Japanese and German styles. It includes testing notes for each knife, although methodology is not discussed. According to Elisa Huang, the Ken Onion knife is well balanced and rocks well when chopping.
Review: Japanese Fusion Knives, Elisa Huang, May 2008
About 75 owners give the Shun Ken Onion Chef's Knife an average rating of 4.5 stars out of 5. Most of the reviews are positive, but some owners say the knife to be overpriced, and a few find the design awkward. One owner reports that the knife pits and corrodes easily if not wiped dry immediately after using it.
Review: Shun Ken Onion Chef's Knife, Contributors to Amazon.com