Shun Ken Onion Elite 7-in Santoku Knife



I just want to say that if your knife is almost $120 when it’s 67% off, your knife might be too expensive.


[groundbreaking]… HONOR’S A MEDIA COMMUNICATIONS/FILM STUDIES STUDENT?! [/groundbreaking] (Well, maybe not, but she’s doing something for a film project. Hey, it could be a marketing/advertising class!)

… You ready to put Hope back into circulation? She’s like the older brother from “Happy Days” right now. In the pilot, and then gone forever…


Want want want want… Especially now that they’re doing free sharpening again


Then I can tell that you’ve never handled a truly excellent knife.

I own the Shun Classic line of knives, and they’re outstanding. They’re extremely sharp and are great precision tools. True, they’re not as expensive as the Ken Onion line of Shun cutlery. But, if I could afford dropping that kind of dough on knives, I would do it without question. Not necessarily (all or any) on the KO Shuns, but on a good set of cutlery even better than what I own now. Maybe even some really nice handmade knives from Japan…? (Which can easily run over $1k for a single knife. Think what Morimoto on Iron Chef America uses.)

A good knife is easily worth the price. They last a lifetime, if taken care of properly. And make cutting, chopping, slicing and so on an easy task. A great knife is a joy to work with. Why would you buy a cheap set of crappy knives and risk breaking them or cutting yourself on a dull blade?

Think of it as a tool. Do you buy cheap tools? Or do you buy good tools that will last and perform?


Or it might be a bargain for what’s probably a fantastic knife. I’ve used Shuns a few times in my culinary career and they are not only beautiful knives but SHARP and hold their edge far better.

Knives to people who cook can be equated much like people buy cars…

Yes, there are cheaper options. Sure, your Nissan Sentra is a great little car, it gets the job done… and for some people that’s fine.

For others, I’d far rather spend the money on an Infiniti that does the same job only, oh so much better and worth it to me.


Just want to point out that the posting says “Shun Elite”, but that’s not what the image displays. The image is a Shun Ken Onion Limited Edition santoku. The Shun Elite looks more like the Classic line without the funky, ergonomic handle of the KO.


They do, however they will reject warranty claims for whatever reasons they can come up with. I sent in my chefs knife because it chipped while dicing carrots on a bambo board.

The angles on the knifes are incredibly thin which allow them to be so sharp, but that also causes them to be brittle on their edge.

I sent it to Shun and their lifetime warranty was denied.

I have a full set of other Shun knives, including this Santoku knife. I enjoy the cutting ability, their balance, their sharpness, however their lifetime warranty is sketchy.


Mr. Spiffy is right. Can someone confirm which knife this is? Is it the elite, which looks like this:

Or is it the Ken Onion as pictured here?


Hmmm…to answer my own question. It’s apparently the Ken Onion Elite.

Anyway, the title should be updated to be clearer. When people think of Elite, they think of the knife from the other url I posted.


Model number implies Onion.


Did I mention that the Rockwell hardness of this baby is rated at 64? That is WELL above what you’ll find on most kitchen knives

While increased hardness does indeed mean a higher chance of chipping (when not properly cared for), it also means that it is possible to create a MUCH sharper edge that will “hold its edge” for substantially longer.

Check out this website for a bit more info on why hardness is important:


I just want to point out that while yes it does have the ken onion handle, it is the blade from a “elite series” knife


how come this one doesn’t come with the squiggly lines on the side of the blade? I thought only the cheep nives had the plain looking sides?


FYI: I’m checking on the title.

Update: Well, I’m having trouble getting hold of someone.


The “specially shaped handle” will fit perfectly in your hand, unless you have smaller than average hands. The curves of the handle cause awkward pressure points in small hands. Holding the knife (on and off) for more than 5 minutes caused a little hand strain, but that went away after a couple of uses.

Prep work with this knife is a breeze, so the brief discomfort was worth it.


Because the Elite line has three layers, not 27. Instead of a VG-10 core, it has an SG-2.

I’ve been working with/maintaining knives for about thirty years. This is a good value if you like the knife.

It’s also a delicate knife. Because the blade is so thin, and so hard it is moderately limited: slicing motions are what it does best. Chopping (or a hard board, such as bamboo) can lead to chips.

The Elite seem to do better than the classic, I’ve had fewer of them come to me with a need for chip repair.

That said, I prefer a knife with a slightly thicker blade, and tempered in the 58-60 range.


Just bought 2 of these. Hope they’re great.


A Rockwell of 64 is tricky, and the steel in question matters a lot. Anything harder than 60 is going to be a lot more fragile. I sharpen knives, professionally, and I warn people who have Shun they need to be gentle with them.

The blades are very thin, and it doesn’t take much impact/lateral pressure to chip/spall the edge.

The SG-2 in the Elite series are a little more durable, but they are still slicing, not chopping knives.

There is nothing wrong with them, but the trade-off for that thin edge is that it’s brittle.


No, just finicky to manufacture. These are made with SG-2, which is a more difficult manufacturing process, and the work to shape/polish/sharpen the harder steels is also more intensive.

Good knives start in the 120USD range (for an “8 inch chef”, which is a class; not a specific shape/size. This knife is in that class), and go up; for mass-produced lines, to about 450. For mid-grade japanese knives in the traditional styles (Deba, Yanagi, Takohiba, Usuba), 500-600USD is about normal.