Most of the time in the kitchen is spent with a knife in hand. So it’s no wonder chefs, and cooking enthusiasts pay special attention to which knife they’ll call their everyday partner.
Among the top knives in the market, Shun and Cutco stand out. With impeccable stainless steel and even carbon designs, they battle it out for the title of market king. But between Shun vs Cutco, which one’s right for you?
Both knives are well-acknowledged, with decades of reputation backing them up. It bottles down to style. If you fancy Japanese-style knives, Shun is one of the best in the game. And for American-style, Cutco is the pick.
However, there are other subtle differences you should consider before choosing your pick.
What Is Shun Knife?
These knives are made by Shun Cutlery, a Japanese company with headquarters in Tokyo. They were founded just 20 years ago, which is relatively young for a company.
But in this little time span, they’ve accumulated a reputation that has put Shun knives as one of the best Japanese knives in the US market.
Like most Japanese items, Shun knives have a traditional build. All Shun knives are handcrafted and have a customary double-bevel body. Each side of the blade is also cut at exactly 16-degrees.
Shun knives have a signature Damascus build, which combines different metal alloys and forges a single blade from them. This creates the classic wavy pattern.
What Is Kitchen Shun Used For?
Shun makes a wide array of kitchen knives. The most common use cases among classic and premium options are great for cutting and slicing techniques on different veggies or fruits.
- Each Shun knife has excellent edge retention with super sharp edges.
- This makes them perfect for peeling or trimming food items.
- Shun also has a lineup of bread knives, which are incredibly sharp with multiple wide serrations.
- These serrations allow you to cut through bread or butter effortlessly, leaving no crumbs or residue behind.
- They prevent tearing and keep the original texture of bread purely intact.
What Is Cutco Knife?
Cutco knives are made by the reputed American Cutlery corporation Cutco, founded back in 1949. They’re aged way more than Shun, and their blades have gone through several iterations to reach today’s level of detail and near perfection.
As an American company with eons of reputation, Cutco is super reliable. Their knives stand out as one of the most durable on the market. They use 440A steel, which is highly corrosion resistant and doesn’t hold edges like other materials.
The blade is attached via triple-riveting to the handle. This provides a secure balance and increases strength while in use. The knife blades go through a specially engineered thermo-resin process to reach perfection.
What Is Kitchen Cutco Knife Used For?
Cutco knives are made for all-American-style carvings and slicing. Their Double-D knife-edge design is perfect for slicing into the Thanksgiving turkey or carving chicken and pork.
- As the blades are sharp and super long, they’re perfect for making thin, even slices all the time.
- As kitchen knives, they’re resistant to moisture and can prevent regular chips or cracks.
- This makes them perfect for chopping wet vegetables and fruits.
Shun Vs Cutco: What Are The Differences?
Now that you have the general overview, let’s get into the nitty-gritty.
Cutco knives are mostly made of Cutco’s secret high-carbon stainless steel formula. The blade has impeccable edge retention while being super sharp. The carbon steel helps prevent corrosion, making the knives dishwasher safe and easier to maintain.
Their blade’s Double-D knife-edge design maintains a sharp edge but is durable and flexible.
Shun knivesare made from several stainless steel materials, which sometimes combine to create the classic Japanese Damascus knife. They have high edge retention and are stain/rust resistant.
Shun blades are much more flexible, though. They bend insane degrees when pressed up against chopping boards. This makes them perfect for filleting and boning fish.
Cutco has the classic American handle design of sleek black with white dots. For materials, they use either polypropylene or thermo-resin.
The first can handle rugged usages, has a high melting point, and doesn’t break easily. The latter is highly warp-resistant and can handle high temperatures comfortably.
Shun bases its handles on the classical Japanese wooden design. Tagayasan or Pakka wood are commonly used. Tagayasan is durable and hard, making it nearly impossible to break.
Pakka wood is also strong and durable, with the added benefit of semi-water resistance. Both types are lightweight, ergonomic, and carefully handcrafted.
Design & Blade Formation
All Cutco knives first go through stamping to create the blade’s material from high-carbon stainless steel. This makes hand-hammered finishes on the knives.
Then follows a three-step process:
- Heating in a blast furnace,
- An icy cold dip
- And final rigorous hardening inside a walk-in furnace.
They’re then sharpened and polished to create two designs: Double-D edge or Straight edge.
The Double-D edge has a saw-toothed design, while the Straight edge holds a classic American chef’s knife look. Both are super sharp and go through a two-step polishing and inspection process.
On the other hand, Shun knives are mostly Damascus, which are prepared by mixing different metal alloys and finally forging to create a single blade.
Different metals are soldered into one piece, which leaves a residual ripping, wavy pattern, which we know as the classic Japanese Damascus look.
This design, paired with dark wooden handles, creates the quintessential Japanese kitchen knife.
Cutco offers a wide array of knives that come at varying prices. You’ll find regular kitchen knives for $50 to $70, but premium models can easily go upwards of $350.
Shun knives are on the pricier side, averaging $150 to $400. Some Classic and Sora models sometimes go lower and hover around the $100 mark. Sora and Classic models are considered premium Shun counterparts.
Which Should You Buy, Shun Or Cutco?
You’ve probably realized that Shun and Cutco knives differ very little in sharpness, durability, and eligibility if you’ve read this far. Both are highly-reputed companies that provide top-of-the-line, premium knives. So, in the end, it comes down to your design preferences.
For enthusiasts who would fancy a Japanese knife in their collection, Shun is the best pick. The classic wooden handle with Damascus design is like no other in the market. Among enthusiasts, the rush of Shun knives never dies out.
But if the design isn’t necessarily your forte and you just want a solid premium knife, we’d recommend Cutco. And if you’re from America, you’ll get better warranty options with this choice.
We hope you can now choose the next premium knife to join your lineup. Good luck!