Japanese-style knives are some of the most interesting kitchen tools to own. The lightweight and sharpness level is unrivaled among other types of knives. Today, two of the most notable Japanese knife brands go head to head as we decide which brand makes the better line of knives. Are you a professional chef or occasional cook in search of a tested and trusted Japanese kitchen knife brand? You should check out our article comparing the Yoshihiro vs Shun knife brands.
The Yoshihiro Knife Brand
The Yoshihiro Knife brand, like many other Japanese brands, has been around for many decades, but they only began to tap into the global market over ten years ago. The highlight of this amazing brand is that they make knives for both home cooks and professional chefs. They have extensive collections with many varieties of knife options for various cutting tasks.
Yoshihiro cutlery knives are produced in the famous Seki City in Japan – just like Shun Cutlery Knives. Another highlight of the brand is the high hardness level of their knives. They make use of up to 20 different types of steel, but when compared to most other knives, they make some of the toughest with the highest Rockwell Hardness rating.
Furthermore, the handmade knives can either feature double bevel edges or single bevel edges. You get to choose whichever edge type you prefer. In the area of aesthetics, the brand performs well. The unique engravings that are featured on their knives are such a wonder to look at.
The Shun Knife Brand
Shun cutlery is made by the famous Japanese Kai Corporation, and just like the Yoshihiro brand, Shun cutlery knives are made in Seki City in Japan. Shun makes relatively premium knives with immense attention to detailing and features. The knives are handmade by expert artisans who see to it that the knives come out functional and aesthetically pleasing.
Compared to Yoshihiro knives, Shun knives can be more high-end, and they cost significantly more. The expensive nature is justified by the relatively higher quality of the knives. Although they make knives for everyone, they offer more options for professional chefs and people who plan to go into culinary arts professionally.
Like most Japanese knife brands, their offerings are typically characterized by a high level of hardness, lightweight, thinness, and ultra-sharpness.
A Comparison of the Yoshihiro vs Shun
Yoshihiro and Shun are similar in a lot of ways and they both offer functional and durable knife options. Nevertheless, they have peculiar characteristics as regards design, material, performance, and features.
Yoshihiro has an extensive collection of knives with varying designs and features, but one thing that remains consistent in all their products is the use of high carbon stainless steel material. There are about 20 different types of steel used in various knives, but the hardness is what gives these knives superior edge retention and sharpness when compared to typical Western-style knives.
Furthermore, most of their cutlery is made with single pieces of forged blades, making them much more durable and sturdy than knives with stamped blades. It does seem like Yoshihiro goes against the usual practice of having a rather rigid collection of knives, but what this means for users is access to more varieties and styles of cutlery.
The Shun brand, on the other hand, has a stricter line of knives limited to 7 standard collections. The different collections are characterized by different Japanese steels ranging from the renowned VG-Max to VGS and SG2 steel. However, all these steel materials have a high level of hardness, just like those used by Yoshihiro.
All Shun blades are forged for balance, stability, and durability. Additionally, great attention is paid to details in the designs of the handles, which are usually made from Tagayasan, Pakkawood, or Polymer material.
Functionality is not a problem for these two amazing brands, as evident from the overwhelmingly positive reviews their products have had. A certain level of consistency progresses through each and every one of their offerings.
As said before, they only make use of high carbon steel materials that have the ability to be honed to a very fine and sharp edge. This sharpness level is just what a chef requires for kitchen cutting tasks- beginner or not.
Shun knives have exceptionally comfortable and durable handles that are secure to grip and cut with. The comfortable handling is further improved through the single forged blade design they favor.
Without carrying out in-depth reviews, one can establish that the Yoshihiro and Shun cutlery brands make durable knives. The Japanese nature of the knives is one thing, but the artistry combined with the high-quality materials used could only produce knives that are very durable in addition to them being functional.
The Best Yoshihiro Knife
Choosing one knife from the multitudes of Yoshihiro knives available is by no means an easy task, but the Yoshihiro VG10 16 Layer Gyuto Japanese Chef Knife is our pick as their most versatile kitchen knife. While it is essentially a Japanese knife, there is a certain Western appeal to it, and it does seem as this was intentional from the manufacturers.
The blade is made from high carbon VG10 steel and has a Rockwell Hardness of 60. It may not be the most aesthetically pleasing knife, but it is very sharp out of the box. Thanks to the full tang design, you get a well-balanced knife for a smooth cutting experience. The simple triple-riveted mahogany handle is very much comfortable to hold and be. Like many other Yoshihiro knives, the steel blade is clad to ensure a certain water and heat resistance level.
The Best Shun Knife
This is one of the commonest Japanese chef knives you’ll find in many kitchens all around the world. Meticulously crafted for balanced cutting, the Shun Cutlery Premier Chef’s Knife leaves nothing to desire in functionality. It comes with a walnut-colored Pakkawood handle that just as comfortable to hold as it is attractive to look at.
Thanks to a precise heat treatment, you get a finer-grained blade than most, with a thinner, sharper, and longer-lasting edge. A hammered tsuchime finish gives the blade a non-stick quality, making sure that it cuts through food and releases food smoothly. Also, it is an exceptionally lightweight knife.
One of the things you need to consider when buying a single chef knife is versatility. The Shun Cutlery Premier Chef’s Knife is versatile enough to handle a variety of cutting tasks, not limited to slicing, chopping, and dicing.
Having to choose between the Yoshihiro and Shun knife brands when searching for a good quality kitchen knife can be confusing. It is most likely that the eventual choice will come down to personal preference, as they both offer functional and durable options. However, we have tried to highlight some of the similar and unique features between both brands.
In this way, we hope you find it less overwhelming to compare, contrast, and make your final selection. Yoshihiro may be the more popular brand with more collections to choose from. However, Shun offers similarly decent and functional collections for professional chefs and occasional cooks.