shun classic santoku knife review

If you are looking for a santoku knife, then you must have heard the name Shun. Shun is a well-known Japanese knife maker. They have a large collection of Santoku knives. Among them, Shun Classic Santoku is one of the most beautiful and traditional collections. It is an all-purpose knife with excellent chopping, slicing, and dicing to make your meal prep faster.  Even this knife was recognized by Blade magazine as “Kitchen Knife of the Year”. 

Let’s dive deep into this shun classic santoku knife review to know more about every specific feature and specialty of this knife. I have also added user’s thoughts and common questions about this knife here. 

Quick Overview

  1. The blade core is made with high carbon VG-MAX super steel. 
  2. The core is wrapped by 34 layers of Damascus stainless steel on each side that protect the knife core. So, there is a total of 69 layers of steel. 
  3. This knife has a tough hardness, around 60 Rockwell hardness. 
  4. Like all shun knives it has a razor-sharp 16-degree cutting edge. 
  5. The blade is 7 inches long with a 5.5-inch handle. 
  6. The blade exterior has a clean wavy Damascus pattern with small air pockets on it. 
  7. The handle is made from durable resin-based material pakkawood. 
  8. Traditional Japanese style D shape handle. 
  9. Limited lifetime warranty for any kind of manufacturing defects.
  10. Free sharpening until you own it. 

Shun Classic 7” Hollow-Ground Santoku Knife Review

Where it’s made

Shun knives are manufactured in Seki, Japan which is known as the knife and sword-making capital of Japan for centuries. Each piece of shun knives is handcrafted by expert craftsmen by maintaining ancient Japanese knife-making tradition. Each piece of knife takes 100 steps to come to its final look. While maintaining traditional techniques they use modern technology and premium materials to ensure their quality. 

Blade Material

The blade core of shun classic 7-inch santoku knife is made with high-end VG-MAX super steel. VG-MAX steel is an innovative and exclusive steel formula of Shun with extra carbon, tungsten, cobalt, vanadium, and chromium components. Now, A question may arise as that how these components contribute to the quality of the blade. Carbon is a compulsory component to increase the hardness and durability of knives. Cobalt adds more strength to the blade and chromium helps to enrich rust and corrosion resistance. Other components also add more sharpness, durability, and strength to the knife. 

This VG-MAX core is wrapped with 34 layers of Damascus steel on each side. Those layers protect the core from extra pressure or any kind of damage. 

Blade Design

As a santoku knife, the design of kai shun classic santoku is a combination of western and Japanese knives. Santoku means three virtues in Japanese. And this knife gets a name for the three strengths it demonstrates while working with it. It is designed in such a way so that it can be an expert in cutting vegetables, meats, and fish. It’s slightly curved enables you to a smooth rocking motion while cutting. 

Shun classic santoku blade

Because of those layers of steel, it has a wavy Damascus pattern that gives it an elegant look. And there are air pockets on the knife. Those air pockets reduce the sticking of food or vegetable while cutting. Finally, you will see a beautiful Shun logo on the blade. 

Sharpness and edge

A sharp knife ensures a smooth and precise cut in the kitchen. But if it is sharpened to an extreme edge then it may get damaged even after light use. So, shun tries to keep a balance between sharpness and durability. kai shun classic santoku is sharpened to a 16-degree cutting angle. It is sharper than any western knife. In a word, it is designed to cut in a smooth, slicing motion that will hold its edge longer. 

Moreover, shun classic santoku chef knife is a double bevel knife that means it has the same cutting angle at both sides. 


The durability of a knife and the longevity of its edge depend on its hardness. And the hardness of a knife depends on the blade material and the crafting process of the knife. As shun santoku classic uses high carbon VG-MAX super steel with a total of 69 layers of stainless steel, it is tough hard. And traditional knife forging process with more than 100 steps is used for every Shun knife. So, their knife becomes rock solid and durable that gets an incredible edge and holds it for longer. 

Handle Material

Shun classic 7 santoku handle is made with ebony Pakkawood. Pakkawood is not real wood it is a resin-based durable material. It is generally a composite of different hardwood and resin. Pakka wood makes the handle water and moisture-resistant and has a beautiful wooden texture. Moreover, this type of handle doesn’t harbor bacteria so it lasts for long with your kitchen journey. 

Handle Design

Shun classic santoku knife features a traditional Japanese-style handle that has a slight ridge on the right side. This ridge fit’s into the curl of the fingers and ensures a comfortable and secure grip. When you look, the shape looks like a D shape with a curve on the right side. Though this curve makes the knife more comfortable and better for right-hand users, but it becomes hard for left-hand users to use this knife comfortably. 

Shun classic 7 inch santoku handle

Moreover, it has a beautiful steel end cap at the end of the handle that adds the last finish to the knife. Not only beauty, actually this steel cap contributes to the balancing of the knife. 


Shun classic santoku knife has a avarage sige like all other shun santoku knife like shun kanso santoku or shun premier santoku. Its blade is 7 inches long it is a quite common size for santoku knives. And the handle is almost 5.5 inches long, so it becomes easy for both people with large or small hands to hold the knife. And it’s very thin when it comes to its thickness. 

Weight and balance 

Shun classic 7 santoku knife is 7.3 ounces that’s pretty lightweight if you compare it with a knife of this size. Handle weight, blade weight, steel end cap, knife tang all these things contribute to the balancing of this knife. The weight is so nicely distributed that you will hardly feel the weight. Moreover, shun classic santoku chef knife will feel like a part of the hand and it will not create pressure on the wrist even after long use. The center of balance is around the connection point of the blade and handle. 

Clean and maintenance 

With proper care and maintenance, a cheap knife can company you for long. On the other hand, without proper care and cleaning a super high-end knife may get damaged in a few days. So, you should be careful about the proper maintaining of a knife. 

shun classic 7-inch santoku knife is a dishwasher-safe knife, but it is always preferred to wash a knife with only one hand. Because washing it in a dishwasher may cause chips or damage to the edge and steel of the knife in long run. So, you can just wash it with water after normal use. And you can use soap and cloth after heavy work. 

Though the knife handle doesn’t absorb water moisture, it is better to practice drying the knife after every wash. Just put the knife in an open place until it dries out properly. 

As shun knives don’t come with any sheath you will need to use an extra sheath to store the knife. Or you may use a wooden block for the knife. Never put the knife in the drawer without a sheath or edge guard because that may damage the knife edge or cause an accident to you. It is better to not use a magnetic knife holder as that may cause a negative effect on the steel material. 

How the knife will feel in your hand

When we go to buy a knife, our main concern remains “how the knife will feel in hand?”. As the knife features a D shape handle the curve of the handle fits nicely and comfortably in the handgrip of right-handed users. And the handle material gives the handle a slipless texture so the handle doesn’t slip from the hand while using. 

Shun classic santoku ( how the knife will feel in hand)

With the thin profile and sharp edge, it goes through any food like butter. So, you don’t need to create pressure while cutting. That’s why you won’t feel pain even after long use. Moreover, because of the proper balancing, you will not feel the weight. 


Shun ensures a limited lifetime warranty and free sharpening on their all knives. Shun uses quality material and modern technology with expert craftsmen for every piece of the knife. So, shun have full confidence in their knives. That’s why shun provides a lifetime warranty for any kind of manufacturing defect on the knife. 

Free sharpening is the most unique feature of shun knives that you will hardly find for knives of any other knife makers. You may have got the idea about this from the beginning of this kai shun classic santoku review. When you feel your knife needs sharpening just send the knife to shun they will sharpen your knife for free. So that you can get the experience of a new knife every time. 

Customer’s thought

Most of the review about shun classic hollow-ground santoku knife is a positive review, you will hardly find any few mentions about this knife. 

One user was disappointed that it is a right-handed knife. He mentioned that It is a great knife. But as he is left-handed he couldn’t get used to the right-handed handle. He mentioned that it is better to know about the fact before buying. So, if you are a left-handed person and manage with the right-handed handle then it is a great knife with a sharp edge and balance. And another person mention this knife may feel a little heavy if you are used to using an extremely lightweight knife. 

When it comes to positive reviews, it may be clear to you from this whole shun classic santoku knife review. One user shared his experience that, this knife gutted fish, chicken, minced countless herbs without bruising, and diced a million onions, and every time it gives a smooth experience. Another user was happy with its low maintenance needs. And, other hundreds of reviews are about the sharp edge, comfortable handle, balancing as described widely in this whole shun classic 7 santoku review.


Though I feel that you have got a clear idea about the pros and features of this knife in this in-depth to shun classic 7-inch santoku review, I am gathering them here briefly. 

  1. Its super-sharp edge ensures a precise and smooth cut. 
  2. Handle fit’s comfortably in grip.
  3. Handle ensures slipless grip.
  4. Pretty lightweight.
  5. Proper weight distribution and well-balanced. 
  6. Air pockets on the blade prevent the sticking of food. 
  7. Tough hardness with long-lasting edge retention. 
  8. Perfect for both western and Asian cut. 
  9. Comes with a lifetime warranty. 
  10. Free sharpening until you own it. 


From the customers thought part of this kai shun classic santoku review you may have got an idea about the drawbacks of this kai shun classic santoku. 

  1. This knife is a right-handed knife as the handle has a curve on the right side. So, if you are a left-handed person you may find it a little uncomfortable to use. 
  2. This knife doesn’t come with any sheath so you need to use an extra sheat or wooden knife block. 

Classic line also has a chef’s knife version. Here is full Shun classic Chef’s knife review.


  1. Can left-handed person use shun classic hollow-ground santoku knife?

It can be called a right-handed knife. Its handle features a D shape. That means it has a curve at the right side so it is more comfortable for right-handed users and left-handed users will find it a little uncomfortable. But if you can compromise with the handle comfort it has other great features like double bevel, sharp edge as mentioned in this shun classic 7 santoku knife review

  1. What is the sharpening angle of this knife?

This knife has a 16-degree cutting angle on both sides. That is sharper comparing most other western knives. 

  1. Is this knife single bevel or double bevel?

shun classic 7-inch santoku is a double bevel knife that means it has the same cutting edge angle at both sides. And that is 16 degrees. 

4. What are the differences between shun classic and shun kaji?

These two shun knives have both differences and similarities. There is difference in term of blade material, blade design and construction. There is also differences in handle design of classic and kaji. But they have same handle material, sharpness and edge retention. Here is full shun classic vs kaji comparison.


With a sharp edge, beautiful handle, nonsticky blade shun classic santoku knife can be a perfect kitchen partner. All the amazing features of shun classic 7-inch santoku must be clear from this whole shun classic santoku knife review. It will make your meal prep faster. Moreover, an all-purpose knife with excellent chopping, dicing, and slicing this knife of versatile knife can be a source of reliability and comfort in the kitchen. 

Other Shun Knives:

1. Shun Kanso Santoku Review

2. Shun Premier Santoku Review 

3. Shun Kanso Chef’s Knife Review

4. Shun Premier Chef’s Knife Review

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