Are you looking for a quality chef’s knife to add to your kitchen? Then you must have come across Shun which is a well-known Japanese knife maker. Shun has a large collection of different knives. Among them shun kaji and premier are two high-end collections of shun. But these two shun knives have a lot of differences along with some similarities. Let’s dive deep into this detailed shun premier vs kaji comparison to know more.
A comparison table, quick overview, and detailed comparison between these two knives are added here.
Quick Overview: Shun Kaji vs Shun Premier
If you are in hurry then before going through this whole shun kaji vs premier comparison you can go through this quick overview. Here are the main differences between these two shun knives.
- The blade core of both knives is made with different materials. Shun premier core is made with famous VG-MAX super steel. And in shun kaji the core is made with high carbide Sg2 powder steel.
- In shun, the premier blade core is wrapped by 34 layers of steel at each side. Whereas kaji has 32 layers of steel at each side to protect the core.
- Shun premier has a tsuchime hammered finish and the bottom half part has Damascus patter. On the other hand whole body of shun, kaji has a wavy Damascus pattern. At the bottom part, this pattern becomes denser.
- Though both knives handle is made from the same material but there is a difference in design. Shun premier handle features a cylindrical contoured shape with a steel end cap with shun logo. But shun kaji features a double riveted ergonomic handle with an angled end cap.
- Shun kaji knives are more pricey than shun premier knives. The premier line is more value for money and affordable.
As both knives are made by the same knife maker they have a lot of similarities along with those differences. Here are the main similarities.
- Both premier and kaji handles are made from the same handle material. Both handles are made from durable, water-resistant Pakkawood.
- Kaji and premier have the same razor-sharp cutting angle that is 16 degrees on both sides.
- As both knives are made from quality material they have rock solid hardness. Both knives have Rockwell hardness of more than 60.
- Shun kaji and premier both retain their edge for long.
- Both are knives are full tang.
- Kaji and premier both knives prefer hand wash only.
- Another amazing feature, both shun premier and kaji come with a limited lifetime warranty and free sharpening by shun until you own the knife.
Comparison Table: Shun Premier vs Kaji
|Shun premier||Shun Kaji|
|Where it’s made||Seki, Japan||Seki, Japan|
|Blade Material||VG-MAX super steel||SG2 powder steel|
|Blade Construction||Core is wrapped by 34 layers of stainless steel at each side||Core is wrapped by 32 layers of steel at each side|
|Blade Design||Tsuchime hammered finish||Damascus pattern finish|
|Handle Design||Symmetric Cylindrical contoured shape with Steel end cap||Double riveted ergonomic handle with an angled end cap|
|Sharpness ( Edge angle)||16||16|
|Cleaning||Hand wash||Hand Wash|
|Warranty||Limited Lifetime||Limited Lifetime|
|Price||Less Expensive ( Check Price on Amazon)||More Expensive ( Check Price )|
Differences Between Shun Kaji and Premier Knives
In the quick overview part of this Shun premier vs shun kaji comparison, the difference between these two knives was described briefly. Now let’s talk about those differences between kaji and premier in detail.
Differences 1: Blade Material
Both premier and kaji are made with quality material but they use different blade core materials.
Blade of shun premier is made with VG-MAX super steel. VG-MAX steel is an exclusive steel formula of shun which is the newest steel of the famous VG line super steel. It is an upgraded version of famous VG-10 steel and enriched with different components like carbon, chromium, cobalt, vanadium, and molybdenum. All these components increase the hardness, strength, and rust resistance of the knife.
On the other hand, shun kaji is made with micro carbide Sg2 powder steel. Sg2 is also known as super gold steel which is a high carbon alloy of stainless steel. This is also enriched with different necessary components like VG-MAX and ensures the hardness and durability of the knife.
Differences 2: Blade Construction
Shun premier and kaji have different balde construction. Shun premier has 34 layers of Damascus steel at each side of the blade core. So, there is a total of 69 layers of steel in premier. These layers are made with two types of steel one soft steel and hard steel. This layer makes the knife flexible and protects the core from pressure.
But in shun kaji there are 32 layers of steel at each side of the core. So, there is a total of 65 layers in kaji. These layers are made with forged nickel stainless Damascus steel.
Differences 3: Blade Design
Like blade material and construction, the blade design is totally different in these two shun knives.
Shun premier features a beautiful tsuchime hammered finish. The top half part of the premier has this hammered finish and the bottom portion has a Damascus pattern. This hammered finish creates a small air pocket that prevents food from sticking while cutting and reduce friction. Moreover, the whole blade has a shiny look.
But miyabi kaji has a unique Damascus pattern throughout its whole body. Those wavy Damascus patterns are denser at the bottom portion. This gives the knife a simple but sophisticated look.
Both knives have a shun logo on one side of the blade.
Differences 4: Handle Design
Though handle material is the same for each knife their design is totally different from each other.
Shun premier features a contoured shape cylindrical handle. Its handle is symmetrical so comfortable for both left and right-hand users. It has a curve at the belly that fits nicely in the grip and provides a slipless grip. The full knife has brown color and black lines that give it a wooden look. Moreover, there is a steel end cap with shun logo and golden accent spacers.
On the other side, shun kaji has a black ergonomic handle. This handle is double riveted which means there are two pins are in the handle that makes it more durable. This is also comfortable for both left and right-hand users and it fits comfortably in the palm. There is an angle end cap at the end of the handle.
Differences 5: Price
There is a noticeable price difference between shun kaji and premier.
When there is a comparison between shun kaji vs shun premier chef knife, then shun kaji is more pricy and costs more than premier knives.
On the other hand, shun premier is in a more affordable knife. It is a perfect combination of quality and affordability. That’s why shun premier is one of the most famous shuns knives among shun lovers.
Differences 6: Product Offering
Both shun premier and kaji lines offer different types of knives. For example in the premier line, along with shun premier chef’s knife there is shun premier santoku, shun premier nakiri, shun premier kiritsuke, and other knives and knife sets. Same for shun kaji line.
|Knife/ Set||Shun Premier||Shun Kaji|
|Prep knife||Not Available||Available|
|Boning fillet knife||Available||Available|
|Asian cook knife||Available||Available|
|Slicing Knife||Available||Not Available|
|4 piece steak knife set||Available||Available|
|7 piece knife set||Available||Not Available|
Similarities Between Shun Premier and Shun Kaji Knife
We have gone through all the differences between shun kaji vs premier knives. Not let’s go through their similarities in detail.
Similarities 1: Handle Material
Though these two knives have different handle designs they use the same handle material. Both shun kaji and premier feature pakka wood handles. Pakkawood is not raw natural wood, it is a composite of raisin and different types of hardwood. This material adds helps to add different bright colors and unique designs to the handle.
Pakkawood handles are easy to clean and water-resistant. Moreover, pakkawood handles don’t harbor bacteria so it lasts for long.
Similarities 2: Sharpness and Edge
Both of these shun knives are hand sharpened to an extreme 16 degrees cutting angle. It is a double bevel knife that means it has the same sharpness on both sides. So, these knives are usable for left and right-hand users.
The Traditional 3 step honbazuke method is used for each knife to ensure this sharpness. In this process, each knife is sharpened in horizontal rotating stone, vertical rotating stone, and finally on leather.
Similarities 3: Hardness
Both of this knife is made with quality material and both have a solid balde construction. So, shun kaji and shun premier both knife has tough hardness. On the Rockwell scale, both knives have hardness over 60. Even kaji knife has a Rockwell hardness of 64. Rockwell hardness over 60 is known as very hard so both of this knife has rock-solid hardness and durability.
Similarities 4: Edge Retention
When it comes to edge retention of kaji and premier you won’t need to worry at all. As both knives have tough hardness, both of this knife retains their sharp edge for long. So, you won’t need to sharpen these knives so often
Similarities 5: Tang
Tang is the part of the blade that goes through the handle of the knife. Full tang knives are more durable than half tangs because, in a full tang knife, tang goes end to the handle. Both of these shun knives are full tang knives.
Similarities 6: Clean and Maintenance
Both shun kaji and premier prefer handwash only. Washing these knives in the dishwasher may cause damage to the edge. That’s why after every use just wash the knife using clean water and use soap and cloth if necessary.
Always remember to dry the knife properly before storing it anywhere. For drying water just put the knife in an open place after every use.
One other thing is never put the knife in the drawer without any sheath. You can use a wooden knife block or a sheath to store these shun knives.
Similarities 7: Where they are made
Shun is one of the oldest and well known Japanese knife-making companies. All of their knives are handcrafted in Seki, Japan using the traditional Japanese knife-making process. Seki is called the knife-making capital of japan because swords and knives are benign made here for hundreds of years
So, you will find teh years of old Japanese knife-making tradition along with quality material in each shun knife.
Similarities 8: Warranty and Free Sharpening
It’s one of the most unique features of shun knives is that they come with a limited lifetime warranty and free sharpening.
For any kind of manufacturing defect, you will get a lifetime warranty with both this kaji and premier knife.
You will also get free sharpening with these knives. When you feel that your knife has lost its sharpness just send it to shun. They will sharpen your knife like new for free.
Conclusion (Should You Buy Shun Premier or Kaji knife?)
You may have got a clear idea about the differences and similarities between these two to shun knives from this shun premier vs kaji comparison. Now it’s time to decide, which one is best for you premier or kaji.
If you want a knife with a rounded handle with a wooden look then shun premier is a better choice. But if you want an angled ergonomic handle then shun kaji will be better for you.
If you want to hammer a finished knife along with a Damascus pattern then shun a premier is a great option. On the other hand, if you like only the Damascus pattern then kaji is for you. But one thing, hammered finish helps to prevent food from sticking while cutting, you won’t get that advantage in kaji.
Both knives have extreme sharpness, hardness, and long-lasting edge retention.
Finally comes affordability, As a high-end shun knife shun kaji is a little bit costly and pricer than premier. But shun premier is more affordable. Moreover, shun premier is a perfect combination of affordability and quality so it is one of the most famous shun knives.
So, when it comes to price and affordability shun premier is a more value for money product.
If you want to read a particular review about these two knives. Then here is the full Shun premier Review and Shun kaji Review.