Wusthof vs Shun Knives: Which is Better? [Comparison]

I hope you agree with me when I say:

 A kitchen knife must be durable, sharp, and comfortable. 

That being said, we are going to be taking a look at 2 of the titans in the industry when it comes to kitchen knives. This Wusthof vs Shun knives comparison will go over everything you will need to know about these knives before purchasing them. This will help you better decide on which knife you would like to purchase based on your needs and requirements. Shun (pronounced Shoon) and Wusthof are two of the best kitchen knife brands on the market as of right now, so before going ahead with your purchase you will need to know the differences that set these industrial giants apart. Both these knife brands have their own unique edge that makes them different from others on the market. To better understand what these qualities are we will be going over every factor needed to be accounted for when purchasing your knife.

So if you are dead set on buying one of these two brands, then you have come to the right place as we will be going over an in-depth review and comparison between the Shun and Wusthof knives and ultimately deciding once and for all which is better. By the end of it, you will have known and understood all their similarities, differences, advantages, and disadvantages. So without any further ado, here is a list of everything to help you navigate around the article easily:


When it comes to the sharpness of the blades, Japanese-style knives have an incredibly razor-sharp edge. Shun is no different in this regard as it sharpens the knives at a 16-degree angle edge per side (32 degrees on both). This is an optimum, no, extremely sharp knife edge that keeps in mind that the sharpness of a blade, in turn, reduces the durability of a knife. This is why a 16-degree angle edge is considered one of the finest. A 16-degree edge helps you cut with precision while also letting you have control over where you cut. This should be the model sharpness for you unless you work as a sous chef.

However, Wusthof has taken a different approach with their blades in terms of sharpness when it comes to the Wusthof vs Shun comparison. They have a 14-degree angle per side edge which makes them slightly better and sharper than Shun. The advantage of this is obviously the fact that the knife will slice through and food items more effectively and cleanly. But typically this does come with a drawback. Sharper blades are thinner and more likely to break or chip away on impact with rock-hard foods or under a great amount of pressure. To counter this, Wusthof has used high-quality materials to minimize the off chance that the knife does chip.

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Blade Material:

Speaking of the material used for Wusthof and Shun knives, the steel which is used to craft their artwork is a mix of both iron and carbon. This is an ideal material used by thousands of manufacturers around the world. Under this steel category, there are further elements used to enhance the specific factors about a knife. Here are some of them used by Shun:

VG10 stainless steel: In this type of steel, Cobalt is added to the mix in order to increase the strength and longevity of the blade. Vanadium is also used to be able to maintain a sharp edge for years to come.

High-carbon Blue steel: This type of steel is finely graded and durable. It is the perfect match for chefs that want their knives to long a lifetime and frequently use them. The expensive knife sets are made out of this type of steel.

SG2 stainless steel: Lastly, we have the SG2 stainless steel. This is considered to be one of the finest blades Shun creates. It has been nicknamed the micro carbide steel as it is extremely dense, pure, and harder than most other steels. The Shun classic chef knife is also made out of this material.

Click the image above to check out the Wusthof Epicure cook’s knife

When it comes to Wusthof in the Wusthof vs Shun comparison, they only make their german chef knives and sets out of one singular type of steel. This is called high-carbon, rust-resistant stainless steel. In this type of steel, Wusthof has added carbon to increase durability, molybdenum, and chromium to resist any type of stains or stretches on the blade and vanadium to further increase the hardness.

Both the companies use different types of steel but these steels only have a little noticeable impact when it comes to their performance.

Handle Material And Design:

In the Shun versus Wusthof debate, most people argue that the handles of Shun are more comfortable and beautiful. While this is true, Wusthof should definitely not be counted out because of the sturdiness their knife handles have.

Shun handles are made out of different materials like PakkaWood, Tagayasan, Micarta, thermoplastic elastomer, or polypropylene. This is decided by which product line you buy from them. Pakkawood, as well as Tagayasan, are types of wood that are carefully treated with resin, making them strong and moisture resistant. The Pakkawood and Tagayasan handles are durable and provide an aesthetic old-school look to the handle providing the knife with a beautiful handle. When it comes to Micarta, thermoplastic elastomer, or polypropylene, however, these are synthetic materials that are typically used in knife handles that need to be more lightweight and dense.

Shun knives handles

Coming to the other end of the spectrum, Wusthof knives are out of Polyoxymethylene and Polypropylene with the Epicure and Ikon product lines being the only exception. Polyoxymethylene and Polypropylene are used for Wusthof knives because of the simple yet important fact that they have a tighter molecular structure which means that they are more sturdy and durable. These materials are also less likely to face discoloration in the long run.

The handles of both Shun and Wusthof knives have different and unique looks based on the product line you are purchasing. But they are both designed for comforter in order to cause little to no fatigue to the user’s hand in case of wielding the knife for a long period of time.

Wusthof knife handles

Wusthof Knives Review:

wusthof knife on a cutting boardOverall, Wusthof is one of the if not the best kitchen knife brands on the market. With a rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars on Amazon, people seem to enjoy using and wielding Wusthof knives. This brand has certainly made a name for itself over the years since its launch back in 1814. It is certainly a giant in the industry with little to no competition. If you are going to be using the knife for precise cuts and agility, this is the brand you should go for out of the two. Because they have dozens of product lines, some specifications might differ from those in this article. But it is overall a great brand that is loved by seasoned veterans and newbies alike.

To make it easier for you, here is a chart of all the Wusthof product lines with a link to their most popular product. We have also mentioned their specifications for you to check out before you go ahead with the purchase in this Wusthof vs Shun comparison:

Product LineBlade MaterialPrice
Wusthof ClassicHigh-Carbon, Stainless Steel
Wusthof EpicureHigh-Carbon, Stainless Steel
Wusthof Classic IkonHigh-Carbon, Stainless Steel
Wusthof Grand Prix IIHigh-Carbon, Stainless Steel
Wusthof CrafterHigh-Carbon, Stainless Steel

Shun Knives Review:

After being founded in 1908 by Saijiro Endo, Shun has not backed down from the challenge of being the best kitchen knife brand in the game. They have excellent craftsmen and designers who work tirelessly to provide the user with extreme durability and sharpness. Even tho the Shun knives are not as sharp as Wusthof, they make up for it when it comes to the stability, flexibility, and versatility of the blade itself. The Shun knives are also better than Wusthof when it comes to the Rockwell hardness scale. So it is a great company to choose and purchase from. Just do not count out Shun knives because they lack sharpness as the more the sharpness the more fragile the blade itself.

Similar to the Wusthof product line chart, we have also created one for Shun. Everything you will need to consider before purchasing has been mentioned for your ease and convenience:

Product LineBlade MaterialPrice
Shun ClassicVG-Max
Shun PremierVG-Max
Shun KajiSG-11
Shun FujiSG-11
Shun KAICarbon Stainless Steel
Shun SoraVG-10
Shun KansoAUS10A

Tang of the Knife:

The tang of the knife is often overlooked by many customers when purchasing an expensive knife set or knife for their home. The tang is the part of the knife that extends the blade through to the handle. If the knife has a full tang, that is generally better as it makes the knife less likely to break away from the handle.

Both Wusthof and Shun realize that the tang is important so almost all of their products have a full tang extending all the way through to the butt end of the handle. Each handle has been ergonomically designed so that it doesn’t detach from the blade itself. So you can rest assured that whichever brand you choose, both of them will have no problem with the knife breaking away from the handle itself.


In terms of popularity, The more famous brand which is used by professional chefs around the world like Gordon Ramsey and Bobby Flay is Wusthof. This is not because Shun is looked down upon but because any German knife brand like Wusthof and ZWILLING JA Henckels is viewed as an extremely trustworthy knife manufacturing brand.

image in wusthof vs shun knives

Click the image above to purchase the Wusthof Classic cook’s knife.


Both the brands offer all of their customers limited lifetime warranties if any defect is found within the manufacturing or handling of the blade before it is presented to you. However, this warranty does not cover any damages that may have been caused by the misuse of the blade. So be sure to keep a good check on your knife and take good care of them.

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Wusthof Vs Shun – Which Is Better?

Deciding upon whether you should buy Shun or Wusthof is a difficult position to be in. Both of them have such unique and great characteristics of their own that it becomes a tough decision to determine whether to go for one or the other. Shun is one of the greatest Japanese knife brands and Wusthof is at the top of the German knife brands list. But ultimately, it does come down to preference. You must first look at what your needs are and then make a decision. If you prefer knives that are Japanese styled or give you extreme edge retention that will last for years, you should go for Shun. However, if you like the sharpness and the classy look of a German knife, then you should definitely consider Wusthof instead.

 We hope reading this deep dive into the Shun vs Wusthof debate cleared things up for you. You can now go ahead and choose for yourself whichever brand you like and head right into purchasing it. We wish you the best of luck in your journey to find the perfect knife for yourself and happy cooking! 

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