Review: The Ken Onion Shun Knife Line
Describe the Ken Onion Shun Knives in as few words as possible: Sturdy, Slick, Sharp, and Downright Sick
My manager at work alerted me to an amazing knife deal and I managed to score 8 Ken Onion Shun knives and the honing steel for almost 65% off retail price. I would never buy these knives at full retail cost, that’s just crazy, but the deal was too good to pass up.
The set included the following Ken Onion Series Shuns:
6″ Chef Knife
4″ Chef Knife
5″ Serrated Utility Knife
9″ Slicing Knife
3″ Paring Knife
Although the set did not include the spotlight-hogging 8″ Chef Knife that every one has been raving about, I was fine without it. It’s just too much knife for most of us who solely cook at home. The title of kitchen workhorse should belong to its 6″ inch brethren. It seems to be more practical when it comes to everyday kitchen tasks and other mundane chops, yet it still outshines where performance is desired. The size is just right, and the balance is right on.
The knives are sturdy and much heavier than I thought, reminding me of Western knives such as WÜSTHOF, but still not as heavy. What’s more important is that it feels good when it’s held.
The handle is designed to be ergonomic in eliminating stress on the hand and wrist, and while it fits well in the palm of the hand, it doesn’t matter to me because I hold the knife by pinching the bolster with my thumb and index finger. For those who use the pinch-grip method, the curved side bolster makes it extremely comfortable to hold the knife. It’s the way I learned to hold a knife, and holding it by the handle still feels awkward, no matter how ergonomic it is.
Aesthetically speaking, these knives look great, especially when they glimmer under the light. I found myself cleaning them almost immediately after use. They didn’t deserve to be left dirty after delivering such precision on the chopping block.
By far, these are the sharpest knives I have ever used. So sharp that these put my Globals to shame. While I was cutting chicken breast after chicken breast, I didn’t have to exert much force and the knife did most of the work, a true testament to the sharp edge and weight of the knife working in conjunction. There was no resistance from the meat, as if it just gave up on life and let me hack away.
Switching to these knives might be too much of a leap for novice home cooks looking to step up their knife game, but seasoned home cooks who have mastered knife basics will have no time adjusting. In all honestly, it’s difficult to justify the price, as most of us would never drop over $1200 for a set of knives. I only got these because they were on sale. If you had to get one, go for the 6″ Chef knife if you can find it.
Happy cutting, and watch those fingers!