Shun vs Global: Analysis About Two World Famous Knife Brand

Shun and Global are immensely popular cutlery knife brand with exquisite designs and unprecedented durability. They are both Japanese products holding the century long legacy and tradition of Samurai swords. Japan’s reputation as a sword making country has always been acknowledged in history. In an attempt to combine their tradition with modern technology, Shun and Global have successfully made modern knives of ancient fixity.

Shun and Global often leads to tenacious comparison and diverse conclusions. To choose from any of these knife brands and to compare their mettle without prior knowledge is a tricky labyrinth that most people would love to avoid. Are you not willing to avoid such a maze? So, here comes this guideline to give you the best possible product according to your suitability and choice.

But before we rush to their incongruous factors and analogous features, let’s explore their respective traditional history and primary features first.

Background and Features of Shun knife and Global knife

Both knives are made in the city of Seki in the land of the rising sun. Their manufacturing history dates back few decades and their popularity is on the rise every year. So you can easily understand that the commitment and craftsmanship they offer is undeniably satisfactory to their customers.

A short overview about Shun: World class brand about Knife Manufacturing

Shun has been manufacturing knives for over a century but it grabs the international marketplaces only at the dawn of this century. In 2003, Classic knives of Shun won the award ‘blade of the year’. It spent its childhood and reached its youth under the rigid supervision of Kai group, a well-known blade making company. Till today, it is built with the same alloy and metal ensuring better quality.

shun edge knife
shun edge knife

Key Features of Shun Knives

  • Shun’s quality and craftsmanship is beyond question. It uses solid steel and rigorous processes to boost the efficiency of products.
  • Traditional Damascus cladding has been adopted by Shun to make it more durable.
  • Its edge retention is satisfactorily sharp. And its design is classical.

A short overview about Global Brand

In commitment and heritage Global is also a promising brand. They have been producing knives since the 1980s with ever increasing success. Global products are significantly modern looking, slim and innovative. Owned by the renowned Watanabe family, and built with two distinctive trademark techniques, Global knives have been one of the first choices for many chefs today.

Global Knife
Global Knife

Key Features of Global Knives

  • Global knives have slim shaped body, balanced handle and promising ability.
  • Modern design has been retained here to sustain and satisfy the growing needs of customers.
  • Globals are made of CROMOVA elements that are meant to ensure both sharpness and quality.

After assessing their features, it seems true that both brands are tough competitors in the market today. Only few German brands like Wusthof or Henckels can be compared to them in case of quality and flexibility. So there are few choices to make safe for Global or Shun. But before you decide to buy any of them let’s find out some of their competitive factors in detail. We shall pull out five major differences here.

[amazon bestseller=”Global Knife” template=”bestseller_table”]

5 Facts to Compare Between Shun Knives and Global knives

Fact 1: Materials

Material is the most significant thing in making any knives without doubt. It ensures whether the product will be soft or hard, ductile or inflexible. As these two brands are the best of their genre, they must have chosen the best material out of a vast repertoire.

Shun is usually made of high quality VG10, AUS10A, or VG-Max steels and they all are stainless blades. They all contain high proportional ratios of carbon and slight amounts of alloy of various elements such as chromium, iron, vanadium, cobalt, molybdenum and more.

As gold cannot reach the magnum opus of its performance without some mixture of alloys in it, so do the stainless steels used for Shun knives (for global as well). These alloying components are meant to increase the knife’s hardiness to a great strength. They also protect blades from their eventual decay and corrosion.

It should be noted here that these knives are made of significantly non decayable steels. Yet, if they get damaged somehow by the passage of time, the sharpening process of it is quite simple and easy.

On the other side of the fence, there is high quality material in Globals. Global usually uses CROMOVA 18, a signature alloy they have been using for decades. CROMOVA 18 stands for the combination of Chromium, Molybdenum and Vanadium chemical elements. These combos of elements make the Global products super durable.

So the edge of Global blades becomes sharp and strong simultaneously. And the resharpening procedure of it is quite simple as well.

Comparison Table: Materials

FactorsShun knivesGlobal knives
BladesVG-MAX, VG10 etcCROMOVA 18
AlloysChromium, Molybdenum, Vanadium etcChromium, Iron, Cobalt, Vanadium etc.
Comparison in the fact of Material of Shun knives and Global knives

Fact 2: Durability and Performance

How much the edge of a knife can be durable depends on a number of factors. First of all, it depends on the process of construction. Then there is the Rockwell scale that measures the core strength of a blade.

Rockwell is a well-known test method to judge how hard a steel is. It usually measures the depth of an indent to come to HRC results. It is widely accepted that knives resulting 58-62 Rockwell hardness in scale are best for durable usage.

Most Japanese swords and knives have around 60 HRC, and that is pretty good marks of excellence.

Global knives have around 58 Rockwell score while Shun knives 60+ score. So it is evident that Shun knives are more hardy and solid compared to Global.

However, let this info not sway you too rashly now. It should be remembered that the harder the knife is the more difficult it becomes to resharpen. And the difference of their substantial solidity is not large enough to tag any of them ultimately better than the other.

Comparison Table: Durability and Performance:

Factors    Shun    Global
DurabilityOptimally DurableDurability is its essence
PerformanceSuper performanceSuper performance
Durability of Shun knives and Global Knives

Fact 3: Edge Retention & Sharpness

It’s always important to compare the edge retention and sharpness of knives before making final judgement. Both knives are undoubtedly sharp and edge retentive. But which is sharper? Let’s consider some facts first.

Firstly, sharpness depends on the cutting angle of the respective knife. Whereas most of the European knives use 22 degree angle, Japanese knives retain only around 15 to 17 degree edge angle. The lesser angles provide incredible sharpness. Shun knives generally have 16 degree cutting edges. This makes Shun knives completely smooth and staggeringly sharp.


On the other hand, Global knives have less than 17 degree angles per cut. That means Shun knives are sharper than Global’s. Yet another factor contributes to the sharpness of a knife. That is the edge bevel (edge grind to some). Traditional knives have either two or one bevel. Using single grind you can cut only with the one side.

Whereas, using double bevel (most common in Shining Shuns) you can use both sides to slice and chop. Double grinded or beveled knives are slightly more durable than its counterpart. Yet, it hinders the utmost sharpness of the blade. Therefore one edged ones are sharp and twice edged knives are durable.

Therefore, in both considerations Global knives seem to be sharper and Shuns are durable. However, Shun compensates this lagging by giving lifelong free sharpening service to its customers. You don’t need to give them a penny to make your Shun crystal bright.

Whereas Global doesn’t offer such audacious free service to its customers. However, they provide ideal sharpening process and tutorial on their website. Another problematic issue is that Global mostly uses one edged slim knife which makes it vulnerable to solid metallic objects.

Comparison Table: Edge Retention and Sharpness

Factors      Shun    Global
Edge Retention16 degree angle17 degree angle
SharpnessSuper sharpEnough sharpness
Sharpness Comparison

Fact 4: Handle and Design

It’s actually difficult to decide which knife has more exquisite design. Because it is a subjective matter that varies from person to person. Both are splendid to look at. But they have some differences in their design. Let’s look at their most prominent discrepancy: handle.

Unlike Global, Shun uses traditionally shaped handles in their knives. Apparently it seems that the whole steel is curved out from one single piece of steel. But the reality is, Shun manufactures handles out of various elements.

The most common of them is made of composite Pakkawood. Pakkawood is inevitably hardwood coated with a substantial layer of resin over it. This coated resin resists any sort of potential dust and moisture from growing on the handle. These sort of handles provide a perfect, impressive look and a considerable grip over the knife.

Contrariwise, Global handles don’t offer such traditional look. But it offers handles made of stainless steels that are quite hard and solid. Interestingly, the inside of the handle in most of the Global knives are hollow. You must be surprised to know that manufacturers usually fill this part with a proportionate amount of sands to give it a perfect balance.

[amazon bestseller=”Shun Cutlery Classic 7″ template=”bestseller_table”]

It may sound bizarre and looks quite quixotic, but it provides complete grip and symmetry. This unique sort of design is invigorated by the legendary swords of Samurai. Unlike Shun, it uses the same steel to make the handles. Whereas Shun handles might be affected by humidity, the Global ones will remain unchanged.

These seeming differences are not stark contrasts though. Shun has maintained their traditional design and Global has shifted toward modern trends. It completely relies on your personal choice.

However, one thing we would like to mention here. Shun have been using a millennium long Damascus coating procedures in their knives. This term may seem new to you. Suffice it to say that it’s a Middle East based process of coating a steel multiple times on various layers with different elements. This process has been used to make notorious swords in Persia. This technique is still followed in Shun knives with the help of modern technology.

Comparison Table: Handle and Design

Factors     SHUN KNIVES     Global KNIVES
HandleResin coated wooden handleSame steel
comparison about knife handle and Design

Fact 5: Price Evaluation

Prices of both brands are nearly head to head. In most of the cases, however, the Shun tends to be more expensive than its native competitors. But it is also subjective and dependable on the set or specific model. Shun takes some extra money to provide lifelong free service to its customers. So considering the fact it’s not unjustifiable to accuse them of being expensive.

We have so far drawn several major points on both brands. Let’s summarize the comparing points of them in a brief table below.

   Comparing points    Shun KNIVES    Global KNIVES
DurabilityLess durableMore durable
SharpnessMore sharpLess sharp
HandleWoodenSteel made
ServiceFree sharpening servicePaid sharpening service
PriceExpensiveComparatively affordable

Still you may be in a Faustian dilemma to decide between these two Japanese sibling products. For that reason we have come up with a particular product comparison here. The most common products of both brands are thoroughly discussed in detail here to help you decide which one among them can be considered better.

Shun classic 8″ vs Global classic 8″

Shun 8 inches chef knife is regarded as one of the best kitchen knives among thousands. It is made with VG Max steel, a perfect steel for flexibility. Additional tungsten, cobalt and chromium have been used in this product to make it non-decayable and sharp. This knife is widely used among cooks round the globe.

As with most Shun knives, it also has a Pakkawood handle with a layer of resin coating that makes the handle attractive and comfortable. It becomes dust and water resistant through it. The price of this product is around 150 dollars. The price is a bit higher; but everything worthy comes at cost. With the product the company offers unlimited time of resharpening service. You just need to send it to their respective service centre to revive its youth.

Global 8 inches chef knife
Global 8 inches chef knife

On the other side, Global 8 inches chef knife is a perfectly balanced product with competitive lightweight. It is made of vanadium steel of superior quality and strength. Every aficionado of cutlery will love to hold such an exquisite blade. Its edges are more than sharp. Unlike Shun, it provides stainless steel handle to suitable for long term usage.

Apart from such conveniences, this 8 inches knife gives lifetime warranty from breakage and defect. This is pretty durable and perfectly maneuverable. This product will cost you around 87 dollars only.

So do you see the difference between them? It’s sharply visible. Shun is expensive and Global is comparatively cheaper. Shun is sharp but Global is durable. Shun offers an exquisitely attractive handle and Global opts for modern, trendy one. See their hardware discrepancies in the table below.

 Shun classic 8 inchesGlobal classic 8 inches
Dimensions15″×5″×3″ HWD14.72″×3.46″×0.96″ HWD
Weight7.1 ounces7.8 ounces
Price on Amazon$149.95$86.95
Amazon Rating4.7 out of 54.8 out of 5
comparison table between Shun Classic 8 inches and Global classic 8 inches

Shun classic vs Global G series

[amazon bestseller=” Global G series knives” template=”bestseller_table”]

Shun classic knives and Global G series knives are immensely popular, rising above other products of the same brands with considerable distinction. Their craftsmanship is promising enough to draw the attention of numerous customers. They are made of solid steel and a good chunk of alloy. They are both holding Japanese legacy of sword making.

With these knives, minimum efforts bring maximum productivity since you don’t need to waste much of your energy. However, these congruences don’t necessarily mean they are similar. They have some odds and otherness as well.

  • Shun and Global both are made of quality steel that are seamless as well as stainless. But the alloys they use are quite different from one another.
  • Global G series lacks wooden handle and its soft feeling. Its handle is made of the same steel that is used for the blade. As we mentioned earlier, its handle is filled with sand components for optimum balance.
  • On the contrary, Shun classic offers wooden handle of attractive, traditional look to catch your eyes. And the handle feels very comfortable in hands while slicing anything.
  • Both knives are dust resistive that ensure durability. But Shuns are less effective since they use Pakkawood and resin.
  • Shuns (often known as ‘shoon’ in Japanese) are made of layers of alloys over the carbon based steel. This Kasumi technique joins various parts of steel to produce a good-looking shape.
  • Both knives provide a satisfactory level of edge retention. While Shun tends to maximize the coatings or layers for security, Global G are less coated for durability.
  • Both knives are corrosion resistant; yet which is better in resisting is a matter of research.
  • Shun classic will snatch more money from your pocket than the Global G series.

Any of these points don’t finalize the point that Classic is better than G series. Actually it should be judged subjectively based on one’s personal preferences. Whether you buy products of Kasumi method or modern CROMOVA, it obviously depends on you.

When you should go for Shun?

You should opt for Shun only when you accept pros and cons of their products. You should think of buying Shun when your wallet is thick enough to endure some extra cash. If you like conventional Japanese swords with fascinating handles, shining Shuns should be your first priority. If you want a lifelong free resharpening service from the company, you can think of buying it.

But don’t buy Shun if you have the propensity to drop knives here and there. It’s a thin blade that can be broken if dropped from a considerable height. Don’t choose this if you frequently cut chocolate or squash with it. Shuns are not suitable for such dense foods.

[amazon bestseller=”Shun classic knives” template=”bestseller_table”]

Pros of Shun Knives

  • Best edge retention
  • Lightweight but enough durable
  • Noteworthy sharpness
  • Layers of cladding
  • Excellent corrosion resistance
  • Traditional but beautiful handle

Cons of Shun Knives

  • A bit expensive
  • Not suitable for solid foods

When you should go for Global?

Like Shun, Global should be your priority if these points corroborate with your demand. If you want to spend less, but still want a quality product you can prefer Global. If you desire to use modern, sleekly designed knives that won’t be heavy to work with, Global can be your immediate choice. It is budget friendly and excellent product as well. It has no limitation of using on any specific food.

Global knives have shorter handles that provide a smaller grip. Unlike German Wusthof or similar brands, Global knives are lightweight and short. If you feel compatible with lightweight, short-handled knives you should opt for glossy Globals.

Pros of Global Knives

  • Modern and slim design
  • Budget friendly
  • Promisingly durable
  • Steel made handle
  • Corrosion resistance as well

Cons of Global Knives

  • Not enough grippy handle
  • Short handle

Quick Tips

It is always advisable to use knives cautiously. Make sure you sharpen your knives to get utmost benefit. And don’t use damaged chopping boards for chopping and slicing. It will reduce the knife’s quality.

Bottom Line

Even after such broad discussion on slight details, Shun vs Global still may seem to you indecisive. To point out without hesitation, it’s totally up to you to decide. Compare and contrast every pros and cons of both brands to come to a conclusion.

Without doubt, there are wonderful available knives from both companies. You should be assured of their high quality and inevitable long service.

Here we conclude with the last piece of advice for you. Buy a set of either Shun or Global instead of buying a single piece. Different knives will serve several distinctive purposes. When you buy a set of them you can perform multiple tasks without facing trouble. Finally, have a happy chopping.


Q. Are Global knives Japanese?

Answer: Despite being one of the largest knife brands of this planet, Global knives are still crafted with hands in a remote city of Japan.

Q. Which knife is better, Miyabi or Shun?

Answer: Miyabi and Shun knives are both exceedingly sharp. But Shun knives provide more durability than Miyabi. However, Shun has no modern outlook as Miyabi has.

Q. Which is better, Global or Wusthof?

Answer: For big handed people and for those who chop bigger items, Wusthof can be considered better. For cooks and chefs Global is a preferable choice for its minimal amount of weight.

Q. How often should I sharpen my knives?

Answer: Knives need episodic sharpening to keep up with the necessity. Experts advise to sharpen a knife after 100 days of use. However, it mainly depends on how much you use.

Related Reading:

  1. Wusthof Vs Global Knife: Which is Best For What? 5 Facts to Consider
  2. Shun vs Wusthof – 5 Facts to Compare Between Two Best Kitchen Knives
  3. Shun Vs. Cutco- Which Is Best For What? 5 Facts To Compare
  4. Shun vs Miyabi: Which is Best For What? 5 key Facts to Consider

Thanks for Reading!