Shun Vs Henckels- Which knife to Pick and why?

Germany and Japan were two ally countries during the second world war. They tried to keep each other’s back during that devastating war. Still now, in the twenty-first century, these two countries have a good connection among them. But what if we run a battle alike the comparison between these two countries? We are talking about Shun vs Henckels. America-based Japan’s Shun Cutlery is a well-known kitchen product manufacturer. On the other hand, German Zwilling J. A. Henckels has also earned fame for producing sharp, edgy knives for decades.

A Quick comparison chart about shun knife and hanckles knife

 SHUN knifeHENCKELS knife
Material  Quality Carbon stainless steel, Recombined stainless steel, etc.Quality Carbon stainless steel
DesignVery slim and classic JapaneseCombination of Old German and Western structure
HandleWood, Rubber, Aluminum, etc.Wood, Rubber, Aluminum, etc.
SafetyHandles have plain structure in most models, yet features gripping. No finger guard on top.Handles have curve that helps to hold knives. Also have a round extra portion on top to avoid finger going near the blade.
AngleTotal angle of the edge is less than 30 degrees that gives perfect cutting. Not a good option for strong and dense object cutting.Total angle of the edge is more than 32 degrees that can’t give 100% accuracy, yet eligible for most tasks.
HardnessHardness score is over 61. Can hold edges pretty well, but has a limit of taking pressure.Scores less than 59 in hardness scale to ensure the maximum durability. Comes with a possibility of early dull edges.
WeightOne of the lightest options in the market. Easily usable for any person.A bit heavier. The heavy construction can also ensure longevity and premium performance.
ThicknessThin because of being lightweight.Features thick blades that can rip off any food.
PriceA single premium knife can cost more than 150$Any knife costs half of the price of one Shun knife
WarrantyLimited warranty with conditions.Limited warranty with conditions.

Why So Much Effort in Comparing about Shun Vs Henckels

People often get confused between these two brands. They create almost the same type of kitchen knives or household knives. But the prices and performances differ a lot in most cases. So, which brand should people rely on? Henckels or Shun? Or another brand apart from these two?

There are so many considerations. That is why we intend to run a comparison between these two brands, which are globally best. In this comparison, we bring the essential facts that help to judge a knife’s quality and performance. So, without any further delay, we should go straight to the main discussion.

Manufacturers of Shun and Hanckles Knife

Let’s talk about the background of the manufacturing companies of these two brands before we compare them. After going through the history section, we will jump on the facts that make these two models unique and different.

The History of Shun Cutlery: Kitchen Knives Handcrafted in Japan

The origin of the Shun Cutlery was in Seki city of Japan.  In the early period of the twentieth century, Saijiro Endo formed a company named KAI Group to manufacture various types of knives for different purposes. The company became well-recognized in 2002 when they formed a team in the USA to manufacture special types of Japanese knives that are known as Shun Cutlery to us know.

Today, KAI Group has consumers from several countries of Europe, Asia, and North America. The company’s Shun Cutlery brand has earned lots of fame for its authentic Japanese construction and design. In early times, this company used to produce several types of blades. But now, it has been focusing on shun knives that are vastly used in kitchen purposes.

The brand shun has a total of eleven international models that you can find in any online stores. Each of the models features fine quality with pleasing longevity. You can find sustainability in shun knives as the structures were confirmed after various tests.

Shun Classic 8” Chef’s Knife with VG-MAX Cutting Core and Ebony PakkaWood Handle;

Add Key Features and Pros and Cons of Shun Vs Henckels

Key Features:

  • Shun features lots of varieties in their products.
  • Shun brand’s featured materials can last longer, even with less maintenance.
  • Precise and clean cutting is easily possible with Shun blades.


  • Easy to use
  • Sturdy materials with warranty
  • Lightweight


  • Too thin blades to cut heavy and strong objects
  • Protection-less handles
[amazon bestseller=”Shun Cutlery” template=”bestseller_table”]

The History of Zwilling J. A. Henckels

Peter Henckels, a German man created this company almost three hundred years ago. The business was small and it used to produce several types of blades back in its early days. After the demise of Peter, his son Abraham Henckels took the responsibility of this company and named it by his own name.

The term Zwilling means twin in the German language. You can see the reflection of this name in the logo of its products.

The company officially opened its first international store in the late 1880s in New York, America. After their appearance in the international market, it took around a couple of decades to gain both name and fame.

ZWILLING J.A. Henckels Zwilling Accessories Steak Knife Set, 2.3, Stainless Steel

The company has now five sister concerns along with more than three hundred stores and retailing shops worldwide. Henckels’ company has several factories outside Germany. With million dollars of profit every year, the company is now a business giant in Europe.

The firm construction and friendly design have brought success to the manufacturer company so easily. Because of this, Henckels is now producing salon equipment along with kitchen cutlery products. The Europe-based company is now popular among American, Asian, and African people.

Add Key Features and Pros and Cons

Key Features:

  • Henckels blades have heavy carbon steel that is free of rust and scratches.
  • Henckels knives can cut through any type of food item.
  • Handle structures protect fingers from reaching the blade.


  • Unbreakable construction
  • Suitable on any chopping surface
  • Affordable price


  • A bit heavier than others
  • Has the possibility of losing sharpness earlier
[amazon bestseller=”HENCKELS Silvercap Knife” template=”bestseller_table”]

Shun Vs Henckels; The Difference

At a glance, you can’t find any major differences between these two brands. You can find them quite the same with catchy designs. When you go a bit deeper or thoroughly compare each of their features, you can see them as the two different poles of the world.

shun Knife Anatomy

Common Judgement

In simple words, Shun knives feature you authentic Japanese type blades that are thin enough to chop any food ingredients. Whereas, Henckels offers you a regenerated form of German style blades that contain thick materials to stay sturdy enough. Besides, shun blades are way more expansive than henckels for some reason. But in recent models of henckels, you can find the same type of features that a shun blade can provide, which can cost you double of the henckels.

As henckels blades are a bit thicker than shun models, you might expect henckels to hold the edges for quite a long time. The durability of edge sharpness also depends on usage maintenance. That is why it is foolish to judge the sharpness depending on the structure only.

In Depth Considerations

Differentiating these two brands is like finding differences between the caffeine of tea and coffee. As we are keeping kitchen uses on focus while comparing, we will give more importance to the opinions of the famous chefs and cooks across the world along with some known customers of both brands. We have separated each of the key points to show you clearly. After going through the points, the comparison can become transparent to you.

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Three Different Size of Shun Knives


The first thing that comes in mind while reviewing or comparing any product is the material. In the matter of knives, materials do matter a lot.

Henckels blades and shun blades feature you top carbon steel. Such steel blades can resist corrosion and rust for several years. Apart, this type can feature you stain-free performances. A high carbon rate also helps to hold sharpness of the edges for quite a long time.

The only two differences we find here are the hardness and number of stainless steel types. You can get to know about the hardness later below this article. Henckels never uses more than one type of steel in a blade. On the other hand, modern-day shun blades can contain a combination of two or three types of stainless steel. The reason behind such combinations is to ensure the top-notch performance within simple maintenance. But still, henckels can perform equally without any material combo.

So, about the material, we can consider both brands as the winners.


The handle is an important consideration that most of us forget to judge. The handle part of a knife can make lots of differences.

The design and size of the henckels handles are quite friendly and sustainable. They help you to put pressure on the blade while ripping into a food. Moreover, these handles can feature you quality gripping consistently.

comparison: in considering about knife Handle

Shun handles are good-looking and slim. They are easy to hold for any type of user. Though materials in shun handles are not as good as henckels, they still stay durable in most conditions. Shun knife handles are lighter than other options available in the market. That is why you can use shun knives for rapid and fast chopping in kitchens.

If you ask us which one is better, we should say that henckels handles are perfect for heavy object cutting. But only shun handles give you the facility of precisely cutting faster and smoother.


The tang is the extended part of the blade that stays inside the handle of the knife. In simple words, the type of tang determines the stability of the construction of a knife.

Any German knives can feature full tang construction. In full tang construction, you can find the extended part of the metal is almost equal to the length of the handle. Because of having full tang construction, henckels can be more durable and precise in any kitchen works. You are allowed to use henckels knives roughly on board as the full tang inside can take lots of loads.

On the other side, shun knives have simpler constructions. They have half or quarter tangs. You can consider it a type of disadvantage for a bulk knife user. But if you think differently, the partial tang construction allows all the force to gather at the blade. That is why fine and accurate chopping is only possible with shun blades. Also, you don’t need to put too much pressure while using this type to cut off food. It helps you to prepare your cooking ingredients with fewer efforts.

Now, if you ask us what to consider the best, we want to mention partial tangs. It is because such a type eases your work. Though partial tang can never be better than full tangs in the matter of durability, half or quarter tangs can ensure perfection in cutting.

[amazon bestseller=”Shun Classic 6 inch Chef’s Knife Double-Bevel” template=”bestseller_table”]


At this part of the discussion, we are talking about the blade that is the most important thing to judge. Kitchen knives are for cutting stuff well to help you in cooking. And a good knife can only help you when It is sharper and bolder in slicing food items.

Shun knives have less than 30 degrees blade angle. It suits with the thin and fine body of shun knives. Apart, another reason behind the perfection of a shun knife is the angle featured by the blade. The less amount of blade angle can ensure less damage to food. That is why, knives with such an angle is perfect for cutting fish, small vegetables, fruits, and much more. The angle lets you use shun knives for having your food and vegetables in perfect shape with all the food benefits.

Different Type of Blade of Hanckel Knife

Henckels brand gives more than 16 degree angle on each side of the blade. So, there are almost two to six degrees of difference between henckels and shun in the matter of blade shape. The difference is quite huge and changes the whole performance. The amount of angle henckels input can make a knife ripper of any object on your cutting board. A heavy knife with almost 32 degrees of blade angle can help you cut a medium-sized bone into two pieces with less effort. Our tests also show that more than 32 degree angle can utilize the pressure well given by the user.

Different Type of Shun knives

Without any doubt, you can make the henckels winner in this matter despite it can do a bit of damage to the food which is naturally negotiable in many cases.


Hardness determines how much stiff the blade material is. In a previous point, we have already mentioned that both brands come with almost the same type of material. Despite this similarity, both have different numbers in hardness.

The Rockwell scale is the perfect option for measuring the hardness. Our survey says that recent henckels models feature less than 59 points on the hardness scale. On the contrary, any of the shun brand is capable of scoring more than 61 on the same scale.

Normally, you might find the shun superior this time as it scores more than henckels. The reality is, the more you score in hardness, the less possibility you have to stay durable.

But here is a catch. Because of a high hardness score, the shun knives can hold the sharpness of the blade more than henckels knives. It doesn’t need sharpening too frequently. But if you try to push the limit of a shun knife, it can easily break. In the case of henckels, it never happens. Also, you might need to sharpen the edge of a henckels knife four times a year that is pretty easy even for an amateur.

Finger Protection

These days, there are several types of knives that have a round extra part on the top of the handle. It is not to let your finger go near the blade and save you from a bad accident.

It is pretty rare to find a shun knife with such a system. So, you have to be careful while holding a shun knife. Still, shun knife handles feature a proper range of gripping. That is why there is less chance of any casualty.

Henckels knives have modern styles and designs. It is obvious that you can find protection on top of a henckels handle. And the protection can improve your cutting performance.

These were some factors that you must know if you want to know the actual differences between shun and henckels brands. Apart from those, there are some other facts that you can know with ease. That is why we don’t find them necessary to add here. Still, here is a chart that can clarify the whole stuff letting you know which one is good at what.

Which One Should You Choose

If you still don’t know which brand to pick even after going through the comparison and table, we are making things easier for you here in this section.

  • If you are not concerned about longevity too much and looking for accuracy, speed, and style, then a shun knife is your real option.
  • When you need something that helps you in all kinds of chopping, you should go for henckels.
  • Shun knives can go well for those who are not professional cooks and doesn’t need too much chopping or cutting.
  • Henckels knives can only fit in a tight budget. Among the two options, only henckels can actually ensure durability. So, having this option is money-saving by any means.
[amazon bestseller=”shun and hanckes knife” template=”bestseller_table”]

Wrap Up

A knife is a thing you must need in a kitchen. There are several types and brands out there. Only a few of them can actually work. Often, we see people try to buy a cheap knife or knife set that can become dull or damaged quite easily. You should buy a branded knife spending a moderate amount that can last for several years rather than buying a budget one than can’t last for even two months.

In the battle of shun vs henckels, we have tried to show both the positive and negative sides of these brands. We have also tried to help you know the right option while explaining the differences. For us, henckels is the right option. But shun can be a good option too depending on the features you need and the type of work you do in the kitchen. In fine, we hope you get to know exactly what you are looking for in this article.