Kamikoto vs Shun: The Great Debate on Two Worthy Opponents

If you’re a big admirer of Japanese knives, you’re in for a treat! Japanese knives, according to some, are a must-have in the kitchen since they are sharper and lighter, making them more enjoyable to use. Hence, this seemed like the ideal opportunity to debate which company makes the best Japanese knife set. Kamikoto and Shun are two modern Japanese cutlery manufacturers with significant origins in traditional Bladesmithing techniques. But in this Kamikoto vs Shun comparison, which is the superior option?

You’ve come to the perfect place if you can’t decide between these two brands. Shun knives internationally regard as some of the best blades on the market, and most chefs endorse them. Similarly, Kamikoto offers a diverse range of models, providing chefs with plenty of options when shopping. We’ll compare Kamikoto and Shun in this Kamikoto vs Shun comparison to help you determine which knife is best for your kitchen.

What is Kamikoto Knife?

Kamikoto is a Japanese knife manufacturer that specializes in high-end steel knives. Traditional Japanese artisans who have perfect skills of knife manufacturing for generations create these knives. Furthermore, the material used in the manufacturing of these knives comes from Honshu Island mills that have been carefully selected. The knives have sharp blades with a single-bevelled edge for a traditional Japanese feel. With this in mind, you can always count on Kamikoto to provide the best quality knives.

Kamikoto Knife
Kamikoto Knife Set

G10 fibreglass is used to make the cylindrical Kamikoto handles, which are then coated with a unique resin. Water, moisture, mould, and rust are all resistant to this substance. When contrast to conventional plastic or natural wood, it does not become mushy or brittle. The thickness of the knife (from the spine) varies depending on the type of knife (Santoku vs. cleaver), although some say it’s nearly as heavy as German counterparts. It features a large tang that protrudes from the handle.

Key Features of Kamikoto Knife

  • The 19-step manufacturing process offers a wide range of knife sets and single knives.
  • Many Michelin-starred chefs adore it.
  • Kamikoto blades are made from the scorching inferno of roughly 1900°F for 120 minutes, followed by a comparable period of sedation. As a result, the blade is excruciatingly polished and sharpened.
  • For manufacturing, they use high-performance steels like SLD or 420J2. Their HRC scores range from 51 to 65 on a scale of one to ten. Thus, they have different knives for various purposes, including the need for sharpness and endurance.
  • Kamikoto knives go through a meticulous and well-executed production procedure. Before reaching your hand, these knives have passed through 19 different levels. The knife smiths and artisans involved in its making are experienced and dedicated. As a result, the quality is unquestionably robust and superb.
  • Kamikoto knife sets are packaged beautifully with useful add-ons like a Toishi whetstone. Moreover, they have not to frill just functional knives.

What is Shun knife?

Shun Cutlery is one of the world’s most well-known manufacturers of Japanese-style kitchen knives. They are selling seven different knife lines in the United States. Each line varies in terms of quality, price point, and target clients, ranging from the mid-range to the high-end of the kitchen knife market. Skilled artisans handcraft this Japanese knife in Seki City. Shun takes over 100 steps to create a product of exceptional quality. For decades, they’ve been creating innovative silverware products. These knives have even appeared in television shows such as Hannibal. After that, their popularity has increased ten folds.

Shun knife
Shun knife Set

All of the bolsters are thick and half-bolstered. The narrow or columnar handles are constructed of TPE, PakkaWood, or Tagayasan, among other materials. The pricing and warranty differ. This, too, is dependent on the series you purchase. Shun blades are undeniably Japanese, with a thinner spine, a more linear belly, and a sharper edge (16-degree angle on both sides). The length of the tang varies by series: rabbet tangs are common on entry-level Shuns, while full-composite tangs are common on higher-end Shuns.

Key features of Shun Knife

  • Shun blades are sharpened on each side to a 16-degree angle, which is extremely sharp
  • They keep an edge exceptionally well, allowing them to glide through even the most delicate ingredients. Shun knives are extremely hard, which is one of the reasons why they keep an edge so well.
  • Shun knives are known for their incredible edge retention and well-balanced HRC ratings. They’re also quite lightweight.
  • Its design is both intriguing and perplexing. Simply looking at the gorgeous and sophisticated design will capture your attention. Furthermore, the products’ long-term durability is satisfactory.
  • Shun employs the well-known Damascus cladding, which can be enhanced by multiple layers of coatings. From the mediaeval age onwards, this cladding method was well-known all over the world. As a result, brilliant Shun continues to uphold this legacy today.
  • The entry-level series (Kai, Sora) is cheap so that everyone can afford them. Moreover, Their knives are tough and won’t break so easily.

Kamikoto vs Shun – 5 Facts to Compare

We’ll go over five key points to help you understand the Kamikoto vs Shun debate. I hope that after reading Kamikoto vs Shun comparison, you will be able to choose your favorite Japanese knives.

Fact 1: Material of knife

Whether it’s a knife or a sword, the material is of utmost importance to ensure a product’s toughness and stability. The knife becomes more flexible as the material grade improves. It is recommended to use a high-carbon stainless steel knife material. The stainless steel knife is not only tough, but it can be cut, welded, and moulded with ease while still offering extra strength. So let’s have a look at the materials used by both brands and find out which brand has the better material.

Material of Kamikoto

In its knives, Kamikoto primarily uses two types of steel. The first is 420J2 steel. The term ‘Genten series’ is also used to describe it. This blade is made of corrosion-resistant material, however, because of its low HRC, it requires frequent sharpening, which some people find inconvenient. SLD steel is the second steel in their arsenal. The term ‘Ganjo Series’ is used to describe it. The HRC of this steel ranges from 60 to 65. It gives the Ganjo series an incredible amount of durability and sharpness.

Material of Kamikoto
Material of Kamikoto

Material of Shun

Shun’s knives are made from a variety of steels. VG-Max is the most prevalent of these. It is widely recognized as one of the best cutlery materials available. This steel is made up of a lot of carbon, chromium, tungsten, molybdenum, vanadium, and other chemical elements. These elements help in the enhancement of performance as well as crucial corrosion protection.

Material of Shun
Material of Shun

SG2 and VG10 are two more sheets of steel commonly utilized in Shun. Many people consider SG2 to be one of the best kitchen blades ever discovered. And the VG10 is a very durable substance that keeps its sharpness for a long time. It has a strong aversion towards rust and deterioration.

Kamikoto vs Shun-Comparison Table of Their Material

SteelSLD, 420J2VG-MAX, VG10, S2G
AlloyVarious carbon-based alloysCarbon, chromium, Vanadium, etc.

Fact 2: Edge Retention and Sharpness

Sharpness is, without a doubt, a key aspect in attracting knife enthusiasts. The resistance of a blade’s edge to being dulled by chemical, mechanical, and thermal effects is referred to as edge retention. It describes how long a blade will remain sharp under given conditions and over a period of time. Sharpness and edge retention are superb in both brands. However, there are significant distinctions to consider.

The Sharpness of Kamikoto

Kamikoto knives are heavyweight and thick, which is unique in Japanese society. Because it is primarily carbon-based, it produces exceptional forged blades that effectively cut and slice. Due to its single bevel policy, this brand’s edge is less refined than Shun’s. That means you can only use one side of the blade to cut through vegetables, but the edge will be razor-sharp enough to captivate your attention. The edge angles per cut of Kamikoto range from 15 to 17. As a result, in terms of sharpness, it may be a serious competitor to Shun or any other Japanese brand.

Sharpness of Kamikoto
Sharpness of Kamikoto

The Sharpness of Shun

As far as concerning their names, Shun and sharpness is a perfect match. If there is one reason why people enjoy Shun, it is because of its sharpness. As a result, it appears that both brands are fighting for equal ground in terms of sharpness. But there’s something else to keep in mind here. Bevel influences the sharpness of the knife. Shun utilizes double bevelled blades, whilst Kamikoto uses single bevelled blades.

Sharpness of Shun
Sharpness of Shun

You can cut with both sides of the blade in Shun. Shun has a 16 edge retention score, making it ideal for slicing, cutting, and chopping. It is a well-known fact that those with a lower edge retention score receive better service than those with a higher score. Hence, after comparing Kamikoto vs Shun knives, we can say that both knives have excellent sharpness. 

Kamikoto vs Shun-Comparison Table of Their Sharpness

Cutting edge    Varies from 15 to 17 degree16 degree
BevelSingle bevelledDouble bevelled

Fact 3: Durability

Another aspect that everyone should consider before purchasing a knife is its durability. Customers have so far given positive feedback on both knives, indicating that they are extremely successful in this measurement. It is very effective to use the Rockwell method (the method of measuring permanent depth of indentation produced by a force/load on an indenter) in this regard. However, let us examine their mettle using the Rockwell approach:

Durability of Kamikoto

Kamikoto produces blades that are less durable, excellently durable, and middling. HRC is a scale that assesses a knife’s toughness and durability. In contrast to German Henckels, 420J2 steel knives have a Rockwell scale score of 51 to 55. As a result, these low-scoring items have to sharp enough to enchant you but will require frequent sharpening service.

SLD steel knives, on the other hand, have unusually high Rockwell ratings of 60 to 64. For long-term use, a 58-60 score is ideal. As a result, Kamikoto knives created by SLD will continue to perform admirably throughout time. Kamikoto is also robust, firm, and flexible thanks to 19 long, solid processes in the manufacturing process.

The Durability of Shun

Shun is known for being a well-balanced brand that satisfies both a customer’s need and a product’s performance. Shun knives have a rate of 58-62 on the HRC scale. It’s a rather common score that can give a sturdy, durable defence against corrosion and disintegration.

However, another crucial component in Shun knives’ performance is the well-known mediaeval Damascus Cladding. To create the knives bold and hard, several layers are fused together with extreme heat. This is a Shun signature technique that has been practised for millennia.

Kamikoto vs Shun-Comparison Table of Their Durability

HRC score      From 51 to 64 From 58 to 62
Signature feature19 long steps supervised by skilled knife smiths    Damascus coating

Fact 4: Design and Handle

When we do Kamikoto vs Shun knives comparison, we find out that both these knives have amazing designs and ergonomic handles. For many elegant people, design is an important factor. Your kitchen knife will not suit your needs unless it has a polished, beautiful design and a moveable grip. As a result, the handle and overall appearance must check thoroughly.

Design and Handle of Kamikoto

In terms of appearance, the Kamikoto handle resembles Shun’s. However, the content is entirely different. In most of their goods, Kamikoto employs G-10 to make the handles. It has an extra layer of glass fibre on top to make it water-resistant.

Handle of Kamikoto
Handle of Kamikoto

Furthermore,  moisture or humidity does not cause any effect on this handle. The added bolster allows for a smooth grasp without gripping too strongly. Alternatively, abrupt inattention does not have a chance to injure the fingers. Kamikoto is noticeably immaculate and spicy in terms of design. They have the conventional appearance of a knife. Also, the design is rather lovely and eye-catching.

Design and Handle of Shun

Shun has a design that is almost identical to Kamikoto. Both have a traditional shape with lovely ergonomic handles. There appears to be no difference in their appearances. In addition, a thick layer of coating is put to these woods to make them robust and dust-resistant.

Handle of Shun
Handle of Shun

Shun’s handle, on the other hand, is consist of several materials. Shun handles are made of Pakkawood, thermoplastic elastomer, and Tagayasan wood. The strong grip you get from wood will be vastly different from that of steel. Furthermore, the handle’s double bevel gives it a more sophisticated appearance than the handle itself.

Kamikoto vs Shun-Comparison Table of Their Design and Handle

DesignExquisite and traditionalTraditional but refined
HandleSteel madeWooden

Fact 5: Cost and Service

Whether or whether a knife is worth spending a certain amount of money depends on a variety of factors. Furthermore, the post-sale support it provides should be a source of concern.

Cost and Service of Kamikoto

Kamikoto knives are less expensive than Shun knives. Price, on the other hand, is a subjective concept that differs from person to person. Kamikoto costs are reasonable and ideal for those with smaller wallets.

Also, the Kamikoto sharpening service isn’t free. Their artisans, on the other hand, have cutlery and culinary experience, so you can trust their work. Simply request that one of their servicemen resharpen their blades, and they will do it for a modest fee. This is satisfactory in general.

Cost and Service of Shun

Shun cutlery is well-known for its high price. Shun produces high-quality knives, thus the price may be a little higher than usual. However, there is another reason for the ostensibly high cost.

Shun provides lifetime servicing to its consumers at no cost to them. That means you won’t have to pay anything to resharpen your Shun knives. You will, however, have to submit it to their customer support centre, for which you will be charged a courier fee.

Kamikoto vs Shun-Comparison Table of Their Cost and Services

Factors        KamikotoShun
CostAffordable priceQuite expensive
ServicePaid sharpening serviceFree sharpening service

When You Should Go for Kamikoto

You should jump for Kamikoto if you have a low budget but still want to get a good knife then. You will get good products without paying the bulk of your money. It is available on Amazon with paid sharpening services at an affordable price. Moreover, it is a traditional knife consist of stainless steel. It has an HRC score of 51 and 64 and is single bevelled.

Type of Users Who Need Kamikoto

If you want to get a good knife on a low budget, you should jump for Kamikoto. If you just cook once in a while, a paring knife and a chef’s knife may be all you need. However, if you prefer to cook every day and try out new recipes, a Kamikoto knife will be more suitable.

Essentially, the varieties of kitchen knives you require depend upon your skill level and field of cooking, as well as the techniques and skills you require from a blade. This knife is easy to use and comes at affordable prices. It has a good HRC score and has various carbon-based alloys which make the knife better.

6 Benefits of Kamikoto Over Shun

  • These knives are available in two stunning colours to compliment your knives that are Maple Wood and Ash Wood.
  • Kamikoto knives are not only a more convenient option but also safer than shun knives due to their lightweight.
  • Despite being light weighted, it is still harder and relentless in retaining a sharper point.
  • The Kamikoto knives have a long history of tradition and artistic merit. It’s a set of knives you’ll be proud to display in your kitchen.
  • The Kamikoto knives have the highest quality steel from Japan’s Honshu Island. Honshu steel is corrosion-resistant, energy-efficient, and durable making it the best Japanese knife.
  • These knives have a satin coat to give the set a classy look and a lovely finish.

Things That are not as Good as Shun

  • Due to its single bevel policy, this brand’s edge is less refined than Shun’s. That means you can only use one side of the blade to cut through vegetables, but the edge will be razor-shape enough to captivate your attention.
  • It does not have carbon and vanadium alloy like shun knife.
  • It has paid sharpening service while Shun knife has a free sharpening service.

Quick Tip

  • After every three months of heavy use,  sharpening of the knife is recommended. Resharpening your knife will it more durable and flexible.

When You Should Go for Shun

Shun is the way to go if you want world-class knives and can afford to invest a little more money than normal. You will receive a finely crafted knife that will enhance the elegance of your kitchen. It comes in wooden texture with free sharpening services. Unlike other Japanese knives, it is traditional but also refined too. VG-10 is a hard, robust metal used in its making. It is double bevelled which means you can use both sides of the blade to cut through vegetables.

Type of Users Who Need Shun knife

Shun knives are a bit nicer to look at, a bit more fun to use, and a bit more well-supported by the company than their competitors. This makes them suitable for a kitchen where aesthetics and simplicity of cleaning take precedence over cost. If you’re solely concerned with performance, though, you can typically buy identical knives for a (slightly) lesser price produced from the same metal as any Shun.

Shun cutlery is a good choice if you want to impress your dinner guests with your cutlery. It has a classy look with the best features in the market. Shun provides an unbelievable warranty. You may simply put the knife in a box and mail it in, and they’ll take a close look at it. They’ll sharpen it if it needs to be sharpened. Because of the sturdy steel and solid design, this service accounts for the majority of Shun warranty activities.

6 Benefits of Shun Over Kamikoto

  • In terms of appearance, Shun is a very classy look than its competitor knives.
  • It has chosen to employ its own alloy in this knife, which is slightly harder than ordinary VG-10.
  • While most of the Japanese knife is made traditional; shun is refined too along with its traditional look.
  • Shun has Damascus coating which is far better than simple silver coating.
  • You can use both sides of the blades to cut through vegetables as it has double-bevell. 
  • It has a 16-degree cutting edge which makes it ideal for cutting, slicing and chopping.

Things that are not as good as Kamikoto

  • This knife is quite expensive compare to Kamikoto due to its classy look and beautiful wooden texture.
  • It has an HRC score from 58 to 62 as compare to Kamikoto whose HRC score is 51 to 64. Low HRC scoring items will be sharp enough to enchant you.

Quick Tip

  • Try to wash your knife right after use. Always keep your knife dry as it will reduce the chances of corrosion and will make them last longer.

Kamikoto vs Shun – Who is the Winner

All in all, the topic Kamikoto vs Shun may have caused you a great deal of difficulty in deciding between their products and reaching a satisfactory choice. We know that there are a lot of options to pick from, but you can do it right now after reading this article. Your decision should be based on your own particular preferences. If your wallet is not healthy enough, then you should choose Kamikoto as it is available at affordable prices with excellent features. If your wallet is healthy enough to purchase a classy knife, you should pick up Shun as it has a beautiful wooden texture with wonderful features. Do let us know in the comment section down below whether this Kamikoto vs Shun comparison was helpful for you or not.


There are few things that match the finely tuned craftsmanship of a Japanese knife. Kamikoto and Shun are two well-known brands that produce knives in Japan. Both make high-quality, well-crafted knives for cooks and chefs at home or in restaurants. Here, are some frequently asked questions that may help you to choose one over the other.

Do Chefs Use Shun Knives?

When it comes to knives, professional chefs and home cook both favour Shun knives because of their amazing features. It has a beautiful wooden design which gives Shun a classy look. This knife is traditional but refined too unlike another Japanese knife. You can use both sides of the blade to cut through vegetables as it has double bevell. The VG10 is a very durable substance that keeps its sharpness for a long time and makes a strong aversion towards rust and deterioration. Read Kamikoto vs Shun comparison article above to know more about Shun knives.  

Is Shun a Good Chef Knife?

Shun’s knives are the face of Japanese cutlery in the United States for a reason: they’re always well-made and come in a range of styles to suit any chef. Their razor-sharp blades aren’t suitable for complete beginners, as they necessitate more care and attention than cheaper knives. Shun maintains a high level of quality control and creates excellent knives made of fine materials. They do, however, have incredibly fine edges in the sense that the sharp component of the blade has very little metal.

Is Shun Good or Bad?

Shun should be at the top of your list if you’re seeking high-quality Japanese-style kitchen knives. They’re pricey, but they’re definitely worth it because you get beautiful handcrafted knives that work just as well as they appear. Shun maintains a high level of quality control and creates excellent knives made of fine materials. It has a lifetime warranty with free sharpening services too. VG-10 is a hard, robust metal utilizes in its making. Read  Kamikoto vs Shun comparison article above to know more about Shun knives.

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I'm Laura, I like all the kind of delicious grilled foods which makes me hungry all the time I see them. That's why I built this blog to share with you all of my Grilling experiences, recipes, and all the tips about foods that I've learned from food experts.

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