The Shun DM0706 Classic Chef Knife is definitely a top contender when you talk about the best Japanese Chef Knives. Don’t take my word for it, read through this review and you’ll be convinced too. But, like I always say, when it comes to Chef Knives or knives in general, don’t buy until you’ve held it and if possible put it to the test in your local store. But buying online will probably save you a few bucks.
Build and Appearance
The core of this Japanese Chef Knife is made from VG stainless steel and it’s clad on both sides with a total of 32 layers of High Carbon Stainless steel (16 layers on each side). This doesn’t just increase its strength, but also the flexibility of the knife.
This Damascus styling doesn’t just add to the beauty of the knife, it also causes microscopic air pockets to be formed on the surface of the knife (due to the cladding process). This wood grain pattern increases the stain resistance and durability of the knife as well. The microscopic air pockets help reduce the friction between the knife and the food being chopped. This pattern allows the knife to cut through the food rather than crush it and it also prevents chopped food from sticking onto the cutting blade - one of the many reasons both professional Chefs and home cooks love the Shun DM0706 Chef Knife.
You can either buy the 6”, 8” or 10” knife. Of course the 8” is most popular as that’s the size most of us are comfortable with.
Handle Material and Style
The Pakkawood handle is ebony colored and made up of resin-impregnated hardwood. It is also NSF certified for use in commercial kitchens. The D shaped handle fits perfectly into your palm, providing grip and precision control. The D shaped handle prevents it from twisting in your hand, hence the improved control compared to some of the round handle chef knives.
Are you left handed? Well you don’t need to worry as you can place a special order for a reverse D shaped handle. However, be warned – that’s going to cost you extra! An approximate increase of around $30 compared to the right handed model. Contact the seller before you place your order to know the details. Instead you could also buy the Shun Premier which is ambidextrous and can be comfortably used by both right and left handed individuals.
Blade Angle and Bevel
First and foremost I’d like to point out that this model is double beveled, as in the case of most Chef Knives. So I wouldn’t count that as an advantage. However, the knife is finished for precision at a blade angle of 16 degrees on each side (A total included angle of 32 degrees). On the other hand, most of the other models from other manufactures such as Global have blade angles around 20 – 22 degrees (each side). This gives the Shun DM0706 Chef Knife an edge over the other models - literally!
Oh yeah! I almost forgot – it’s sharp right out of the box.
Maintenance and Sharpening
As the metal used is corrosion resistant, you’re not going to have any rusting problems to tend to. The knife on the whole is dishwasher friendly and comes along with a limited lifetime warranty: Know more. However, it is recommended that you hand wash and dry the knife instead. It’s really up to you. But, hand washing makes the sharp edge last longer.
The Shun classic blade is well known for its edge retention and easy sharpening. If you use your knife often it is recommended that you hone the blade weekly to maintain the super sharp edge – all great knives need to be maintained and this in no way is a drawback. You could sharpen the blade using a professional sharpener or an Asian style electric sharpener. As an added benefit, Shun knives can be sent back to the company for free professional sharpening – How cool is that! Everyone loves good service.