The Shun VB0706 Sora Chef’s Knife was launched after the massive success of the Shun Classic and Shun Premier series. The Sora is around half the price of the other two series’ and is probably directed at the everyday home user rather than professional Chefs.
The knife like all other Chef Knives is designed to be a multi-purpose kitchen knife. However, being a lighter model it is not recommended that you buy the Shun VB0706 if you intend to use it to cut whole chicken (It doesn’t replace a cleaver). It’s put to better use for vegetables, fruits and regular meats.
This model comes with a 10 year limited warranty, whereas the Classic and Premier have a lifetime limited warranty.
Build and Appearance
The blade consists of two pieces of laser cut VG10 stainless steel that are perfectly aligned and blaze welded to form a permanent joint, forming a san mai edge for improved stain resistance. If my Japanese serves me right, “san mai” literally translates to “three piece”. The knife is sharp and versatile for daily use.
This knife has less of a curve than the regular Chef Knifes manufactured in the USA or Germany. Therefore there is more contact on the cutting board and this allows more food to be cut with each cutting action. It’s also got a gentle roll off its tip when compared to other models, so you need to lift it less, so cutting is more efficient.
If you take a look at the knife you’ll notice that it’s got a pretty wavy pattern at the joint. This is based on the traditional Japanese hamon sword lines. The wavy pattern here is not to be mistaken for the Damascus pattern on the Classic and Premier Series’
Handle Material and Style
The handle is made up of TPE polymer and not wood. However, the texture of the handle provides a tacky surface when wet and this increases grip. This benefit is felt the most when cutting juicy fruits and wet vegetables. On the whole this model has a softer and more traditional feel when compared to the D shaped handle of the Shun Classic.
The handle is designed to provide secure grip and it’s very easy to handle.
Blade Angle and Bevel
It’s a double bevel and more of a 50/50 than the traditional 70/30 Japanese cut – the same as the Shun Classic and Shun Premier though. The blade angle is 16 degrees on either side forming a total included angle of 32 degrees against 40 – 44 for American or German made models. This gives the model an edge over the others (literally!). It comes sharp and ready to use right out of the box.
Maintenance and Sharpening
The manufacture suggests that you only hand wash the knife for optimum life. Overall maintenance is not a problem as long as you sharpen the knife after constant use – once a week is ideal. Quite a few people were worried that constant sharpening (as all knives require) may lead to the edge receding and reaching the weld. As long as you sharpen the knife right, you don’t have to worry about this at all. So make sure you do it right.