Shun Alton’s Angles VG-10 Chef’s Knife

Kitchen 8 Inch Stainless Damascus Steel

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Shun Alton's Angles VG-10 Chef's Knife I will not steer you away from this knife--it's a Shun knife, in their VG-10 Damascus layered steel pattern. I doubt that anyone can say there's a better practical cutting edge around. I do have some concerns about the handle, though.

First, let me list all the good points, if I have the space. The VG-10 core layers in the Damascus pattern Shun uses in its best knives are well known for the sharpness of their edge and the unquestioned strength in thin layers. Surrounded by 32 layers of high tensile strength steel (16 on each side) this core stays sharp and cuts effortlessly. Although it is hard enough to chip and you will have to avoid cutting bones and frozen food, the quality of the cut is plenty of reason to change your habits.

Damascus steel, favored by cutlers who once made the finest samurai swords, has an unexpected advantage in the kitchen, with the friction reducing quality of a properly ground granton style, without the built-in weakness.

Those improvements are so obvious that most people will not even notice the handle, which in the regular Shun product line is in-line with the blade, with a flattened side to help orient the grip. In this knife there's plenty of clearance between handle and cutting surface, since the tang has been bent upward slightly. This changes the cutting angle and lifts the wrist. That makes better sense for a smaller knife.

For the chef's knife it seems awkward to me, putting too much bend in my wrist, and I'd suggest trying this style--created by Chef Alton Brown--before buying. What works for him might not work as well for you.

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