Shun Classic knives were one of the first commercially available Japanese knives available outside of Japan. Their popularity lies in their ruggedness and good looks. The blades are made with VG10 stainless steel clad with softer Damascus look steel. The Pakka wood ‘D’ shaped handles are very popular.
VG10 is a nifty type of stainless steel that has a high density, and Shun has their own proprietary version called VG-Max. This allows the steel to be tempered to a Rockwell hardness of 61, and still have the flexibility and strength to take and keep a perfect edge. VG10's natural tendency is to remain straight and true, so when it is used, the edge of the blade naturally straightens out and stays sharper longer.
The wavy pattern on the blades is called a Damascus look; what gives it that pattern are 16 layers of SUS410 High Carbon Stainless Steel pounded to 3/1000th of an inch and then "clad" on each side of the VG10 core. This combination of materials gives the blade strength, stain resistance, and incredible cutting performance.
Pakkawood starts out as thin layers of white birch that is then dyed, in this case black. These sheets are then layered between sheets of plastic resin then fused together under tremendous heat and pressure. The net result is a handle that looks and feels like wood, but is more durable. The other unique feature of the handle is its design. Its called "D" shape, but in reality, it looks more like a tear drop. It has a distinct ridge that goes down the side of the handle that fits perfectly in the hand, as well stabilizes the blade and preventing it from turning and twisting.
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