In selecting the Top Three bread knives for the main bread knife page of this website, it was very difficult to assign the second-place spot to this remarkable knife. If I hadn’t come across the Zelite knife I did place in the top position, this knife would have been my most obvious next choice.

If you have already visited our main Bread Knives page, you have probably read a little bit about this Shun knife. This article serves to offer a little more detailed information to those who are interested in learning about why I selected this knife as “Runner Up” in the Top Three Bread Knives category, and how this knife may be beneficial to all their bread and baked goods slicing needs.

Built Tough

In creating each copy of this knife, manufacturers at Shun forged together sixteen layers of high-carbon stainless steel. Although this pales in comparison to the 67 layers used by Zelite in our Best In Class knife, this is still impressive enough to afford mention. In fact, some people even argue that once you pass a certain number of layers, it really doesn’t make much of a difference.

By forging together 16 layers of steel, Shun was able to create a blade which is superior to the punched and laser-cut blades available at budget-friendly prices. In fact, the work involved in creating a hand-forged knife is part of the reason that they are often more expensive. To forge together pieces of steel, workers must hammer the pieces together by hand, which creates a tighter bond between the molecules of the steel. This means that forged steel not only takes longer to make, but that it is much stronger and more difficult to bend or break than other types of steel.

Comfortable Control

This Shun knife has been made to provide you both comfort and control as you slice your way through loaves and cakes. Its handle has purposely been shaped to resemble the letter D. The one flat edge keeps this handle from spinning in your hand as the curved side allows you to hold it comfortably without edges cutting into your palm.

Though the stainless steel bolster is not shaped in a way which will allow you to pinch it for precision control, it does offer a great counterbalance to the weight of the steel blade. Similarly, the end cap places extra weight in the handle of knife, pulling control into your hands and away from the steel blade.

Simple Slicing

The 16-degree cutting angle on this knife means that it can easily make its way through even the most delicate baked goods without a problem. The scalloped serrations allow this knife to cut into crusts and tough breads without resistance and aids in the creation of precision slices with no tearing or ripping.

Perhaps one of the most interesting features of this knife is the way that its blade has been created. This blade’s serrations are not straight up and down as you see on most other popular bread knives. Instead, these serrations point forward at the front of the knife and backward toward the back of the knife. This way, whether you are pushing the knife forward or pulling it backward in a saw-like motion, the leading edge of the blade will feature serrations pointing toward the direction the blade is moving, so that it may work its way through the food with extra ease.

The wood grain textured pattern featured on every Shun Classic blade is not simply for show. This grainy texture is specially-designed to create less friction as the knife does its work. The tiny air pockets the texture creates help to keep food from sticking to the blade, which is extremely beneficial in slicing damp baked goods, such as moist cakes which often pull apart as a result of crumbs getting stuck to the blade.

A Very Close Call

Overall, I was very impressed with this Shun knife. Not only is it a beautiful piece, but it managed to check off every box on the bread knife check list I created when researching what goes into being deemed a quality bread knife. Unfortunately, the Zelite simply checked off those very same boxes and then some, stealing the spotlight from this Shun. Still, I do not believe that many people would be disappointed with this slightly more budget-friendly option.