The Shun Kai Kanso Santoku Hollow Ground Knife is a beautiful, Asian-inspired chef's knife that many cooks today have added to their kitchen favorites.
A knife of many talents, a santoku easily handles all the basic kitchen cutting tasks. In fact, some people even prefer it to a chef’s knife.
Slightly shorter than the standard chef's knife, the Shun Kanso Santoku is very easy to maneuver—even in a smaller kitchen. There's just enough belly curve to enable rocking cuts, which just adds to the knife's versatility. We think you’ll find that this distinctive kitchen knife works beautifully and fits your hand like a glove.
As easy to use as a chef's knife, the santoku is especially well suited to a down-and-forward cutting motion (push cut). Many cooks swear by their santoku for easy food preparation and top performance.
Kanso is a design principle based on Zen philosophy. It means “simplicity,” but simplicity that is achieved by eliminating the non-essential.
In Kanso, we took away anything that doesn’t matter and kept everything that does: high-performance steel, razor-sharp edge, perfect balance, and precision cutting control.
The steel is Japanese AUS10A—highly refined, high-carbon, vanadium stainless steel that takes a razor-sharp edge and holds it longer. Kanso's Heritage finish hides scratches and gives Kanso a rustic look that just improves with age.
The handle is made of tagayasan wood, sometimes known as “iron sword wood." The handle contouring enables an easy chef's grip. Full-tang construction provides strength, balance, and easy cutting control.
Like all Shun knives, Kanso is sharpened to a 16° cutting angle each side to cut cleanly and help preserve food’s freshness and best taste.
Caroline, Perth Western Australia
"From the first day I received my classic kitchen knife, it was an utter joy to work with. I had used chef quality knives before, in kitchens, but never at home.
So for an extravagant birthday present I got my family to buy me this, and I have never been happier. That knife became my all time favourite kitchen tool. I would find excuses to use it.
Within a week I discovered all I had to do was rest it on a tomato and it would glide through itself. After watching the videos by Chef Alton Brown I felt I was much better equipped to use and care for my incredible knife.
I eventually bought a honing steel too, after a friend was a little too rough with it. I no longer have my knife, it was collateral to a break up and I miss it every single meal. Love your knives people! Take care of them and you will have a lifetime of service and joy from them!"
Incredibly sharp edges and unmatched aesthetics set Shun knives apart from every other kitchen knife on the market today.
In the great tradition of Seki City, Japan's sword and knifemaking center, every knife is handmade by highly skilled specialists and requires at least 100 handcrafted steps to complete.
Every day, the legacy of ancient sword smiths serves as inspiration to the artisans in the Kai factories. Kai’s 100-year-old tradition of blade-making excellence, combined with the newest technology and the most advanced materials, makes every Shun knife a functional work of art.
ADVANCED, HIGH-PERFORMANCE STEELS
Shun uses advanced, high-performance steel for our blades
Shun steel is hard so blades an be made thinner, lighter, and sharper
Advanced steel combines with a tradition of excellence to make knives "at the peak of perfection"
TRADITIONAL KNIFEMAKING STYLES
A hard steel core is clad with a "softer" steel or steels to support it
Kasumi combines two or more types of steel to take advantage of the key characteristics of each of them
This method is similar to how samurai swords are traditionally made
A hard steel core is sandwiched between layers of "softer" steel to support
The exterior steel is often stainless steel and provides stain resistance
San mai is one of the traditional samurai swordmaking techniques
COMPOSITE BLADE TECHNOLOGY
Combines the best characteristics of two steels in one blade
Steels are permanently joined
Patented, proprietary technology
SHUN HANDLE MATERIALS
Resin makes it moisture resistant
Harder and more durable than untreated hardwood
Shun layered Damascus is formed by layering different types of metal alloys together
The layers are forged into a single piece
The patterns are revealed by grinding then bead-blasting or acid etching the blades
Tsuchime simply means "hammered"
Hammering creates air pockets that help food release from the blade
Shun knives with this finish are hand hammered, in the tradition of ancient Japan
16° ANGLE CUTTING EDGE
Shun blades are thinner, lighter, sharper
Thinner edges cut more efficiently
Our 16° cutting angle is extremely sharp, yet lasts a long time
Cleaning and Storage
Shun recommends that you protect your investment by handwashing your blades with gentle dish soap.
Don’t use soaps with citrus extracts or bleach; they can promote corrosion. Do not use scouring pads, steel, or gritty cleanser when cleaning the blades. Rinse and towel dry immediately.
Let the knives air dry for a few minutes before returning them to storage. Never leave your knife sitting in a sink full of soapy water. It does metals no good to be submerged in water for prolonged periods of time, and it’s a danger to you when you reach in.
After you have washed and dried your knives, store them in a block, knife case, in-drawer tray, or sheath. We do not recommend storing the knives unsheathed in a drawer, as this can be a potential hazard to the blades as well as your fingers.
Handwashing is also the best way to care for the wood handles of your Shun knives.
The handle color may change slightly over time due to oils in the hand as well as the natural color change of wood from oxidation and/or exposure to light. This is not a defect, but a natural part of the process.
Honing and Sharpening
In order to maximize the life of the blade, regular honing with a Shun steel will be necessary. Weekly honing will extend the time between sharpening significantly. When the time comes to sharpen these premium blades, we recommend using a whetstone, the Kai electric sharpener (specifically designed to sharpen Shun’s 16° blade angle), or sending the knives to a professional sharpener.