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  • 1800 SW Teton Avenue
  • Tualatin, OR 97062
  • Phone: 503-682-1966
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Blade Steels

Steel is an alloy of iron and carbon; the atoms of one element occupy the spaces between the atoms of the other so that the materials are inextricably joined. Most steel also has ingredients to enhance specific characteristics. For example, stainless steels contain chromium to enhance stain resistance.

Dual Core VG10/VG2

Dual Core steel is used in the Shun Dual Core series. These two steels are layered, welded, and roll-forged together so that both steels comprise the cutting core of Dual Core. VG2 is a fine grained, high-carbon, high-chromium Japanese stainless steel that takes and holds a very sharp edge. Read about VG10’s excellent properties below.


Dual Core VG10/VG2 bladeDual Core VG10/VG2 blade

Blue II

A highly sought-after Japanese cutlery steel. Blue II carbon steel is used in the Shun Narukami series. It is a simple carbon steel alloy that takes a fine edge and can be re-sharpened easily when needed. It has some additional alloying elements that enable it to provide superior edge retention and toughness. Like all carbon steels, Blue II requires additional care to prevent rust and corrosion from forming on the cutting edge. Cleaning and drying immediately is key. Over time, the edge will darken, developing a patina which will help protect the edge from rust and corrosion. Do not try to remove this patina. It’s a good thing! If you start to see orange or brown colors developing, it must be dealt with immediately using the Shun Knife Care Kit, or send it to our sharpening team to have it removed. Please note: we only remove light rust from your knife. See our FAQ page for more information, or contact our warranty/sharpening team with questions.

Narukami blade steel detailNarukami blade steel detail


The newest in the line of VG super steels and is proprietary to Shun. This steel builds on the highly successful VG10 formula by increasing ingredients that take this advanced steel to the “MAX.” VG-MAX™ includes more carbon to improve strength and durability. It has additional chromium for wear and corrosion resistance. Increased tungsten enables the steel to be very fine-grained, so the edge can be extremely sharp. Molybdenum improves corrosion resistance and strength. Vanadium improves impact resistance and enables the steel to form vanadium carbides, which enhance cutting performance. VG-MAX steel is used in Shun Classic and Premier series.


VG-MAX Shun Classic BladeVG-MAX Shun Classic Blade


A complicated blend. In addition to iron and carbon, it contains chromium, manganese, molybdenum, silicon, and vanadium. Most of these elements improve desirable blade characteristics such as wear resistance, corrosion resistance, hardness, and toughness. Vanadium helps make sure the steel’s texture is fine, which is important for Shun’s extremely sharp, long-lasting edge. VG10 steel is primarily used in the Shun Sora series.


VG10 Shun Sora bladeVG10 Shun Sora blade


A Japanese high-carbon stainless steel with high strength, as well as good corrosion resistance, hardness, and wear resistance. Added vanadium refines the grain of the steel so that it takes a fine edge. AUS10A steel is used in Shun Kanso and Kazahana series.

AUS10A Shun Kanso BladeAUS10A Shun Kanso Blade


A Japanese high-carbon, low-chromium (for enhanced sharpenability) stainless steel that has proven to provide an excellent balance between toughness and strength, edge holding and corrosion resistance. Shun uses this steel in applications such as meat cleavers that require a tougher steel and the Classic Flexible Fillet for flexibility.


AUS8A bladeAUS8A blade