Cutco Vs Shun: Which Brand Is Better And Why?

By Ryan Leavitt •  Updated: 01/12/21 •  6 min read

Two knife brands that are usually compared to each other are Shun and Cutco.

They are both great brands, with Shun specializing in high-quality Japanese chef knives and Cutco being one of the best American knife manufacturers out there.

But which brand is the better choice?

For most chefs, Shun knives are the better option.

They are sharper, perform better, and boast superior designs.

However, Cutco still offers some benefits that make them a good choice for some home cooks.

In this article, we put these two brands head to head in this Cutco vs Shun comparison.

Are there box sets available?YesYes
Lifetime GuaranteeYes Yes
Free sharpeningNoYes
Materials usedVG Max, VG 10, SG2, and othersHigh-carbon stainless steel

A Brief Overview Of Shun Knives

Shun has been in the knife market since 2002, but their parent company, Kai, has been making knives for over a hundred years.

These knives are made in Seki City, in Japan that has a rich tradition of making Samurai swords but is currently more well-known for making kitchen knives.

Shun knives are handcrafted by craftsmen and artisans who have immense respect for the craft and are responsible for the very high-quality knives that Shun has to offer.

They have over a hundred different models in their catalog that you can choose from, and you’ll be able to find both premium and cheap options with ease.

This is a favorite brand for beginner and experienced chefs alike, especially those who have to deal with the extra precision that’s commonly associated with preparing Asian cuisine.

A Brief Overview Of Cutco Knives

Before we start comparing the two brands, we first have to take a look at how Cutco came to be.

The name of the brand is actually short for the Cooking UTensil COmpany.

It began in 1949, in New York, and they are very well known today for only distributing their products through their network of salespeople.

They are also renowned for their Forever Guarantee, which will allow you to send back any product you aren’t fully satisfied with and a sales representative will come over and either correct the issue or hand you a replacement product.

Their knives are known to be fairly expensive, but pretty sharp and made of high-quality materials, though they are also known to chip frequently.

But luckily, because of their Forever Guarantee, if ever you have a Cutco blade that chips, you can simply send it back and get a replacement.

Who Are Cutco Knives For?

While these products can be on the expensive side, they also come with a great warranty and are quality products in their own right.

Cutco knives are recommended for professionals who need a set of blades that they can regularly service and replace if they don’t meet their standards.

They are also great picks for home cooks and hobbyists looking for a reliable blade with a long-lasting warranty.

Since they aren’t the most durable of products, however, we don’t recommend you use these blades heavily as they are prone to chips and cracks when not used right.

That being said, these blades are dishwasher safe, which makes them more recommended for home use since there’s an added layer of convenience that comes with that.

Who Are Shun Knives For?

While there are a lot of Shun products out there, and you will easily find cheap and expensive options, these blades are still a bit pricier than their entry-level counterparts.

That being said, if you’re looking for a premium product, expect to be paying a premium price.

Shun knives are best suited for professionals who prefer using Asian-style blades.

These products will be sharper and more precise than their Western counterparts, but they will be a bit tougher to use.

However, with some getting used to, you’ll find that these are some of the best blades in the market today and it’s easy to see why chefs never turn back after getting their first Japanese chef knife.

Cutco vs Shun – A Side By Side Comparison


As mentioned earlier, Shun is an Asian brand that makes Japanese-style knives.

This will usually mean a razor-sharp blade and an ergonomic wooden handle that looks very classy.

Cutco, on the other hand, is one of the only American knife brands out there that is respected by professionals.

Their knives have unique designs, with their most popular model having a recessed blade that protects the center of the knife while cutting through any ingredient like butter.

Shun designs are more specific for certain cutting and slicing techniques while Cutco designs can be a bit more versatile.


Shun knives are without a doubt sharper than their Cutco counterparts.

This is because they are handcrafted, polished, and hand-sharpened by experienced artisans and craft folk.

These sharp edges will easily slice through just about any ingredient you throw at it, and they are much safer since it can be dangerous to use a dull knife.

That being said, Shun knives will take a bit of getting used to, especially if you aren’t experienced with Japanese-style kitchen cutlery.

Cutco Pros & Cons



Shun Pros & Cons



The Bottom Line – Which Knife Should You Buy?

If what you’re looking for is a professional-grade knife that will stay in your knife roll for a long time coming, then we recommend you go for Shun.

While these blades are more task-specific and could cost you more money in the long run, they are a worthwhile investment for any professional chef or home cook out there.

But if what you need is a reliable, flexible, and well-designed knife that comes with a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee, then we recommend you for Cutco.

These knives are ideal for home cooks as they can be used for a lot of different things, and if the knife gets damaged or if there’s anything you aren’t satisfied with, you can simply send the product back.

So if you think you found which brand suits your needs more after this article, then all that’s left for you to do is get your hands on one of their products yourself!

Ryan Leavitt

Hi my name is Ryan Leavitt a Marine Corps Veteran and currently an over the road trucker (Long Haul). I am no expert chef but am enjoying preparing my own meals on the road and testing all the different knives.

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