Shun Hiro Vs Premier: Which Choice Is Better And Why?

By Ryan Leavitt •  Updated: 02/12/21 •  5 min read

In the world of chef knives, Shun is considered one of the best brands out there.

And two collections that are often compared with each other are the Shun Hiro and Shun Premier collections.

For most chefs, the Hiro is the go-to option.

The collection features great knives of excellent quality that would be a great fit in any kitchen out there.

However, the Premier still has some qualities that make it the better option for some chefs.

So if you’ve been trying to choose between the two collections, you’ve come to the right place as we’ll be looking at the features and benefits of each knife to help you figure out the right one for you.

Keep reading to learn more!

 Shun HiroShun Premier
ConstructionDamascus Steel With Tsuchime finishDamascus Steel
Cutting coreSG2VG-Max
Are there box sets available?NoNo
Sharpness16-degrees on either side16-degrees on either side

A Brief Overview Of Shun

The Shun Cutlery brand was launched in 2002 by the KAI Group.

And while that wasn’t too long ago, the KAI Group has a history that can be traced back all the way to 1908.

The company was established by Saijiro Endo in Seki City, Japan at the beginning of the 20th century.

He had a goal of creating high-quality kitchen cutlery, razors, and other knives that the company made throughout the years.

Their products were all made in Seki City, which is a place that has a very rich tradition in bladesmithing, which is why these knives are of the highest quality.

And after producing blades for almost a century, the company released the Shun brand to the Western market in 2002.

The result was great as the brand was received very well by kitchen enthusiasts and professional chefs alike.

Currently, Shun has a very wide collection of blades that would be a great fit in just about any kitchen.

Related: Best Shun knives & knife sets

Shun Hiro Vs Premier – A Head To Head Comparison


The first thing we’re going to look at is how these knives are made.

Hiro knives are made in the Damascus tradition.

This means that there are multiple layers of high-quality steel hammered on top of a tough core to create a beautiful pattern and a very durable knife.

With these models, you’re getting a total of 65 layers of stainless steel which results in a Rockwell hardness rating of 64, which is much better than a lot of products in its price range.

It also has a hammered Tsuchime finish, which is a traditional Japanese technique that gives the blade little indentations that keep food from sticking on the face.

On top of that, the knife has a charcoal PakkaWood handle that is durable, water-resistant, and offers a very comfortable grip.

The Premier, on the other hand, has a walnut-colored PakkaWood handle that gives off a very rustic aesthetic.

These blades also have a Damascus construction with a hammered finish towards the top of the blade, which gives it a very unique look that is hard to find in today’s market.

Knife Steel

Now that you know how the knives are made, it’s time to look at the steel that is used in making them.

The Premier has a VG-MAX core underneath the 34 layers of Damascus Steel.

This is a very tough material that has a lot of carbon, which is an ideal feature of knife steel.

It’s a great option for home chefs because it doesn’t require too much maintenance and doesn’t wear as much as other materials.

The Hiro is made of SG2 Super Steel.

This is a fairly unique material since it’s powdered steel that is one of the hardest materials you’ll be able to find today.

The material has the ability to be sharpened to a very thin and sharp edge while still retaining its durability, which is a great feature to have, especially if you’re prepping in a professional kitchen.


Now it’s time to talk about the price.

While the Hiro is made out of more premium materials and has a more professional look, it has a pretty hefty price tag.

If you choose to shop in this line, expect to make an investment.

That being said, since the products are of such high quality, it’s one that is well worth making.

The Premier is also a fairly expensive collection, but it is slightly cheaper than the Hiro.

If you’re on the hunt for professional-grade chef knives but want to save a little money, then this might be the right option for you.

Conclusion – Which Is The Better Option For You?

And that concludes our comparison of the Shun Hiro and Premier.

Both are great collections that feature some of the best Japanese chef knives on the market today.

However, the Hiro has a slight edge when it comes to quality, making it a better fit for professionals looking to invest in their tools.

Since the Premier is a bit cheaper, it is more ideal for home cooks and those on a tighter budget.

But at the end of the day, what truly matters is that you have a knife that you enjoy using and feel comfortable with.

And if you feel that way about your blade, then no one can tell you that you don’t have the best model for you!

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.