Skip to main content
Your Image Description



For more than a century, KAI has been at the forefront of producing superior cutlery, drawing inspiration from the venerable samurai traditions of ancient Japan. Established in 1908 as a modest family venture in Seki, KAI has blossomed into a globally recognized brand, synonymous with unparalleled knife-making excellence. Crafted with painstaking attention to detail in Seki, Japan, each Shun Premier knife is a masterpiece that bridges the gap between age-old tradition and modern innovation.

The Shun Premier Series is distinguished by its unique blend of the timeless art of Japanese samurai swordsmithing and the latest in manufacturing technology. This combination results in a collection of Damascus knives that are celebrated for their outstanding quality and durability, ensuring peak performance in both home and professional kitchens. The Shun Premier knives captivate at first glance, with their striking hammered (Tsuchime) finish that not only enhances the beauty of the blade but also provides practical benefits, such as reducing drag and preventing food from sticking. Complemented by the ergonomically designed, contoured PakkaWood handles in a rich walnut finish, the Shun Premier knives are a testament to sophisticated design without sacrificing functionality.

Key Features

  • ROCKWELL RATING: 61 (±1)
  • CRAFTSMANSHIP: Each knife from KAI is a product of meticulous handcrafting by skilled artisans
  • HANDLE: Contoured PakkaWood
  • MATERIAL: Features a VG-Max steel core encased in 34 layers of stainless Damascus steel on each side


Design & Aesthetics

  • Kai Shun (Classic Series) knives boast a sleek, understated design with traditional aesthetics. Their handles are made from durable, moisture-resistant PakkaWood, designed for comfort, balance, and prolonged use. The appearance is elegant, featuring a subtle Damascus pattern that speaks to those who appreciate timeless design.
  • Kai Shun Premier knives elevate the aesthetic appeal with a pronounced hammered finish (Tsuchime) on the blade. This not only looks stunning but also helps to reduce drag and prevent food from sticking. The handles, while also made of PakkaWood, feature a more contoured, ergonomic design with a walnut finish, offering a distinctive look and comfortable grip.

Blade Construction & Performance

  • Both lines feature blades constructed with a VG-MAX steel core, known for its durability and excellent edge retention.
  • The Classic Series is surrounded by 32 layers of stainless Damascus steel, providing a beautiful, subtle pattern along with its functional benefits.
  • The Premier line uses a similar VG-MAX core but is typically clad in 34 layers of stainless Damascus steel on each side, creating a slightly different pattern. The Tsuchime finish not only adds to the blade's unique appearance but also contributes to its non-stick properties.

Ergonomics & Use

  • Kai Shun knives are designed with ergonomics in mind. The Classic Series handles are tailored for a comfortable grip, enhancing balance and control during use, making them ideal for chefs and home cooks who value a blend of traditional aesthetics with modern performance.
  • Kai Shun Premier knives further refine the ergonomic experience with handles that offer a more contoured design, providing a natural and secure grip. This series is suited for those who seek both top-tier functionality and standout design in their culinary tools.

Price Point & Value

  • The Classic Series is generally more accessible, offering professional-grade quality at a great value. It's a solid choice for those who prioritize functionality and a classic look.
  • The Premier Series, with its additional craftsmanship in the blade's hammered finish and ergonomic handle design, is priced higher. It appeals to those willing to invest in a knife that not only performs excellently but also serves as a statement piece in the kitchen.

Choosing between the Kai Shun and Kai Shun Premier lines ultimately comes down to personal preference in terms of design, ergonomics, and price. Both lines reflect KAI's high standards of craftsmanship, material quality, and cutting performance, catering to different tastes and requirements in the kitchen. Whether you lean towards the classic elegance of the Shun series or the artistic flair of the Shun Premier, you're choosing a knife that embodies the best of Japanese craftsmanship and culinary excellence.

While it is true that Kai Corporation originated in Japan, not all its products are manufactured there. The company has expanded its operations globally over the years. However, many of their premium knife lines like Shun and Pro series are indeed crafted in Seki City, which has a 700 year legacy in blade mastery, where skilled artisans employ age-old techniques to create each blade.

The manufacturing process involves several stages including forging, tempering, sharpening and finishing - all carried out with meticulous attention to detail. This ensures that every knife that comes out of their factory meets the high standards set by Japanese blacksmithing tradition.

Kai Shun Premier knives stand as a testament to unparalleled craftsmanship, exceptional materials, and sophisticated design, making them an excellent investment for culinary professionals and enthusiasts alike. Here’s why choosing Kai Shun Premier knives is a decision that offers lasting value:

Unmatched Quality and Durability: Utilizing 34 layers of VG-MAX steel, Kai Shun Premier knives boast superior durability and edge retention. This ensures they remain sharp over extended periods, capable of enduring the demands of daily culinary tasks and remaining a steadfast companion in the kitchen.

Precision Cutting Performance: Each Kai Shun Premier knife is sharpened to perfection, achieving an ideal angle for precise, effortless cutting. This level of precision enhances the food preparation process, enabling finer slices and more consistent cuts, vital for both professional chefs and home cooking aficionados.

Ergonomic and Stylish Handles: The design of Kai Shun Premier knives extends to their ergonomics, with handles that ensure comfort and balance, minimizing hand fatigue during prolonged use. Their contoured design, often finished in rich walnut PakkaWood, not only feels good in the hand but also adds a touch of elegance to any kitchen.

Versatility for Every Culinary Task: Kai Shun Premier offers a diverse array of knife styles and sizes, ensuring there’s a perfect tool for every kitchen task, from delicate slicing to robust chopping. Whether it’s filleting fish, dicing vegetables, or cutting through bread, these knives are crafted to perform flawlessly.

Aesthetic Excellence: Kai Shun Premier knives are more than just tools; they are exquisite pieces of craftsmanship. The unique hammered finish not only reduces drag but also makes these knives standout pieces that elevate the aesthetics of your kitchen.

Reliable Warranty and Support: Backed by Kai’s comprehensive warranty and exceptional customer service, investing in Kai Shun Premier knives means investing in peace of mind. Any concerns are swiftly addressed, underscoring the brand's commitment to customer satisfaction and the longevity of your investment.

In essence, Kai Shun Premier knives are not just an investment in cooking tools but an investment in lasting quality, performance, and beauty that will enrich your culinary experiences for years to come.

Maintaining your Kai knives involves several essential practices to ensure they stay sharp, durable, and in top condition:

  1. Cleaning: Always wash your knives by hand with warm water and mild detergent immediately after use. It's important to avoid using the dishwasher, as the harsh environment can damage both the blade and the handle over time. After washing, dry the knives completely with a soft cloth to prevent any rust formation.
  2. Honing: Regular honing is key to keeping your knives sharp and maintaining their edge. Use a honing steel before or after each use to realign the blade's edge. Hold the steel vertically and gently slide the knife down and across the steel at a 20-degree angle.
  3. Sharpening: In addition to regular honing, your Kai knives will need periodic sharpening, typically once or twice a year depending on how frequently you use them. You can sharpen your knives using a whetstone, a handheld sharpener, or opt for professional sharpening services.
  4. Storage: Proper storage is crucial for the longevity of your knives. Store your Kai knives in a knife block, on a magnetic strip, or within protective sheaths. This not only prevents the blades from dulling but also helps avoid accidents. Storing knives in a drawer is not recommended, as they can easily get damaged.
  5. Cutting Surface: To maintain the sharpness of your knife edges, always use wooden or plastic cutting boards. Cutting on hard surfaces like glass, metal, or stone can quickly dull your knives.
  6. Avoid Misuse: Remember that these knives are specifically designed for cutting food. Avoid using them for any non-food related tasks, as this can damage the blade.
  7. Handle with Care: Always be mindful of the knife's balance and handle it with care. Avoid dropping or carelessly tossing your knives, as this can lead to damage to both the blade and the handle.

Shop at Cotswold Knife Company with confidence, knowing we are a verified stockist of Kai knives.

Recently viewed