For precision cutting in the kitchen, Japanese knives are the best tools. They require careful use and frequent honing, but they offer exceptional sharpness and performance. In this article, we will help you choose between Zelite Infinity vs Shun Cutlery Premiere, two Japanese knives that are made of high-quality steels and well-designed ergonomic handles.
Continue reading to find out about:
– The differences between Japanese knives and German knives
– The blade material and quality of Zelite Infinity
– The blade material and quality of Shun Cutlery Premiere
– Which knife that is superior in terms of aesthetics
– Which knife that is easier to clean and maintain
– Whether you should choose Zelite Infinity or Shun Cutlery Premiere
How Japanese Knives Differ From German Knives
There are different types of kitchen knives with distinct purposes. For example, a boning knife is optimized for removing bones from meat, poultry, and fish quickly, whereas a paring knife is only for peeling fruits. However, the material of the knife’s blade may also decide its best uses. Most kitchen knives can be categorized into one of two groups, which are German-style (such as Victorinox Fibrox vs Swiss Classic) and Japanese-style (such as Dalstrong Knife, Zelite Infinity, Shun Cutlery Premiere).
The primary differences between German-style knives and Japanese-style knives are the edge angle and hardness. In turn, these variables also affect the suitable uses and durability. Japanese-style knives like Zelite Infinity and Shun Cutlery Premiere are known to be extremely sharp and precise, but require care and frequent honing.
Japanese blades are thinner, so they can have a sharper edge which is usually between 15 – 16 degrees. The shape of the blade is straighter to allow clean and precise cuts. Most Japanese blades are refined and honed by hand. Meanwhile, German blades are a bit thicker with an edge angle of 20 degrees. The shape of the blade is curved to facilitate rocking motion. Most German blades are machine-finished.
The material also differs. Japanese steels used by Zelite Infinity vs Shun Cutlery Premiere typically contains more carbon, which make them harder yet more brittle. They can be extremely sharp, but they will require frequent sharpening. Meanwhile, German steel is typically made with less carbon. It is softer and easier to bend, but it can hold a sharp edge for a longer time and won’t need to be sharpened as frequently.
Finally, their best uses are also different. Because of the narrower cutting edge and harder blade, Japanese knives excel in precision cutting. It can make very precise, smooth, and clean cuts. It is best for slicing foods. On the other hand, German knives are more durable, more versatile, but less precise. The curved cutting edge will allow easy chopping, mincing, and slicing.
Zelite Infinity Knife: Overview
Just like most Japanese knives, Zelite Infinity is respected for its superior sharpness. In this article, we take the Zelite Infinity 8-inch Chef’s Knife to be compared against Shun Cutlery Premiere. This knife looks beautiful, and it can perform a wide range of cutting tasks with the utmost precision. Due to the smooth and clean cuts, this knife makes an excellent choice for preparing restaurant-grade meals.
The company uses a premium-quality Japanese steel that is resistant to rust and corrosion. The special design of the blade is optimized to reduce slicing resistance. As a result, the blade will be able to slice meats, veggies, and fruits very easily.
On the width of the blade, you can see a beautiful Tsunami Rose Damascus Pattern. It matches the shape of the blade as well as the triple-riveted handle. It enhances the already good appearance of the knife to be even more luxurious. Hence, it can be an excellent choice if you want an exotic-looking knife in your kitchen or as a gift for someone.
The triple-riveted handle is ergonomically designed to allow a solid grip. Yet, it is still very comfortable. It is slightly curved to make a perfect fit in your palm, so you won’t need to spend extra effort just to keep it the knife your hand. In addition, the knife’s weight has also been balanced to give you the best feel and control.
Unlike other Japanese knives, Zelite Infinity vs Shun Cutlery Premiere is available at a reasonable price point. Even so, it still has an exceptional quality. In addition, Zelite Infinity comes with a money-back guarantee if you are not satisfied by its performance, along with a limited lifetime warranty which will cover any manufacturing defect found in the product.
Zelite Infinity Knife: In Use
As mentioned above, Japanese steels contain more carbon, so they are harder yet more brittle. This is definitely the case with Zelite Infinity.
The blade uses a combination of a high-quality carbon stainless steel and a VG-10 Japanese steel. As a result, the blade can have outstanding sharpness and hardness. However, the cutting edge is somewhat curved more than usual, a bit like a German knife, so it will allow easy rocking motion for chopping or mincing.
When tested, the Zelite Infinity 8-inch chef’s knife feels surprisingly versatile. Although it is still best for slicing and precision cutting, the shape of the blade has allowed easier chopping and mincing. You should not use this knife for chopping or mincing hard foods, as the blade is rather brittle, but it works great for leeks, tomatoes, and onions.
Another nice thing about the blade is that it is non-stick. When cutting tomatoes or raw chicken, the pieces will drop instead of sticking to the side of the blade. As the effect, you can continue cutting quickly.
Zelite Infinity is a great cutting tool for any kitchen. If you host dinner frequently, the sophisticated and well-balanced knife will allow you to work without exhausting your wrist. As a note, even though the knife is said to be dishwasher-safe, manual washing by hand is highly recommended in order to preserve its longevity.
Shun Cutlery Premiere: Overview
The word “Shun” refers to a Japanese concept of eating fresh in-season food, when the food is at the highest level of freshness and perfection. In order to prepare such food, you need a high-quality knife. Hence, Shun Cutlery Premiere is introduced.
This knife is handcrafted in Japan. The company follows a swordsmith tradition in which each knife is handcrafted through at least 100 steps. The company takes pride in their premium-quality blades produced by highly skilled artisans.
The blade is made of a VG-10 stainless steel that contains cobalt and vanadium. As a result, the blade can have high hardness and high density, the combination of which interestingly results in very good edge retention. The blade is also resistant to corrosion, so it requires relatively minimal care.
Meanwhile, the handle is made of a natural hardwood which has been given resin to make it waterproof. However, there is no smell whatsoever. It feels solid and durable. The grip is secure and comfortable.
The handle is D-shaped, so it will fill your palm properly for a solid grip. It also seems to resist slipping quite well. However, although the wooden handle has been given resin to increase its resistance against moisture, it is still prone to extreme temperature changes. So, be mindful for the storage place of the knife.
You should also note that the wooden handle is not as grippy as a synthetic handle. There is some traction to enhance your grip, but it can still get a bit slippery if your hand is very wet. So, try to keep your hand dry when handling the knife.
Shun Cutlery Premiere: In Use
Shun Cutlery Premiere feels like a traditional Japanese knife in the most literal way. The blade is very sharp and precise, and the handle has certain ergonomics unique to a traditional Japanese knife.
In general, Shun Cutlery Premiere shouldn’t be used for cutting bones or joints. Although the blade is quite durable, it is still meant for precision slicing rather than crushing. You need other specialized knives, preferably German-style, for cutting tough objects.
You should avoid pushing the blade straight down when cutting. This may cause the edge to chip. Instead, you should try to move the blade forward or backward. Besides allowing the blade to slice properly, such motion also causes less arm fatigue.
If we compare the performance of Zelite Infinity vs Shun Cutlery Premiere, they actually feel quite similar. They both are very sharp and precise. The blade of Shun Cutlery Premiere is a bit better in terms of edge retention. However, it still requires honing once in a while if you want it to last.
Another thing to keep in mind is that the knife may collect debris in the joint between the blade and the handle. This is the case with many hammered knives. Make sure that you dedicate some time for cleaning the joint, as it can be a bit difficult.
Zelite Infinity vs Shun Cutlery Premiere
Both are excellent Japanese knives, so you can’t really go wrong with either. However, Zelite Infinity is generally more recommended. It looks more beautiful and stylish with the pattern on the width of the blade. It is also easier to clean and maintain. The non-stick blade is very sharp and precise, while the ergonomic handle is solid and comfortable.