Shun Sora Knife Review: Quality too Cheap to Keep Sharp?

Shun Sora Knife Review: Is it worth the Price? Will it Hold its Edge? Quality too Cheap to Keep Sharp? (Updated for 2017)

Sora 6pc set VBS0600

Sora 6pc set VBS0600

Are you looking for a high quality chef’s knife, paring knife or knife set that will get you through all your daily kitchen duties, hold an edge and last – all while not breaking the bank? If so, our Shun Sora Knife Review will help you choose. With an average 4.5 star review, these budget blades are worth a second look. Take a Look ==>

Designed as a less expensive line but still backed by the quality of this long-standing cutlery company, the Shun Sora line boasts high grade VG-10 steel at their core (just like the Shun Classic knives) but with a thinner blade profile.

This series encompasses eight different types of knives, though you can also buy them in pairs and sets if you’ll use more than one and want to save some cash. Here’s the rundown:

8” Chef’s Knife

Sora 8" Chef Knife VB0706

Sora 8″ Chef Knife VB0706

Byfar the most popular and versatile, this 8” blade features a VG10 core surrounded by stainless steel, forming what’s called a “san mai” edge. The stainless not only reinforces the blade but also makes it stain resistant. The upper is Japanese 420J, a low carbon metal with high chromium content, making it resistant to corrosion.


What is the edge shape?

The edge shape of the 8” chef’s knife is a 50/50 Western type shape, but it has a 16 degree edge on both sides instead of the traditional 20.

How often does it need sharpening?

If you care for this knife properly, you shouldn’t need to sharpen it very often. This means only cutting on proper surfaces and keeping it clean and dry. If you do this, you can get by with honing it every so often, but you can go months or even years without actually sharpening it depending on how much wear and tear you put on the blade.

Is it stamped or forged?

It’s actually laminated, which is a type of a forge weld.

Does it have a full tang?

Not necessarily. According to the manufacturer, the blade steel goes almost to the end of the handle.

Can I use it if I’m a lefty?

The only Shun knives specifically made for right-handed users are the Classic and Classic Pro series. Since this one is double beveled, it will work for either a left or right handed user.

Does it come in a smaller size?

If you find the 8” blade is a bit too much for your hand, it also comes in a 6” version, model VB0723.

Is it time to replace your cutting board? Experts suggest that you replace them about every 2 years or so.

You can see Amazon’s Choice for OXO Good Grips Cutting Board by clicking here.


Shun Sora vs Shun Premier Chef Knife?

Check the Shun Sora Series on Amazon for latest price and any available discount.

It’s true the Shun Sora knives are a cheaper alternative to the pricy Classic line, but what makes them different? While both are high quality and durable, there are a few significant differences. The Classic has a few extra bells and whistles in that their handles are made of wood instead of plastic, and they have a Damascus pattern on the blade. The blades of the Classic series are also just a bit thicker and the steel is just a little different. 

You can see our review of the Shun Classic 8″ Chef Knife by clicking here.

The Classic series uses VG-MAX steel instead of VG-10. While VG-10 has been used in finer cutlery for many years, the VG-MAX is just a step up, using more chromium and carbon for added durability.

The biggest difference is found in the price in that most of the Classic blades are nearly double the cost of the Sora series.

3.5” Paring Knife, Model VB0700


Sora 3.5″ Paring Knife VB0700

A miniature version of the Sora 8” Chef’s Knife, this little paring knife is also a workhorse and much loved in user reviews. It’s made just like its big sister and is ideal for paring or coring vegetables and fruits. Overall, it gets great ratings and is second in popularity only to the bigger version.

You can buy the 3.5” and 8” knives separately, but you can buy them at a much bigger discount if you get them as a 2-piece set.

Other Shun Sora Knives & Knife Sets

7” Hollow Ground Santoku VB0718

Sora 7" Hollow Ground Santuko VB0718

Sora 7″ Hollow Ground Santuko VB0718

Another choice in this Shun Sora Review, this 7” blade has the same makeup and features in a slightly different size. If the 8” chef knife is a bit large for your hand, the Santoku is a good alternative. (you can see how this  compares to the Shun Nakiri by clicking here.)


Is it a full tang?

Yes – the blade steel goes all the way through the handle.

What is Hollow Ground?

Hollow ground means there are concave points along the blade. The purpose of these indentations is to create air pockets between the blade and whatever you’re cutting. In practical terms, it means the edge is nice and sharp but food is less likely to stick to it.

This tends to be the knife of choice for most vegetarians. The reason is that it is specifiaclly designed to chop vegetables. For those of you who make a lot of rice dishes, you can see our review on our top 5 stainless steel rice cookers by clicking here.

6” Utility Knives, Model VB0701 & VB0741

Sora Utility VB0701

Sora Utility VB0701

A versatile alternative, the VB0701 has a slightly thinner blade than its larger counterparts. This one works great for everything from cutting meat to fish to vegetables in a smaller profile. The VB0741 does the same job but comes in a slightly wider profile with a blunt end.

9” Bread Knife, VB0705

Sora 9" Bread Knife VB0705

Sora 9″ Bread Knife VB0705

Another superstar from this collection, the VB0705 has one purpose – slicing bread. With an ability to saw though even warm loaves without tearing and a very sharp edge, if you’re a bread maker, this one is a must-have.

9” Honing Steel

Sora Honing Steel VB0750

Sora Honing Steel VB0750

You can see a honing steel on Amazon and check for the best price and any discounts available.

While it’s not a Shun Sora knife, having a good honing steel on hand is a great addition to any kitchen knife block or drawer. While the Sora line may not need sharpening often, you will want to hone them occasionally so they keep a nice sharp edge.

This honing steel has a 16 degree hand guard which maintains the Sora blades between sharpening. To use it, just put the steel tip down onto a sturdy countertop, line up the blade with the hand guard and pull the blade down gently 3-4 times. Repeat on the other side to keep your knives in tip top shape.

You may want to have a sharpener on hand, as well. It also makes a great gift.

You can see Amazon’s Choice for the Linkyo Electric Knife Sharpener by clicking here.

Knife Block Sets

The Shun knife set deserves a detailed review as well. You can see our review of the best kitchen knife set by clicking here.

5, 6 & 7 Piece Sets with Bamboo Block

Sora 5pc Starter Set DMS0510

Sora 5pc Starter Set DMS0510

These highly rated sets include different blades depending on the set as follows:

The 5-piece set includes the 8” chef’s knife, 4” paring knife, 6.5” panini knife, honing steel a bamboo block with 11 slots.




Sora 6pc set VBS0600

The 6-piece is the basic Sora set and includes the 3.5” paring knife, 6”utility knife, 8” chef’s knife, honing steel, shears and a 13-slot bamboo block so you can add other knives over time.



Classic 7pc Set DM2003B

Classic 7pc Set DM2003B






The 7-piece set includes the 8” chef’s knife, 3.5” paring knife, 9” bread knife, 6” utility knife, shears, sharpening steel all in the 11-slot bamboo block.

You can check the Shun Sora Knife Block Sets on Amazon for latest price and any available discount:


Final Thoughts

No matter which Shun Sora knives you decide are best for you, or even if you choose a shun knife set, you’re sure to find a bargain. While they don’t have the high price tag of top of the line knives, they are still a very good value, and users agree in review after review. The steel is solid, the hand fit is comfortable, and they’re easy to use and keep sharp. Overall, they’re a good investment for any home chef.


We have had several additions to the review of these items. The 6-pc Block Set has come back with the most positive feedback. It has many of the blades that every kitchen needs. And it has room to grow if and when you decide to add different knives to your set.

If this is not the kitchen knife for you please click here and see my review of JA Henckels International Knives and Sets


JA Henckels International Knives & Sets

Shun Classic 8 inch Chefs Knife

14 thoughts on “Shun Sora Knife Review: Quality too Cheap to Keep Sharp?

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