The ultimate steel hardness
All knives are graded for hardness. The harder the steel in the blade, the longer the knife stays sharp for and the more exquisite the cutting edge feels.
In contrast, the softer the steel, the quicker it blunts and it doesn’t ‘feel’ as sharp, even when it’s brand new out of the box.
For many years, knife manufacturers have been trying to use increasingly harder steel in order to achieve the ultimate cutting edge. The hardness of stainless steel is measured on a scale called Rockwell; Rockwell 62 º (also known as HRC62) being the highest grade commercially available. However, the brittleness of such hard steel has always been a limiting factor – therefore knife manufacturers have had to stop short of what is considered ‘the ultimate steel hardness for a knife’.
Standard single layer Japanese knives will typically rate at between Rockwell 54 -58 º. This is the outer limit of steel production as any higher would result in snapping or chipping of the blade if misused.
The ultimate cutting edge
I.O.Shen Mastergrade knives have overcome this problem by using a layer of extremely hard Japanese steel (Rockwell 62º), which is sandwiched between two layers of softer stainless steel (Rockwell 10º), to produce the ultimate cutting edge. The softer layers add a protective shock absorbing element to the blade, whilst the HRC62 steel which runs through the middle is exposed at the edge of the blade to ensure that your knife is the sharpest blade that can possibly be manufactured.
CATRA (The Culinary & Allied Trades Research Association) are word renowned for their steel testing and consultancy services. I.O.Shen knives have been tested and certified as “Excellent” for initial cut and longevity of cutting edge.
Like working with a piece of art
What distinguishes I.O.Shen knives from other Japanese knives (apart from the Triplex Steel Technology) is that the handles have more of a Western influence.
Most, if not all, Japanese knives are very light and have metal, bamboo or wooden handles. I.O.Shen handles are heavier and have the weight of a traditional German knife with the added benefit of Japanese steel which has been honed to a 15 º angle.
The handles also have a very distinctive Tai Tang pattern in the handle, making them a stylish knife choice. Chef Felice Tocchini says that using I.O.Shen knives is “…like working with a piece of art”.
Launched in 2004, I.O.Shen Mastergrade knives are now established as a firm favourite with chefs and budding amateurs alike.
A force to be reckoned with!
With some wonderful testimonials and amazing Press and TV coverage – you are sure to find the right knife for the job. We were once hailed in one of the Sunday tabloids for being “The Luke Skywalker light sabre of chef’s knives”.
In 2007, I.O.Shen won the converted Excellence in Housewares Award (equivalent to an industry Oscar!) and we were finalists again in 2011.
The range was voted for by a panel of experts who recognised that the combination of an amazing cutting edge, a uniquely designed handle and astonishing price points could only mean that I.O.Shen was a force to be reckoned with!
Dont just take our word for it either! Here’s what Soho Knives (Dennys) have to say about I.O.Shen: Click here for I.O.Shen review
Thanks for all your support! Big love – the I.O.Shen team xx
Broad Blade Chinese Shredding Knife – The straight edged blade of this knife makes shredding and cutting delicate herbs a breeze! Unlike most knife brands this blade won’t bruise salads or herbs and ensures a perfect cut every time. Perfectly weighted and balanced like all the knives in the range that I have and use daily!
Utility Knife – Just purchased this to compliment my 9″ chef’s knife, also an I.O. Shen. This 5″ knife is ideal for the smaller more delicate preparation, such as fruit and smaller vegetables and has excellent balance and weight. Super sharp out of the box, as expected and a pleasure to use. I have a Global GSF of a similar size, but I wanted a blade with a bit more weight and power, which this little beauty has in spades. Very impressed!
Extra Long Bread Knife – Unlike many serrated bread knives I’ve tried over my professional career, this knife will cut the softest or crustiest of breads with ease and precision.
Mai Peng 10th Anniversary Gift Set – I was very pleased with the item. I collect I.O.Shen Knives and this Mai Peng Paring Knife is perfect for precise chopping. It was in a gift box with a pen knife. I was disappointed in the pen knife as it arrived damaged but I sent it back and a replacement was sent. If you buy I.O.Shen, the price is comparable to other elite knives so the pen knife is an added bonus.
Sahm Khom Slicer – I purchased this particular knife to give me a blade between my 9″ chef and 5″ utility knives, both of which are also I.O. Shen items.
The handle is as large as my chef’s knife, which I really like as I have quite large hands. The blade is not as heavy as I expected, which initially was a cause for concern, but after use, preparing onions, ginger, potatoes and herbs, I found those concerns to be completely unfounded. The balance of this knife is what makes it for me; I can use it for tap and rock chopping at considerable speed with utter confidence.
I would recommend this knife wholeheartedly for general use as it has both power and accuracy to cover most bases. A definite winner for me!
Chef’s Knife – 6″ / 16.5cm – After a very informative demonstration and trial, I bought my knife from the Good Food show in Birmingham a couple of weeks ago. I’m not making this up when I say that this knife has transformed the way I prepare food. I’m left handed and so using most knives can feel quite unsafe to me and I’ve had more cuts from blunt knives than I would care to count. The I.O Shen knife makes me feel exceptionally confident when I’m using it. The weight of it in my hand feels right, the handle is comfortable, and the sharpness of the blade means that my hand doesn’t tire from having to apply too much pressure when chopping food as it tends to with less sharp knives. I’m a big fan and already considering which I.O Shen knife to purchase next. Thank you I.O Shen.
Oriental Slicer – As an amateur i was using the cheapest knives i could get – i took the plunge and got THE ORIENTAL SLICER and i use it for just about everything i do – this slicer makes you feel like a professional and the team at IO SHEN are incredible nice and friendly and helpful = FORGET THE REST USE THE BEST
Chef’s Knife 8″ / 21cm – An excellent, well balanced and comfortable knife. Versatile enough for day-to-day tasks, and attractive to stand out during presentations and demonstrations. Service from the team sparkles as do the blades.
Khay Dee Deba – I received this as a gift for Christmas today and have put it through it’s paces today during a busy lunch service! I can see myself using it a lot!
Cleaver – Have to say I am really impressed with this cleaver. The weight and balance is amazing. It is a very substantial clever and makes getting through bones and tougher jobs so much easier. As with any of IO Shen blades, it does the work for you. It has become one of my favourite knives of the range. Worth the investment.