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
Filleting Knife – The thin, flexible blade of this knife stays razor sharp through the hardest of fish prep at the restaurant. Such a useful knife in my kit.
Maoui Deba – I had four I. O. Shen knives before trying this one out at the Good Food show in Birmingham today. This knife is just wonderful, the balance is so good it is just effortless to use. Ridiculously sharp out of the box as usual and an absolute pleasure to use for all types of work. Get one, you know it makes sense!
Oriental Slicer – One of the best I have used. It is so versatile you just don’t want to use any other knife. Even my wife loves it and she is not in to knives. If you are looking for a knife that does everything, get this knife.
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!
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!
Mai Peng 10th Anniversary Gift Set – Was given the set as an anniversary present, and was even more surprised to see that it had been engraved as well.
The Mai Peng has become a firm favourite very quickly, and I’ll reach for it for chills, ginger and onions in preference to the paring or Sahm Kohm.
The IOShen Filleting Knife can fillet a Lemon Sole or Plaice in 3 mins with this beauty. A wonderful knife, like holding a matchstick, every cut is a breeze.
Chef’s Knife 8″ / 21cm – Such a superbly versatile knife for professional or home cook. Perfectly balanced, confidence building knife for anyone who is cautious of using a chefs knife. My “go to” knife in the kitchen
Sahm Khom Slicer – It’s just a stunner. An absolute diamond. I love it. Simple as that.
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.