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
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!
Sahm Khom Slicer – It’s just a stunner. An absolute diamond. I love it. Simple as that.
Filleting Knife – I have a fish restaurant and I hammer this beauty. I absolutely hammer it. The balance and weight are perfect, there’s just enough flexibility in the blade and I wave a steel in its vague direction about once every 6 months. I love it. I’d get a room with it if that wouldn’t be weird.
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.
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.
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!
Extra Long Bread Knife – Once you use on of these no other knife will do!
Oriental Slicer – The one big problem with this knife is that it is SO versatile, SO useful that it’s hard to justify buying more IO Shen knives. It does it all, I’ve had mine for 5-6 years, sharpened it once & it is still razor sharp. The perfect way to start a happy addiction. If you have one you don’t need more knives but you do NEED more (I’ve got 3 others).
Chef’s Knife 8″ / 21cm – Beautiful looking knife, has a very sharp edge straight out of the box that allows you to cut food like air. It has just enough weight to aid in cutting but is still light, very well balanced knife. It feels great in my hand and has one of the best shaped profiles ive come across, it feels so natural to use. I know go to I.O Shen over any other knife in my collection, wusthof, shun, etc. There is only one fault with this knife which is quite a big one but not enough to put me off the knife. Note this problem is non existent on the larger knifes but there is very little knuckle clearance. My fingers are small and unless I keep the handle infront of the chopping board my knuckles will contact the board. This is quite a decent flaw in an otherwise flawless knife in my opinion.
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.