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
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.
Sahm Khom Slicer – It’s just a stunner. An absolute diamond. I love it. Simple as that.
Sahm Khom Slicer – This knife is simply stunning, I love it and so will you. These are the knives I have been looking for. They are perfect.
Chef’s Knife 8″ / 21cm – This knife is just phenomenal. I am fairly new to IO SHEN but i am now hooked. This knife is just purely better than the rest. Also, Natalie’s knowledge and passion is simply unmatched by any other supplier i have ever dealt with both food and non-food. I WILL NEVER LOOK AT ANOTHER BRAND AGAIN.
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!
Pointed Paring Knife – What a superb knife! Easily tackles the smallest intricate work to larger tasks. Feels great in the hand and the blade is like a razor.
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!
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).
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.
Extra Long Bread Knife – Once you use on of these no other knife will do!