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 – 9″ / 24cm – This is the one! Literally will smash any job. Beautifully weighted and stays insanely sharp. If you love your kitchen, but you don’t have this in it, it isn’t a kitchen. Sorry.
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 – 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!
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
Having the 3 Piece Knife Set in your knife set, is a must! They are very good and reliable to do the task that you have to do and I will recommend them to any up coming Chef that likes a good quality Knife with them in the kitchen.
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.
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!
Double-sided Magnetic Knife Block Set – I evaluated a number of makes and types of knife before opting purchase the I.O.Shen knife block. This is a great value way of buying 4 excellent knives with a stylish storage block.
I have been very impressed with the I.O.Shen range. The weight and balance of each knife is perfect. This coupled with super sharp blades means you can prepare a wide range of ingredients confidently, quickly and accurately.
Preparation time has also been reduced as a result of better knife skills and there is a definite improvement in my presentation, too.
I was so impressed with the knives provided with the block, I have added the Mai Peng 10th Anniversary and Broad Blade Shredding knives to my collection.
I managed to damage the blade on my pairing knife. I.O.Shen provided prompt and courteous service, restoring the blade to its former glory.
Outstanding products, outstanding service and support!!!
How did I manage without these knives before ????!
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!
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.