Shun Hikari – 2016 Kitchen Knife of the Year

At a recent Blade Show, the beautiful Shun Hikari won the 2016 Kitchen Knife of the Year award.

The 2016 Kitchen Knife of the Year almost seems to glow with its own inner light. Appropriately, we named it Shun Hikari. “Hikari” is Japanese for “light,” “sunlight,” or “illumination.”   By Shun Cutlery

Contents

First the Bad News:

The Hikari is only going into production in 2017. As such, there is no current pricing for this knife.

Shun Cutlery, responding to customer queries had this to say: “..Hello, all! Yes, this one is an 8-inch chef’s knife. .. Pricing has not yet been finalized.” October 10, 2016.

As near as I can tell, Shun is not yet taking advance orders, either.

There are no current videos on the Hikari. However, we did find this informational short on the Limited Edition Shun Hana ==>

Check the Shun Hana on Amazon for pricing and any discounts available.

About BLADE Show

The BLADE Show is the world’s largest, most important knife show, and has taken place every year since 1981 and in Atlanta since 1992. Upwards of 1,000 exhibitors from more than 20 countries display their knives and knife-related items over a three-day cutlery celebration that also features BLADE University knife seminars, knife auctions, custom knife awards, celebrity appearances and much more.

About BLADE

BLADE® Magazine (www.blademag.com) is the world’s No.1 knife publication. It is also the world’s oldest knife magazine, publishing its first issue in 1973. In conjunction with the BLADE Show, it has sponsored the Knife of the Year® Awards annually since 1982. The awards are the most coveted honors in the factory knife industry and are voted on by the booth exhibitors at the BLADE Show, who this year number more than 200. Only BLADE Show booth exhibitors are eligible to enter. The People’s Choice Award is open for voting to all visitors of blademag.com.

How do they judge?

A viewing/judging area for the knives is available in the center show floor display area.  Participation in the center display area is mandatory for all knife and knife accessory entries. If the eligible booth exhibitor has only one example of an item for display at the show, photographic and written descriptions are perfectly acceptable for the display cabinet.  Each eligible booth exhibitor is allotted a display area of 8 1/2″ x 11″ per entry. Displays must not be greater than 4″ high.  Positioning or placement within the cabinetry is at the discretion of BLADE® Magazine staff. Displays that include a base or marketing material that would obstruct other entries may be put on the bottom shelf. It is mandatory that booth number and company name be included with all Knife of the Year entries.

We have taken this style of judging and adapted it to our area of interest. That is, we judge by using. We hold the item and see how it performs in the tasks we bought it for. You can see our reviews in process by clicking here

Criteria for Judging the Blade Magazine Knife of the Year® Awards

Following are the criteria by which all knives except the knives or knife accessories in Categories VII and IX are judged for the Blade Magazine Knife of the Year® Awards. Judges are allowed one vote per category (there is no direct voting for Category I):

  • Does the knife reflect its design purpose?
  • Is the knife functional?
  • Does the knife fit the hand?
  • Rate the handle: material, fit, quality, etc.
  • Best buy—is the knife worth the money?
  • Does the knife display excellence in manufacturing quality?
  • Rate the knife by its beauty and aesthetics.

Categories for the Blade Magazine Knife of the Year® Awards  

Category IThe Blade Magazine Overall Knife of the Year®

The highest number of votes between Category II and Category III (see immediately following) will determine the winner.

Category IIThe Blade Magazine American Made Knife of the Year®

Top number of votes in this category (other than Overall Knife of the Year winner, if applicable) will determine the winner. U.S. Customs’ definition of the country of origin marked on the knife determines whether the knife is domestic or imported.

Category IIIThe Blade Magazine Imported Knife of the Year®

Top number of votes in this category (other than Overall Knife of the Year winner, if applicable) will determine the winner. U.S. Customs’ definition of the country of origin marked on the knife determines whether the knife is domestic or imported.

Category IVThe Blade Magazine Most Innovative American Design

Top number of votes in this category will determine the winner. U.S. Customs’ definition of the country of origin marked on the knife determines whether the knife is domestic or imported.

Category V – The Blade Magazine Most Innovative Imported Design

Top number of votes in this category will determine the winner. U.S. Customs’ definition of the country of origin marked on the knife determines whether the knife is domestic or imported.

Category VIThe Blade Magazine Best Buy of the Year

Top number of votes in this category will determine the winner. This category is open to any of the eligible booth exhibitors’ knife entries (though each exhibitor may enter only one knife in this category, as with all categories). The “manufacturer’s suggested retail price” (MSRP)—NOT the “suggested street price,” discounted price, etc.— must be noted by the entry or the entry may be disqualified.

Category VIIThe Blade Magazine Investor/Collector Knife of the Year®

Top number of votes in this category will determine the winner.

Category VIIIThe Blade Magazine Manufacturing Quality Award

Top number of votes in this category will determine the winner. Judging will include the entrant’s entire knife line; however, the center area display should be of a single example of the entrant’s knife line.

Category IXThe Blade Magazine Accessory of the Year

Top number of votes in this category will determine the winner. Entries should be those that sharpen, help maintain or store knives (sheaths, display cases, knife maintenance products such as blade polishes, rust preventatives, pivot lubricants, etc.), and the like. BLADE® Magazine reserves the right to disallow entries. This category does NOT include other knives, multi-tools or items that do not sharpen, help maintain or store knives, etc.

Category XThe Blade Magazine Knife Collaboration of the Year

This award goes to the best factory/handmade collaboration of the year. Top number of votes in this category will determine the winner.

Category XI – The Blade Magazine Kitchen Knife of the Year®

Top number of votes in this category will determine the winner. This category is for a single knife/design. 

What Makes Hikari so special?

Here’s what makes this enlightened new knife from Shun so very special:

TWO-STAGE FORGING PROCESS—Stage one: two steels are layered and roll-forged together, giving the steel a very fine grain for an exceptionally sharp, long-lasting edge. Stage two: the beautiful “hornet’s nest” pattern is created. In normal use, the steels wear at different rates creating micro serrations that maintain Shun Hikari’s performance even longer.

DUAL CORE BLADE STEEL71 alternating micro layers of VG10 & VG2 high-carbon, high-chromium stainless steel Damascus

HORNET’S NEST DAMASCUS PATTERN—Is strikingly beautiful and functional

RAZOR-SHARP 16° CUTTING EDGE—Double bevel, makes food preparation a pleasure

FULL COMPOSITE TANG—For precision balance and agile performance

ANGLED, POLISHED BOLSTER—Encourages a comfortable chef’s grip

BIRCH PAKKAWOOD® HANDLE—With an attractive satin low gloss finish, provides a comfortable, controlled grip; the red color accent highlights Shun Hikari’s blonde handle

EMBOSSED ENDCAP—Provides perfect balance and beauty

The Shun Hikari will be available sometime in 2017.

Knife Of The Year Award

The BLADE Magazine Knife of the Year Awards are barometers of the most successful companies in the knife industry, and as such are production cutlery’s benchmark honors. Qualified BLADE Show exhibitors display their entries at their booths and in the center display area of the show hall. The winners are voted on by their fellow exhibiting peers, and the winners are announced at the BLADE Magazine Awards Banquet the saturday night of the show.

Shun Cutlery

IN JAPAN, THE BLADE HAS LONG BEEN MORE THAN JUST A TOOL; THE WAY OF THE BLADE IS A WAY OF LIFE.

In Japanese, “Shun” (pronounced “shoon” and rhymes with “moon”) is the precise moment during the year when any particular food is at the peak of its perfection. Shun is when fruit is at its sweetest, when vegetables are perfectly ripe, perfectly fresh, and perfectly delicious. Shun is in harmony with the natural rhythms of the seasons. Shun Cutlery proudly takes its name from this Japanese culinary tradition of preparing and eating the very freshest food at the perfect “shun” moment. It is a tradition we live up to every day, making fine kitchen knives that are always at the peak of their perfection, too. You can see our review of the Shun Nakiri Knife by clicking here.

IN THE SPIRIT OF THE LEGENDARY SWORD SMITHS OF JAPAN

From the legendary samurai swords said to contain the soul of the warrior who wielded them to the handcrafted kitchen knives of today, the exquisite craftsmanship of Japanese blades is admired worldwide.

Since the 13th century, Seki City has been the heart of the Japanese cutlery industry. For more than 100 years, it has also been home to the Kai Corporation, the makers of Shun fine cutlery. Inspired by the blade-making traditions of ancient Japan, today’s highly skilled Shun artisans produce blades of unparalleled quality and beauty.

A WORK OF ART THAT TAKES MORE THAN 100 HANDCRAFTED STEPS TO COMPLETE

Incredibly sharp edges and unmatched aesthetics set Shun knives apart from every other kitchen knife on the market today. In the great tradition of Seki’s sword smiths, every knife is handmade by highly skilled specialists and requires at least 100 handcrafted steps to complete. Every day, the legacy of ancient sword smiths serves as inspiration to the artisans in the Kai factories. Kai’s 100-year-old tradition of blade-making excellence, combined with the newest technology and the most advanced materials, makes every Shun knife a functional work of art.

Shun makes an entry level series of knives for the more budget conscious buyer. You can see our review of the Shun Sora Knife series by clicking here.

Update 2/2/17

If this isn’t the chefs knife for you or if you just can’t wait any longer to buy that gift – There is another:  Shun Hana Limited Edition. Click here to see Amazon prices and any discounts.

3 thoughts on “Shun Hikari – 2016 Kitchen Knife of the Year

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