kamikoto vs shun header image

Kamikoto vs Shun 

Who Makes the Best 3 Piece Japanese Knife Set?

By Bobby B.  |  December 11, 2019  | Kitchen Knife Comparisons

If you’re a fan of Japanese-style knives, you’re in for a treat!  It’s time to compare two companies who really know how to package a gift with great knife performance and packaging presentation all wrapped into one.  Both knife brands go above and beyond to make you feel special when you open your new set of knives…and this makes their gift sets amazing!  We thought this was the perfect time to debate which makes the best 3 piece Japanese knife set.

Kamikoto vs Shun:  Our Brand Comparison

Shun is a well-known Japanese knife maker who puts quality and craftsmanship over anything else.  Their knives are handcrafted in Seki City, Japan and have been for many years.  You can read more than you ever wanted to know about the company and their products in our Shun knives review article.  

By relying on skilled artisans to hand-make their knives, Shun produces a very high quality product.  At the same time, their prices tend to be a bit higher than knives that are made in bulk on a modern, automated production line.  For the most part, fans of Japanese-style kitchen knives are just fine with this.  They come to expect such quality from their knives.

Kamikoto on the other hand is not as prevalent of a brand here in the United States.  That doesn’t mean they don’t also have a rich history and tradition in baked into their knife making process.  In fact, their blades are made from a specific, high quality steel from Honshu, Japan, and always handmade by a select group of experience craftsmen.  Although their marketing leads you to believe the knives are made in Japan, after digging deeper, you can see that Kamikoto knives are actually produced in Yanjiang, a Chinese city known for its knife-making traditions.

They aren’t the only ones by a long shot in Yanjiang.  I’ve read there are over 1,000 knife makers in this city, including manufacturing facilities for Dalstrong and Zelite.  

The Best 3 Piece Japanese Knife Set

Both Shun and Kamikoto make one of the best 3 piece Japanese knife sets.  Three knives in a set might seem to not be enough, but they’re not necessarily meant to be the only knives in your kitchen.  For one, I think they’re a perfect gift for someone.  Perhaps your boss at work or someone special in your life that loves to cook.   

The Shun 3 Piece Premier Knife Set

Shun 3 piece japanese knife set

Shun 3 Piece Japanese Knife Set Review:

This is a beautiful knife set that includes 3 basic knives from their Premier Series.  You can see the rounded pakkawood handles and the highly polished tsuchime hammered finish.  Not only does it look great, but the hammered finish acts as a sort of food release on the blade, similar to grantons.  This is a perfect size gift set and comes presentation ready shipped from Amazon.  

As you may recall, Shun’s Premier knives are handcrafted and take over 100 steps to make.  They use only the very best hardened steels to help preserve the ultra-sharp 16-degree blades.  This starts with a VG-Max core and is clad with 34 layers of the hammered Damascus steel.  

Knives Included:

  • 4-inch Paring Knife
  • 6.5-inch Utility Knife
  • 8-inch Chef Knife

The Kamikoto 3 Piece Japanese Knife Set

kamikoto review

Kamikoto Review:

WOW!  Look at the presentation on this 3-piece knife set.  It even comes with its own natural-colored, ash wood box for storage, but it also double as a “gift box” of sorts.  I think this makes a very nice gift set!

The knives themselves are also very nice.  Like all Kamikoto knives, they are each made with high-quality Honshu, Japan steel and are precision balanced and weighted for your comfort and their performance.

Knives Included:  

  • 7-inch Nakiri Knife
  • 8.5-inch Slicing Knife
  • 5-inch Utility Knife

Kamikoto vs Shun:  Which is the Best 3 Piece Japanese Knife Set?

Clearly they are both very nice knife sets and most would love to receive either one as a gift.  If you’re looking for a name-brand and/or high performance, we have to recommend the SHUN PREMIER 3-PC KNIFE SET.  We’re very familiar with their Premier series, and we’re big fans!  We love that it not only is a top performing knife, but it also looks great, and very high-end.  This of course means a lot when you’re talking about a gift set.

So, what about the KAMIKOTO KANPEKI KNIFE SET?  It’s awesome too!  And if you don’t care about the “Shun” name or like the more subtle look of the satin-finished knives, it’s not a bad choice.  In fact, at the time of writing this article, it was the less expensive set.  So, depending on your gift budget, it might be the better fit.

We feel you really can’t get wrong either way.