Just as they did when they recruited Ken Onion to their design staff, Kershaw has picked a real winner in having TV cooking show host Alton Brown promote their Shun knives. Along with the Shun blades being some of the hottest cutlery around in gourmet circles, Alton seems to actually have a good working knowledge of the technical aspects of knife production. From the various kitchen knife skills books I’ve read, I’m not sure the average professional chef does.

In addition to being a spokesman for their standard Shuns, Brown has designed a group of knives for Shun called the “Alton’s Angle Series.” One of my pet peeves about would-be knife designers is that they always think they can improve blade efficiency by curving the handle down below the line of the edge. Look at the proven knife patterns around the world that are used on a daily basis. The handles are almost always straight or curve up above the blade line. Kukris are the one major exception, and they are basically large knives designed to substitute for a hatchet. So ask one of these budding knife designers why his handle curves down and he will almost always say something about making it a better chopper. Why you would ever need to chop with a conventional-size blade is never discussed. I can tell you this design feature makes the knife much harder to use for basic utility cutting.

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Just as they did when they recruited Ken Onion to their design staff, Kershaw…