Dalstrong Shogun Series 9 1/2″ Chef Knife Review
April 23, 2016
Star Rating: 4.4 Stars
Overall Rating: Above Average Quality Professional Knife
Knife: Dalstrong Shogun Series Chef/Gyuto 9 1/2″ Knife (240mm)
Made In: ?
Steel: VG10 steel core
Blade Construction: 66 layers (33/side) of high-carbon SUS410 stainless steel hammered to reveal Dalstrong’s stunning ‘Tsunami Rose’ Damascus pattern. Nitrogen cooled for enhanced hardness, flexibility, and corrosion resistance.
Edge: 8° – 12° double-beveled blade using the traditional 3 step Honbazuke method to hand polish the edge to a mirror finish.
Handle: Ergonomically shaped handle made of military grade G-10 Garolite with a comfortable non-slip grip and an engraved end cap.
Tang: Full tang with 3 rivets including an intricate mosaic center pin.
Weight: 26 oz (.73 kg)
NSF approved? Unknown…but its quality and clean lines certainly suggests that it is.
Cleaning: Dishwasher safe but highly recommend hand-washing only.
Cost: About $110 – $299
Availability: Currently available (April 2016)
Chefs Resources joined with Joe Bartlett The Knife Nerd to do a review of the Dalstrong Shogun Series Damascus 9 1/2″ Chef’s Knife. Disclaimer: Dalstrong did provide us with a free knife to do this review. But we believe our review was uninfluenced by this kind gesture. Following is a transcript of Joe’s comments during the review.
“Hi I’m Joe Bartlett the Knife Nerd. I’m here to do an open box knife review in association with Chefs-Resources.com. Today we are doing the Dalstrong Shogun Series 9 1/2 inch Chef Knife. I’m going to go ahead and pull this out of the box and take a look at what we’ve got here.”
After opening the very elegantly packed box Joe continues, “We have a Dalstrong key chain, informational book on the knife, a survey…happy/not happy, a micro-fiber towel for cleaning your blade off, and VIP membership. And here we have the knife. It comes with this really nice saya (sheath or scabbard) with a pin and string attached so you don’t loose the pin.”
“With the Dalstrong Shogun Series we have a VG10 steel core. It’s a total of 67 layers…66 layers of flower Damascus folded over the VG10 core. It’s got a Rockwell hardness of 62+. They did a cryogenic hardening process using nitrogen cooling to maximize the hardness of the blade.”
“The handle we have here is a G-10 Garolite. It is a military grade carbon fiber style material. Full tang handle, triple riveted with a mosaic pin. We have the Dalstrong logo on the end cap and nicely etched on the side of the blade as well. Alright, without further ado, let’s see what this knife can do”
“First let’s see how we do on a shallot.” He minces the shallot. “Very smooth, going through like butter.”
“Next we’ll do a basil chiffonade. Ideally you want to get nice clean cuts through the basil, no bruising, no tearing. Let’s see how we do here.” Joe chiffonades the basil. “Very nice.”
“Next up we’ll do a drag-test trough a carrot. Ideally you want to get through this carrot without much resistance, not much breaking. This is a very light weight knife so I’m not sure exactly how it’s going to perform.” He does a drag cut on 2 slices. “Quite a bit of resistance on it. But like I said, it’s a very light weight knife.”
“Next up we’ll try to do a one handed tomato slice. Check to see if we have a nice razor sharp edge here. Should be able to go through heel to tip in one even slice. Let’s see what we’ve got here.” The first slice at the top of the tomato requires a forward and a back stroke. “That worked fairly well.” The second stroke required multiple strokes. “It’s making it through it though. That’s the good part.” The 3rd slice was also a challenge. “Well, it made it through. It didn’t do as well as I expected but it did make it through which is more than you can say about most knives.”
“Next we’ll try to do a push cut through a piece of paper. Ideally we should be able to get right through it, no serrations, no tears. So let’s see what we’ve got here.” He performs 2 perfect cuts through the paper. “Very smooth, very nice.”
“Alright, so there we have it. The Dalstrong 9,5 inch Shogun Series Chef Knife. That’s what we’ve got for ya.”
The Shogun Series knives go through a 60 day process of craftsmanship to produce this high-end knife, combining ancient Japanese sword making methods with today’s latest technologies. These blades are nitrogen cooled using a Cryogenic Hardening Process (CHP) which enhances their flexibility, hardness, and corrosion resistance capabilities. Check-out the Dalstrong site for some fantastic photos of the detailed beauty of this knife.
Dalstrong recommends restoring the edge after use by using a medium grit #1000 sharpening stone (whet stone) followed by a fine grit #6000 finishing stone.
Chef David’s Notes:
The bolster is very smooth and comfortable in the hand with no hard angles, allowing for a natural pinch grip. And the Garolite (G-10) handle has a sculpted non-slip grip which helps ensure accurate cuts.
Although this is a very sharp knife, it is also lighter than most chef knives of the same length. It is therefore best suited for light to medium load work but not for heavy duty work.
Summary: This is really a beautiful knife and for $120 it is a steal. If you find that out of the box the edge seems a little dull, just hone the edge on a 10,000 grit wet stone and leather strap…you will notice an immediate improvement.
|Dalstrong 9.5″ Chef Knife Review|
|5||2||Carrot-Lengthwise Test||A little difficulty dealing with the denseness of the carrot. This may be due to the overall lightness of the knife.|
|5||4||Shallot Test||Performed really well, did not smash the shallot while trying to mince.|
|Onion Test||n/a Did not do the onion test with this knife.|
|3||2||Tomato Test||Had some difficulty doing the free-hand slice. But no problem if you gently hold the tomato. Did not perform as well as other knives on the tomato.|
|3||3||Basil Test||Clean, sharp cuts with no bruising, tears, or shredding.|
|3||3||Paper Test||Easy! The blade performed exceptionally well.|
|5||4||Comfortable Handle & Bolster||Very comfortable and light in my hand. The heel is a little low for a Chef Knife so a person with large hands may want to try it before purchasing to be sure that your knuckles have enough clearance. However, I had no problem (I have medium sized hands).|
|3||3||Handle Quality||Garolite handle w/ full tang w/ 3 rivets|
|4||3||Overall Construction Quality||The knife seems to be constructed well and with proper care should last a long time. We rated it a 3 rather than a 4 because we did need to hone the edge slightly before doing the tomato test.|
|3||3||Design, Engraving, End-cap, etc||It is an artistically designed knife|
|5||3||Blade Cost per Inch||1 = under $25; 2 = $26 – $75; 3 = $76 – $150; 4 = $151 – $300; 5 = $301+|
|5||3||Utility||It did struggle some on denser products.|
|7||4||Overall Impression||A chef’s knife should handle carrots & onions well so despite its beautiful design our overall impression is a “4”.|
|5||4||Our Star Rating|
|69||51|| 4.4 Stars = Superior Quality Professional Knife – See Overall Ranking Below
formula: (actual score/total possible*6)
Get a Dalstong Chef Knife at Amazon.co
Full disclosure: this is an affiliate link and I will receive a commission for each knife purchased. With that said, I stand by the review presented here.
5 stars on Amazon
DALSTRONG Chef Knife – Shogun Series Gyuto – 9.5″ (240mm)
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Thanks for the review. I have this blade (and a few others from Dalstrong) and honestly think you might have got one poorly sharpened. I think you also short changed this blade in general, for the price it’s as good as the best of Shun and Tojiro, but much less expensive. I used a 1000 and 6000 grit just recently and a strop to finish and this knife is brutally sharp and still performs excellent after 1+ years of prep. My Shun Reserve (which I love the looks of) cost 3x as much as performs just a little worse.
Thanks for your comment @mike13rr:disqus. It sounds like you are another knife aficionado like so many other people in our industry. I’m glad that the Dalstrong has worked well for you, and actually, a 4.4 out of 5 star rating is pretty good. From out perspective, the fact that you had to hone it yourself w/ a 1000, 6000, and leather strop to hone the edge is what makes the difference for us. We returned one knife because it could not cut the tomato. And the second knife they sent also had to be honed by us before the test!… Read more »
Nice knives for being made in China which is how they hit the price point. I DO wish they would simply state that the knives are made in the PRC (as it said on my box) who are perfectly capable of making fine cutting tools. It appears to me that Dahlstrong tries to obfuscate this manufacturing issue with their emphasis on Japanese and German steel (on their other knives) and manufacturing techniques but won’t simple say WHERE these are made until you buy one.
Dalstrong Shogun Series Damascus 9 1/2″ Chef’s Knife