Shan Zu Damascus 8″ Chef Knife Review

June 12, 2019

Star Rating: 5.8 Stars
Overall Rating: Excellent Quality Professional Knife
Knife: Damascus GYO Series 8″ Chef’s Knife
Brand: Shan Zu
Made In: ?
Steel: Japanese AUS-10V super steel core with damasacus layers of 430 & 431 stainless steel
Rockwell: 60 – 62 HRC
Blade Construction: AUS-10V core with 66 layers (33 per side) and a unique granton edge
Edge: 15° ±1° degree double-beveled blade
Handle:  G10 military grade epoxy fiberglass non-slip handle with an intricate mosaic pin and engraved end cap
Tang: Full length narrow “hidden” tang
Weight: about 8.8 oz (249 gm)
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 $120
Availability: Currently available (June 2019)
Warranty: ??

Knife Stats and Review

Shan Zu Chef KnifeThe Shan Zu company sent me their Gyo Series 8″ Damascus Chef Knife to take for a spin and do a review on. The video review is below, which demonstrates the knife cutting various ingredients. Overall, this knife performed exceptionally well on all of our tests and I would certainly recommend it to anyone interested in purchasing it.

The blade is 8.3″ long and the knife’s design appears to be a unique combination of a chef’s knife and a kiritsuke knife. The GYO series knife adds artistic value with a symmetrical, tight Damascus rolling wave pattern on the blade. It’s core is constructed of premium Japanese AUS-10V super steel with 66 layers (33 per side) of Damascus cladding using 430 & 431 stainless steel which adds exceptional strength, durability and stain resistance. And it is nitrogen-cooled for increased hardness, flexibility and corrosion resistance. The blade features a double beveled edge set with a 15° ±1° degree angle and has a Rockwell rating of 60-62HRC which provides incredible edge retention and durability. The blade also has a unique triangular shaped granton-style edge which helps food to release and minimizes resistance during cutting.

The handle features an ergonomically shaped, comfortable non-slip grip G10 handle with an intricate mosaic pin and an engraved end cap which provides both balance and an artistic flare. G10 is a military-grade epoxy fiberglass material which makes it highly resistant to heat, cold & moisture resulting in life-long and durability. There is ample clearance between the handle and the heel providing plenty of room so as to not to mash your knuckles during use.

It features a full narrowing or “hidden” tang, meaning that the tang goes the full length of the handle end to end, but not top to bottom, so it is “hidden” in the center of the handle. This common technique provides plenty of strength while reducing weight and is therefore an excellent choice for the construction of a chef’s knife. For something like a clever which delivers high stress to the handle through heavy chopping motions I would recommend the traditional full tang which is end to end AND top to bottom, but it is not necessary for most other knives.

The knife feels good in the hand, is nicely balanced, the handle shape fits nicely in the palm, and the tapered bolster gives a very comfortable feel for the pinch grip. The spine is also slightly rounded on both sides, making the pinch grip more comfortable because the spine will not cut into your finger the way a strict 90° spine does.

The artistic end cap adds beauty and balance to the knife. It is engraved with 御 (GYO) which means Honor in Japanese. SHAN ZU takes this name to carry a good blessing for its customers.

Chef Knife Video Review

Watch the video! The knife performed exceptionally well on the cutting tests using a shallot, an onion, a pull cut through a carrot, basil chiffonade, free-hand tomato slices, and the paper slicing tests.


Shan Zu Gyo Series Chef Knife Review
Possible Actual Rating Test Notes
5 5 Carrot-Lengthwise Test  It pulled very easily through the carrot with minimal resistance.
5 5 Shallot Test  Performed very well on the shallot w/ clean cuts.
5 5 Onion Test  Performed well on the  horizontal cuts & exceptionally well on the vertical cuts.
3 3 Tomato Test  Cut nice thin slices of tomato on the free hand slicing test.
3 3 Basil Test  Fabulous job on the basil chiffonade w/ no bruising or tearing.
3 3 Paper Test  Fabulous job on the paper test!
5 5 Comfortable Handle Very comfortable ambidextrous handle with nicely tapered bolster for the “pinch grip”. Has a good “feel” in the hand, is not slick, doesn’t have edges which “bite”.
Quality Materials
5 5 Steel Quality AUS-10v core with 66 layers of softer steel
3 3 Durability  This knife should hold up well for professional kitchen work
3 3 Handle Quality  The full narrow tang and durable materials make for excellent handle construction
Quality Construction/Design
4 4 Overall Construction Quality  The materials and steel are high quality
3 3 Design, Engraving, End-cap, etc  Damascus steel blade, etched name on the blade, tapered bolster, rounded edges on the spine, mosaic pin, and engraved end cap
General Ratings
5 3 High-end Knife? 1 = under $25;      2 = $26 – $75;      3 = $76 – $150;      4 = $151 – $300;      5 = $301+
5 5 Utility  Nicely designed chef knife with kiritsuke style tip. The edge has a good roll to it (not too flat), the handle is comfortable and doesn’t slip
7 7 Overall Impression  This is both an elegant looking knife and a practical one. I was very impressed with every aspect of this knife’s appearance and performance
5 5 Our Star Rating  Overall this is a fabulous knife, especially for the price. A $119 for a knife of this quality makes it a true value
69 67 5.0  Stars = Excellent Quality Professional Knife – See Overall Ranking Below
formula: (actual score/total possible*6)


 See our Ratings Page for info on how we evaluate a knife



Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Suggested Reading

Join Us!

See Our Tutorial Library!

Related Pages Index

Books by Chefs Resources!

Handcrafted Cards

Blog Archives