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Cheap AliExpress kitchen knives (11.11 Sale 2020)

As you may know, 11.11 is a special day on AliExpress, where most products are temporarily reduced in price. I will show you my recommendations for the knives that I have tested in 2020.

Xinzuo 440C – Gyuto 210mm

Xinzuo is a brand that surprised me in the heat treatment of the multiple core materials that they use. It is a brand that delivers quility knives for an affordable price tag, but the biggest surprise was with their 440c Gyuto. They managed to keep the traditional Gyuto profile and kept all the Japanese properties of a thin blade without sacrificing durability. While other knives from Xinzuo are great too, the 440c Gyuto has my recommendation.

Xinzuo 440C Gyuto
Xinzuo 440C Gyuto

Xinzuo 440C Gyuto 240mm

Shi Ba Zi Zuo – F208-1

Shibazi is another brand that surprised me. They offer Chinese cleavers and western chef’s knives in multiple prices range from budget to mid-range quility. Some have a lower Rockwell rating, meaning that you need to sharpen the knife more often. Their F208 is a vegetable Cleaver that is also quite durable and has decent edge retention. I recommend the Shibazi F208-1 for home use.  

Shibazi F208
Shibazi F208

Complete Stainless Steel welded handle F208

Dengjia – TM-9080 Vegetable Cleaver

I’m currently still testing some more knives from Dengjia. The TM-9080 is a highly modernized knife with excellent ergonomics. The knife is on the heavier side, but thanks to the ergonomics, it is less noticeable. The core material that they use is also sharper than the Shibazi F208. This knife is highly catered to the home cooks that seek sharper performance from a Chinese Vegetable cleaver.  

Dengjia TM-9080
Dengjia TM-9080

Dengjia – BZ-4401 Bone Cleaver

Since this bone cleaver from Dengjia participates in the 11.11 sale, I will add this to my recommended list. Only buy this knife if you seek a bone cleaver to go through bones bigger than a chicken bone. The Dengjia BZ-4401 is an excellent bone cleaver that can chop pork ribs with ease. A full review of this bone cleaver will follow. 

Dengjia BZ-4401 Bone Cleaver
Dengjia BZ-4401 Bone Cleaver

Dongsun – 7 inch Cleaver

While the review for this Dongsun knife has not been released yet, I can say that I like the knife and why I have included this knife in my recommendation for 2020. This knife did not disappoint me from the fit and finish to the core material and heat treatment. Their 7-inch Japanese cleaver styled knife and profile were a pleasant surprise that I enjoyed a lot. Dongsun is not participating in the 11.11 sales day, but I believe that their knives are very undervalued for what they deliver. They currently include a free wooden Saya, and I highly believe that Dongsun will eventually increase the price or stop, including a free Saya. I recommend this 7-inch Japanese styled vegetable cleaver from Dongsun.

Dongsun Kyokuto 7inch Japanese style vegetable cleaver
Dongsun Kyokuto 7inch Japanese style vegetable cleaver

Other recommendations

There are more knives that I have tested and recommend, but those 5 surprised me the most in their quility and price ratio for the knives that I have tried in 2020. I highly recommend that you watch my YouTube playlist, where I have reviewed multiple AliExpress knives. 

Community requested knives

I’m currently testing more knives, and I will also buy three new knives that have been requested by the community on my YouTube channel.

The three knives that I will be buying on the 11.11 sales day:

TwoSun

The first knife is TwoSun TS999. It is a brand that is popular among the pocket knife community. And I’m curious about what they have to offer when it comes to kitchen knives. 

Hezhen

The second knife is a brand called Hezhen while. Many of you in the comments told me that they are very similar to Xinzuo and maybe even made by the same manufacturer. Since you guys were curious about my opinion, I have decided to order a knife from their Master series. 

Leshan (Tiejiangshijia)

The third knife brand is a knife that I discovered during a conversation in the comment section and was also requested. And that is the Chinese dual-purpose cleaver made in Leshan, China. All their knives are entirely hand-made. What makes their knife interesting is the very thick spine but very thin profile taper. 

11.11 2020 AliExpress Sales Day

Keep in mind that 11.11 sale day is a hectic sales day. And with the current situation around the world and the increase in online orders, you should expect a very long delivery time. 

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ChefPanko

Hi, I'm ChefPanko, I have worked for multiple restaurants and have decided to share my experience with you guys. I will share recipes and techniques that I have learned, taken, and improved from the French, Japanese restaurants that I have worked for. I will also explore other cuisines with you guys.

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18 Comments

    1. Hi, I’m positive about the brand indeed, but I never recommend a set mainly because of the balance point of certain knives and that most of the set consists of the same knife in terms of usage.
      The second thing is that the balance point for a certain knife style is not what I seek in a knife; therefore, I have not recommended any utility or Santoku knives yet.

      As for the same knife that does the same, you mostly only need a chef’s knife or a Santoku but not both.

      Most of the time, the only knife you need is either a chef’s knife or a Santoku (mostly bundles in a set).
      And a paring knife other knives are subjective, but most of us don’t need or use them.

      But that being said, it is a cheap way to test a certain knife style.

      I hope that this helps. If you have any other questions feel free to ask 🙂

    1. That is a hard one. Both are a western Kiritsuke styled knife (double-beveled) with a K tip.
      They are both quite thick, 2.4mm in thickness. I wonder if they have added a distal spine taper.

      As for core material, Xinzuo is better, resulting in longer edge retention.
      But Findking will be a bit more durable but has less edge retention.

      I would get Xinzuo, and they are priced cheaper with a Rockwell of 60/61. (But I personally am not a fan of Oval shaped handle, D-shaped is preferred or octagon it adds a bit more to the comfort level)
      While findking claims 60 +/-2, the knife Rockwell of that steel-type is usually around 58/59.

      I hope that this helps.

      1. Thank you for your complete and relevant answer. I will go for the Xinzuo.
        I hope you don’t have too much issues with Covid19 in your restaurant. See you !

        1. Currently, the restaurant is closed and they can’t employ everyone to do the take-away/delivery shift in the kitchen.
          Usually, we have 15/20 cooks do the shift but now only 4 are needed to do takeaway and delivery orders.

          But most important thing is to stay safe and healthy.
          Wish you the best and may the pandemic go away very soon!
          And make the best of the upcoming holidays!

    1. It has a very pronounced belly, so if you like to rock, then it is good.
      A knife style and usage are subjective. If you like to go up and forward without rocking, then a straighter blade profile like the Santoku, Bunka, Nakiri, etc., is a better option.

      It is important to know what your preference is. Do you like to rock or use the forward chopping motion?
      Where do you grip the knife at the handle or the cap/blade etc.

      Once you know that, then you also know what balance point will suit you the best.

      1. I am not very familiar with good knives. But i think go up and forward without rocking. But what can you say about the quality and durablity?

        It will be more a set to try which knive suits me best

        1. Some brands fluctuate in quility, and some are just garbage. Xinzuo is a brand that I have tested multiple times, and the durability and quility of the knives were all good so far and as advertised.

  1. Thanks ChefPanko. I think i made the right choice. I hestitated between xinzuo and sunnecko. But i think xinzuo is better. Thanks again.

  2. Hi! Thank a lot for the reviews, I’m pleasantly surprised someone is covering AliX knives in a such a professional manner.

    I’ve already put a Dengjia bone cleaver in my shopping cart based on your recommendation and I’m eyeing the Keemake Bunka knife but I’m liking this Dongsun too (https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4000253679748.html) and after seeing your sneak preview of the Dongsun cleaver it might be a slightly better buy. Care to share an opinion on my dilemma?

    1. Hi, I think this is more of an aesthetic matter; more people choose a Kiritsuke because of the looks, coolness factor over functionality.

      A Kiritsuke is mostly straighter in the profile, therefore better for slicing or back and forward sawing than continuously rocking or forward chopping.
      This comes because of two things straighter profile and longer blade.

      While it is suitable for everything else (you have to adjust your own preferences or habits to make the knife work for other tasks).

      Bunka is the opposite. It has a profile of a Santoku width of a Nakiri and a Tip of a Gyuto.
      It is more versatile in up and forward chopping, rocking, etc. But the Kiritsuke will be better in the slicing with long strokes.

      Bunka is more versatile and will most likely be used more for everyday cooking tasks at home.
      Kiritsuke is great for slicing like beef, etc. While it can do the rest, it is just not as practical. (But the coolness factor is subjective since I personally buy a knife for its functionality and usefulness for ”me” over the aesthetic/coolness factor).

      I hope that this helps with your decision.

      PS: They (other brands) also make Kiritsuke with a Chef’s knife or Gyuto profile (which is just a Chef’s knife but with the coolness factor transferred to a Kiritsuke look).

      1. Thank you, you’ve helped immensely!

        I’ll go with a Bunka style knife (function over style) to accompany my German chef’s knife in home kitchen prep.

  3. Hi chef!
    I want to buy a knife for my mother.
    I wanted to buy this xinzuo 440c knife but she is quite old and never used a chef’s knife so I am afraid she wouldn’t use the knife if it will be too big for her. The purpose of the knife is mostly for cutting vegetables and maybe a chicken from time to time.
    I was wondering what do you think about this xinzuo utility knife (https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32428380432.html) for her?
    Thanks for all your reviews they are very detailed and informative.

    1. What knife is she using now? And what is her cutting/slicing style?
      Rocking, up and forward?
      Slicing towards her? (pulling back towards her body).

      While rocking is not the best on a small utility knife, it is more suitable for precision work.
      But it is good for people that prefer smaller knives since, at home, speed does not matter.
      So some people tend to slice slowly by pulling the knife towards your body.

      They usually tend to do an up forward and then pulling the knife towards the body to complete a slice.
      My mom is also from the older generation, and she likes to use a paring knife for everything, so even smaller than the utility knife. No knuckle clearance is needed since she uses the tip area and never rocks but slice with controlled slow speed.

      I did a review here:

      I mainly spoke about the utility knife function that it fails with, but the knife itself is good.
      And the purpose of the knife differs for each person, but it is basically a smaller chef’s knife (minus the knuckle clearance) rather than a utility.

      As explained in the above scenario, as my mom uses the knife, this utility knife will suit the person’s cutting style.

        1. The utility knife should be a good start, but they don’t really like to sharpen or maintain a knife.

          My mom, for example, loves cheap serrated knives too. Once the serrations are gone, she replaces them with new ones.
          Never sharpened in her life or used a honing rod, and they don’t like changes, so that can be a hard one to convert her to the other side 🙂

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