We got 9 categories to talk about in this knife review.
Quality Control & Improvements
Before you buy the Dao Vua knives you must know a few things. While Doa Vua made some improvements with the Quality control the biggest improvement sits in the blade design. They are thinner and more in line with Japanese-styled knives. However, Dao Vua still has some problems, just to name a few that you may encounter are a crooked choil, low and high spots on the blade, in some cases, the knife is slightly bent. In my review sample, you can see a bent tip which is mostly caused by shipment, low and high spots with a visible arch at the front. However, the handle design is very consistent and nicely made, the majority of the problems are with the blade which I hope they can improve in newer versions.
Aesthetic & Specifications
The Dao Vua Classic V2 Chinese Vegetable Cleaver comes with mono steel construction and a blacksmith finish. The steel is a leaf spring carbon steel that is not stainless and will react very quickly once used, and you will form a patina.
The blade length is 210mm measured from the heel towards the front. While Dao Vua did not specify the Rockwell hardness the Rockwell was fluctuating with the knife samples that I received. The Rockwell fluctuated between 59 to 60 with my review samples. The knife thickness is 2.0mm measured above the heel and 1.6mm in the middle. The knife weight of my review sample is 300 grams.
Knife Handle & Comfort
The handle shape is a rectangular octagonal-shaped handle.
The knife is nicely sealed into the handle.
In terms of the comfort and feel of the Dao Vua handle, you will notice that the handle feels bigger and you need some time to get adjusted to the handle. Once you have adjusted to the handle it will be quite comfortable. The handle length is 13.7cm and Dao Vua did make the knife handle thicker, bigger, and longer for the Chinese Vegetable Cleaver.
Gripping Style & Balance Point
I recommend a pinch grip for a Chinese Vegetable Cleaver where the thumb and index finger determine the balance point. The point of balance is after the Doa Vua logo making the knife front heavy with a pinch grip which is what I expect from a Chinese Cleaver.
Due to the bigger design of the Chinese vegetable cleaver, I will be pinching more forward on the blade or I will, be pinching with 3 fingers.
The choil is rounded so there are no sharp edges. Despite the rounded choil, the choil will be noticeable and will cause discomfort over a longer period. Therefore I will be pinching with 3 fingers so that I still keep control of the blade without causing any discomfort since I’m not touching the choil.
The blade profile is on the flat side, but the heel and the front have a slight curve to prevent you from digging into your cutting board. The curves also give you the ability to rock on herbs.
Sharpness & Edge retention
The sharpness out of the box was not great and it was slightly inconsistent. The out of the box sharpened angle was around 20 degrees on this review sample. Once sharpened the edge will hold quite decently and will last you around 3 to 4 months with regular honing sessions in between.
Due to the very reactive steel, you will notice that it will discolor on first use which is expected of this type of steel. If not cooked you will notice a metallic aftertaste and some food will turn brown. The after-taste will be less once you start using the knife more and more. The Blacksmith finish will come off after multiple washes and it will come off faster if you cut a lot of acidic food.
Dao Vua made some major improvements with the Dao Vua Classic V2 compared to their first version but they can definitely improve some more to get the quality more consistent.
The knife steel is very easy to sharpen and you can get a completely dull edge to razor-sharp within a few minutes on a whetstone.
If you like the first version then this version will not disappoint since they fixed some of the major problems that they had with the first version. If you expected a flawless knife then this knife is not for you since the knife does come with some flaws that differ from knife to knife. And in my case, the tip was bent and needed to be fixed and there were some other minor flaws as mentioned at the beginning.
Maintenance & Care
Because of the highly reactive non-stainless steel. I recommend that you coat the knife with some oil if you don’t plan to use the knife as often to prevent it from rusting. Or you have to force a strong patina to protect the knife from rusting. Make sure the knife is dry and stowed in a dry place.
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The Dao Vua Classic V2 has been sent over by Doa Vua for review. You can contact them directly on Instagram for orders or find a retailer that sells them. Keep in mind that the prices directly from Dao Vua are cheaper but import taxes/sales tax may apply. I suggest that you find a reputable retailer with good customer support.
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