Knives & More

Dao Vua Classic V2 Santoku Review – Leaf Spring Steel 165mm

The Dao Vua Classic V2 Santoku comes with a 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 165mm measured from the heel towards the tip. 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 1.8mm measured above the heel and 1.6mm in the middle.    

Dao Vua Classic V2 Santoku Spine
Dao Vua Classic V2 Santoku Spine

   

Knife Handle & Comfort

The handle shape is a rectangular octagonal-shaped handle.

Dao Vua Classic V2 Santoku Knife Handle
Dao Vua Classic V2 Santoku Knife Handle

The knife is nicely sealed into the handle.

Dao Vua Classic V2 Santoku
Dao Vua Classic V2 Santoku

In terms of the comfort and feel of the Dao Vua handle, you will notice that the handle feels bigger due to its rectangular shape. Therefore the gripping style and your hand size will determine the comfort levels of this handle. If you have a small hand size the handle might feel a bit big. 

Dao Vua Classic V2 Santoku - Knuckle Clearance
Dao Vua Classic V2 Santoku – Knuckle Clearance

Knife Profile 

The Santoku profile of the Dao Vua Classic V2 has a Hybrid Santoku profile that is suitable for a forward chopping or cutting motion. But it still keeps a slight curve so that you can rock on things like herbs.

Dao Vua Classic V2 Santoku - Knife Profile
Dao Vua Classic V2 Santoku – Knife Profile

Recommended Gripping Style & Balance Point

I recommend a pinch grip for a Santoku knife where the thumb and index finger determine the balance point.

Pinch Grip
Pinch Grip

Because it is a Santoku I want a middle balance point at the point where I grip the knife.

Dao Vua Classic V2 Santoku - Pinch Grip
Dao Vua Classic V2 Santoku – Pinch Grip

The balance point of this knife is at the point where the blade meets the handle. However, due to the point of balance, my pinch grip is exactly at the edge of the handle causing some discomfort on my thumb and index finger.

Thumb and Index finger has some discomfort if you want to maintain the middle balance point
Thumb and Index finger has some discomfort if you want to maintain the middle balance point

If I adjust my pinch grip towards the blade the balance point will shift making the knife handle heavy.

Balance point at the Blade
Balance point at the Blade

If I pinch grip at the handle, the knife becomes front-heavy.

Balance Point at the Handle
Balance Point at the Handle

Therefore the balance point of this Santoku from Dao Vua is in an odd position in conjunction with the handle design. 

Middle Balance point at the neck/handle
Middle Balance point at the neck/handle

Core Material & Rockwell Hardness 

The Dao Vua Classic V2 Santoku has a leaf spring carbon steel which is very reactive and will form a patina very fast.

Dao Vua Classic V2 Santoku - Patina Layer
Dao Vua Classic V2 Santoku – Patina Layer

This also means that certain food types will turn brown very fast on the first few uses. If you plan to store the pre-cut food in the fridge, the food will turn brown if the knife still needs to form a patina. While Dao Vua did not specify the Rockwell, the samples I got fluctuated from a Rockwell of around 59 to 60.

Brown food due to the reaction of the steel
Brown food due to the reaction of the steel

Sharpness & Edge retention

The sharpness out of the box was quite decent but 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 4 to 5 months with regular honing sessions in between.

approx 20-degree angle per side
approx 20-degree angle per side

Key Takeaway

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. The after-taste will be less once you start using the knife more and more.

Dao Vua Classic V2 Santoku - Patina Layer
Dao Vua Classic V2 Santoku – Patina Layer

The knife is still on the rough side, the knife profile taper has some low and high spots. The spine is slightly crooked and there are some other minor details that vary from knife to knife. Despite the flaws, Dao Vua made some major improvements with the Dao Vua Classic V2 compared to their first version.

Point of Balance at the handle/blade
Point of Balance at the handle/blade

The Santoku balance point is very questionable in conjunction with the handle design for a Santoku and I hope that they can fix the point of balance. The handle is very nice but might be less comfortable for those with a small hand size due to the rectangular shape handle.

Recommendation

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. However, the balance point of the Santoku is odd and that is something you have to consider before making a decision on the Santoku version. If you expected a flawless knife then this knife is not for you since the knife does come with some minor flaws.

Left no Patina, Right with Patina
Left no Patina, Right with Patina

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 stored in a dry place. 

Add oil to avoid rust forming if you don't use the knife that often
Add oil to avoid rust forming if you don’t use the knife that often

đź›’S H O P:

Instagram: @daovuacustomknives

N O T E S:

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.

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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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