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Dao Vua Gyuto Review – Leaf Spring Vietnamese Made Knife – 240mm

The Gyuto from Dao Vua is packaged in bubble plastic. The knife is protected by a plastic tube. So there is a bit of protection preventing the cutting core from being damaged during shipping. They also wrapped the knife in plastic with a bit of oil, preventing the knife from rusting.

Dao Vua Gyuto Protected with Plastic Tube
Dao Vua Gyuto Protected with Plastic Tube


The Gyuto from Dao Vua is made from carbon steel called the Russian Leaf Spring. There is no cladding on the knife other than a blacksmith’s finish. The knife finish looks rough, but it is nicely polished, so there are no rocky or sandpaper-like sides. The blacksmith finish has some marked indents, which helps prevent food from sticking to the sides.

Dao Vua Gyuto - Blacksmith finish with hammer marks
Dao Vua Gyuto – Blacksmith finish with hammer marks

Why the knife is Unique

Each Dao Vua knife is unique and slightly different since they are entirely hand-forged. The knife comes with a wooden handle, and each handle can be made from different wood types. Therefore the color of the handle and knife finish can fluctuate per knife.

Dao Vua Gyuto - Unique handle
Dao Vua Gyuto – Unique handle

Knife Rockwell Hardness and Core Material

The knife Rockwell hardness is specified with a Rockwell of 60. If used at home, you can get away with 6 to 7 months before needing a whetstone touch-up if you regularly hone your knife with a honing rod. The Dao Vua out-of-the-box sharpness needs a whetstone touch-up before it reaches the steel’s potential. The core material is made from carbon steel, so they are not stainless and will react to a particular food that will form a patina over time. The knife is very stiff, and there is no noticeable flex during use. Keep in mind that the Leaf Spring Rockwell of 60 is more brittle and should not be used to slice through frozen food, bones, cheese, hard bread, or force your way through other though food like chocolate or crush nuts with it.

Dao Vua Gyuto - Needs sharpening out of the Box sharpness is not good
Dao Vua Gyuto – Needs sharpening out of the Box sharpness is not good

Blade profile and knuckle clearance

The Profile of the Dao Vua Gyuto has an aggressive curve at the front. But it rocks very nicely without any resistance. There is also enough knuckle clearance, and if you love taller knives, then the Dao Vua Gyuto has you covered.

Excellent knuckle clearance but an aggressive curve up in the front area
Excellent knuckle clearance but an aggressive curve up in the front area

Knife balance point

The balance point of this knife is at the logo. If you pinch grip at the blade, the knife will become slightly front-heavy, which helps with slicing work that requires the front area. The knife is light, and therefore the shift in balance point does not have a noticeable difference during use.

Dao Vua Gyuto - Front heavy knife
Dao Vua Gyuto – Front heavy knife

Knife handle

The knife handle is unique, and it works well with the blade profile and design. Keep in mind that the handle’s complete wooden structure will have a different color on each Dao Vua knife. While the knife handle looks rough, it is nicely polished.

Dao Vua Gyuto - handle
Dao Vua Gyuto – handle

What do you specify as a Project knife? – Quility Control.

This knife is a project knife, meaning that there are multiple flaws due to this knife’s complete hand made process. The knife is suitable for those that can accept the multiple flaws that this knife has. It would be best to sharpen the Dao Vua knife before it reaches the blade’s potential. The handle will have some natural indents or cracks since they do not use any fillers to patch the holes. Since they use multiple kinds of wood, the handle color you get will be different for each knife. The spine tapering is inconsistent, and you will see various bent sides. The blade profile tapering is also inconsistent, which means that some of the blade sides will be thinner than the other side. Depending on the knife you receive, you can see that the knife choil is crooked; some is more crooked than the other.

Dao Vua Gyuto - inconsistent distal spine taper
Dao Vua Gyuto – inconsistent distal spine taper

Match your expectations with what you get and why

If you only expected to sharpen the knife out of the box without all the other mentioned flaws, you will be disappointed. Therefore it is essential to know what you get to match your expectations. Keep in mind that the knives are entirely handmade in Vietnam without the latest modern tools.
The knife is also made from recycled materials and wood that was available during the manufacturing process. Despite accepting all the flaws, I had to return two versions, one had a bent blade to the left side, which affected my cutting performance, and the other knife was twisted and not aligned straight into the wooden handle, which made the knife awkward to hold. While the version you see in this video has all the mentioned flaws, I can accept the small human errors that will not affect the knife performance, and I’m happy with the knife since I already expected what I would receive.

Dao Vua Gyuto - Crooked Choil
Dao Vua Gyuto – Crooked Choil

Final verdict

Only you can decide if it is worth it or not and if you are willing to accept the human flaws due to their manual manufacturing process.

Not centered in the handle but still straight.
Not centered in the handle but still straight.

N O T E S:

Because of the inconsistent quality, there is no guarantee that you get a knife better than the one I got. Therefore I recommend that you buy it from a store with a good return policy (Just in case you get one that is affecting the knife performance). An off-center blade on the handle but still straight is normal, if it is twisted and affecting the handle comfort I recommend returning the knife or if the blade is bend and affecting the cutting performance. All other minor things mentioned in this article are considered ”normal” for the ”Dao Vua brand” but I encourage them to try to improve their knife and I like that they use recycled materials and wood that are ”available”. Keep in mind they are pretty much completely ”hand-forged” even the hammering process is done manually. The knife is a lot cheaper when you buy it directly from them on their Instagram page, but the shipping and import tax will make the knife pretty much with the same price tag on the retailer’s stores.

I N F O:

For Japanese knife standards, these knives would not have passed the quality control of Japanese knife artisans/blacksmiths. But they are Vietnamese, not Japanese and the price difference is also bigger.

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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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