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Dengjia Vegetable Cleaver TM-9080 – 9Cr18MoV

The Vegetable Cleaver from Dengjia comes in a hard cardboard box. The knife in the box is also well protected. The first thing you notice is that the stickers are not on the blade itself but on a plastic blade cover, which is a brilliant idea since I hate removing stickers on the blade. The knife-edge is also well protected with tip guards and rubber in the middle. 

Dengjia TM9080 Edge Guards
Dengjia TM9080 Edge Guards


The Dengjia Vegetable Cleaver comes with a mirror finish and a vertical scratch pattern. They also have added a sanding line to help food to stick less on the blade. If you look closely, they also have a slightly visible cladding line. The knife comes with a comfortable wooden handle. 

Dengjia Vegetable Cleaver TM-9080

Knife Rockwell Hardness and Edge retention

The knife’s Rockwell hardness is specified with a Rockwell of 58 to 60. But it feels more like 58. Usually, you can get away with 3 to 4 months before needing a whetstone touch-up if you regularly hone your knife with a honing rod. However, the heavier cleaver-styled knife with a delicate thin edge and low factory angle of 15 degrees impacts the knife-edge retention. Therefore the edge retention out of the box is closer to 2 to 3 months. In return, you get a sharper out-of-the-box performance. 

Dengjia Rockwell 58
Dengjia Rockwell 58

Core Material

The manufacturer Dengjia is making its knives with three different steel types. In short, they are reducing manufacturing costs without sacrificing quality. The 9Cr18Mov has excellent rust and corrosion-resistant properties, and the added cladding adds durability. It is inadvisable to slice through frozen food, bones, cheese, hard bread, or force your way through other tougher food like chocolate or nuts since that can cause chipping.

Dengjia 9Cr18Mov

Dengjia 3 steel-types

Since Dengjia uses three different steel types, they managed to reduce labor costs and added extra durability. The cladding is known as san-mai, where they added two softer stainless steel to protect the harder middle core. It ensures that the middle core can be heat treated to a higher Rockwell without sacrificing durability or becoming brittle. The top part is entirely made from softer stainless steel. It makes the knife rigid and very durable. You can use the knife to tenderize meat or crush garlic without worrying about stress fractures.     

Dengjia Patented Forging Techniques

Blade profile

The blade profile is what you would expect from a cleaver-style knife. The blade has a gently curved belly in the middle. 

Dengjia Blade Profile
Dengjia Blade Profile

Weight and Spine tapering 

The knife comes with a spine taper with 3.0mm at the heel, 2.9mm at the middle, and 2.8mm at the front. The blade is very stiff, and there is no noticeable flex during use. The knife’s weight is around 390 grams. It is quite heavy, but thanks to the knife’s ergonomics and design, it will still feel comfortable. However, if used in the air and off the cutting board, you will notice the weight. 

Distal Spine Taper
Distal Spine Taper

Knife balance point

The balance point of this knife is at the front. If you pinch grip at the blade or the curved cap, the knife will be front-heavy, which you want for a cleaver-style knife.

Front Heavy Balance Point
Front Heavy Balance Point

Knife handle

The handle is made with red sandalwood with a hidden wired full tang handle. It means that the handle is nicely secured in its place. The handle’s curves are very comfortable, and it won’t be slippery since the wooden handle adds enough grip. They have added a rounded neck area, so you can shift your gripping style without discomfort if you want more control and precise cutting work. 

Red Sandalwood

Fit and Finish

The knife has a unique manufacturing process to reduce costs. Despite the unique manufacturing process, they did not reduce the quality. The fit and finish on this knife are very nicely done, and the handle is of good quality. They have thought about polishing the spine and the heel area so there are no sharp edges. 

Front Profile Taper
Back Profile Taper

Final Conclusion and my Recommendation

Dengjia, as a knife manufacturer, has my recommendation. The weight of 390grams is heavy on paper, but it feels lighter because of the excellent ergonomics of the handle and blade design. The profile tapering is also very nicely done and very thin. The knife is highly catered to the home cooks that seek sharper performance from a Chinese vegetable Cleaver. 

Dengjia Vegetable Cleaver TM-9080 Stainless Steel – 9Cr18MoV (Deng)

N O T E S:

This is an updated review of the Mijia version that is made by Dengjia but instead of Mijia, we are reviewing the original TM-9080. I did a review of the Mijia cleaver which Dengjia made for Xioami that is based on their TM9080. After that video, Dengjia contacted me with a surprise gift of the original TM-9080 and they also added 2 other cleavers as a gift. They did not ask me to make a video and wanted to thank me for making a review video about the Mijia cleaver. The other Dengja cleaver that I received and will review are JCD904 (Vegetable Cleaver/Slicer) and BZ4401 (Bone Cleaver).

Manufacturers Name:

 Chongqing Deng’s Kitchenware Manufacturing Co., Ltd

🛒S H O P:

Dengjia TM-9080

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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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  1. Hey Chef Panko!

    Thank you for making a video on this knife. I was looking for a Chinese vegetable cleaver, and I decided to purchase this one after watching your video :). This is my first time purchasing a decent knife, and I have a few questions. I see that Dengjia used 9Cr18Mov steel for this knife. I’ve seen a few posts online that say this type of steel is difficult to sharpen. Will I need a specific whetstone to sharpen this knife?

    I know this isn’t a meat cleaver. I have no intentions of cutting through bone, but could you break down a chicken with this knife without ruining the edge? When you say that chopping nuts could ruin the edge, do you mean the shells or the inner parts? Could using the flat of the knife to pit olives or smash nuts and spices damage the knife?
    Sorry for asking so many questions.

    Thanks again for posting this review. Have a good day.

    1. When people talk about the difficulty, it is more about ”more time consuming”, you don’t need any specific it all depends on the person sharpening the knives. The more you sharpen and understand, the easier it is to sharpen any knives. For more information, you can read my ”maintenance and sharpening guide”. The ”when” and ”why” is essential. (in this case, with new knives after some use, you probably will only need #1000 up to #3000 for home use).

      Breaking down a chicken is fine, but this depends on what you specify as breaking down. Going through cartilage is fine. Going through the rib cage is risky as these knives are not designed for that task.

      For more information about brittleness, click here.

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