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.
The Dengjia Vegetable Cleaver comes with a mirror finish and 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.
Knife Rockwell Hardness and Edge retention
The knife 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.
The manufacturer Dengjia is making its knives with three different steel-types. In short, they are reducing the manufacturing cost without sacrificing the quility. The 9Cr18Mov has excellent rust and corrosion-resistant properties, and the added cladding ads 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 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.
The blade profile is what you would expect from a cleaver style knife. The blade has a gently curved belly in the middle.
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 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 of 390 grams.
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.
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.
Fit and Finish
The knife has a unique manufacturing process to reduce costs. Despite the unique manufacturing process, they did not reduce the quility. The fit and finish on this knife are very nicely done, and the handle is from a good quility. They have thought about polishing the spine and the heel area so there are no sharp edges.
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 from 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.
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).
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