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Dongsun Kyokuto Santoku Knife Review

10Cr15CoMoV known as Chinese VG10

The Dongsun Santoku Kyokuto knife, made in China, features layered Damascus cladding and a hammered pattern for an attractive look. The knife’s core material is 10Cr15CoMoV, also known as Chinese VG10. When properly heat-treated, the Chinese VG10 aims to provide a comparable balance of hardness, durability, and corrosion resistance to the Japanese VG10, resulting in a stainless steel option that is sharp, tough, and relatively easy to sharpen.

Dongsun Kyokuto Santoku Knife Review

Handle Features and Aesthetics

The knife’s handle is made from Pakkawood, a durable material known for its resistance to moisture. It features a decorative brass pin with a shell on top, purely for aesthetic purposes. The blade is securely welded onto the handle, and from the bolster towards the end cap, the knife is fixed with a screw and filled with glue. The butt of the handle has a debossed logo.

Dongsun Kyokuto Santoku -Endcap

The Blade

The blade of the Dongsun Santoku Kyokuto is well-made. It has an anatomically good design, with a distal taper of 2.1mm above the heel and 1.8mm in the middle. The profile taper is also done correctly, allowing for smooth and precise cutting without splitting the produce. The blade profile is also what you would expect from a Santoku. The heat treatment of the Chinese VG10 is commendable, achieving the advertised Rockwell hardness rating of 60 to 61. However, it’s worth noting that the sharpened angle on my review sample is slightly inconsistent, and the logo on the blade could have been smoother for a more seamless feel.

Dongsun Kyokuto Santoku Blade Profile

Design flaw

On paper and in the pictures, the Dongsun Kyokuto Santoku knife looks impressive and promising. However, during my testing, I discovered several design problems, all of which can be traced back to one crucial aspect which is the handle design. Despite my efforts to give the knife more time and use it extensively, I couldn’t get comfortable with the handle. It’s a shame because the blade itself is actually good, but the handle’s design flaw overshadows its performance.

Dongsun Kyokuto Santoku Choil

Balance Point

Another issue I encountered with the Dongsun Kyokuto Santoku knife is its balance. The balance point of the knife feels awkward because it falls in between the slanted bolster. When I try to hold it by pinching at the bolster, it becomes handle-heavy. On the other hand, if I pinch slightly behind it, the knife becomes blade-heavy. Finding the right balance while using this knife is challenging and affects the overall handling experience.

Comfort & Grip

The awkward placement of the balance point not only affects the knife’s balance but also impacts the overall comfort during handling. The only grip that allows for the correct balance is when you rest the knife on your index finger, but this grip introduces various comfort issues. The raised belly part of the handle becomes uncomfortable on the middle finger, ring finger, and pinky finger. Holding the knife in this manner feels more like choking the knife rather than it being an extension of my arm.

Dongsun Kyokuto Santoku Comfort & Grip

Thumb Grip & Pinch Grip at the Handle

Alternatively, if I pinch the handle, the top part of the handle rests on the bony parts of my hand.

Dongsun Kyokuto Santoku Pinch at the Handle

While pinching it with my thumb on top alleviates the discomfort of the handle pressing into my bones, it introduces a host of other problems, including an awkward hand position, poor balance, and limited knuckle clearance.

Dongsun Kyokuto Santoku Thumbgrip

Handling Issues

These issues significantly impact the overall comfort and grip of the knife, making it challenging to achieve a comfortable and natural hold while using it.

Dongsun Kyokuto Santoku bad handling

Key Takeaways & Recommendations

Overall, the blade of the Dongsun Kyokuto Santoku knife is good but could benefit from minor improvements such as achieving a more consistent sharpened angle and a smoother logo. However, the significant design flaw in the handle makes it impossible for me to recommend this knife. The handle design flaw directly leads to discomfort and grip issues, undermining the overall usability of the knife.

Dongsun Kyokuto Santoku - The blade is good!

Dongsun Kyokuto Santoku (Free Scabbard/Saya)
Dongsun Kyukoto Santoku (Scabbard/Saya)

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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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