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Initial Thoughts on the Hezhen Yanagiba

110 Layers Coreless Retro Series Sashimi Knife

My search for high-quality Deba, Yanagiba, or other specialized Japanese knives made in China has been somewhat disappointing. To put it bluntly, most of the knives I’ve encountered have fallen short in various aspects. They often lack the right anatomy, feel awkward in hand and during usage, have steel that performs worse than I expect, and suffer from bad finishing which also affects the anatomy. In one case, the knife even degraded the quality of the raw fish I was working with. I even had my former colleagues give it a go, and they were ready to ditch it after just one slice.

Hezhen Yanagiba Retro Series 270mm - 110 Layers Coreless Damascus
Hezhen Yanagiba Retro Series 270mm – 110 Layers Coreless Damascus

Hezhen Yanagiba Review Sample

So, when Xinzuo contacted me and proposed that I test their knives including the Yanagiba from the Hezhen line, I was cautious. I told them about my prior experiences with specialized Chinese knives that had not left a positive impression. However, Xinzuo seemed confident in their product, highlighting their attention to detail in the blade grind and overall design. They were genuinely interested in my honest feedback and review.

Impressive Choil Finish
Impressive Choil Finish

If you’re interested in my unfiltered reaction when I first got my hands on this knife, you can check out the video linked above this article. In short, my initial impression is quite positive, and it appears that Xinzuo has indeed paid attention to the details.

Hezhen Yanagiba Retro Choil Shot
Hezhen Yanagiba Retro Choil Shot

Hezhen Yanagiba Anatomy

The knife is constructed from quality materials, and from what I can tell, it seems to be anatomically designed correctly. One standout feature is the blade grind, particularly the well-defined Shinogi line.

The Shinogi looks very nice!
The Shinogi looks very nice!

I’m pleased to report that, based on my initial experiences, the Hezhen Yanagiba from the Retro Series shows promise. However, for a comprehensive evaluation of its performance, I’ll need to put it to the test by slicing fish fillets. Stay tuned for the full review, where I’ll provide a deeper dive into how this knife handles its intended purpose.

Premium Handle Materials
Premium Handle Materials

If you want to know more about Xinzuo you can read the Q&A here that I did with the Co-Founder of Xinzuo by clicking here.

Santoku Zhen Series

Hezhen 270mm Yanagiba – 110 Layers Coreless Retro Series Sashimi Knife

Xinzuo Official Amazon Store:
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Xinzuo Offcial Wesbite:s
Xinzuo Official Store
Hezhen Official Store

NOTES: Coupon code ”ChefPanko” for 10% off is only usable on the Xinzuo Official Website.
PS: Import taxes may apply if you order on the Xinzuo Official webshop.

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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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