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Xinzuo Lan Series Santoku Knife Review

Chinese VG10 VS Chinese SG2/R2 (14Cr14MoVNb)

Before we start with the review of the Santoku knife from the Xinzuo Lan Series, I want to go over some disclosures. The Santoku with the Powdered Steel and Damascus cladding has been bought with my own money, and the Santoku Lan Series with the Chinese VG10 has been provided by Xinzuo themselves for this comparison.

Main differences between Santoku Lan Series Chinese VG10 vs. Chinese SG2/R2

Since both knives are pretty much identical in terms of blade shape, grind, and form, I will highlight the main differences first. The powdered version has a Damascus cladding compared to the normal cladding. They sandblasted it to get the unique look of the Chinese VG10 version. The olive wood on the Powdered Steel version feels more premium, grippier, and denser with more saturated colors compared to the Pakkawood on the Chinese VG10 version. Besides that, the knives are pretty much the same except for the core material. The differences in measurement may vary a bit, around plus or minus 0.2mm, due to the hand finishing that Xinzuo adds.

Xinzuo Santoku Lan Series
Xinzuo Santoku Lan Series

The Blade

There are a few things that you will notice about the blade and the Santoku shape. It is a tad taller and a little bit longer than most Santoku knives, which is a pleasant change and makes it easier to use the knife. The knife also has a nice rounded spine and a rounded heel portion to prevent you from accidentally cutting yourself at the heel. The added indentation also helps in creating air pockets so that food with higher water content won’t create a suctioning effect and therefore helps more with food release. Besides that, both knives come with a spine taper of 2.1mm at the heel and 1.7mm in the middle.

Above: Global Santoku - Below: Xinzuo Lan Series with Chinese SG2
Above: Global Santoku – Below: Xinzuo Lan Series with Chinese SG2

Blade Profile

The blade profile is on the flat side and is what you can expect from a Santoku-styled knife. This makes it ideal for a down-and-up motion. You can still rock with the knife if that is what you prefer. Due to the shorter blade, you are limited and can’t line things up too much to save prep time.

 Xinzuo Lan Series with Chinese SG2 - Blade Profile
Xinzuo Lan Series with Chinese SG2 – Blade Profile

Balance Point & Weight

The point of balance is at the bolster, and it comes with a weight of around 235 grams, which is quite heavy for a Santoku-styled knife.

Xinzuo Lan Series with Chinese SG2 - Point of Balance

Xinzuo Lan Series with Chinese SG2 – Point of Balance


The handles on the Lan series are on the bigger side, which took some time for me to get used to, especially due to the belly underneath. While I do have a large hand size, after letting those with a small and medium hand size try the knife, they all said that the handle was very big for them to hold, which they did not like. Those with a large or extra-large hand size were generally more positive.

Lan Series does have a handle on the bigger side
Lan Series does have a handle on the bigger side

Chinese SG2/R2 vs Chinese VG10

The 14Cr14MoVNb, also known as the Chinese SG2 or R2, was a very pleasant surprise. Having the exact same knife but with a different core highlighted how much better the 14Cr14MoVNb is compared to the Chinese VG10, known as 10Cr15CoMoV. It has a noticeably sharper feel and holds that edge sharpness for a longer period. In terms of durability, despite the higher Rockwell rating, it feels the same or even a tad better. When sharpening the knife, the 14Cr14MoVNb is, in my opinion, easier to sharpen and can get a sharper edge compared to the Chinese VG10, which I have tested on a ceramic whetstone.

Xinzuo Lan Series with Chinese SG2 - Choil
Xinzuo Lan Series with Chinese SG2 – Choil

Key Takeaways

The Xinzuo Santoku Lan Series is a well-made knife with the quality control you can expect from Xinzuo. The added changes to the Santoku blade and attention to detail are a plus and add to the ease of use. The handle is quite big and therefore I can’t recommend them to those with a small and even those with a medium hand size. Besides that, you will need to expect that the knife is generally heavier than your typical Santoku knife. If you are not on a budget I can highly recommend the Powdered version over the Chinese VG10 since it is simply a lot better despite sharing the same shape and grind. Even when the Powdered version is double the price of around $80 compared to the Chinese VG10 version with a price of around $40. I would recommend the 14Cr14MoVNb since it holds the edge longer and sharpens better on a ceramic whetstone without losing ductility despite the higher Rockwell rating compared to the Chinese VG10. The overall slicing feel of the Powdered version felt sharper and smoother even after maintaining them both on a ceramic whetstone.


Xinzuo Store on AliExpress:
Xinzuo Lan Series Santoku:
Powdered Version Chinese SG2/R2
Xinzuo Lan Series Santoku:
Chinese VG10 Version

Xinzuo Official Amazon Store:
Xinzuo Amazon NA
Xinzuo Lan Series Santoku:
Powdered Version Chinese SG2/R2

Xinzuo Amazon EU

Xinzuo Lan Series Santoku:
Powdered Version Chinese SG2/R2

The BamBoo Guy Official Xinzuo Reseller NA:
Xinzuo Lan Series Santoku:
Powdered Version Chinese SG2/R2
Xinzuo Lan Series Santoku:
Chinese VG10 Verison

Xinzuo Official Website Store:
Xinzuo Webshop

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.

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.

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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. Thank you for the review! How can I best care for the olive wood handle of my Lan series knife? The wood is quite light, and after using it a bit, it doesn’t look as nice. Should I simply rub it with regular linseed oil, or is there a better alternative? Is there anything specific I should consider?

    1. The best option would be tasteless oil which won’t go rancid.
      Therefore mineral oil is recommended, other oils that won’t go rancid and are safe can be used too.

      Most cooking oil will go rancid and get sticky, and food allergies must be considered.

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