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Xinzuo Utility Knife Review 1.4116 German Steel – Yu Series

The Xinzuo Utility knife is made from German Stainless Steel called 1.4116. It is a mono-steel construction, which means that the complete Steel is made with the German steel type without any cladding. The blade has a brushed vertical finish, which helps break down water content from food so that it sticks less on your blade. The knife comes with a full tang wooden handle and three rivets. The middle rivet has a mosaic pattern.

Xinzuo Utility Knife
Xinzuo Utility Knife

Knife Rockwell Hardness and Core Material

The Xinzuo Utility Knife Rockwell hardness is specified with a Rockwell of 56 to 58. But during my testing, the Rockwell came close to 57. The German Steel is also very sturdy and durable, so you don’t have to worry about chipping your blade. There is also no noticeable flex during use. 

Xinzuo Utility Knife 1.4116
Xinzuo Utility Knife 1.4116

Xinzuo Utility Blade profile

The Blade profile is interesting. It is pretty much a smaller version of a western chef’s knife profile. It is interesting to see this kind of profile as a utility knife, but if you prefer a straighter utility knife, then this knife is not for you. 

Xinzuo Blade Profile
Xinzuo Blade Profile

Knife balance point

The knife balance point of this utility knife is at the handle behind the curved cap. It makes the knife back heavy, which I don’t recommend on a utility knife. When it comes to a utility knife, you use the knife on special occasions. You use it for smaller produce like fruit and precision work that still requires a cutting board. In this case, I would prefer a middle-balanced balance point from where you grip or pinch the knife. And if you use it for more precise work at the knife tip, then I prefer a slightly front-heavy balance point but not back-heavy, which in my opinion defeats the purpose of a utility knife. 

Xinzuo Balance Point
Xinzuo Balance Point

Knife handle

The knife handle is made of Ebony Wood that sits comfortably in your hand. It has a slightly curved belly that sits snugly around your fingers. It also has a butt at the end of the handle, which prevents you from slipping. 

Xinzuo Knife Handle - Ebony Wood
Xinzuo Knife Handle – Ebony Wood

Quality Control

Everything is nicely flushed, there are no protrusions on the handle or at the rivets. The polish on the spine and the choil are good. There is no shrinkage of the wooden handle, either. 

Knuckle Clearance (its a utility knife knuckle clearance should not matter)

My Conclusion & Recommendation

Quality control and heat treatment of the German Steel are excellent and better than most other brands that sell the same steel type. The balance point of this utility knife and the knife profile just do not fit correctly. It is a mini version of a Chef’s knife without knuckle clearance. It simply failed as a utility knife, which is a shame since the knife itself is of good quality. They do sell an 8.2-inch Chef’s knife, and if the quality is the same as this version, then I can recommend the Chef’s knife but skip this 5-inch utility knife. 

Xinzuo Utility Knife 1.4116 German Steel - Yu Series
Xinzuo Utility Knife 1.4116 German Steel – Yu Series

🛒S H O P:

The 5-inch version in this review can be bought here

Since I don’t recommend the 5-inch utility knife I will link you to their 8.2-inch version:

8.2-inch Chef Knife 1.4116 German Steel (210mm)

A knife that I personally have tested and can recommend:

Xinzuo Chef knife (Gyuto) 210mm – Yun Series
Xinzuo Chef knife (Gyuto) 240mm

A review of this Gyuto can be found by clicking here

Official Xinzuo store on AliExpress

Official Amazon Store (not all knife versions available):

NA: https://amzn.to/2Y1Ttrh

EU: https://amzn.to/2BdWZZF

N O T E S:

While I like the consistent quality control of the Xinzuo brand their knife style and design choice from the profile, balance point, etc is sometimes questionable. This utility knife that is sometimes also sold as a 5-inch chef’s knife failed at being a utility and a chef’s knife. A back-heavy balance point is counterproductive for a petty/utility knife in my eyes.

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ChefPanko

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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2 Comments

  1. Hi Chef,

    I am looking for a multipurpose utility knife. I have a lot of confidence in the quality of xinzuo.

    What knife do you recommend? What do you need to look for in a utility knife?

    Also what are your thoughts about recent eu policies? Maybe alieexpress will be an inconvenient from next month onwards.
    https://opgelicht.avrotros.nl/hulp/vraag-antwoord/artikel/jouw-aliexpress-bestelling-wordt-vanaf-1-juli-2021-duurder-door-verplichte-inklaringskosten-en-nieuwe-btw-regels/

    1. My latest recommendation can be found here, but I will be testing a lot of new knives in 2022 so the list may change in 2022.
      For more information on what to look for in a utility knife can be found here.

      As for the new policies, I like them a lot more, since packages get past the customs a lot faster now since the sales tax for each EU country has been pre-paid.
      It was quite confusing at first and PostNL did try to charge me once but after calling and showing them the BTW receipt on the AliExpress invoice it got solved.
      But right now most of the postal services are up to date with the new rules without any problems.
      Making it even better to order the more expensive products without worrying about additional tax charges etc.

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