The Xinzuo Zhen Series Santoku knife features layered Damascus cladding and a hammered pattern. Its 67-layer Damascus steel construction includes a 10Cr15CoMoV core, also known as Chinese VG10. The Chinese VG10, which is properly heat-treated, provides similar hardness, durability, and corrosion resistance to the Japanese VG10, resulting in a sharp, tough, and easy-to-sharpen stainless steel option.
Handle Features and Aesthetics
The Xinzuo Zhen Series Santoku knife features an octagonal handle made from North American Ironwood and Black Buffalo Horn. It offers a comfortable grip with White Brass Washers adding a touch of style. There are some small bumps at the dividers, but you only notice them if you’re actively looking for them; they won’t affect your everyday use. This is normal, as wood naturally expands and contracts.
While I’m unsure about the presence of a distal taper due to the hammered pattern, the blade of the Xinzuo Zhen Series Santoku knife showed adequate performance, which you can also see when examining the choil and profile.
The knife’s design allowed for smooth and precise cutting without causing produce to split. Additionally, the hammered pattern prevents food from forming a vacuum effect when it reaches the hammered parts. The blade is well-made overall, though it lacks any exceptional features. I do wish they had thinned the knife more towards the front; that would have improved the cutting experience.
While the presence of a spine distal taper is not a concern given the knife’s overall performance, a slight improvement in the profile taper would be welcomed. Making the front part a bit thinner would elevate the knife’s performance.
Balance Point & Weight
The point of balance for the Xinzuo Zhen Series Santoku knife is located at the neck area. When holding the knife with a pinch grip, at this point of balance, it achieves a well-balanced feel, with no noticeable front-heavy or back-heavy bias. The weight of 187 grams is on the slightly heavier side compared to the typical 130 to 150 grams of traditional Santoku knives with octagonal handles.
The Xinzuo Santoku Zhen series offers good value for its price, usually around $60. The handle alone, made from premium materials, would typically come at a much higher cost. While staying true to the essence of a standard Japanese-style santoku knife, it doesn’t present anything extraordinary. This knife is tailored for home use and designed to be more durable to withstand potential misuse.
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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