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Xinzuo Zhen Series Santoku Knife Review: Chinese VG10

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.

Xinzuo Santoku Zhen Series
Xinzuo Santoku Zhen Series

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.

Xinzuo Santoku Zhen Series -Handle
Xinzuo Santoku Zhen Series -Handle

The Blade

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.

Xinzuo Santoku Zhen Series - Choil
Xinzuo Santoku Zhen Series – Choil

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.

Hammered pattern
Hammered pattern

Blade Improvements

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.

Xinzuo Zhen Santoku - Blade Profile
Xinzuo Zhen Santoku – Blade Profile

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.

Point of Balance
Point of Balance

Key Takeaways

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.

Santoku Zhen Series
Santoku Zhen Series

Xinzuo Santoku Zhen Series

Xinzuo Official Amazon Store:
Xinzuo Amazon NA
Xinzuo Amazon EU

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.

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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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