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Xinzuo Zhen Series Tall Nakiri Knife Review

Chinese VG10 - 10Cr15CoMoV

Talking About the Big Issue

Before we jump into the review, there’s a crucial point I need to address – the knife in my review sample is not perfectly aligned with the handle.

Xinzuo Zhen Series Tall Nakiri - Handle Alignment
Xinzuo Zhen Series Tall Nakiri – Handle Alignment

📢 Disclosure: Before we begin the review, it’s important to note that Xinzuo sent this knife for review. I didn’t purchase it, and they didn’t pay for this article/video. I have the full freedom to express my honest opinions.

Lost recordings and Photo’s

That said, I also lost all my original recordings and photos of the knife when it looked new out of the box so you will see the knife after my testing period. This means that there are scratches due to my experiment by adding a 10 up to 20-degree bevel, but more on that later.

Xinzuo Zhen Series Tall Nakiri - Choil
Xinzuo Zhen Series Tall Nakiri – Choil

Blade Features and Aesthetics

It comes with Damascus Cladding and a hammered pattern, and yes the Damascus Cladding is real as you can see the Damascus stays visible even after scratching it. The core material is a 10Cr15CoMoV, also known as Chinese VG10. The Chinese VG10, which is properly heat-treated, provides similar hardness, durability, and corrosion resistance to the Japanese VG10.

Real Damascus

Handle Features and Aesthetics

The Xinzuo Zhen Series Tall-Nakiri knife features an octagonal handle with North American Ironwood, Black Buffalo Horn, and White Brass Washers. While minor bumps at the dividers may be present, they won’t affect daily use, as they’re typical due to wood’s natural expansion and contraction.

Xinzuo Zhen Series Tall Nakiri - Octagonal Handle
Xinzuo Zhen Series Tall Nakiri – Octagonal Handle

The Blade

The blade has no distal taper and comes with a thickness of 2.0mm from the heel towards the front. The knife’s design enables smooth and precise cutting without food splitting. The hammered pattern prevents food from creating a vacuum effect on the blade. While the blade is well-crafted and adequate for most users, it lacks standout features.

2.0mm No taper
2.0mm Spine Thickness – No Taper

Blade Profile

The blade profile is flat, which is ideal for an up-and-down cutting motion. While you can still rock with the knife, stacking food too high for rocking isn’t recommended.

Xinzuo Zhen Series Tall Nakiri Blade profile
Xinzuo Zhen Series Tall Nakiri Blade Profile

Not a Heavy Duty Blade

Since the knife lacked standout features, I experimented with the sharpened angle. The standard 15-degree angle was good but not ideal for heavier-duty work. Despite its unique cross between a Nakiri and a Chinese Vegetable Cleaver form factor you still have to treat it like a Nakiri. While I attempted to use it as a Chinese Vegetable Cleaver, it’s important to note that the Chinese VG10 in this Tall Nakiri is not designed for heavier-duty tasks.

Shapton Glass #8000
Shapton Glass #8000

Blade Adjustments

I experimented with a sharpened angle of 10 to 12 degrees, which increased the risk of chipping the knife, and it couldn’t hold the 10 to 12-degree bevel. When sharpened with a 17 to 20-degree angle, it significantly improved edge durability. Therefore, I recommend a 17 to 20-degree bevel over the factory 15-degree angle, especially given the knife’s weight and unique shape, as this drastically increased edge durability for somewhat heavier tasks. However, it’s important to use it as a Nakiri and not a Chinese Vegetable Cleaver.

Left: 10-12 Degrees (Could not hold the edge) - Middle: 15 Degrees (Factory Bevel) - Right: 17-20 Degrees (Recommended)
Left: 10-12 Degrees (Could not hold the edge) – Middle: 15 Degrees (Factory Bevel) – Right: 17-20 Degrees (Recommended)

Balance Point & Weight

The knife weighs 256 grams, and given its unique form, it strikes a balance between being neither too heavy nor too light. The balance point is located more toward the front when you wrap your hand around the handle.

Front Heavy
Front Heavy

For a more centrally balanced grip, you can rest your middle finger in the neck area, allowing for a comfortable and middle-balanced hold. The rounded choil also adds to the overall comfort.

The middle finger at the choil makes the knife middle-balanced
The middle finger at the choil makes the knife middle-balanced

Key Takeaways

The Xinzuo Zhen Series Tall Nakiri offers a unique fusion of the traditional Nakiri and Chinese Vegetable Cleaver styles, providing a unique cutting experience. It combines the convenience of a Chinese Cleaver’s added blade with the smooth and sharp cutting performance of a Nakiri. However, it’s crucial to treat it as a Nakiri, as it’s not suitable for heavier-duty tasks. For more durability during moderately demanding cutting, consider adding a 17 to 20-degree edge bevel, or stick with the factory angle for lighter use. Despite some minor imperfections, the knife’s design, balance, and handle ensure a comfortable and dependable experience, making it an excellent choice for beginners seeking a sharper edge with longer edge retention. Given the fun-to-use form factor of the Tall Nakiri, I highly recommend that Xinzuo create more series based on this knife style, featuring various core materials, and new designs and adding more improvements such as making it lighter and thinner to cater it more to the knife enthusiast crowd.

Hezhen Chinese Cleaver - Xinzuo Tall Nakiri - Mcusta Zanmai Nakiri
Hezhen Chinese Cleaver (Behind) – Xinzuo Tall Nakiri (Middle) – Mcusta Zanmai Nakiri (Front)

Xinzuo Tall Nakiri Zhen Series
Hezhen Chinese Cleaver

Xinzuo Official Amazon Store:
Xinzuo Amazon

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.

Other Knives and Tools Used:
Shapton Glass
Mcusta Zanmai Nakiri

Confirmed Official Xinzuo Resellers:
The BamBoo Guy Official Xinzuo Reseller (NA Customers)

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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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