I recently purchased four knives of Dalstrong’s newly released knives. Now, I was able to get a promotional price for these in order to try them out, but I can assure you that it hasn’t altered my rating. I was prepared, upon ordering these, to be let down. It sounds like a cheap made-in-china brand that I’d use a couple times and then lose in my kitchen drawers. Whoa was I wrong!
It turns out that Dalstrong is an incredibly high quality knife company – and it’s family run. I’m not sure where they are made – I am still thinking it might be in China, since there are no proud labels on their packaging to state “Made in USA” or elsewhere. Even so, I was blown away when I got these. I was going to review these in separate posts, but I think I will just summarize and hit some of the highlights in this one.
#1: Gladiator Series 7″ Santoku Knife
The Santoku knife is a knife that is becoming the go-to knife for a lot of chefs, and I am beginning to see why. It has the length, weight, and balance of most chef knives, yet it’s even more versatile. “Santoku” has Japanese historical significance and means “three virtues”. In terms of cooking, the Santoku knife is great for chopping, dicing, and mincing.
A trademark of the Santoku knife are the dimples (Granton edge) on the side that allow food to slide off easier after cutting.
This knife is full tang, which helps give it a great balance and strength. Once you use knives as great as the ones that Dalstrong makes, you’ll want to cook more. This is a very impressive knife to use and have in the kitchen, and will last you for years (or even decades) if you treat it properly. Make sure to hand wash it, sharpen it with a whetstone when needed, and keep it in a knife block or in the sheath to protect the blade.
#2: Gladiator Series 8″ Chef Knife
If you are anything like me, you are intimidated and a little overwhelmed when venturing into the world of fine knives. Usually when I purchase a chef knife, I will budget about $15 for it, or it will be included in a knife set. While this Gladiator Series Chef knife is technically out of my price range, I was completely sold on it when I received in the mail. I can already tell that it is far nicer than any knife I would find in the store. It will also last me for years and years. This could possibly be a lifetime knife if treated correctly. Dalstrong recommends to sharpen this with a whetstone to preserve the very fine cutting angle of the knife and prolong the life of the knife.
Of course, no chef knife is absolutely perfect for everybody. It all depends on the size of the knife, the weight of the knife, and the size of the user’s hand. I have a small to average size hand, and I couldn’t be happier with this knife. It has perfect weight and balance. It really does make chopping and prepping food effortless (and enjoyable) compared to using an ‘average’ knife. If you do have a larger hand and grandpa, you may want to check out 9 or 10 inch chef knife. It is very refreshing, and nice to know, that Dalstrong stands behind their well-made products and assures you that you’ll be happy with the craftsmanship you receive.
The construction alone of this knife is gorgeous. The pakkawood of the handle is integrated into the handle and blade so well that it’s all one smooth, beautiful piece.
#3: Gladiator Series 3.75″ Pairing Knife
A pairing knife is one of those tools that is absolutely essential for any kitchen. It does all the little tasks such as slicing carrots, peeling fruit, and doing other find chopping that you don’t want to take out your larger knives for. I used to be the type of person who would buy a five dollar pairing knife off the rack at the store and wonder why, after two months, it is such a piece of junk. And then I tried some of my friend’s nice knives and came to a realization that I needed to invest in some quality cutlery.
This Gladiator Series pairing knife is one of the finest knives I have ever tried. Dalstrong says this knife takes 35 days, from start to finish, to make. The handle is made from beautiful black pakkawood. The blade is him the sharpened to 18° per side. The knife is really quite heavy, for how small it actually is (3.5″). Quite a bit of the wait is in the stainless steel end cap of the knife – this helps to give a nice balance to the knife.
The first time I used this, I found myself peeling carrots with it just because I could. It’s extremely sharp, yet it’s the perfect size for an agile little knife. I’m proud to have this in my kitchen cutlery arsenal.
#4: Shogun Series 6″ Utility Knife
I have read mixed things on the practicality of owning a utility knife – but I decided I would get a lot of use out of one, and I am glad I chose the Dalstrong Shogun Series.
Utility knives are basically an in-between knife that falls somewhere between a chef’s knife and a pairing knife. A utility knife is usually between 4 and 6 inches and is meant to be used as a ‘do-it-all’ knife for anything that isn’t large enough (usually vegetables, leftovers, small pieces of meat, etc) to warrant using a chef’s knife.
So why do I love the Dalstrong Utility knife so much? It’s gorgeous, it’s sharp, it’s nicely weighted, and it’s an incredibly well-made tool. You’ll notice the quality upon opening the box – it arrives in a box suitable for display, and includes a 39 page “Care and About” booklet (all the knives do). The booklet points out some helpful tips, such as: don’t keep the knife soaking in soapy water, sharpen it with a whetstone when needed, try to always hand wash and dry it, etc.
The knife comes equipped with a locking sheath (it locks with a small peg). The Shogun Series knife itself, according to Dalstrong, takes 60 days to craft. The blade has an 8-12 degree angle, which is why a whetstone is preferred for sharpening to preserve the angle. The Design on the blade is called the “Tsunami Rose” blade pattern. The handle of the knife is shaped very well for the precision control that a smaller knife like this needs. I don’t think I will use this as much as my chef’s knife, but it’s a welcome addition to my knife set can’t recommend this beautiful knife enough!
All in all – I couldn’t be any happier that I started out my fine knife collection with Dalstrong. I have no reason to rate these any less than 5 stars. They are great for any amateur or professional’s kitchen and can last a lifetime if properly taken care of.
These knives range in price from $29 – $65. Shop Dalstrong’s selection on Amazon HERE.