Dalstrong is a fairly new name in the culinary world and with only being established in 2012 they have achieved huge success in such a short period of time. Dalstrong’s immediate aims were to rejuvenate an aging industry.
To achieve this lofty goal Dalstrong has looked to combining new age knife making techniques with the traditional methods used in Japan that just work.
Dalstrong has advanced techniques such as a Tsuchime finish on its Shogun series but paired them with crystal restructuring techniques like cryo-tempering. Each serves its own purpose on a blade but their origins are eons apart.
Dalstrong is putting the emphasis back on the user of the knife to ensure that they are the ones benefiting from Dalstrong’s innovation.
Each of Dalstrong’s knives is covered by a 100% satisfaction guarantee and a lifetime warranty against defects. The confidence Dalstrong has in their knives is definitely not misplaced.
From the quality of the steel to the intricate detailing of each blade, these knives are unrivaled at their price point and represent an amazing balance between passion and quality.
OUR TOP PICK
This Shogun Series X 10.25” chef’s knife is a great example of beauty and utility, this knife is a powerhouse for all culinary uses.
You could julienne a carrot and then immediately move on to butchering a leg of venison and this knife would make you feel right at home.
This knife represents the best of the Dalstrong Shogun Series line, acting as its flag bearer.
With 10.25” inches of AUS-10V Japanese steel, this knife is a titan in terms of raw cutting power.
The Blade is sharpened to a razor-sharp 8° to 12° angle on each side using the traditional Honbazuke method, making it akin to its traditional Japanese cousins.
Standard western chef knives are sharpened to a 15° to 24° angle so as to increase blunt force and durability.
This is unnecessary in the Shogun Series X knife as its 66-layered Damascus high-carbon AUS-10V steel makes the blade extremely durable even with less material at the tip.
As for the steel, what is AUS-10V? This type of steel actually contains a decent amount of chromium in it effectively making it a stainless steel with the hardness and edge retention of a high-carbon Japanese steel.
It is generally recommended to utilize Japanese whetstones to sharpen all knives but with this type of steel, it is the best way to elongate the life of your blades.
Dalstrong produces and sells their own Japanese Whetstones for sharpening their knives and they offer a set for a fairly competitive price.
This type of steel when used in high utility blades like the Shogun Series X chef knife, has been known to be quite brittle, this is why Dalstrong includes a premium molded polymer Saya (sheath) with each of their blades.
When you aren’t using the knife, store it correctly in the sea and it should last you your whole professional or home-based culinary career.
For standard forging, this type of steel excels but with the precision forging method used by Dalstrong, this steel becomes a formidable blade.
The Shogun Series X chef knife is forged using a precision forging method that sandwiches its solid AUS-10V steel core inside 66 layers of Damascus folded steel.
Once forged the blade goes through a liquid nitrogen quenching process that increases the complexity of the crystalline structure within the steel.
Doing this before the heat treating process is what allows Dalstrong a achieve a 61-62 HRC hardness with each of their blades.
This produces a beautiful finish but also by encasing the brittle core in a stainless steel Damascus Dalstrong has found a way to increase the corrosion and rust resistance of the blade without compromising the overall strength and durability of it.
The edge retention of this blade is also noteworthy as the cutting edge of the blade has not been burnished but hand polished to increase the longevity of the edge.
The outside of the blade, once hand polished reveals a beautiful Damascus pattern called ‘Tsunami rose’.
This beautiful aesthetic is very reminiscent of traditional Japanese folded steel and somehow doesn’t detract from the mirror finished hand polish.
The surface of the top half of the blade is covered in a hammered Tsuchime finish that not only makes it look better but also increases the blade’s efficiency when chopping.
It does this by creating small air pockets between the sliced food and the blade so as to reduce the surface area to which your food can stick to.
The finish of the blade also consists of Dalstrong’s engraved lion sigil and some minimal text so as not to detract from the beauty that is the whole knife.
The Shogun Series X knives are all full tang knives meaning the blade doesn’t stop throughout the handle, in fact, the handle actually sandwiches the tang of the blade.
This massively increases the durability and usability of the knife, it does so by improving the weight distribution of the piece so evenly that the center of mass for each blade sits just above the collar.
If you use a pinch grip to hold this knife you will be placing your thumb and forefinger directly onto the center of mass.
What this allows you to do is utilize the weight of the knife to do most of the work, with minimal adjustments in your grip and wrist action you’ll be slicing through your vegetables with little to no effort.
Each knife in the Shogun Series X line comes fitted with a military grade G-10 Garolite handle. G-10 Garolite is a type of fiberglass that has been coated in a polished non-slick polymer to make the knife a pleasure to hold.
The handle in this knife slightly differs from the others in this series in that it is slightly larger.
Dalstrong has purposefully done this to balance the blade perfectly but also to make sure you have a proper grip on what is a beast of a chef’s knife.
The G-10 Garolite is an inert, non-porous material that is highly impervious to both heat and moisture and will last you as long as your blade.
The ergonomic handle is designed for control and comfort, as we’ve stated above the tang of the blade is sandwiched between 2 layers of the Garolite, this makes the weight distribution of the handle directly central.
These measures have been taken to ensure that each action applied to the handle applies in a 1:1 ratio with the blade giving you supreme control.
The whole body of the knife, including the handle, is stabilized by an engraved end cap embellished with the lion logo once again.
The rivets of the handle are polished to the same height and feel as the Garolite and tang and so do not interrupt the surface with any uneven bumps or uncomfortable risen sections.
The center rivet is adorned with a copper mosaic pin that accentuates the whole of the piece and adds another element of intricate detail that is this knife.
For overall use this knife is perfect, the balance of the knife allows you to use it without strain despite its large size and weight.
The weight of the knife is actually surprisingly light for its size, this is due to the Japanese sharpening method that leaves less material on the blade’s edge reducing the overall material from the whole blade through to the spine and reducing its overall weight.
The blade is controllable enough to debone a chicken and also hefty enough to chop all the vegetables for Thanksgiving dinner.
This is a great knife for any level of chef, from the humble home cook to the Michelin star chefs. This knife can perform any task you throw at it with ease and will come out of the other side as if it hadn’t been used.
The Garolite handle is smooth and delicate enough for the blade to feel extremely comfortable during extended use but also durable enough for rush hour service.
As with any high-carbon steel knife, you will need to perform some maintenance with this blade to keep it running at top performance but most of that maintenance will be sharpening or honing. The blade doesn’t require special attention or oils to keep it rust or corrosion free.
The Damascus stainless steel used to cover the outer surfaces make sure you won’t have to worry about rust or corrosion. Essentially a good clean and prompt drying will take care of most issues when it comes to the finish of the knife.
In terms of sharpening Dalstrong advises that you use their own whetstones for the whole process. However, most any whetstones or waterstones will do completely fine for sharpening this knife.
The included Saya (sheath) also helps to increase the time between sharpenings as the brittle edge won’t get banged around in storage. We would recommend using a knife block or magnet to store your knives as they allow the blade to stay away from any materials that may be harder than it (harder steels, ceramic, or stone pestles).
With all of that being said this is one of the best knives you can currently purchase for its price range and you’d be looking at doubling the price before noticing any significant difference.