Reviewed by Knives Academy team, Based on Methodology v 1.0
Introducing the Dalstrong Shogun 8 Inch Chef Knife, a western-style chef knife from the esteemed brand Dalstrong. Crafted in China, this knife is part of their Shogun Series ELITE collection, showcasing a modern and very distinctive design. With its unique AUS-10V high carbon stainless steel blade and G-10 handle, it’s tailored for those who value a high-quality build. Priced at $129, it’s a worthy investment for culinary enthusiasts who appreciate modern aesthetics, and prefer a knife with a presence.
THE BOTTOM LINE
In a way, the Dalstrong Shogun 8-inch Chef Knife is a victim of its own build properties. It is a well-crafted tool that offers a balance of performance and aesthetics. It excels in the overall feel & experience, and overall great safety, and its high carbon stainless steel blade provides excellent corrosion resistance. However, its overall cutting performance, edge retention, and wear, tear, and scratch resistance are areas where it falls short. Despite these points, it’s a good choice for enthusiasts who appreciate a modern, distinctive design that comes with a high-quality build. Performance-wise, better knives could be found at a more affordable price.
PRICE: From 125$
GET TO KNOW THE KNIFE
KNIFE SPECIFICATIONS & VISUAL INSPECTION
Blade Heel Length
Knife Forging Method
Knife Tang Type
High carbon stainless steel
Blade Steel Grade
Blade Geometry Grind
Blade Grind Angle
The Dalstrong Shogun 8-inch Chef Knife is a Western-style chef knife that showcases modern design elements. This is a forged, full-tang knife that weighs 8.9 ounces and measures 13.1 inches in length. The knife features a rather uniquely designed partial bolster, which tapers into the blade. It’s designed to be versatile and suitable for both right and left-handed users. It is worth noting that it does not meet the standards of the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF), which may limit its use in professional kitchens.
The blade of the Dalstrong Shogun 8-inch chef Knife is crafted from AUS-10V, which is considered a high-carbon stainless steel. With a Rockwell hardness rating of 62, the blade aims to offer a leniency towards cutting performance at the expense of toughness. The blade measures 8.03 inches in length, with a spine width of 1.5mm, and features a straight spine shape with a distal taper. The cutting edge is a flat grind with a double bevel, set at an angle of 10 degrees, which aims to deliver precision and sharpness.
In terms of aesthetics, the blade definitely has a distinctive look. The blade’s face bears two different Dalstrong logos on each of the sides, emphasizing the brand recognition of its design. The blade is also multi-layered out of 66 steel layers in a mosaic Damascus pattern, with a pin-hammered Tsuchime finish.
The handle of the Dalstrong Shogun 8-inch Chef Knife is constructed from G-10, a highly durable and moisture-resistant material. The handle is contoured and straight, providing a comfortable grip for extended use. Measuring 4.3 inches, the handle proportionally complements the length of the blade. The handle is black, offering a classic contrast to the silver blade. Like the blade, it features several appearances of the Dalstrong logo, further pushing the brand’s awareness. The handle is secured with three rivets, with a decorated middle rivet. The butt of the handle curves into a small handle guard, enhancing safety during use, and also adorns an etched logo.
KNIVES ACADEMY TESTING
In a way, the Dalstrong Shogun 8 Inch Chef Knife’s performance is a victim of its own set expectations. The knife’s AUS-10V high carbon stainless steel blade, with a Rockwell hardness rating of 62 and a sharp edge angle of 10 degrees, is very promising in terms of cutting performance. However, it did not quite live up to the exceptional slicing ability that its build might suggest.
Despite the blade’s AUS-10V high carbon stainless steel material, a Rockwell hardness rating of 62, and a low edge angle of 10 degrees, the Dalstrong Shogun 8 8-inch chef Knife’s sharpness was not as impressive as expected. It demonstrated acceptable sharpness out of the box in our tests, but given its cutting-performance-focused build, we anticipated a superior slicing ability. This suggests that while the knife is indeed relatively sharp, it may not deliver the exceptional sharpness that its build might suggest.
After two weeks of usage, our testers found that the Dalstrong Shogun 8-inch Chef Knife demonstrated acceptable edge retention. The knife’s performance in the paper and tomato tests was consistent, scoring an acceptable grade on our tests. This suggests that the blade can maintain its cutting edge over time with regular honing and care. The blade’s high carbon stainless steel material, Rockwell hardness rating of 62, and a very sharp edge angle of 10 degrees likely contribute to its ability to retain its edge. However, it’s worth noting that despite these attributes, the knife’s edge retention did not quite live up to our expectations.
FUNCTIONALITY & VERSATILITY
The Dalstrong Shogun 8-inch Chef Knife demonstrated an acceptable level of versatility in our tests, performing well in a variety of cutting techniques. It was excellent in chopping, dicing, and mincing tasks, and very good in slicing and carving. However, it was only average in more delicate tasks such as peeling, turning, deseeding, trimming, and filleting. The knife’s performance in heavy-duty tasks like butchering, cleaving, and breaking down dense and tough ingredients was acceptable. Its up-down chopping motion was acceptable, and its rocking motion was outstanding, thanks to the very wide and curvy blade shape. Given its performance, this knife is best suited for tasks that require robustness and strength, while also being somewhat capable of handling more delicate tasks if required.
STRENGTH, TOUGHNESS & DURABILITY
The Dalstrong Shogun 8-inch Chef Knife demonstrated acceptable strength, toughness, and durability in our tests. Despite its high hardness rating of 62 and lower blade angle of 10 degrees, which typically reduces durability, the knife held up reasonably well under pressure. This resilience can be attributed to its full tang design and forged construction, which increases its strength. The knife’s weight of 8.9 ounces further enhances its overall strength.
The Dalstrong Shogun 8-inch Chef Knife demonstrated very good leverage in our tests. In part thanks to it being a forged knife and relatively heavy in weight, the knife efficiently transfers force during cutting tasks. A better cutting performance could have further enhanced its leverage, but as long as you keep it sharp enough and maintain it thoroughly, it will also keep its leverage capabilities.
DEXTERITY & MANEUVERABILITY
The Dalstrong Shogun 8-inch Chef Knife showcased very good dexterity and acceptable maneuverability in our tests. While its heavier weight and wide blade slightly limit its ease of handling and precision in intricate tasks, the thin edge flat grind and lower blade angle significantly enhance its dexterity. The partial bolster is a notable feature that aids in the knife’s maneuverability and precision, making it suitable for a variety of delicate work.
FLEXIBILITY / RIGIDITY
The Dalstrong Shogun 8 Inch Chef Knife, with its high hardness rating of 62, is notably rigid. This rigidity is beneficial for heavy-duty tasks, but at the same time, the knife’s wear, tear, and scratch resistance is not great. The knife’s lack of flexibility may limit its suitability for more delicate tasks such as peeling and filleting. Despite this, the knife’s overall performance across a range of kitchen tasks was not compromised.
FEEL & EXPERIENCE
The Dalstrong Shogun 8-inch Chef Knife offers a very good feel and experience. The contoured G-10 handle provides a comfortable and secure grip, while the partial tapered bolster enhances control. The knife’s balance is very good, varying with different grip styles, and contributes to precision and stability. Despite its slightly above-average weight, the knife is relatively easy to handle. However, the balance leans towards the handle when used in a pinch grip, which may affect its performance during consistent chopping motions. Ultimately, we believe this knife is likely to meet most users’ expectations for a comfortable and controlled cutting experience.
COMFORT & ERGONOMICS
The Dalstrong Shogun 8-inch Chef Knife excels in terms of comfort and ergonomics. The handle, made of G-10, is contoured and smooth, providing a comfortable grip that is designed to better fit the hand of its user. The handle’s length is average and proportionally complements the length of the blade. The curved handle butt enhances the overall comfort, providing better palm support.
GRIP STABILITY & CONTROL
Our testers found the knife to offer excellent grip stability and control. The contoured G-10 handle, combined with the partial tapered bolster, provides a secure and stable grip, preventing slippage or unintended rotation during use. The handle’s smooth texture and the knife’s balanced weight further contribute to its grip stability and control. The handle’s average size allows for precise control during various cutting tasks. The presence of a handle guard on the butt enhances the overall grip stability, providing better palm support.
The Dalstrong Shogun 8-inch Chef Knife demonstrated very good balance in our tests. In the handshake/thumb grip, the balance point was centered, earning an excellent balance score. The knife also performed well in the fingertip grip test, where the balance point was blade-heavy, resulting in a very good balance score.
When held in a pinch grip, however, the balance point was handle-heavy and resulted in an acceptable balance score. This balance distribution makes the knife particularly well-suited for tasks such as slicing or cutting, where the centered balance provides optimal control and stability, but less optimal for consistent chopping motions, as the weight leans more towards the handle.
The Dalstrong Shogun 8-inch Chef Knife scored acceptable in our fatigue test. The knife’s weight of 8.9 ounces is above average for an 8-inch blade knife and contributes to hand and wrist fatigue during extended use. However, the contoured handle design and the overall very good balance of the knife can help in reducing strain and fatigue – but not so much for chopping motions, due to the balance points leniency towards the handle. This makes the knife suitable for moderate use without causing undue strain on the user’s hand and wrist.
The Dalstrong Shogun 8-inch Chef Knife offers a balanced maintenance profile. Its high carbon stainless steel blade provides excellent resistance to corrosion and rust, although mild discoloration was observed on the second day of testing. The knife’s strength, toughness, and durability are acceptable, with its full tang design and forged construction enhancing its toughness. The edge restoration process is fairly easy and straightforward. However, the knife’s resistance to wear, tear, and scratches was found to be mediocre, with scratches being fairly visible. Regular care and maintenance will ensure this knife retains its performance and aesthetic appeal over time.
CORROSION & RUST RESISTANCE
The Dalstrong Shogun 8-inch Chef Knife demonstrated excellent resistance to corrosion and rust in our saltwater spray tests. The high carbon stainless steel blade, known for its inherent rust resistance, coupled with its hammered Tsuchime finish, contributes to this performance. However, some mild discoloration was observed on the second day of testing, indicating that while the knife has some resistance properties, it may not be as effective under prolonged exposure to corrosive elements. Regular maintenance and proper care should still be exercised to prevent rust and corrosion and keep the knife in optimal condition.
STRENGTH, TOUGHNESS & DURABILITY
The Dalstrong Shogun 8-inch Chef Knife demonstrated acceptable strength, toughness, and durability in our tests. The full tang design and forged construction enhance its toughness. However, the knife’s lower blade angle and high hardness rating may compromise its durability, particularly when used for heavy-duty tasks. Despite these factors, the knife has shown resilience under normal use.
WEAR, TEAR & SCRATCH RESISTANCE
The Dalstrong Shogun 8-inch Chef Knife’s resistance to wear, tear, and scratches was found to be mediocre in our tests. While the knife’s hammered finish made scratches less visible, the polished part around the edge showed some very visible scratches. This is expected in a way, considering the knife’s high hardness rating of 62. This suggests that while the knife can withstand regular use, it may show signs of wear over time.
The knife’s edge retention was found to be acceptable in our tests, which is a crucial aspect of its maintenance. The blade’s low edge angle of 10 degrees, high Rockwell hardness rating of 62, and the use of high carbon stainless steel are supposed to ensure the knife maintains a decent sharpness even after two weeks of regular use. However, it’s worth noting that despite these attributes, the knife’s edge retention did not quite live up to our expectations. This means that while the knife can maintain its cutting edge over time with regular honing and care, it may require more frequent sharpening than some other knives. This could be a consideration for those who prefer a low-maintenance knife.
EDGE RESTORATION (EASE OF SHARPENING)
Our testers found the knife to be very good in terms of edge restoration, which contributes to its overall maintenance. The high carbon stainless steel blade, despite its hardness rating of 62, was relatively easy to sharpen. The double-bevel flat grind design simplifies the sharpening process, requiring little to no expertise for optimal sharpening. However, the knife’s very low blade angle does require some extra attention for optimal results. What’s more, during the sharpening process, any non-attentive sharpening movements may result in visible scratches near the blade’s edge.
The Dalstrong Shogun 8-inch Chef Knife offers a very good level of safety. The three-riveted contoured G-10 handle provides a good grip, enhancing control and safety. The knife’s double-bevel design is straightforward and easy to operate, reducing the risk of accidents. The blade’s heel is very wide, and the heel’s choil curves away from the user’s fingers, providing additional finger clearance. The curved handle guard on the butt further enhances safety by providing well-defined boundaries for the user’s palm to rest on.
However, the absence of a finger guard/full bolster and the pointy edge of the choil should be noted for those who seek extra protection. Despite these areas for improvement, the knife’s safety features contribute to a secure and comfortable cutting experience.
The Dalstrong Shogun 8-inch Chef Knife, priced at $129, offers a range of high-value features. The blade is made from AUS-10V high-carbon stainless steel, known for its balance between durability and ease of maintenance. The knife is both forged and features a full tang design, typically found in higher quality knives, which contributes to its value. The blade’s hammered Tsuchime finish, which is labor-intensive to manufacture, further enhances its worth. The knife’s handle is made of G-10, a highly durable material. The knife’s high-quality build makes it a worthwhile investment for those seeking a robust and reliable chef knife.