Reviewed by Knives Academy team, Based on Methodology v 1.0
Introducing the Professional 8 Inch Hollow Edge Chef Knife, model MTH-80, from the renowned brand Mac. Crafted in Japan, this chef knife, also known as a Gyuto, is designed to offer a blend of traditional Japanese craftsmanship and modern functionality. With its unique hollow edge design and high carbon stainless steel blade, it’s tailored for those who value precision and versatility in their culinary tasks. Priced at $175, it’s a worthy investment for both professional chefs and culinary enthusiasts.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Our testers found the Mac Knife Professional 8 Inch Hollow Edge Chef Knife to be a well-crafted tool that excels in sharpness, edge retention, and versatility. It’s a top pick for those who need precision and care in their kitchen tasks, but it can also tackle heavier duty tasks, with some caution. The comfort, ergonomics, and balance of this knife make it a pleasure to use, and its low maintenance requirements are a bonus. However, its average corrosion resistance, stamped construction, and relatively small handle size, which may not fit larger hands comfortably, are worth noting. Despite these points, our testers believe it’s an excellent choice for both professional cooks and culinary enthusiasts.
PRICE : From $175
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
15 (each side)
The Mac Knife Professional 8 Inch Hollow Edge Chef Knife, model MTH-80, is a Japanese Gyuto knife that combines traditional and modern design elements. This full tang knife, forged using a stamped method, is lightweight at 6.8 ounces and has an overall length of 12.63 inches. The knife features a half bolster, which contributes to its balanced feel. It’s designed to be versatile and suitable for both right and left-handed users.
The blade is crafted from AUS-8 high-carbon stainless steel, which is considered to be a mid-range steel. The blade Rockwell hardness rating (HRC) is 59, indicating a good balance between hardness and toughness.
The blade measures at 7.88 inches long and 1.88 inches wide at the heel. The spine of the blade is 0.08 inches thick. The blade’s tip is a drop point shape, and the belly is slightly curved. The blade connects conveniently to the handle via a welded half bolster. The cutting edge features a double bevel hollow grind edge geometry, which guarantees sharpness, at the expense of some durability. The edge angle is 15 degrees (30 degrees inclusive), and the edge thickness is 0.09 inches.
In terms of aesthetics, the blade is silver, polished to a satin finish, and features granton dimples. The blade is etched with the MAC logo on both sides – in both English and Japanese, adding a playful touch on one side and an elegant appeal on the other.
The handle is made from Pakkawood – a composite of wood and resin which is durable and resistant to moisture. The handle’s shape is slightly contoured with a straight spine, providing a comfortable grip for extended use. The handle, measured at 4.58 inches is relatively short in relation to the blade.
The handle is black, offering a classic contrast to the silver blade. It does not have a logo, maintaining a minimalist handle aesthetic. The handle is secured with three rivets, ensuring stability. The butt of the handle features a small handle guard, enhancing safety during use.
KNIVES ACADEMY TESTING
The knife’s performance is exceptional, excelling in both sharpness and edge retention. Our testers were impressed by its razor-sharp edge, a result of its thin edge thickness, lower angle, and high Rockwell hardness rating. The high carbon stainless steel material and the blade’s hollow grind further enhance its cutting prowess. Remarkably, the knife maintained its sharpness even after two weeks of usage, indicating superior edge retention.
The knife demonstrated outstanding sharpness in our testing, acing both the paper and tomato tests right out of the box. This impressive sharpness could be attributed to several factors. The blade’s edge thickness is a mere 0.09 inches, and it features a 15-degree edge angle, both contributing to its razor-sharp edge. The blade’s Rockwell hardness rating of 59, coupled with its high carbon stainless steel material, further enhances its sharpness. Additionally, the hollow grind of the blade ensures a precise and clean cut.
The knife demonstrated excellent edge retention in our tests, maintaining its sharpness even after two weeks of usage. The blade’s lower angle and high Rockwell hardness rating contribute to this impressive performance. The thin edge thickness and high carbon stainless steel material further enhance the knife’s ability to retain its edge over time.
FUNCTIONALITY & VERSATILITY
The Mac Knife Professional 8 Inch Hollow Edge Chef Knife demonstrated a high level of versatility in our tests, excelling in a range of cutting techniques. It was outstanding in slicing and carving tasks, and excellent in chopping, dicing, mincing, peeling, turning, deseeding, trimming, and filleting. It also handled butchering, cleaving, and breaking down dense and tough ingredients well. Its up-down chopping motion was outstanding, and its rocking motion was excellent. It was good for heavy-duty work and excellent for delicate tasks. Given its performance, this knife is best suited for tasks that require precision and delicacy, such as slicing, carving, and detailed prep work, while also being capable of handling heavier duty tasks.
STRENGTH, TOUGHNESS & DURABILITY
The knife showed good strength, toughness, and durability in our tests. Despite its lower blade angle and high hardness rating, which typically reduce durability, the knife held up well under pressure. This can be attributed to its full tang design and (welded) half bolster which provides additional strength, and its high carbon stainless steel material known for its toughness. It wouldn’t be our first pick for heavy duty work, or for cutting hard and dense ingredients, but it will get the job done.
Despite being a stamped knife, and on the lighter side in terms of weight, the knife still demonstrated good leverage in our tests. Its blade length and exceptional sharpness aids in efficient force transfer during cutting tasks, especially for slicing. Although it requires a more conscious application of force, this doesn’t significantly detract from its overall performance.
DEXTERITY & MANEUVERABILITY
As far as dexterity and maneuverability go, the knife excelled in our tests. Being relatively light, it was easy enough to move around. Its hollow grind and lower blade angle, coupled with a thin edge, allowed for precise cuts and handled detailed tasks with ease. The distal taper further enhances its dexterity. These attributes make the knife suitable for both heavy-duty tasks and delicate work.
FLEXIBILITY / RIGIDITY
The knife demonstrated a good balance of flexibility and rigidity in our tests. Its high Rockwell hardness rating indicates a more rigid blade, suitable for heavy-duty tasks like chopping through dense vegetables. However, it also showed enough flexibility to handle more delicate tasks like peeling and filleting with relative ease to a 8 inch chef knife. This balance makes the knife versatile for a variety of kitchen tasks.
FEEL & EXPERIENCE
Our testers concluded that the knife offers an excellent feel and experience, scoring high in comfort, ergonomics, grip stability, and control. The contoured Pakkawood handle provides a comfortable and secure grip, while the half bolster enhances control. The knife’s balance is very good, varying with different grip styles, and contributes to precision and stability. The knife is relatively light and easy to handle, minimizing fatigue during extended use. Ultimately, we believe this knife is more than likely to meet most users expectations for a comfortable and controlled cutting experience.
COMFORT & ERGONOMICS
Our testers found the knife to be excellent in terms of comfort and ergonomics. The handle, made of Pakkawood, is contoured and smooth, providing a comfortable grip that is designed to better fit the hand of its user. The handle’s length is just slightly shorter than average, which might be less comfortable for users with larger hands. The shorter handle is compensated by the partial bolster, which provides extra grip area.
GRIP STABILITY & CONTROL
The knife demonstrated excellent grip stability and control in our tests. The contoured Pakkawood handle, combined with the half bolster, provides a secure and stable grip, preventing slippage or unintended rotation during use. Despite the handle being slightly shorter than average, it still allows for precise control during various cutting tasks. The handle’s smooth texture and the knife’s balanced weight further contribute to its excellent grip stability and control.
The overall balance of the knife was rated as very good. It was tested using three different grip styles: the handshake/thumb grip, the pinch grip, and the finger point grip. The knife scored very good in the pinch grip and fingertip grip balance tests, and outstanding in the handshake/thumb grip balance test. The balance point varied depending on the grip style, being handle-heavy in the pinch grip, centered in the handshake/thumb grip, and blade-heavy in the fingertip grip. This indicates a well-distributed weight between the knife’s blade and handle, contributing to accuracy, stability, and control during cutting tasks.
Our testers found the knife to be excellent in minimizing hand and wrist fatigue during extended use. Despite its full tang and stamped construction, the light weight of 6.8 ounces and the 7.88-inch blade length contribute to its ease of use over extended periods. The knife’s weight distribution and contoured handle design further contribute to reducing strain and fatigue.
The Mac Knife Professional 8 Inch Hollow Edge Chef Knife is a low-maintenance tool that offers a balance of durability, edge retention, and ease of sharpening. Despite its unremarkable corrosion and rust resistance, its very good resistance to wear, tear, and scratches, coupled with its excellent edge retention, make it a reliable choice for regular use. The knife’s strength and toughness are commendable, although it may not be ideal for heavy-duty tasks. Sharpening the knife is relatively straightforward, but the high carbon stainless steel material may require some expertise for optimal results. Regular care and maintenance will ensure this knife retains its performance and aesthetic appeal over time.
CORROSION & RUST RESISTANCE
Despite being made of AUS-8, a high carbon stainless steel known for its decent resistance to rust and corrosion, and having a polished finish that usually aids in rust resistance, the knife’s corrosion and rust resistance was found to be unremarkable in our saltwater spray tests. This indicates that while the knife possesses some inherent resistance properties due to its material and finish, they may not be as effective as expected under prolonged exposure to corrosive elements. Therefore, it’s crucial to ensure regular maintenance and proper care to prevent rust and corrosion, and keep the knife in its best condition.
WEAR, TEAR & SCRATCH RESISTANCE
The knife’s resistance to wear, tear, and scratches was rated as very good in our tests. The blade is made of AUS-8 high carbon stainless steel, which is known for its decent resistance to wear and tear. The blade’s polished finish, while not as resistant to scratches as a stonewash finish, still offers a reasonable level of resistance. The blade’s Rockwell hardness rating of 59 also contributes to its durability, making it harder and more resistant to wear, tear, and scratches. This suggests that the knife can maintain its appearance and performance even with regular use.
The knife demonstrated excellent edge retention in our tests, maintaining its sharpness even after two weeks of usage. This impressive performance can be attributed to its lower blade angle, high Rockwell hardness rating, thin edge thickness, and the use of high carbon stainless steel. These factors contribute to the knife’s ability to retain its edge for a longer period, reducing the need for frequent sharpening. This makes the knife a practical choice for those seeking a low-maintenance kitchen tool.
STRENGTH, TOUGHNESS & DURABILITY
The knife’s good strength, toughness, and durability contribute to its low-maintenance appeal. Its full tang design and half bolster provide additional strength, while the high carbon stainless steel material enhances its toughness.
Despite its lower blade angle and high hardness rating, the knife maintains its structural integrity well, reducing the need for frequent repairs or replacements. However, it’s worth noting that while it can handle most tasks, it may not be the best choice for heavy-duty work or cutting through particularly hard and dense ingredients.
EDGE RESTORATION (EASE OF SHARPENING)
Our testers found the knife relatively easy to sharpen, contributing to its overall low-maintenance appeal. The thin blade and double bevel design simplify the sharpening process, while the adequate distance between the handle and the blade allows for easy access to the entire edge. Despite the high carbon stainless steel material being harder than regular stainless steel, it was sharpened with relative ease. The knife’s specific blade angle and hardness of the material do require some expertise for optimal sharpening. However, our testers found it a suitable choice even for those new to knife sharpening.
Our testers found that the Mac Knife Professional 8 Inch Hollow Edge Chef Knife is equipped with several safety features that contribute to a secure and comfortable cutting experience. The knife’s half bolster provides a buffer between the hand and the blade, enhancing safety. The blade’s heel width and straight choil shape offer more surface area for the index finger to rest on and increase knuckle clearance, reducing the likelihood of accidental contact with the cutting edge. The contoured Pakkawood handle ensures a good grip and comfortable hold. The knife’s balanced weight helps prevent hand fatigue and loss of control.
However, the knife does have a few areas where safety could be improved. The absence of a finger guard, and the relatively short handle could have further improved its safety by providing better-defined boundaries and increased grip. Despite these areas for improvement, our testers concluded that the knife’s safety features contribute to a secure and comfortable cutting experience, but caution should still be exercised.
Priced at $175, the Mac Knife Professional 8 Inch Hollow Edge Chef Knife offers several high-value features. The knife’s high carbon stainless steel blade, known for its balance between durability and ease of maintenance, and the full tang design, which is typically found in higher quality knives, contribute to its value. The blade’s polished finish and distal taper, which require more labor and craftsmanship, further enhance its worth. The knife’s handle is made of Pakkawood, a durable and aesthetically pleasing material.
However, the knife’s stamped construction, which is less labor-intensive and generally considered lower quality than forged knives, could detract from its overall value. Despite this, the knife’s excellent performance in our tests and its overall high-quality build make it a worthwhile investment for those willing to overlook its stamped construction.