Last Updated Feb 2023 – Good knives are defined by a scant few features. A perfect blade is sharp, holds an edge well, and is robust enough to stand up to regular kitchen use. It has a comfortable handle that’s well suited for multiple types of grips, it’s well balanced, letting you maneuver it around deftly, and it’s got a blade that’s shaped in a way that enables your favorite cutting techniques. Importantly, it’s also attractive, meaning you look forward to using it and showing it off, and it’s affordable.
Dalstrong knives possess all of these qualities. In fact, I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that these knives possess some of the best blends of these features that you can find anywhere. Outside of incredibly small and incredibly large budgets, I think that Dalstrong (slightly) outperforms the competition at just about any price point.
Want to know more?
Check out these detailed reviews to learn about the specifics of several Dalstrong lines so you can choose the best one for your kitchen.
Dalstrong Knives Review:
✔ Dalstrong Shogun Series Chef Knife
This is perhaps Dalstrong’s most famous knife. It’s a gyuto-style knife with a hammered finish and beautiful Damascus patterns that exude elegance and class.
The darkened wood handle is subtle enough to escape notice at first glance, but it’s a wonderful touch that perfectly offsets the bold blade.
The blade itself is made from AUS-10V steel that’s been heat-treated to 62 on the Rockwell hardness scale, giving it excellent edge retention and the ability to hold an incredibly sharp grind. Out of the box, the knife already has a sharp 8-12 degree double bevel, but you can take it to some pretty ridiculous levels of sharpness yourself.
So why does this knife beat the competition?
For one, it offers absolutely incredible value per dollar. It’s very hard to find a comparable 62 hardness knife at this price, let alone one that’s as beautiful and well made.
You’ll start to notice the other reasons when you pick up the knife yourself. This is a very well balanced knife with a thoughtfully designed classic handle. It’s got a lot of little features, including a gentle taper at the end of the handle for pinch grip use.
Finally, the customer care that Dalstrong offers is exceptional. This knife is backed by a pretty limitless satisfaction guarantee. If you decide you’re not the biggest fan, you’re free to return it with very few caveats for a full refund.
If you want a high-hardness knife in an accessible gyuto style, the Dalstrong Shogun Chef Knife is tough to beat. It’s inexpensive, beautiful, and offers everything you need in terms of steel and sharpness. You really can’t go wrong here.
✔ Dalstrong Phantom Series Chef Knife
The Dalstrong Phantom chef knife is one of my absolute favorite knives for home use. It’s not quite as fancy as the Dalstrong Shogun series, lacking the hammered finish, the Damascus styling, and the extra-premium steel construction of the knife above. Instead, it’s a no-nonsense blend of style and function that’s even more affordable. If you want midrange kitchen knives, I think the Phantom Series is likely to hold the right knife for you.
First off, let me be clear: this is a knife that’s designed for serious chefs. This isn’t obvious right out of the box, but it becomes incredibly clear when you take the knife into your hand. The handle has a slight taper as it approaches the blade that helps to improve the ergonomics and make a pinch grip even easier than normal.
Additionally, the back of the blade has a curved section to give you a little bit more cutting edge while giving your fingers plenty of room to grip the handle. This sounds complicated, but when you put the knife in your hand everything just makes sense. The result is an incredibly comfortable, functional tool.
Now, I mentioned above that the steel used in this knife is less fancy than the steel in the Shogun series. Instead of the ultra-hard 62 Rockwell of the Shogun series, this knife has a hardness rating of 58. In my mind, this is just about perfect for home use. It’s hard enough to only need honing or stropping every couple of weeks while still being soft enough to resist accidentally damaging the blade.
The blade is shaped in a way that’s more reminiscent of a Japanese knife than a German one. This means there’s not a lot of curve to the blade. Instead, it’s mostly straight, making it more suited for up and down chopping than rocking. The upside here is that more of the blade makes contact with the cutting board at the same time, meaning the up-and-down motion doesn’t have to be completed with a rock in order to actually cut everything.
So why is this my favorite knife?
Not only do I love the ergonomics and the steel, it’s also very, very inexpensive. While the Shogun blade above is pretty good value, that’s because you’re getting very expensive steel at only a somewhat expensive price. The Phantom series is dirt cheap in comparison. You still get a high-quality tool that will last in your kitchen for years. It’s just less pretty and slightly worse at holding an edge.
If you value function over form, you’re on a tighter budget, or you love using a pinch grip, this series from Dalstrong has the right chef’s knife for you. It’s cheap, sharp, and has the right mix of features for any home chef.
Dalstrong Knife Sets
✔ Dalstrong Phantom Series Knife Set
I said above that the Dalstrong Phantom chef’s knife is one of my favorite blades. This 6 piece knife set comes with a full series of matching blades, giving you a full set of utility knives to pair with the included Phantom chef knife.
It comes with an extra long 9.5″ kiritsuke knife, a 9″ bread knife, an 8″ chef’s knife, a 7″ santoku, a 5″ utility knife, and a 4″ paring knife. In order to store and display your blades, this set comes with a unique magnetic wooden block that prominently showcases each knife and gives you plenty of room for more knives.
For more information about the knives themselves, check out my review of the Phantom chef’s knife above. All of the knives in this set share the same basic design features: plain 58 hardness blades, carefully designed handles, and extra ergonomic designs that ensure these knives stay comfortable no matter what style of grip you use. They’re all quite sharp out of the box and can be easily maintained for quite a while with just honing steel.
The block that comes with this set is pretty unique. It’s a blend of wooden construction and magnets that combines a knife strip and a knife block into a single feature.
This is a big advantage for several reasons.
One, you can place it on the counter (like a block) instead of hanging it from the wall (like a strip).
Two, you can clean it easily (like a strip) since there are no slots for dirt to get stuck in.
Three, the beautiful blades of all of your knives are on display for the world to see. If you’re on the fence about this set, you should seriously consider picking it up for the knife block alone. It’s a pretty neat device that you’ll enjoy having around.
If you’re in the market for a knife set, this Dalstrong Phantom set has all of the right features at a pretty affordable price. You’ll love the high-quality blades, the unique knife block, and the incredible care that you get from Dalstrong’s customer service.
✔ Dalstrong Gladiator Series Knife set
Dalstrong’s Gladiator line is designed to compete with the likes of Zwilling JA Henckels and Wusthof. It’s a line of German-style knives made from German steel that delivers excellent performance and quality at a very reasonable price.
This 8 piece knife block gives you everything you need to become better acquainted with the Gladiator line. You get a honing rod (which is extra handy for the soft German steel in these blades), an 8″ chef’s knife, a 9″ carving knife, a 9″ serrated bread knife, a 7″ santoku, a 6.5″ utility knife, a 6″ serrated utility knife, and a 3.75″ paring knife. All of these blades rest comfortably inside of a beautiful traditional wooden knife block.
There are three big differences between this set and the Phantom set above. First, this set is made from soft German steel. At a mere 55 hardness, these knives will require much more frequent attention from your honing steel or strop.
The advantage is that they’re much easier to get sharp: the soft metal will snap right back into place with just a little bit of work. They’re also more forgiving. You shouldn’t use the santoku in this knife set to chop through a thick bone, of course, but you should be pretty comfortable using any of the knives around poultry bones and other hard objects. The steel will absorb any accidental damage quite well.
Second, these knives have a pretty traditional design that’s not quite as ergonomic as the Phantom. The full bolster helps to keep your hand protected, of course, but it can wear down your hand if you’re not careful with how you hold the knife. It also makes the blades a bit harder to fully sharpen yourself.
Finally, the knife block in this set is a simple vertical design that’s quite aesthetic, if unremarkable. The Phantom knife block is unique. If you want something normal looking, this set is better.
For those of you who want a set of forgiving knives, the Dalstrong Gladiator knife block here is a perfect choice. It’s still quite affordable and gives you a set of traditional tools that you can use in the kitchen without worry.
Where Are Dalstrong Knives Made?
Dalstrong knives are made in China. Specifically, they’re made in a city called Yangjiang that has been a hub for knife makers since the 1980s. They’re made FROM high quality imported steel.
It’s worth noting that Dalstrong’s customer service, quality assurance, and packaging are all exemplary. In this case, being made in China is good — it saves you money on a high-quality knife.
Dalstrong vs Shun
Personally, I think that Dalstrong knives beat Shun knives clean. They’re cheaper, they’ve got a more user-friendly blend of features, and they’re available in a wider range of styles and options when it comes to Western-style knives.
That said, there are certainly some cases where Shun makes a better knife. If you want a high-end Japanese style knife, Shun has more options to choose from. There are some combinations of features that you can only get from a Shun. In these cases, choose Shun over Dalstrong.
The rest of the time, however, I think that Dalstrong knives — especially the Shogun series — beat Shun out clean. They’re just as beautiful, excellent in the kitchen, and a fair bit cheaper.
Dalstrong — The Best Knives?
If you’re a consumer looking for a high-end chef knife, Dalstrong is the brand to choose from. They offer a great blend of quality, durability, and features at incredibly low prices. These beautiful knives are a great fit for any home kitchen.