Dalstrong offers an eclectic mix of chef knives through its different series. Dalstrong chef knives are created to match the diverse and creative personalities in the culinary community. In addition to the outgoing designs and thoughtful packaging, the knives are high quality and durable, well constructed using high quality materials.
The Dalstrong company began nine years ago, created by a professional cook. This background is consistent with the personality of the company; the knives are designed with the professional cooks in mind. The cooks are the hard working kitchen soldiers, who toil to create dish after dish, receiving little in the way of credit or compensation. And these cooks have variegated personalities – creative, energetic, tough, and gritty. Dalstrong knives represent these hardworking, durable, and creative individuals.
The Dalstrong company is based in Toronto, with warehouses in Canada, the US, and the UK. Founded in 2014, they are relatively new in the knife industry, considering many of their competitors have been around for over a century. Being new is embraced as a strength by the company – their youth allowing them to be flexible, innovative, and better connected to current customers and situations, as opposed to being constrained by a long tradition. Their approach is successful, as they have served over 450,000 customers.
Dalstrong makes knives for the ecclectic culinary artists working in professional kitchens, and quality is a foremost consideration. They take great care to produce high quality knives, using high quality methods and materials. The knives are manufactured in Yangjiang, a city in southern China. This city is the knife (and scissor) making capital of China, and has a long rich history of bladesmithing.
General characterizations of Dalstrong knives are difficult to make because they produce variegated designs. These different styles are meant to match the variegated personalities of chefs, and the chef knives among the different Dalstrong series differ in multiple key aspects. For example, the blade steel may be Japanese, German, Scandinavian, or American depending on the series. The Rockwell hardness of these steels ranges from 55 to 62+. Likewise, the handle materials may be G10, stabilized wood, pakkawood, and/or resin. The handle shape varies between octagonal shapes typical of the Japanese wa style, full tang triple rivet construction typical of Western handles, to novel handle shapes you don’t see on other knives (e.g. the Dalstrong Black Shadow series). A lot of thought is put into the design of each knife.
In this post, I review four different Dalstrong chef knives from different series. These knives represent a considerable range in terms of style, materials, and price. If you are in the market for a chef knife, you will probably find something you like on this list.
Dalstrong Gladiator Series
The Gladiator series chef knife is solid. The Gladiator name indicates that it is a durable workhorse – a warrior in the kitchen. It’s a durable knife, and a bit on the heavy side, weighing in at almost 12 ounces. It is National Sanitation Certified (NSF).
The Gladiator chef knife arrives in a blue-greenish and yellow box with a black knife guard. It is forged from high carbon german steel with a Rocknell hardness of 56+. This hard steel means that the knife is able to hold a sharp edge. The sharpening angle is 16-18 deg, appropriate for a workhorse knife. It is also stain/corrosion resistant and polished to a satin finish for a smooth, clean aesthetic.
The handle is constructed from fiberglass resin G10 – a very durable and comfortable material. It has a triple rivet, full tang handle construction which provides good balance, grip, and comfort. A lot of the weight of the knife is concentrated in the handle. This concentrates weight towards the heel of the blade where a lot of chopping occurs, making cutting easier. The knife has a full bolster separating the handle from the blade – an important safety feature. This bolster also concentrates weight toward the heel of the knife, providing balance and making rock chopping easier. However, a full bolster does impede sharpening the knife at the heel.
Dalstrong Shogun Series
The Dalstrong Shogun series chef knife feels powerful when you grip it. Like the Gladiator knife, the handle is heavy, concentrating weight towards the heel of the blade. However, the handle is lighter than the Gladiator, resulting in a balance point further up the knife, centered at the bolster. It weighs 8.7 oz, a typical chef knife weight. The knife is handsome with the sleek black G10 handle sandwiched between double bolsters. The blade has a hammer finish along with a Damascus pattern, resulting from 67 layers of steel.
The knife secures in the included black knife guard by sticking a black pin in the hole near the handle. The pin connects to the guard with a string; a thoughtful addition to prevent it from being misplaced.
The blade is constructed from AUS-10V Japanese super steel, high quality steel with a Rockwell hardness rating of 62+, meaning it is very hard. In fact, the Shogun chef knife has 8-12 deg sharpening angles, which are small for a chef knife of this size. These angles are more common for a paring knife, or other small knife, which is subjected to less demanding tasks than a chef knife. Very hard steel is necessary to maintain such a narrow angle. The Dalstrong Shogun chef knife is extremely sharp out of the box.
The handle is constructed from G10 – a strong durable material. The grip is smooth and comfortable. The western style handle utilizes full tang and triple rivet construction, concentrating weight towards the heel of the knife. The handle is bolstered on both top and bottom, with a rounded bolster separating blade and handle. This rounded bolster is another difference with the Gladiator, which has a full bolster.
Dalstrong Shadow Black Series
The Shadow Black chef knife is one of a kind. I have never seen another knife like it. The entire knife is black (blade and handle). The black color and design are inspired by a black stealth fighter jet. The black color comes from a black non-reflective titanium nitride coating. It is certainly a creative knife with a lot of personality. The knife guard is also uniquely shaped.
The knife is more than just playful creative design; it is a high quality, high functioning culinary tool. The handle is fibre resin military grade G10, which is very durable, high quality, and funtional. And while the playful design of the handle mimics the shapes of a stealth figher jet, it is also comfortable, safe and fits nicely in the hand during use. The blade is constructed from high carbon steel with a rockwell hardness of 58+, meaning it is hard steel that can hold an edge very well. The knife is NSF (natiaonal sanitation certified) so it designed to be hygienic and function safely during heavy use.
Consisitent with the stealth theme, the Dalstrong Shadow Black series knife is the lightest of the chef knives reviewed here, weighing in at 7.2 oz. The blade thickness is a thin at 2 mm. This light sleek design allows for a nimble and agile functionality in addition to a stylish outgoing aesthetic.
Dalstrong Firestorm Alpha
The Dalstrong firestorm alpha chef knife is a beast. This is definitely a serious knife, and it is the most expensive knife of the bunch. The knife is shaped like a kiritsuke with its pointed tip. It is a beautiful eye catching knife, with a moderate weight of 8.3 oz. The blade shows the Damascus pattern resulting from the 67 layers of steel.
Included is a black knifeguard. The black pin connects to the knife guard with a string, similar to the Shogun series knife cover.
The blade is constructed from high carbon steel with a Rockwell hardness of 61+, meaning it is a very hard blade. The bevel angle is 8-12 deg, a very sharp angle for a knife of this size. The steel must be very hard to hold such a sharp edge during heavy use.
The handle is patterned with black and woodlike visual textures. The texture patterns are reminiscent of smoke, which is consistent with the theme of Firestorm. It is constructed from resin and stabilized wood – with a red G10 ring for durability. The handle strikes me as east meets west. It has an octagonal shape (japanese style) but the butt of the handle is angled (western style). It feels very comfortable in the hand and looks cool.
Picking a Dalstrong Chef Knife
Picking the right chef knife for you can be a very logical decision. You need a knife that will perform well in the tasks that you will use it for. It must be the correct weight, thickness, shape, and size. These attributes should be matched to the tasks the knife will perform, as well as your size and strength and comfort using a knife. The handle should be be the right size for you to hold comfortably.
Picking the right chef knife is also very personal and involves your emotion and gut feeling. Does this knife feel like it fits you? Do the colors and shapes of the design match you? Will it make you happy when you pick it up and use it everyday?
Dalstrong Knives Review
Dalstrong knives stand out because of their individuality and personality. They are not boring knives. These chef knives are creative, thoughtful, and original, providing high quality cutlery options that you are not able to find elsewhere. The prices are reasonable for high quality knives; they are durable knives that will serve you for a lifetime. The price range of chef knives on this list varies from mid-level to lower high-level, offering options for different budgets. The eclectic shapes and designs of the different series offer something for all sorts of individuals.