Great knife skills are key to becoming a better cook. However, preparing tasteful culinary delicacies requires more than just great skills. It requires great tools.
One such tool that we truly admire to have is the spectacular range of kitchen knives from Cangshan. The reason for this goes beyond the beauty and construction of these knives, to the actual history of the company. Award-winning Cangshan Cutlery Company have been a pioneer in forging handcrafted knives, and are renowned for their interesting design and limited lifetime warranty.
So, are Cangshan Knives good?
After many hours of research, testing and interviews, we are ready to answer that question for you. Here’s an in-depth Cangshan Knives review that’ll help you understand the key differences between the many series of knives they offer, and if they are worth it. Let’s dive into some of their most popular knives in detail.
Cangshan Knives Review
Among the top and most-loved products from the company is the Cangshan S1 Series, the award winning Knife Set which speaks for itself given the premier quality materials and elegant aesthetics. All S1 series knives use German Steel that has a hardness rating of 58 on the Rockwell Scale, and feature a patented design that focuses on comfort and ease-of-use of the chef.
We have to say that the ergonomic handle puts a great emphasis on all hand sizes, and we had no complaints working with the knife for hours. The blades are extremely durable and won’t chip or flex, and we believe the heat treatment and ice-hardening has a key role to play in that. It comes scary sharp out of the box, which is exactly whatwe want in a good kitchen knife.
This 17-pc collection has all the blades you will ever need in a typical kitchen, including an 8” Chef’s Knife, 8” bread, 6 x 5” steak, 5” utility, 8” honing, 9” forged shears, 7” santoku and 6” boning knives among others. Not only that, the set comes with a hand-crafted walnut wood block, each of which has got a unique grain structure to it. The inclusion of a honing rod in the set emphasizes over the fact that the knives shall retain their sharpness with just occasional honing against the need of whetstones or sharpeners. Check this guide to precisely know when to hone and when to sharpen your knives.
The Cangshan S1 series is one of our favorites, not only for its precise cutting functions, but its aesthetic which only entices us to use them more. There is something about white handles that makes them classy and unique.
The RedDot Award winner N1 series is all about precision and minimalistic design. It’s very similar to the Cangshan S1 series and the difference among the various series lies primarily in the design and handles. The N1 series has an all metal construction and the handle is made solid with the blade. It’s also hollow and has no rivets to ensure a perfect weight balance and a comfortable hold in the chef’s hand.
The N1 Knife set includes 8″ chef’s, 8″ bread, 6″ boning, 5″ serrated utility, 7″ santoku, 2.75″ peeling, 6 x 5″ steak, 8″ honing steel, forged 9″ shears and more. The blade material and the walnut wood blocks are very similar to what you have on the other series. However, the block is made of Acacia wood, which we think better complements this particular set. The blades are very sharp with the perfect amount of weight to them, so while you relish cooking with these, be careful when cleaning them.
These are a bit pricier than both the S1 and V2 series, but we do think this design is more user-friendly. We’ll leave it up to you to decide for yourself if they are worth it. Also, in case you are looking for a bit more to add to your kitchen arsenal, Cangshan offers a 23-pc variant of the N1 series Knife Set, which might be a good investment if you are planning to spend a bit more anyway.
Designed by one of America’s best chefs himself, the Cangshan Thomas Keller collection is a story of high-end precision and craftsmanship. Keller worked with the company to blend both Western and Eastern principles which led to this exceptionally sleek, slim and well-balanced set of knives. These knives are forged from high-alloy powdered Swedish steel, which is known for its excellent strength, hardness and corrosion resistant capabilities.
The Thomas Keller 17-pc Collection comes with 7″ santoku, 8″ bread, 8″ chef’s knife, 5″ serrated utility, Six 5″ fine-edge steak knives, 6″ boning knife and 8″ honing steel knife among others. These knives score a 61 on the Rockwell scale, which makes them compete with some of the hardest Carbon steel blades without sacrificing on rust resistance.
All knives have Thomas Keller’s signature on them, and so does the walnut wooden block. The handle’s focus on comfort and ergonomics can be seen in the thin white polymer construction with ideal contours and angled steel end-cap. These knives come in both black as well as white colours, so you may choose as you please.
Given the high grade Damasteel RWL-34 and premium construction, we firmly believe these knives will hold up to anything you throw at them and will stay sharp for a very long time before needing to be re-sharpened. But exclusiveness comes at a premium, and while certainly the cheaper series are good enough for the job, if you can appreciate a high-end knife set, you won’t regret it.
We’re back to the affordable German Steels again with the V2 Series 23-pc Knife Block set. This is one of the most well-received sets by the users due to its outstanding value for the price. Firstly, it’s a black handle if it’s something you care after all the S1 and N1 series we showcased earlier. Besides that, this 23-pc set follows the simple and functional design philosophy, and is well crafted for a wide range of kitchen use.
The V2 series includes an 8″ chef’s knife, 9″ slicing, 8″ bread, 7″ santoku, 7″ Nakiri, 6″ boning, 6″ Fork, 3.5″ paring, 5″ Straight Edge Utility, 5″ tomato, 5″ serrated utility, 2.75″ peeling, 8″ honing steel, 8 x 5″ steak, 9″ shears. Just like with other sets, Cangshan also provides a hand-crafted Acacia block that pairs tastefully with the knives, offering handy and elegant organisation for your kitchen.
These knives are comfortable to hold, and we couldn’t keep our hands off the cutting board. Cangshan surely spent some time designing these blades and the heavy Eastern influences can be seen in the handles and Asian style hollow edges. These knives cut effortlessly and remain true even after putting the blades through their places.
If you ask us, are Cangshan V2 series knives good? Yes, we thoroughly recommend this set for both domestic and commercial use. We have faith that these knives will remain sharp and last a long time.
The Cangshan Z Series Chef’s knife is a classic, with a beautiful Damascus Blade and an ergonomic handle to elevate your Chef skills even more. This is an 8” Chef’s knife and comes with a magnetic Saya style sheath made from dark walnut wood. Each knife is forged from 67-layer X-7 Damascus Steel that scores HRC 60 on Rockwell scale. Add to that the stylish handle and spectacular mosaic rivet with the maker’s seal embossed on it, and you get an award winning and beautifully crafted kitchen knife.
The Z series is all about attention to detail, precise functioning and easy clean up. Every curve and angle is carefully designed for comfort of the user, while making it easy to clean after heavy usage. The blade on the Z Series 8-inch knife is influenced by Japanese style and features a flatter profile. This is an overall well-balanced knife thanks to the full tang with steel end, and does feel super solid when you put it to work.
This High-Carbon Damascus Chef’s Knife will slice, dice or chop anything you throw at it, effortlessly. There are many ways you can use a chef’s knife and this piece does them all flawlessly. The edge is razor sharp and should be taken good care of while using. Fortunately, the magnetic Saya sheath that comes with it does its job of securing the knife perfectly.
You already heard us praise the V2 Series knives earlier. This is a set of 8 V2 Steak knives you can use to cut and dice even the toughest steak easily, or even use as a utility knife if you wish. It features a full tang construction, meaning that the blade, bolsters, and handle are made from a single piece of steel. This gives it strength and balance and is something not found on cheaper steak knives.
This set of steak knives is affordably priced, yet there are no compromises whatsoever. These blades are forged from high-alloy German X50CrMoV15 Steel, with an HRC 58 on the Rockwell Hardness Scale. Although a bit softer than Japanese steel alloys, the set is still robust enough to hold its edge when put under a good electric knife sharpener. The edges are smooth and super sharp, and perform far better than the dull knives you might otherwise find at this price range. The set comes with a hand-crafted solid Acacia wooden block, so when you are finished cutting steak, the knives slip right into their slots.
These are large knives, with a 9½” body and 5” blade, which is good as well as a bad thing. The large size makes them versatile and more effective for the job, but on the other side, Cangshan offers all of them in the same size. So if you were looking for a wider range of sizes and styles, this set won’t offer that. But overall, this is a solid knife and is the best you can get at this price.
If you always had trouble deciding the best cleaver for quickly slicing through veggies, Cangshan has got you covered. The S Series Nakiri Vegetable Cleaver is an affordable, well-balanced and top-selling cleaver for the job. You’ll get a 7” blade that can chop through the toughest veggies seamlessly, so you won’t have to worry about your produce flying off or injuring yourself. This is a high-alloy German Steel blade and outperforms some knives many times the price of this.
The S Series Nakiri Knife features an Asian Style taper-ground edge which makes it stable and efficient while honing, cutting or chopping, besides adding to the overall durability. We found its 5.5” handle to be light and easy to hold, but what we couldn’t find is a sheath for protecting the knife. So if you are someone who cares about a dedicated sheath, you might want to buy one separately.
Other than that, this classic knife is one of our favourites for a Nakiri. It saves time, looks solid, is easy to wash but what we liked the most is the price. This is a cheap investment which performs just as good as some expensive Japanese knives out there.
Cangshan Cutlery - A Comprehensive Buying Guide
About Cangshan Cutlery Company
Cangshan is the name of a mountain as well as a small city in Southern China where the company’s founder, Henry Liu, was born and bred. He explored the world to find the ideal manufacturer that could produce the most functional and beautifully-crafted knife. Such was Henry’s determination and thirst for perfection, he labelled even the best craftsmen’s products as generic and not close to the quality he wanted.
After auditing 80+ bladesmiths from USA, Germany, Sweden, Japan and experiencing countless disappointments, his search ended in Yangjiang, China, an area known for over 1500 years of cutlery tradition. This is where the Cangshan Cutlery Company was born. As a pioneer knife purveyor since then, Cangshan has been producing exceptional quality knives for a wide variety of needs. Henry found someone who shared his vision, made a long-term joint-venture plan and established a factory. It is not without a reason that Asian knife brands including the likes of Cangshan, Kamikoto and Yoshihiro are acclaimed well out of proportion throughout the European and American continents.
How are Cangshan Knives Manufactured?
All the products you see from Cangshan Cutlery Company now is a result of years of research and development as well as countless hours of drilling and executing ideas. Cangshan Knives are manufactured with one of three types of materials: high alloy Swedish steel, high alloy German steel and high carbon Japanese steel.
Each of these is specifically suited to different kitchen tasks, and Cangshan takes great care in choosing the right material for their knives. German Steel is used where the knives need enhanced durability and hardness, without any risk of brittleness. Japanese steels are even harder, with higher Rockwell ratings. While these tend to be a bit more brittle, they produce these with beautiful Damascus patterns that look pleasant and help food slide off from the knives easily.
Finally, the Swedish steel is the perfect balance between the two. These are used on their premium knives and are sharper and longer lasting. Besides the blade, Cangshan proudly boasts that each of their knives are handcrafted and hand sharpened by skilled and passionate artisans. This is in concurrence with high-end traditional Japanese knives.
Cangshan Knives FAQs
1. Where are Cangshan Knives Made?
Cangshan knives are made in Yangjiang, also called the China capital of knives and scissors. After a long tradition of handicrafts and hardware cutlery, it is estimated that there are more than 1500 bladesmiths in this city. Although the factories are established in China, most of Cangshan’s steel comes from countries like Sweden, Germany and Japan.
2. Are Cangshan Knives Good?
Cangshan knives are not just good, they are great for the majority of kitchens be it your home or any commercial kitchen. They provide affordable products with a great quality and elegant aesthetics. If looks are important to you, Cangshan Knives are the way to go. But if not, you can also find other equally good options in the market.
3. What is the best Cangshan Knife Series?
The Cangshan S1 series and V2 series are among our favourites due to the emphasis on balancing quality and cost. But any of the other knife sets will be outstanding for your kitchen as well. All of these blades are well-made and long-lasting and are unique in their own way.
4.What is the Cangshan Thomas Keller Signature Collection?
Cangshan Cutlery Company and Chef Thomas Keller came together in 2018 and produced the Thomas Keller Signature Collection combining Cangshan’s vision with Keller’s drive for innovation. The collection uses Swedish Damasteel RWL24 and is a model of high-precision craftsmanship, unique design and attention-to-detail in the world of cutlery.
Wrapping Up Our Cangshan Knives Review
We certainly enjoyed writing this Cangshan Knives Review, and we hope you liked reading it as well. Cangshan makes a wide variety of knife sets, but as we saw, doesn’t make many changes apart from the looks and material of the handle. As someone who is new to the brand, this might take more than a moment to figure out. But once you do that, you’ll probably find the set that perfectly fits your wallet.
The high-quality construction, stunning looks and lifetime warranty assurance is very appealing, and these knives will stay razor sharp for many years provided you sharpen and clean them regularly. Whether you’re a keen cook or an amateur one, having the right blades is a must and will make cooking much easier.