Would anyone have any suggestions of better knives for slicing and lighter kitchen work if there are better options?
Dalstrong knives is a mass produced stamped knife made in Yangjiang China with imported VG-10 steel from Japan. The bolster tells you nothing because that is welded on, doesn't mean it is forged. The soft stainless damascus cladding is only on the outside and has 0 effect on performance other than being tacky looking and difficult to maintain. Every time you thin you have to polish.
There is no info about the grind but I would guess it is pretty thick, and the hardness on the softer side considering the market they are catering to.
In light of new information, I change my vote. IT IS OVERPRICED FOR WHAT IT IS
I would take the $60 Tojiro DP (also stamped but hey it is from japan and there is way more info about the grind and hardness) over this knife any day of the week.
I have a few Dalstrong knives, Shogun and Phantom series (amoung many other brands). They are essentially a lower cost Shun with better accoutrements. I've obviously been happy with them.
I will point out on Amazon.com the Tojiro 9.5" DP Damascus https://www.amazon.com/Tojiro-Damascus-8-25-inch-Chefs-Knife/dp/B00H0GL7VS/ is $139.99, while the Dalstrong equivalent 9.5" is $117.99, has a G10 handle, mosaic and comes with a saya. Edge is <15 degrees on both knives.
At $60 the plain 8.2" Tojiro is excellent value for a bare bones no frills knife. If you are looking for absolute best value, this simply cannot be beat really by ANY producer. If you are looking for something a little more exciting, with engraving, damascus pattern, G10 handle and saya, the Dalstrong presents better value at that price point compared to the Tojiro DP Damascus. I mean it's like cars, a Toyota will get you from A to B, while a BMW will do the same, looks nicer but more expensive.
Note also Dalstrong has the Gladiator and Phantom Series. I've never tried the Gladiator but I'm a fan of the geometry and handle of the Phantom Series.
Wish it was easier to find any kind of specs or more detailed pics on the Dalstrong...
If you're okay with the price increase for a non-functional, patterned aesthetic, then go for it. My guess would be that one reason the price of that vs the Tojiro DP Damascus is similar is that cost of labor is cheaper in China, perhaps by a significant margin.
With the Tojiro DP, you're buying a no frills blade that works fine OOTB, doesn't feel fragile-thin, can be tweaked to work even better with some time on the stones. Edge retention and overall performance in my experience increased noticeably when kicking up the edge bevel to a touch above ~15 degrees per side (paired with a slight thinning behind the edge).
With any of these more polished looking stainless clad knives, the cladding scratches really easily (if you use a scrubbie to clean your knife, it'll scratch up the blade face) with normal kitchen cleaning and use, so keep that in mind going the Damascus patterned route.
Do the sharpening service companies in your area really use stones as opposed to belt grinders to sharpen the knives?
If you do get one of those ceramic pull throughs, probably just stick to using the 'fine' setting on your new knife...and get stones quickly. The knife will get thicker behind the edge over time with more sharpening, and the pull through machines really can't do anything for that. Keep in mind some of the caveats for such machines
- you're stuck with whatever grits and finish it gives
- you'll need a solution for thinning and maintaining the geometry of the knife over time to maintain performance over time
- you're stuck with whatever angles the machine gives you - there's not that flexibility to go more acute or more obtuse (for example if you prioritize durability. My tweaked Tojiro really seemed to have noticeably better edge retention when used on those hard poly boards at just a touch higher angle than what a lot of these 'asian angle sharpeners' seem to be set at)
The tomato test is all show; doesn't mean anything. This knife hasn't been sharpened in months, still I can cut a tomato no hands https://www.instagram.com/p/BPaofqLgA57/
My problem with dalstrong
1) No idea how thick or thin it is. This has a big performance on how it cuts
2) Dunno anything about the heat treatment quality
Without at least that much knowledge it is more money than I would gamble.
@dazrg There just isn't that much solid info on the Dalstrong. You can make most any knife pass the tomato test with some decent sharpening. I don't know if the Senkou's blade is any different from that of the DP, in which case consider the price difference to be of non-functional features.
If you must use a rod in conjunction with the stones, go for a more fine grit ceramic. Diamond abrasives are cut fairly aggressively.
You can take off a lot metal quickly with a belt grinder. But you have better experience with your sharpening service company than I do. How much metal is removed each time? Does the profile of the knife get changed? How are the edges holding up?
Korin France has some western handled options in that relative price range http://www.korin-france.fr/nos-collections/couteaux-japonais-occidentaux.html look at Suisin Western Inox and Togiharu Inox. I expect both of these to be ground thinner behind the edge than Tojiro DP, which helps with ease of cutting. Default currency is Euro.
I can advise the Dalstrong Shogun Series are 2.5mm thick at the spine, since someone was asking. Very very nice finish, much nicer than the Toijiro, but the price of the Tojiro is just too good. I mean the value given the price is pretty unrivaled.
I saw the tomato video someone posted above, the difference being in that video there was a saw motion applied, in the Dalstrong video (which I agree is show) they are done in a single movement. It's all show anyway and a sharp enough knife will all do that.
This seems like a credible review of the Dalstrong: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NRwAWuofCPs
Here is the same fellow review the Tojiro: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XdJtneYb4cI
Both seem to get favourable response.
BDL addressed this question of the Masamoto VG a number of times, and that was long ago now. The MAC is a better knife. Better steel, better FF, better handle too allegedly, but that's subjective. And there are lots of others that will perform better for less. Like the Iminishi/Munitoshi Millions turned us all onto.
For a pro kitchen I am really partial to SRS-15 steel. Takes a great edge easily, and holds its sharp insanely well. Unfortunately the prices have really jumped here, $300 for the Geshin Kagero 240 now, amazingly in stock. I don't know what you can find the Akifusa/Ikea/harayuki for in Europe, but they are all trending around $350 here, and I'd take the Kagero over them any day, all made by the same company but the Kagero to more exacting specs.
The Takeda Blue 2 is real great value at under $150.
This is the Akifusa Rick mentioned, looks to be trending at around that $350 USD price point as well http://www.cleancut.se/butik/knivmodeller/kockknivar/kockkniv-1-2042-2043-detail
Rick, I take it you mean Itinomonn and Tanaka?
On the Tanaka handles - oil or find some other way to add water resistance to the wooden handle.
Millions, how do you reactive do you find the Blue #2's cladding to be?