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Thread: Deng Xiaowen a Cleaver from Dazu

  1. #1
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    Deng Xiaowen a Cleaver from Dazu

    James of Knives and Stones gave me this Deng Xiaowen clever to give it a try a while ago. Deng Xiaowen is a brand from Dazu, famous knife making town in Sichuan province. KKF reader may have seen Dazu reference popping up from time to time. Noodle Soup has some threads about Dazu, Cleaver, and his experience in Sichuan here, here, and here.

    This sample is a handmade slicing cleaver (Cai dao) at 20cm x 11cm, 330g. It is a cladded knife in construction.
    Despite this is a cai dao, slicing cleaver, its spine is very thick and flat. This is useful for tenderising meat when you flip the cleaver edge side up, and bang the spine towards cutting board. It comes with black scale covered in most area. Despite being rough almost everywhere, I only feel that only the choil needed some tweaking. Core steel is not so centre with respect to the edge. Cladding on right hand side is reaching very close to the edge. At the very tip, it is actually the cladding at the very edge. And right in the middle of the edge, there is a very noticeable crack. Being a cheap knife, don't sweat over all of these issues.

    After a small tweaking: grinding and rounding choil, just roughly, and grind the right hand side a fair bit to expose the edge properly, it is a fun cleaver to use.











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    Senior Member chinacats's Avatar
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    Love it! Lighter than I would expect from size and spine thickness, bet it cuts great.
    once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right

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    Yes, Jim, it cuts well. Being a touch shorter 20cm, and having a very light handle helps keeping the weight down. It is also very thin through out apart from the spine area.

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    Senior Member berko's Avatar
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    stainless clad? how much are they? how is the edge retention?

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    It is carbon clad and price should be around $10 at the source in China. Edge retention is normal for a carbon knife of this price range. It is easy to sharpen, so maintaining it in good state is not a big chore.

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    for the price I paid (retail in china), I really think whoever forges these blades must be earning a super low wage. If paid better, with a bit of direction on the F&F side, things could get very interesting. Just a thought, never had a chance to go down Dazu (actually not far from where I was born, in Sichuan).

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    A new project to take on CCK, James? Came across another brand called Dengjia as well. Looks pretty similar to this Deng Xiaowen. Is it like Mr Deng vs Deng Jr?

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    Senior Member chinacats's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by schanop View Post
    A new project to take on CCK, James? Came across another brand called Dengjia as well. Looks pretty similar to this Deng Xiaowen. Is it like Mr Deng vs Deng Jr?
    Great idea! Would be super cool to be able to point people your way vs Wokshop or CCK. Guessing you could get them to work a bit on fit and finish to make a bit more on their product and still leave room for a bit of profit and still an inexpensive cleaver on the market?
    once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right

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    Quote Originally Posted by chinacats View Post
    Great idea! Would be super cool to be able to point people your way vs Wokshop or CCK. Guessing you could get them to work a bit on fit and finish to make a bit more on their product and still leave room for a bit of profit and still an inexpensive cleaver on the market?


    The cleaver looks like it has a lot of potential. I'm curious James where you think the price point would be once you intervened and cleaned the rough edges up with the knife maker.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pkjames View Post
    for the price I paid (retail in china), I really think whoever forges these blades must be earning a super low wage. If paid better, with a bit of direction on the F&F side, things could get very interesting. Just a thought, never had a chance to go down Dazu (actually not far from where I was born, in Sichuan).
    When I was in Chengdu I asked about Dazu and their cleavers, everyone acted like they had never heard of the place. Poor pronunciation? But the strange thing was every shop seemed to be pushing a certain brand of cleaver at me. I bought one just to see how good it was but I found out when I got home it was a Dazu.

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