Just watching the video below should be enough to get you intrigued about this knife and its maker. We originally purchased a handful of knives from him to give our forum members a chance to try them. Well, the response was overwhelmingly positive…in the main! So we are having him make more for us using our members’ input to improve the product.
The knives do not possess the highest level of fit and finish. They are not made from exotic materials. And they are as much a curio as a desirable kitchen knife. But what they do possess is a character and an ability to cut that is as good as many knives we sell.
The blades themselves are fashioned from old pipelines from the oil and gas industry. These cast offs are actually a great source of knife steel, The edge profile is nice with somebelly and thin blade edge. With a height of 95mm and an edge length of about 200mm, it resembles a classic Chinese cleaver ratio.
Putting aside the less-than-perfect finish, one thing everyone agrees on is their cutting ability. These blades are sharp and take an incredible edge. For someone looking for a unique version of a cleaver, a fun project knife, or a sharpening practice knife, the Daovua is a perfect and high value choice. Please remember these are made under crude conditions with used steel so you should expect that they're rough and have imperfections that exceed most of our other knives. Expect dents, scratches odd sizes, different handles etc. If you're into great fit and finish or are overly particular run away! If you want to try a cool piece of living history and you're not uptight about a crude but cool cutting tool then you'll love it.
I cook Szechuan food and wanted a cleaver to handle all the prep. I love the carbon steel knives I've used in the past and thought this would give me no problems. For veg and noodle prep this is a dream (lightweight and tall) but ran into issues breaking down poultry. Do not use this on bones. Not the sturdiest cleaver out there.
Bought the Nakiri a while back and was so impressed that I also bought the Cleaver, Tall Petty, and 185mm Gyuto. Like the others this came less than ideal as far as sharpness was concerned. 30 minutes of stone time later though, this thing was razor sharp. Just like the Nakiri, loved the handle, the lightness, and how thin this blade was but unlike the other Daovua pieces this one just will not stay sharp.
The front 3rd of the the blade rolled after the first use so I tried be less aggressive with the bevel but no matter what angle I try the edge either rolls or flattens almost immediately.
Most frustrating part is that I know these guys can do better. Hate giving 2 stars for this one cause I like the company but it looks like their tempering is a bit inconsistent.
I have a lot of knifes but have never own one from Vietnam. Looking over the photos on the website, I was intrigued that a Chinese cleaver could be made so paper thin and labeled a "Project Knife". The fit and finish are no project knife as it turned out. The spine is straight with a gradual taper to the front. The wood handle is smooth and seems impervious to water if dry off immediately. It's a darn good looking knife, but would it cut? For the first test, I cut a medium sized carrot into small cubes on a plastic cutting board and I heard a distinct metal breaking sound. A small piece of the cutting edge, about 1/16" by 3/8", from the heel broke off. I throw out the chopped carrot. Upon closer inspection, I suspected that the hammering you see on the video are real. The blade has been work harden by the repeated hammer blows to a point that it became brittle. I have since ordered a XL Yoshihiro Hi-soft Cutting Board so I can prevent breaking it again. Yes, I like this knife so much that now the cutting board is costing more than the knife. This knife is light and fast for chopping vegetable and slicing meat but probably not good for hard skinned roots like a raw butternut squash. Cutting soft bone around the joints is okay but don't use it to whack on the chicken back bone. I am certain the blade would chip.
Very pleased with this knife. Arrived quickly and as described. It's visually striking and a standout on my knife bar. Lightweight for a cleaver its size and plenty of surface area to scoop cut vegetables.
I just feel compelled to tell you that yours is the most ridiculously informative site of this nature I have ever come across.
Mark is great at answering questions for knife nuts of all levels. His service is second to none. Really appreciate the time he puts into every email as well as the free forum he hosts.
Great experience working with Chef Knives to Go. Quick delivery, and they are great about returning emails. I'm actually waiting on my second knife from them. I'm sure there will be more to come.
Very grateful such a dedicated and informative group of people provide excellent steel at competitive prices with superior customer service! A million thank yous!
Great service and quick shipping. Best selection of Japanese knives around. I recommend this site to all of my fellow culinary professionals!
Always the best. Quick shipping, description matches what is delivered and the price, you can't beat them. I always come here to order anything I might need for the kitchen and I am never disappointed.
My go to company for kitchen gear. Awesome selection of knives and tools. Super fast shipping. Never had a problem and questions about all products are answered quickly. Great customer service.