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Daovua Leaf Spring Bunka
Daovua Leaf Spring Bunka Daovua Leaf Spring BunkaDaovua Leaf Spring BunkaDaovua Leaf Spring Bunka
Daovua Leaf Spring Bunka Daovua Leaf Spring BunkaDaovua Leaf Spring BunkaDaovua Leaf Spring Bunka

Daovua Leaf Spring Bunka

Item #: Daovua-Bunka

Average Customer Rating:
(4.5 out of 5 based on 33 reviews)

Read Reviews | Write a Review
Our Price: $49.95
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The Daovua Bunka Style Knife is the most recent addition to a new line of knives from a young barefoot bladesmith we discovered working in Vietnam. He uses car and truck leaf springs as his steel of choice. This is not quite as crazy as it sounds because these car parts are made with some rather good high carbon steels. In fact most leaf springs are made from 5160, which is an excellent blade steel.

We asked him to make us some unusual shapes that resemble traditional knives and this fun bunka style blade is one of his responses. The blade runs approximately 170mm at the edge and has a very curved belly starting just a couple of inches from the heel. Obviously every blade is going to be slightly different in these dimensions.

Let’s make no mistake here. These knives do not possess the best fit and finish in the knife world! Rustic is a word that definitely comes to mind when looking at them. But the other word that comes out when you experience them is SHARP! These knives have an amazing edge on them that if not perfect out of the box, gets there easily with a few strokes on your favorite stone.

While the handle is also not perfect, it actually feels really nice in hand. A bit of sanding and some varnish or oil will take it to a very acceptable level. We think these knives are perfect for projects, new sharpeners, or anyone looking for a really low-cost cutter that has personality and uniqueness in spades. Watch the video below to see how they're made. 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 than you'll love it.

  • Weight: 4.2 ounces
  • Blade Length: 175 mm
  • Total Length: 310 mm
  • Spine Thickness at Base: 2.8 mm
  • Blade Height: 47.0 mm
  • Handle: Octagonal (Wood varies from knife to knife)

  • Customer Reviews

    Product Reviews

    2  ehh, expected a bit more for the price, September 14, 2020
    Posted By: Christopher R Taylor - verified customer

    Grind is horribly lop-sided. Wish I could submit pics. Edge is bent in places that should have been obvious and taken care of with finishing service. That said, they made it OOTB razor sharp, but that won't last long. After it's ground properly, I will set up a small fire-brick forge to HT properly, given the reputation. This blade needs too much work to cost $50. Should be more like $20, until the manufacturer (Barefoot Knife-tessa) can get their stuff together. I congratulate CKTG for working with the small time folks like this and supposedly helping them get better, but they have a long way to go. The saya is a different review, but the knife rattles around in it, which defeats the purpose. Gonna have to slice 'er open and glue some felt into it, Either custom build your sayas to the blades or don't offer them at all. Even if you have to charge more for them, I would gladly pay more for one that actually fits the knife. Did not return only because I am up to the challenge.

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    4  It's a Spring Knife...Car Spring, August 26, 2020
    Posted By: Jason Comfort - verified customer

    Since my place of employment in Las Vegas has re-reopened, this has become my new second line knife. So, it has seen a total of 4 hours and 43 minutes of action at the time of writing this.
    Aside from the mysterious bounce this blade brings to the board, it seems like it was born to be next to the low boys and not the walk-in. During it's infancy tonight, it has cut romaine, sliced three types of tomato and fanned out a steak. We shall see tomorrow night when it's known we have turned the gas back on and we are ready to serve good food to wonderful folks winning get jackpots. Hopefully.


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    4  Pretty great!, July 2, 2020
    Posted By: Jason H - verified customer

    Being noticeably light of weight, it feels very good in hand. The handle looks lovely and seems well built. Very sharp; the first thing I cut was an aging tomato, which it went through with ease. I do have two complaints, the first being that blade stains very easily. Maybe it's normal with knives like this, but I've never seen stains set in so quickly. Seems like I have no choice but to rinse the blade immediately after using it, which feels inconvenient. And which leads me to my second complaint; the knife came without any sort of instructions on care. How do I best avoid staining? Is it washer safe? These are the sort of things I'd love to know from the start, but instead all I really know is that it cuts well and stains within minutes.

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    4  Solid Kitchen Tool, April 3, 2020
    Posted By: Blake - verified customer

    I use this knife daily. I sharpened it out of the box and sanded the handle a little.
    I've also bought this knife for friends and family as a gift, it's a great 'starter' knife for the uninitiated.


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    5  Great knife, March 31, 2020
    Posted By: Trevor - verified customer

    Great knife after some work on the wet stones it's one of my faves thin light and gets very sharp

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    5  If a knife can have “soul” this one has it!, March 21, 2020
    Posted By: Wim - verified customer

    No need to repeat all the other positive comments about this knife; I second all of them. I can only add that this knife has a “soul” not present in most of my other knives, including much higher end ones. Coookie maybe...but when I’m reaching for a knife this little bunka seems to call out “Use me”, which I invariably do and am never dissatisfied. ( Note: while I find that the leaf spring steel doesn’t hold an edge quite as well as the pipeline Daovuas, restoring an edge to the leaf spring knives is so easy that it doesn’t really seem to be a disadvantage. I’ve also found that the edge thickness on the leaf spring Daovuas is quite uniform end to end, whereas the pipeline version ( at least on my one gyuto) has a bit of variation - as though the harder steel is more difficult to work by hand.)

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    5  Great value, good looking, February 13, 2020
    Posted By: Dan S. - verified customer

    Great knife for the price, good steel. Looks very cool. Wont be my last from DaoVua

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    5  Sweet knife, January 13, 2020
    Posted By: Daryl

    I am so happy with this knife, the edge comes back easily, stays sharp for every project. Need to oil after cleaned, but worth the care!!

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    5  This knife is awesome. , December 27, 2019
    Posted By: Tom Dickinson

    I purchased this knife for my nephew, who is a chef in Oregon, and he can't stop using it. When it gets dull he just runs it across his stone and it works great. I'm sending him a Kiritsuke knife so he can get familiar with that one as well. Excellent product and value for money.

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    5  Buying another, December 13, 2019
    Posted By: Robert Manning

    Great work horse knife for the price. Perfect size for line work. Quick strokes on a stone and sharp AF!!



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    5  great buy , November 26, 2019
    Posted By: Anna - verified customer

    love the knife i bought, definitely will be getting more from here

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    5  Pretty cool, October 29, 2019
    Posted By: marc shiraki - verified customer

    Don't expect it to be perfectly strait, but it is hand made and hammered pretty thin all the way down to the handle. It's a pretty cool piece to have for the price.

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    5  Wow!, October 4, 2019
    Posted By: Jeremy Bowen

    I am very impressed with this knife and will definitely buy more from this line. Regarding the heat treat on my knife, I would say that it is around 60. I base this on sharpening the knife. It sharpens very much like my Shun classics. The balance is right on the pinch, the length perfect. F&F is great and I love the handle.It is a lot of knife for 50 bucks.

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    4  Great value, August 19, 2019
    Posted By: Leigh - verified customer
    3 people found this review helpful

    I picked up the bunka as a line knife and I'm very pleased with it. Takes and holds an edge nicely, very light and the handle shape is surprisingly comfortable. So far it's been a great way to try out this style of knife while not paying out the nose, while also supporting a small business

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    5  Great knife for the price, July 4, 2019
    Posted By: daniel ullrich
    2 people found this review helpful

    I love the look and feel of the knife. The fit and finish is not as nice as my Yaxell or Shun knives, but it's perfectly acceptable. The knife balances right about where you would hold it with a pinch grip. Out of the box it was sharp enough to shave hair, but didn't do so great on the paper test. A few minutes on a 4000 grit stone followed by the strop and the edge was as good as my more expensive Japanese knives. After preparing a meal with it, the edge needed to be stropped again, so I would put the edge retention at about as good as a typical Western style knife. I will probably be getting a couple more knives from this maker.

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    5  Great design, June 25, 2019
    Posted By: J.Gilman

    This is a great knife design. While it doesn't seem 100% finished, it's solidly built and after a little stone and sandpaper work, it should be great. Don't hesitate to pick one up.

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    4  Leaf spring bunka, June 7, 2019
    Posted By: bill steele

    Some of the handle parts are misaligned due to shrinkage

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    4  What a fun knife!, May 7, 2019
    Posted By: Ryan - verified customer

    Really happy with this knife. Feels like a great value for the money and I love the rustic finish. Takes an edge really, really well and is comfortable in hand. It's clearly not a $200 knife, but it performs well and is a great addition to the knife drawer.

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    5  Surprisingly Good, April 23, 2019
    Posted By: Ken Slaughter
    4 people found this review helpful

    OK, sure, the fit and finish isn't that of a $300 knife. The choil and spine needs some sandpaper, and the blade needs a few minutes on the stones. But this is a very light, nimble and serviceable knife. It's definitely not a chippy knife, despite the blade's thinness. Leaf spring steel is like a box of chocolates, you never know, well, you know. If I had to guess, I'd say either 5160 or 1095 steel, and a 54-58 HRC. As others have noted, it takes a screaming sharp edge. For the price it's awesome. And I got one of the Scratch-n-Dent ones at half off, because it has a little notch at the choil. But it's cosmetic and doesn't affect performance.

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    5  Great for what it is, March 31, 2019
    Posted By: Jon Brown - verified customer
    1 people found this review helpful

    For what you pay, this is a really great knife. What it isn't is a Japanese blade. The steel is not especially hard, so while it'll take an amazing edge..it doesn't hold it particularly well. That being said, it performs great as a line knife since I dontd have to caudle it( it takes to a steel well). Overall I'd say ...it's less than 60 bucks..just buy it...I have a hard time seeing how you'd regret it. Also, it came with a complementary CKTG blade guard, which I thought was a classy addition and the service was great! Thanks!



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    4  Great project knofe, March 26, 2019
    Posted By: Tom
    1 people found this review helpful

    I have to agree with everyone else if you are looking for a "perfect" knife, this isn't it, but if you are willing to put in a little work, you can't beat this deal! The knife arrived sharp, but not laser sharp, and the blade had a slight twist to it but it doesn't really effect the performance. There are a couple of spots where the grind seems to be a touch thinner, but I think they will become less noticeable after a couple sharpenings. The handle wasn't very comfortable with some sharp corners and raised spacers but after about 30 minutes with a file, a progression from 800 to 3000 grit sand paper and 2 coats of Danish Oil, the handle looks and feels great. I think for the price it is definitely going to become one of my favourite knives.

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    4  Daovua bunka, March 21, 2019
    Posted By: Spencer - verified customer
    2 people found this review helpful

    Can’t beat it for $50 bucks. It’s my new go to line knife. I had the spine rounded out and the person that did that had an edge tester and after finishing on my stone and using a strop it measured out to 100 which is equivalent to a razor blade. Great knife especially for the price

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    4  Great knife with lots of character!, February 26, 2019
    Posted By: Nick - verified customer
    1 people found this review helpful

    When I received this knife the edge was sharp, but not anything special. A bit of time with the waterstones showed demonstrated how nice the steel is to sharpen. WIthout much effort, the knife became a terror to all of the onions in my kitchen. I like the "rusticness" of this knife, and it has a lot of character. I actually like the handle, which I understand was a complaint on the earlier versions of the Daovua knives.

    My only complaint is that the grind on mine was slightly uneven, so one side of the knife was a bit thicker behind the edge than the other. This was a little noticeable in cutting through harder vegetables (butternut squash), but I seem to have improved this by spending some time thinning the knife on that side. The choil and spine also had uncomfortable corners, but that was easy enough to fix with some sandpaper. This is a great knife if your looking for a nice cutter with lots of character. As others have said, just be aware that the knife you receive might not have the level of finish as a more expensive knife, but this could make for a fun project.


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    5  Wow, February 8, 2019
    Posted By: Brody I Mapes

    Bought this knife as an afterthought while buying a much more expensive knife. It gets and stays sharper better and longer than the other "better" knifes that I own. As a chef I use this as my line knife , allowing me to keep my more expensive knifes in the bag. I plan on buying more from this line!

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    2  Warped blade, January 28, 2019
    Posted By: Amy Hammontree

    I have a couple of knives by this maker. I like what they are doing but my bunka warped horribly. Not just a little warp, so much to make it unusable for clean cuts. Maybe I got a dud

    Sorry about that. We'll replace it for you. Email sent.



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    3  Not as sharp as I thought it would be, but a cool knife., January 6, 2019
    Posted By: A.T. - verified customer
    1 people found this review helpful

    Was exactly the size I was looking for and it works decently. This is my first carbon steel knife/ knife over $40 - so far, no rusting issues (but I have been quite diligent with wiping). I had CKTG finishing service (as recommended by some, the piece of paper said that it was sharpened to 12 degrees) and the sharpness is okay (it's not as sharp as my ceramic Kyocera knife) - I'm not experienced enough to say whether or not this is more representative of the service or the knife itself but here is why I chose to purchase it: 1) I needed a new knife and wanted to upgrade from grocery store knives, 2) I wanted a high quality blade without spending too much and it seemed like going non-stainless was the solution, 3) I wanted a flush ferrule (most japanese knives in my price range have a ferrule that is not flush with the handle), 4) I wanted a japanese style handle, 5) I didn't want to have to fill in the blade/ferrule with epoxy, etc). Overall, it does the job, but does it justify the $50 + $15 finishing service price tag? I'm not sure. Perhaps sharpening yourself is the answer here? Hopefully the edge holds up well and that will be the difference. Looks cool and makes me feel super cool to have and use it (the story and the aesthetics). To be fair, I'm comparing it to grocery store knives, kyocera, and a $150 miyabi I tried at a store... I guess it does fall somewhere between there.

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    4  Great Knife, , October 23, 2018
    Posted By: Jani Manovski - verified customer

    Great knife for the money, sharp as any 200$ + knife. Beautiful look and comfortable feel. The tip of the knife was chipped sadly but it doesn’t effect the performance.

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    5  Great woody knife, October 15, 2018
    Posted By: Mark

    If your not into the fit and finish as much as sharpness and easy of use. This knife is yours. It sharpens easily. When you get it sharpen it before use or have CKTG sharpen for you. You will be amazed. After honing WoW. It is not Dutiful but it is great also is lite and thin.

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    5  Workhorse , September 5, 2018
    Posted By: Adelaide

    I was looking for a bunka; something versatile easy to pick up came across this knife and was sold by every piece of detail; its rustic thin and I can go hours on dice work with it; the metal was an adjustment in pressure while taking it to a stone but the retention is very nice honing once a week; glad to come across this piece of art i would buy two

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    5  Rustic yet amazing, July 10, 2018
    Posted By: Timothy C. - verified customer
    1 people found this review helpful

    Honestly the story of the bladesmith sold this knife to me. Upon receiving it I honed it on a steel I had here and it made quick work of potato and tomato .Very good edge OOTB. I had to use a blowtorch and hammer to straighten the tip and the blade is in the handle at an angle so I had to hammer that back straight as well. Overall I am very happy with this knife and it cheap, amazingly sharp and its got a story like none other. Would recommend to anyone honestly its something that needs a little work but when your done doing the final touches it really becomes something you had to finish yourself and that makes it extra special .

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    4  Great Knife, June 23, 2018
    Posted By: Andrew Manni
    1 people found this review helpful

    I love this knife, I bought it because I was intrigued after watching the video of the blacksmith making them. I use it during service as a line knife. It takes a decent edge and edge retention is good. Overall this knife is far from perfect but it's as close as a $50 knife can get.

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    4  Very Pleased, June 23, 2018
    Posted By: Bob B

    Love the look and feel. And the fact that it was made by hand in a little shop in Vietnam, It is very sharp OTB and in my small kitchen it may just take the place of the CCK 1303. Personality and uniqueness is the perfect description here. Thanks for bringing us this product.

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    4  An interesting knife, May 8, 2018
    Posted By: Ben S
    2 people found this review helpful

    I also bought the nakiri. Like the nakiri this knife is very rustic in both feel and aesthetics, which I like. Out of box it has a decent edge, but it sharpens up nicely. It has more of a belly than a typical santaku,but I like that. It allows for more rock chopping. Overall, its definitely worth the money, as is the nakiri

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