Review of the D-11 Maestro Wu 7″ Chinese Slicer Cleaver – Part 1

The following is a review posted on the Chef Knives to Go sub forum on the Knife Forums by Ken Schwartz of Precise Sharpening. You can read the entire thread here.

I’ll follow this up with a bit more detail on knife dimensions, but I thought I’d post a short initial review of the Maestro Wu cleaver. This is a knife that Tom of Jende Industries provides to Chefknivestogo. If after this review, you decide you like it, get it here:

http://www.chefknivestogo.com/maest…

It is a well made knife. Fit and finish far exceeded my expectations for workmanship. It easily rivals knives from Japan, USA and Europe. No rough spots, well made handle, exceptional factory edge. The handle shape reminds me of a Glestain. The size reminds me of a Shun cleaver – the same blade length, but a bit taller. It has a nicely shaped belly unlike the more pronounced belly of the Shun that many don’t care for.

The factory edge is very respectable – consistent grind, more than what you would expect from a European manufacturer and rivaling the edges of Japanese manufacturers who pay attention to initial factory edges like Shun, Ryusen or Hatori.

For the home chef, it’s a perfect size. For the pro chef with a small workstation area, it’s also perfect. For a culinary student who doesn’t want to spend a lot on a knife but needs performance, it’s perfect.

As I am a home cook and a professional knife sharpener, I’ll be evaluating how well it performs in these two areas. My next post will be evaluating this cleaver’s ability to take an edge.

I might also mention that the base of the spine is thickest and then markedly tapers, which is very unusual in other than hand forged blades – and a good thing as it is a better overall geometry.

Well the next step was to see how well it would take an edge. As is it is an excellent factory edge, but I wanted to see how much finer I could make the edge. I was not at all disappointed.

As I mentioned in my subforum, I recently added two belt grinders – discussed here:

http://www.knifeforums.com/forums/s…

So I thought I’d combine several interests in one session. I set the belt grinders to about 8 degrees and, using the horizontal platen, reset the bevel angles using LOW speed grinding. These are speeds approaching a fast handsharpener producing no appreciable amount of heat. At any point, you could touch the blade and leave your hand there, only sensing mild warmth, not heat.

The bevels were easily established as a precise flat grind, ending with a 1200 grit belt. No nasty burr problems at all. A small bit of microburr was easily removed by wiping the edge across the palm of my hand (edge trailing).

Following this I used a leather belt, impregnated with Hand America 1 micron Boron Carbide. Again, I ran this at low speed, estimated about 200-300 RPM. The result was a very uniformly distributed coat of Boron Carbide. I used a knife to smear the boron carbide across the belt.

The edge was simply amazing. Easily push cutting paper 3 inches out.

SO how did it cut? I made a salad today – lettuce,
finely sliced chives, raw mushrooms and sliced pitted olives.

Effortless, precise cuts with clean separation. Very finely sliced chives. Cleanly sliced mushrooms and the head of lettuce was split and sectioned effortlessly just by dropping the cleaver through the head of iceberg lettuce with no added downward force necessary.

I’ll be keeping this knife on my cutting board to put it through it’s paces, but at this point I simply have nothing negative to say about it.

The HA boron carbide prep is outstanding. Works quickly and leaves an edge any sharpness afficianado would love.

I also did a convex edge with it on another knife also with excellent results.

Here’s some pics. the first compares the ‘Wu’ with the Shun cleaver – also a black handle, a Sugimoto small ‘mini-cleaver’, and a CCK 1101, a rather large cleaver.



Tom thank you! Please use this post and it’s contents – including pics for your Blog!

Mark if you want to include any of my review on your website or parts of it, also please feel free top do so as well._

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