Review Yaxell Dragon Fire 8.5" Asian Chef's Knife

Apr 20, 2018
Yaxell Dragon Fire 8.5" (215mm) Asian Chef's Knife
Steel: Solid BD1N at an advertised 63HRC
Spine: 2.5mm
Edge: ~15-16dps and a 50/50 grind

Yaxell is a well-established, long time Japanese knife company with a pretty broad product line. Their recognized for their back or red Micarta handles and their Dragon line seems to be gaining popularity in the USA. The standard Dragon line chef's knife has a swooping belly but the Dragon Fire offering is a gyuto.

If, like me, you're experience is with western-style chef's knives, then the Japanese gyuto will be different and take some adjustment. These knives promote more of push slice than a rock chop. For me, that was pretty easy to adjust to. What took some focus and usage was the grip. The handle on so many western knives extends up to or onto the blade whereas on a gyuto, there is a section of exposed tang. Once you use it a bit and get a feel for it, you start to settle in. The gyuto offers enough belly at the tip to still allow for rock chopping of herbs, garlic and the like. It took me a couple weeks to adjust but then it felt completely natural. I actually have found that I do more push type cutting than rocking, regardless of knife style so this fits quite well.

BD1N, not to be confused with BD1, is a nitrogen based steel that is gaining momentum. I have BD1 offerings and like the steel but BD1N is an entirely different animal. It's basically as easy to sharpen as BD1 but with much better edge retention and, at least in my home cook environment, a good deal of toughness. I don't have a deep well to draw from with Japanese kitchen steels but I surely do prefer BD1N to Wusthof's X50__steel (which I also like).

The BD1N, in my opinion, is a significant part of this knife's appeal. I think this would still be a very nice knife in another steel, but there's no question it is a strong appeal for me.

The knife is shown here (top) with a Dexter Russel 7" vegetable cleaver, an 8" Wusthof Gourmet Chef's Knife and a pairing knife:


The fit and finish is excellent. In the hand, it feels like quality, perhaps like a knife that would be well above the price range this one goes for. The red/black Micarta is beautiful and seamlessly meets with stainless bolsters. This is a quality knife and very, very well done.

The knife is deft, agile, and slicey but doesn't feel weak. My beloved Wusthof's have largely been relegated to standby for several months now. I love this knife.

I absolutely will be buying more in this line up.

Side by side with a Wusthof:



Just some pics:


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