Are you looking to purchase a set of kitchen knives but can’t decide between Cutco and Dalstrong?
On the one hand, you have Cutco, the US-based knife maker that’s been in business for decades, offering quality cutlery backed by unmatched satisfaction guarantees.
On the other hand, you have Dalstrong, the cookware startup offering a range of Japanese and German-style knives.
So, how do you choose between these brands? What are the key differences?
In this comparison of Cutco vs. Dalstrong, I’ll break down how their knives stack up in materials, construction, design, performance, price, and more.
By the end, you’ll be ready to make your purchase decision with confidence.
Use the links below to navigate this comparison:
- Cutco vs. Dalstrong: Comparison Chart
- Difference 1: Company History
- Difference 2: Where It Is Made
- Difference 3: Number of Collections
- Difference 4: Materials
- Difference 5: Construction
- Difference 6: Design
- Difference 7: Blade Hardness
- Difference 8: Sharpness
- Difference 9: Weight and Balance
- Difference 10: Price
- Bottom Line: Should You Buy Cutco or Dalstrong Knives?
Cutco vs. Dalstrong: Comparison Chart
Before I dive into the details, check out the chart below. It quickly breaks down the key differences between Cutco and Dalstrong knives.
|Where It’s Made||Olean, New York, USA||Yangjiang, China|
|Blade Material||440A steel||German or Japanese steel (varies by collection)|
|Handle Material||Thermo-resin||Wood, synthetic, or steel (varies by collection)|
|Design||American, modern, unique Wedge-Lock handles||Modern and bold with Japanese and German influences|
|Weight of 8-inch chef’s knife (average)||7.2 ounces||7 ounces|
|Edge Angle Total (lower = sharper)||30 degrees||16 to 24 degrees (Japanese knives), 32 to 36-degree (German knives)|
|Blade Hardness (higher = harder)||56 to 60||55 to 63|
|Warranty||Forever Guarantee||100% Satisfaction Guarantee|
|Price||$$$$ (view on Amazon)||$$ to $$$ (view on Amazon)|
Difference 1: Company History
The first notable difference between Cutco and Dalstrong is their company histories.
Cutco is a well-known US-based cutlery brand founded in 1949.
Over time, this once-small brand has evolved into a large, multinational company with a strong reputation for customer service and quality products.
In addition to knives, Cutco also produces knife-related products such as sharpening kits, cutting boards, and spatulas.
Generally, however, cutlery is Cutco’s central offering and represents the vast majority of its product line.
In contrast, Dalstrong is a relatively new name in the cutlery market. The Toronto, Canada-based company got its start in 2014, and since then, it has expanded rapidly.
Despite being a new brand, Dalstrong has expanded its presence and marketing and now claims to have over 450,000 loyal customers.
In addition to cutlery, Dalstrong manufactures a small array of pots, pans, knife-related products, and a few textile products like aprons and bags. Its main production focus remains cutlery, however, and most of its marketing centers around knives.
Difference 2: Where It Is Made
Cutco takes pride in being one of the few cutlery manufacturers still operating in the United States. Every knife is made in Cutco’s Olean, New York, factory.
The company employs over 600 skilled craftspeople and claims that over 200 have been with Cutco for more than 20 years.
Although manufacturing overseas would be less costly, Cutco is committed to providing Americans jobs and ensuring the highest quality products.
Dalstrong’s headquarters are based in Toronto, Canada, but it manufactures all of its knives in Yangjiang, China.
People often assume that products made in China are lower-quality than those made in America.
And, while that may be true in some instances, it’s not the case with Dalstrong. Yangjiang is a city with a long history of blade-making, dating back 1400 years. Today, the city is responsible for over 70% of China’s production of knives and scissors.
Difference 3: Number of Collections
One of the most significant differences between Cutco and Dalstrong knives is the number of collections they offer.
Dalstrong offers 11 knife collections, each with unique materials and designs. Cutco, on the other hand, only offers one collection.
All of Dalstrong’s knife collections are named for famous warriors or soldiers and have a military theme.
Cutco’s collection of knives includes all the essential knives that a home chef needs, including a chef’s knife, paring knives, serrated knives, etc. Outside of this collection, they also offer a few implements such as peelers, shears, and spatulas, but the knives are the company’s main focus.
The chart below outlines the key differences between each Dalstrong collection (plus the one Cutco collection).
Swipe or scroll to view the entire chart.
|Collection||Blade Construction||Handle Material||Blade Hardness (Rockwell)||Sharpness||Price|
|Cutco||Stamped from 440A steel||Engineered thermo-resin||55-60||15-degree angle per side||$$$$ (view on Amazon)|
|Dalstrong Shogun||67-layer Damascus with AUS-10V core||ABS Polymer||62+||10-degree angle per side||$$$ (view on Amazon)|
|Dalstrong Gladiator||High-carbon German stainless steel||G10 fiber resin||54-56||14 to 16-degree angle per side||$$ (view on Amazon)|
|Dalstrong Shadow Black||High-carbon 7CR17MOV-X vacuum treated steel||G10 fiber resin||58||16 to 18-degree angle per side||$$ (view on Amazon)|
|Dalstrong Phantom||Premium Japanese AUS-8 steel||Laminated PakkaWood||58||13 to 15-degree angle per side||$$ (view on Amazon)|
|Dalstrong Crusader||German-made ThyssenKrupp X50CRMOV15 steel||High chromium stainless steel||58||16 to 18-degree angle per side||$$ (view on Amazon)|
|Dalstrong Omega||American BD1N-VX hyper steel||G10 woven fiberglass||63+||8 to 12-degree angle per side||$$$ (view on Amazon)|
|Dalstrong Frost Fire||7-layer High carbon 10CR15MOV steel with added cobalt||White resin enclosed in aluminum mesh||60-61||16 to 18-degree angle per side||$$ (view on Amazon)|
|Dalstrong Quantum 1||American BD1N-VX hyper steel||G10 fiber resin/fiber carbon hybrid||63+||8 to 12-degree angle per side||$$$ (view on Amazon)|
|Dalstrong Ronin||Premium Japanese AUS-10V steel||G10 Garolite/Rosewood||62+||15-degree angle per side||$$$ (view on Amazon)|
|Dalstrong Valhalla||5-layer stainless steel||Wood/resin handle||60+||8 to 12-degree angle per side||$$$ (view on Amazon)|
|Dalstrong Delta Wolf||High carbon 9CR18MOV steel||G10 resin handle||60||8 to 12-degree angle per side||$$ (view on Amazon)|
Difference 4: Materials
All Cutco blades are made of 440A stainless steel, a mid-quality alloy that’s corrosion-resistant but lacks the hardness necessary to maintain a razor-sharp edge for long periods.
The handles on all of Cutco’s knives are made of durable, engineered thermo-resin. It doesn’t have the natural beauty of wood, but this non-porous material is moisture-, heat-, and fade-resistant and able to withstand heavy use.
Dalstrong pays special attention to the material used in its knives and imports high-grade steel from both Germany and Japan.
The exact variety of steel varies by collection, but each is durable, corrosion-resistant, and a step up in quality from Cutco’s 440A steel.
For example, Crusader Series blades are made of X50CRMOV15, the same steel used by renowned German knife makers Wusthof and Zwilling.
Another example is the Shogun Series, which features blades made of AUS-10V, a high-quality Japanese steel. This steel is super hard and offers excellent edge retention. Premium knife makers, such as Miyabi and Shun, use similar steel.
Collections such as Dalstrong’s Omega and Shogun series feature plastic handles similar to those favored by Cutco. The unique Shadow Black series has fiber-resin handles that can stand up to just about any temperature.
Refer back to this chart to review the exact blade and handle materials of each Dalstrong knife collection.
Difference 5: Construction
Cutco’s stamped blades are cut from a thin sheet of metal, similar to a cookie-cutter. Stamped blades are thinner, lighter, and less durable than forged knives.
Each Dalstrong forged blade is crafted from a piece of high-grade steel that is heated to extreme temperatures and pounded until it reaches the desired thickness and shape. Forged blades are thicker, heavier, more durable, hold an edge longer, and are easier to sharpen.
The one downside of forged blades is that the process is more complex; therefore, the cost is generally higher. However, this is not the case when you compare Cucto vs. Dalstrong. More on this in the Price section of this comparison.
It’s important to note; the exact construction of Dalstrong knives varies by collection.
Refer back to this chart to see the exact construction of each collection.
It’s worth mentioning that all Cutco and Dalstrong knives are full-tang, which means the steel blade extends from the tip to the butt of the handle. The tang (the part of the steel that extends through the handle) distributes weight evenly and ensures optimal balance.
Difference 6: Design
Cutco knives feature a full tang design and a polished, hollow edge blade, ideal for slicing and cutting dense foods like root vegetables.
The handle comes in three colors — red, black, or pearl — and features a unique and ergonomic “Wedge-Lock” design that allows for precision and easy maneuvering during use.
This shape includes indents for the thumb and forefinger, which allows for easy implementation of the professional “pinch grip” utilized by chefs.
As far as blade design, Cutco offers two varieties, the traditional straight-edge blade or the serrated Double-D option. The Double-D name is just marketing. These blades are essentially serrated.
The straight-edge knives can be sharpened at home using the proper equipment, but the Double-D knives require professional sharpening by Cutco (which they offer for free, you pay for shipping).
Dalstrong features a wide array of knife designs. All of their aesthetics are bold, flashy, and generally have a “military” theme.
Shogun knives are one of Dalstrong’s Japanese-inspired options, featuring a pitted, 67-layer Damascus steel blade with an elegant full-tang.
The bolster on these knives is sloped, allowing for both finger protection and the use of the desirable “pinch grip.”
Design details include an engraved blade and butt, an etched handle mosaic, and a fine, stamped leather sheath.
Phantom Series knives are also masterfully designed, featuring a smooth, polished AUS-8 Japanese-steel blade with a full tang and a sloped bolster similar to that featured in the Shogun Series.
Phantom knives also include a PakkaWood handle, polished spine, etched bridge, and tapered half-bolster.
Dalstrong’s other collections have distinctive features.
For example, the Crusader Series features a sleek, almost skeletal handle.
And the Delta Wolf Series features a black-steel blade and camouflage handle.
Dalstrong’s designs are bold, and they offer lots of choices. However, if you’re looking for something more traditional, you might find many of their options to be too flashy and even gimmicky.
Difference 7: Blade Hardness
The hardness of a blade is integral to the cooking experience. If a knife is too soft, it will dull quickly and require constant maintenance. But, if it’s too hard, it will be brittle and susceptible to chips, dents, or nicks in the metal.
Blade hardness is measured using the specialized Rockwell Hardness Scale.
Cutco hardens all of its blades to a 56-60 on the Rockwell scale, which is a good balance between durability and edge retention, especially for multi-purpose knives.
Dalstrong hardens its blades to a 54-63 on the Rockwell scale, but the exact hardness varies by collection.
For example, the Shogun collection features blades of a 62+ hardness, which allows for a thinner, sharper blade with a keener edge
Blades this hard are ideal for precise cuts because they can tolerate and maintain an extremely thin edge.
However, they’re prone to chipping, so you need to be careful not to slam it down on the cutting board and avoid aggressive chopping. Instead, use a gentle back and forth slicing motion.
Blades in the Gladiator collection are hardened to a 54-56 rating, making them more durable and less likely to chip. However, these blades require more frequent sharpening.
Difference 8: Sharpness
Cutco stays traditional and sharpens all of its blades to a dual-sided 15-degree angle, which is a common choice for knife manufacturers.
Dalstrong, by contrast, varies the sharpness of its blades significantly based on the design.
The brand’s Japanese-style blades are ground to a razor-sharp 8-12 degree angle per side, whereas their German-style knives feature blades honed to an angle of 16-18 degrees per side.
It’s worth mentioning that Cutco goes the extra mile in helping customers keep their knives sharp by including a “Forever Sharpness” guarantee with each purchase.
Customers can send their knives in to be professionally resharpened by Cutco at any time — a handy feature if you own knives with the Double-D edge, which you can’t sharpen at home.
Dalstrong doesn’t offer sharpening services, and proper maintenance is up to you.
Difference 9: Weight and Balance
Since they’re stamped, not forged, Cutco knives are lightweight.
For context, the average forged chef’s knife weighs approximately 12 ounces. Cutco’s chef’s knife weighs just 6.1 oz.
For comparison’s sake, it’s worth noting the weights of other knives on the market.
The Zwilling Pro 8-inch chef’s knife is a popular option that weighs in at 12.9 oz., and it’s one of the heaviest chef’s knives around.
Wusthof’s Classic 8-inch chef’s knife is approximately 8.5 oz., which is lightweight for a forged knife and represents the opposite end of this spectrum.
As you can see, Cutco knives are pretty lightweight, even among stamped blades.
There are pros and cons to the lightweight nature of Cutco’s knives. On the one hand, the lighter weight makes these blades maneuverable and nimble during use.
The drawback is that the knives can feel flimsy, and they may have trouble cutting through dense ingredients, such as heavy root vegetables.
Although forged knives tend to be more balanced and sturdier than stamped ones, Dalstrong’s knives lack heft and balance and don’t feel nearly as sturdy as premium forged knives like Wusthof and Zwilling.
Difference 10: Price
As I mentioned, stamped knives are generally less expensive than forged knives since they’re easy to mass-produce. However, that’s not the case with Cutco and Dalstrong.
Despite their stamped construction, Cutco knives are more expensive than Dalstrong’s forged knives.
The primary reason Cutco knives are more expensive is that they’re made in America. Dalstrong cuts costs by producing its knives in China (despite importing steel from Germany and Japan).
Included in the sticker price of Cutco’s knives is its well-publicized Forever Guarantee, which includes free repairs/replacement, sharpening, and 50% off even if you damage the knives due to unconventional use.
Dalstrong’s products come with a lifetime warranty, as well as a 120-day risk-free guarantee. If you’re not 100% satisfied, you can return them within the first 120 days for a full refund. And, unlike Cutco, Dalstrong doesn’t make you pay for the return shipping.
To give you a better idea, the pricing chart below shows the cost of Cutco and Dalstrong’s most popular knives:
Click the prices to view more details on Amazon.
|Knife / Knife Set||Price||View Details|
|Cutco 8-Inch Chef's Knife||Amazon|
|Cutco 9-Inch Chef's Knife||Amazon|
|Cutco 7-Inch Santoku Knife||Amazon|
|Cutco 19-Piece Knife Set||Amazon|
|Cutco 21-Piece Knife Set||Amazon|
|Dalstrong Phantom 8-Inch Chef's Knife||Amazon|
|Dalstrong Crusader 8-Inch Chef's Knife||Amazon|
|Dalstrong Delta Wolf 8-Inch Chef's Knife||Amazon|
|Dalstrong Gladiator 8-Inch Chef's Knife||Amazon|
|Dalstrong Shogun 8-Inch Chef's Knife||Amazon|
|Dalstrong Gladiator 18-Piece Knife Set||Amazon|
|Dalstrong Gladiator 8-Piece Knife Set||Amazon|
|Dalstrong Phantom 6-Piece Knife Set||Amazon|
Bottom Line: Should You Buy Cutco or Dalstrong Knives?
Now that you know the key differences between Cutco and Dalstrong knives, it’s time to decide which brand is right for your kitchen.
Before I give you my recommendation, let’s quickly recap:
- Cutco has been in business for decades, while Dalstrong launched in 2014.
- Cutco makes its knives in Olean, New York, while Dalstrong produces its knives in Yangjiang, China.
- Dalstrong offers 11 unique knife collections; Cutco only offers one.
- Cutco blades are made of 440A steel, and the handles are engineered thermo-resin. Dalstrong blades are made with either high-quality German steel or Japanese steel, and the handles are either wood, synthetic (similar to Cutco), or steel.
- Cutco blades are stamped, while Dalstrong blades are forged.
- Cutco knives feature a unique Wedge-Lock handle. Dalstrong’s designs are bold, flashy, and borderline gimmicky.
- Cutco hardens its blades to a 56-60 on the Rockwell scale. Dalstrong hardens its blades to a 54-63 on the Rockwell Scale.
- Cutco sharpens all of its blades to a 15-degree angle per side. Dalstrong’s Japanese-style blades are sharpened to an 8-12 degree angle per side, whereas its German-style knives are sharpened to an angle of 16-18 degrees per side.
- Both brands are lightweight relative to their main competitors, but some Dalstrong collections are on the heavier side.
- Despite having stamped blades, Cutco knives are more expensive than Dalstrong knives.
Although neither Cutco nor Dalstrong made my list of the best kitchen knife brands, they both boast hundreds of thousands of happy customers.
If you value American-made knives with a simple design and a 100% customer satisfaction guarantee, Cutco is an excellent option. The company has been in business since 1949 and has a proven track record of durability and performance.
If you prefer Japanese or German-style forged knives with a bold design and more affordable price, Dalstrong is a solid choice, too.
If neither of these brands strikes you as ideal, check out my guide outlining the top kitchen knife brands.
- Cutco Kitchen Knives Review: Are They Worth the High Price?
- Cutco vs. Wusthof: How Do Their Kitchen Knives Compare?
- Cutco vs. Henckels: Which Kitchen Knives Are Better?
- Cutco vs. Shun: Which Kitchen Knives Are Better?
- Dalstrong Kitchen Knives Review: Performance, Design, Key Features
- Dalstrong vs. Shun Kitchen Knives: 11 Key Differences
- Wusthof vs. Dalstrong: An In-Depth Kitchen Knife Comparison
- Cutco vs. Zwilling: Which Kitchen Knives Are Better?