Dao Vua Leaf Spring Small Cleaver $79.95

Affordable, artisan-made knives forged from recycled steel.

Dao Vua knives are carefully crafted from upcycled leaf spring steel (5160 steel)—a high carbon, chromium-laced steel designed for car springs that happens to be excellent for heavily used knives that need to withstand frequent sharpening and maintain a durable edge. The blades are hardened to 59-60 HRC, so they’ll keep a fine edge with little maintenance. And the blades exhibit all the marks of hand-forging. Plus, they’re finished with a matte black kurouchi (blacksmith) finish, which makes the knives nonstick and protects the steel from moisture. And the comfortable wooden handles are hand-shaped from water-resistant ebony and are similar to Japanese wa handles. With their ergonomic fit, they suit a wide range of hand sizes and cutting styles: choke up for control and slide your grip back for leverage.

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A few swipes on a honing rod will keep these durable knives in tip top shape. The exposed portion of the cutting surface is susceptible to moisture and acid and will develop a patina over time. The knives should not be left wet and should be wiped down after slicing acidic foods. To minimize coloring, they can be treated with camellia oil and cleaned with a rust eraser.

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