When I was offered the opportunity to try this Cangshan TN1 Series set here at Gadget Central, I read about them and looked at their design. Retailing for $300 directly from the manufacturer, this set is an ideal starter for any kitchen. These have a modern style, with an unusual open handle. But how comfortable would they be in hand? Could I find and use pinch points? Would they have a balanced feel? Too lightweight or too heavy? All would be revealed once I have them in hand. This brand was new to me.

I’m a sucker for good, sharp kitchen knives. I dedicated two chapters on the subject in my still-relevant 2012 book, The Mr. Gadget Consumer Tech Guide, Volume 1. I also appreciate a good industrial design and quality materials. Both are on display and in hand with this beautiful knife set, featuring all the essentials for a nicely appointed and equipped kitchen.

Here are forged, weighted and balanced, hand-fitting, grip-fitting, pinch-fitting kitchen prep knives for anyone who can not only appreciate their quality but also become dedicated to their care. These are the elements that promote longevity and customer satisfaction that can be handed down to one’s descendants.

Perfectly sharpened out of the box, they are forged from a just-right Swedish steel formula. They require hand-washing care, immediate drying, no dropping, and otherwise delicate handling to assure performance over time with minimal sharpening attention.

The steel is hard and sharpenable, tending to the brittle end of the spectrum, so DO NOT DROP EVEN ONCE. No dishwasher for these babies. Cut ONLY on a designated cutting board that is fine-edge friendly, such as bamboo or polypropylene and never on a counter or a plate.

Have I made my point? Why harp on these things? Simply because I want owners of this Cangshan TN1 Series (as well as other Cangshan cutlery AND all sharp knives) to be happy for time immemorial. I know all too well how some consumers fail to read directions and fail to heed admonishments about use and care of kitchen cutlery, and then grouse, bitch and moan about poor quality, when it is the customer who is defective here, not the materials. Harsh? Yes, by design and intent.

And now, let’s get into this stylish set of kitchen tools!

Each knife is crafted with a super-keen Asian-style 16º double edge. American style knives are typically honed to a 20º bevel. Some Asian knives feature as keen as a 12º edge, but these are nearly impossible to maintain at that angle, so these at 16º provide a good and repeatable balance when it is time for maintain that fine original edge.

They are NSF Certified, which stands for National Sanitation Foundation, an organization all about food safety, especially ease of cleaning as part of the design. These high carbon stainless steel knives are easily cleaned. Unlike knives with wooden handles, there is nowhere for bacteria to hide and grow, which is the qualifier for NSF certification.

Created from one piece, which is not only a visual design element, but also functional. The handle flows into the blade and the open design for modern appeal.

  • Solid walnut block
  • Five basic and essential styles
  • 3.5” Paring Knife
  • 5” Serrated Utility Knife
  • 7” Santoku with venting
  • 8” Chef’s Knife
  • 8” Bread Knife (Serrated)

Read the informative pamphlet that focuses on care. Sure, they are sharp so be careful. Hand wash and dry immediately after use and only when dry, place them in their designated slot in the weighty solid walnut block.

All knives were carefully washed and dried before use, as advised in the pamphlet.

Use, repeat! And now, it’s time to …


I used the paring knife to cut up some little steamed clam meat for a dip. Sharp, very sharp.

The serrated utility knife was pressed into service for slicing limes and avocados. The Santoku, my favorite style and go-to knife was first used to cut up some meat and veggies for a stir fry. The 8” Chef’s knife easily, thinly sliced a tri-tip roast and some roasted chicken breast. And then, the final trial. The bread knife did a fine job cutting into a nice sourdough loaf so we could enjoy some tapenade, prosciutto and bruschetta. A great bread knife is an indispensable tool.

It was easy for every user to find a comfortable pinch point for maximum and safe control of each knife. No complaints at all.

And so it went and so it goes.

As indicated earlier, use, wash, dry, repeat. We are looking forward to many years of use and value with this set.

**As an Amazon Associate, I may receive a small commission from qualifying purchases through links in MrGadget.com articles. Your cost will be identical.**

Thinking of sharpening, Cangshan offers their own $20 branded sharpening accessories, neither of which were tested. Both are also available from Amazon here and here.

I prefer, use and recommend Chef’s Choice Model XV exclusively for all my sharpening of non-serrated cutlery. Serrated blades require different sharpening methods. With care, little is needed. To correct minor imperfections in the scallops, I use and recommend a round pointy file encrusted with diamond abrasives, like on the sharpener above. Diamonds cut without heating the metal so there is no risk of overheating, turning it blue and ruining the knife. There is no recovery from this condition.

Here is an example of an effective and inexpensive diamond encrusted file for sharpening serrated edges. All it takes is a light touch! If you don’t like this one, find another with fine to very fine coarseness.

Softer steel, such as what is found in quality cutlery with less of a hardness rating, does not hold an edge as well as these so they require more frequent attention to maintain my preferred “shaving” sharpness. Professionals use softer steel because their knives see more use and are subjected to more frequent quick sharpening. These and other knives made from harder steel require less frequent maintenance. As such, they are ideally suited for a wider group of consumers.

How hard is the steel? These are made from 14c28n steel, with a hardness on the standard Rockwell scale of 55-62 HRC. Here is more information found on knifeuser.com.

After only a brief hands-on, I am pleased to recommend the set for you or your gift recipient. With lifetime and beyond quality, this set represents tremendous value, a certifiable bargain. They will never wear out.

I also learned that Cangshan offers several other products of similar quality and representing the same value to hand down to heirs.

The following information that I am pleased to share is provided by Cangshan about other sets.

“Whether you’re just starting out, looking to upgrade your existing set, or have grown tired of using a piecemeal collection, Cangshan’s 17-piece TC Series knife block set is a worthy investment. This set includes 14 full tang knives forged from high alloy Swedish Sandvik steel, which holds an edge up to five times longer than German steel. This set includes an 8-inch chef’s knife, 8-inch bread knife, 7-inch santoku knife, 6-inch boning knife, 5-inch serrated utility knife, 5-inch tomato knife, 3.5-inch paring knife, 2.75-inch peeling knife, and six 5-inch straight-edge steak knives.

Each knife features a uniquely tapered tang which makes them comfortable to hold, and perfectly balanced for the most precise cutting. Along with a variety of sleekly modern knives, this set also includes a pair of stainless steel kitchen shears, an 8-inch honing steel, and a solid walnut wood block to house the collection.

If you’re more of a minimalist, then the L Series 12-piece knife set is the ideal set for your kitchen. This set features nine essential kitchen knives:  an 8-inch chef’s knife, 5-inch santoku knife, 3.5-inch paring knife, and six 5-inch straight edge steak knives. Each knife is forged from tight-grained German Steel which gives them incredible durability, stain resistance, and edge retention. The knives are then hand sharpened and ready to perform. This set, which is available in black or white, also comes with an 8-inch honing steel, 9-inch come-apart kitchen shears, and a solid acacia wood block for safekeeping.”


I’m happy to have been introduced to Cangshan! Cangshan TN1 Series forged 6-piece knife block set is Mr. Gadget approved and recommended. Buy from the manufacturer at the link above or at this Amazon link, currently priced at $200.


Lifetime warranty against manufacturer defects.

This does NOT apply in cases of customer error resulting from dropping or improper use as outlined above. This warranty is virtually the same as what is offered by most makers of fine cutlery.

What do you think? Let me know! Please email me. MrGadget at MrGadget dot com.

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