best Yaxell Mon Chef Knife Review 8 Inch

by | Feb 19, 2021 | cutlery and knife | 0 comments

Yaxell Mon 8-inch chef's knife is a tough alternative to more expensive Japanese knives such as the Shun Classic series.

A tough alternative to avoiding the classic

do you know the about of Yaxell Mon Chef Knife Review? The 8-inch man-coke knife is a beautiful knife that is comfortable and cuts well in that order. It is not a high-performance coke knife, but it is a durable knife that requires minimal maintenance compared to other kitchen knives in the same price range. And it fills this role with enough style that even if you can not really cook, it almost makes you look like you know what you’re doing if you own it.

There are a few things that make Yaxell knives stand out. It was the Micarta handles that initially caught my attention because it’s not something I’m used to seeing in the kitchen cutlery world. It turns out that there are a few other companies that use it, but Yaxell uses it in a very aesthetically pleasing way, and they put a lot of resources into shaping these handles to what they see as optimal comfort. Yaxell does a lot of nice things with their design and especially their steel. But I think it’s pretty clear that they prioritize handling and emphasis on their factory.

The other thing is their wings, which are never just steel. The majority of their cutlery is VG-10 folded with something softer and harder. Common sense says this is to make the knives stronger, but I think if we are all honest, the real attraction of their steel folding is the neat wave patterns it makes on the blade.

I have come to like this knife, especially as an alternative recommendation to something in the Shun knives. For those who want a Japanese-style knife but do not want to brave the Shun price tag, the Yaxell Mon works well enough as a reliable tool, although the way it cuts and handles is a little different from what most would call traditional Japanese.

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  • Total length: 13.25 ″
  • Knife length: 8.0 ″
  • Style: Gyuto Chef
  • Handle length: 5.25 ″
  • Blade steel: Clad VG-10
  • Knife sharpening: Flat
  • Handle material: Micarta
  • HRC rating: 61
  • Weight: 209 g


  • Beautiful knife with a good fit and finish
  • Comfortable handle
  • Nice steel with good heat treatment
  • Tough steel and edge (for a coke knife)


  • A little too thick behind the edge
  • Hand-heavy weight distribution
  • Subpar by dice

Handles, weights, and ergo

Close-up of Yaaxell chef's knife handle.

I like the feel of the handle, but I had to work on it a bit. I’m more used to Western-style handles like what’s in the Tojiro DP series, so the oval hybrid on the moon took me a couple of cooking sessions to get used to.

The weight distribution is a little weird. It leans more against the handle. Not much, but enough to throw away anyone accustomed to how traditional Japanese kitchen knives feel. Although I guess the weight will balance the other way on longer knives like the 10-inch Mon coke knife as they have identical handles.

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Oddly enough, the 8-inch man is not as heavy as I thought it would be. Knowing Yaxell makes all their knives full pliers I expected something heavier like a Wusthoff, but at 200g (8 oz) the 8-inch man comes out pretty much right between the Wusthoff Classic Ikon chef’s knife and the Shun Classic chef’s knife.

A close-up of a man's hand holding a Yaxell Mon chef's knife in a knife grip.

It works well in a knife grip, but I have noticed that the more I use it, the less I use a proper knife grip. Due to the weight of the handle, I hold more of my hand back, which can make cuts a little weird.

Remember, these are only small differences in how I hold other knives. Visually, it’s probably not that different, but I’ve noticed that I’m starting to stand a little differently so I can put a little more force into the push cut now and then.

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Customize and finish

A Yaxell coke knife profile shot that shows the quality of fit and finish.

This knife is pretty smooth all around. The transition from the steel support to the Micarta is not perfectly seamless, but it is quite tight and the steel pins only feel like a very small bump to the finger.

I have read a few complaints about Yaxell knives that come with chips in the handles and the blade scratches easily. I have not noticed any of these things personally. The handle is in top shape. I have only noticed a few stains where Micarta has worn and reacted a bit where I tend to hold it and put the most pressure.

And I actually love the finish of the blade (and so does my brother after he finally took pictures of a knife that didn’t work as a mirror). I have not yet shown this knife to anyone new without getting the “wow” reaction with raised eyebrows, which I assume is desired by everyone who tries to compensate for their poor cooking using knives that look cool.

So if your priorities are more in line with desperate attempts to make yourself look cool and composed, the Mon series is a good start in that direction.

Cutting and Edge Geometry

Yaxell Mon chef's knife has decent blade geometry.

Yaxell Mon cuts well, just not in all cases. I think it’s a compromise between hard-edge geometry and really fine-tuned cutting. This is not a thin disc knife compared to high-end knives, but it is still a good example of good steel that is hard work.

The steel

The Mon series has VG-10 sandwiched between layers of softer steel. Therefore, you see a wave pattern running behind the edge. This is not unheard of in the world of the kitchen knife. Shun does it quite a bit and there are a few other high-end cutlery companies that do it without doing anything.

In this case, the steel layer division mostly increases tensile strength and edge toughness, which seems like a great combination of features if you get a coke knife for a chaotic home.

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Good for carving, but not so much dice

Yaxell Mon chef's knife is better for cutting than dice.

This is great for cutting anything with stiff skin. Potatoes were easily the most pleasant thing to cut with the mane, where tomatoes were close by.

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I’ve heard professional chefs complain that Yaxell tends to paint their knives a little too wide behind the edge. After reviewing a few tomatoes with this, I think I know what they mean by “wedge”, but I can still make a hands-free cut on a tomato half.

A close-up of Yaxell Mon chef's knife chopping a ripe tomato.

It just has a little bit of trouble if a tomato is on the other side of the ripe. It seems to have little trouble with the initial cutting through the skin when it gets too soft, and even after that, it is not prone to cutting extremely thin slices. You can definitely cut them thin enough for what you want to eat them in, but it was harder to get the useless, transparent, paper-thin cuts that everyone makes to show off their super knife edges.

It also has some issues with lighter things like herbs. I noticed quite a few incomplete cuts after a round stone chop on coriander. It also has a massive problem with food sticking to the sides, but that was no surprise. I could tell just by looking at this thing that the sides would hold a death grip on a slice of potato.

I was really starting to notice the thickness of this knife when I cut an onion into cubes. It spread the layers pretty badly as I tried to cut smaller until it got to the point that I stopped trying the cube with the stem attached and basically just chopped the whole mess until it was all about the size I wanted. Eventually, I got the job done, but it certainly did not look as beautiful as with a thinner knife.

It’s all for a long-lasting edge

The large edge retention of this knife makes it a good choice for anyone who avoids sharpening kitchen knives.

I suppose Yaxell prioritizes edge retention over edge performance, and that honestly, it does not seem like a bad thing as long as you understand what you are getting into.

For most foods, wedge does not become such a big issue, although it is probably the sharpest flaw with this knife. The edge is sharp enough that it just requires a little adjustment to keep a cut clean. And while I do not think it is ideal in an eighty-dollar knife, it does mean that the moon is much less likely to cut, and I do not think it needs to be sharpened that often.

If you want a really clean biting cut, you can go with Tojiro or Shun or even paint the knife yourself down. Otherwise, Yaxell has made a relatively robust tool with mostly comfortable ergonomics and a star look for the home kitchen.

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Yaxell Moon, Tojiro DP, or Shun Sora

Tojiro DP, Shun Sora and Yaxel Mon cook knives together on a wooden cutting board.

These three knives are usually in the same price range within about $ 10-20 of each other, and although they are all Gyuto blades, they will differ in pretty much every possible way except blade shape.

Shun Sora

Shun Sora is a good choice if you want something very light and very thin. If you do not mind the cheap-ish feel of the thermoplastic handle, the ergonomics and structure of it are great.

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It feels good in a knife grip and the handle never gets really slippery. But like all Shun knives, the blade and edge are incredibly thin, and it comes with lore more fragility than both the Tojiro DP and Yaxell Mon

Tojiro DP

Tojiro DP tends to cut cleaner than Mon without having Shun’s fragility, and the weight feels nice. The western handle does not require much adjustment to get used to, although the weight distribution makes it a little less agile in a knife grip.

Overall, DP has a good ratio of cutting ability, edge retention, and comfort to make it the safest option for the flock. It looks as striking as neither Mon nor Sora. Tojiro by and large does not place much emphasis on styling their knives or packaging. They seem to be content to keep their attention focused on the performance of their knives.

Check out our Tojiro DP chef knife review to learn more about this knife.

Considering availability

It is also worth mentioning that you are much more likely to find Shun and Yaxell knives in stock. Tojiro sets never seem to be reliably available until the end of the year.

If you want to get a coke knife for the purpose of building a block, it may take a while longer with Tojiro than it would with Yaxel or Shunl, both of which seem to have their production lines found good enough to have full sets available.


This knife grew on me and I would be lying if I said it had nothing to do with what it looks like. Yaxell does not lay out top-class special equipment; not even for the price. But they’re doing something nice.

The Yaxell Mon cuts well, feels incredibly comfortable, and it looks impressive. If we’re just talking about a $ 70-80 coke knife that works as a workable alternative to a Shun Classic, that’s just fine. It will work pretty well for a long time.

If we talk about it in the context of other options like Tojiro DP or Shun Sora, it is mainly the harder option with an oval handle. At the end of the day, I prefer the way the Tojiro DP chef’s knife cuts, but they are different enough in style and close enough in performance that the choice between the two may come down to dealing with preferences.

I would primarily recommend Yaxell knives as more affordable options if you really want an oval handle and layered steel with the cool wavy line along the edge. There is no judgment if you want a knife for appearance because the Yaxell Mon still cuts fine, although it tends to be a little appreciative of function.

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