Blade Profile – User-friendly cutting profile with no flat spots. It measures 8″ but feels a tad shorter than the rest of the knives in the comparison due to how close the choil/neck is to the handle. There is also a 7-1/4″ model that is great for users who prefer 165mm / 6.5-inch santokus. Cutting profile is neutral with no flat spots. The blade is thick and solid and lacks the “springiness” the other knives exhibit.
Blade Core Material- Mac “Original Molybdenum” is alloy steel with decent edge retention.
Blade Hardness – Rockwell hardness around 57
Out Box Sharpness – 6 out of 10. The sample I got was well-sharpened but not the best of the bunch.
Real-World Edge Retention 7-10. Edge retention was impressive. The Mac held an acceptable edge throughout a month-long home test. Most people would find it to be “very sharp” after 30 days.
Handle Material- Pakka wood
Handle Comfort 7 out of 10. Made of Pakka wood in a western profile. The handle is nicely sized and sculpted but lacks the quality fit and finish to make it even more comfortable.
Fit & Finish – 6 out of 10. Fit and finish is where the Mac Knife Chef’s Series 7″ falls short. The choil/neck will not cut the user, but it isn’t polished well. The top of the spine is the same. The handle suffered in this department as well.
Overall – At the time of this review, the 8″ version is under $80. More impressively, the 7″ version is only $60. I cannot fault knives for lacking the proper finish quality of more expensive knives. I can easily sand down the sharp edges and handle and apply polish to improve how it feels in my hands. The biggest complaint is the section where the top of the handle meets the choil/neck of the blade. Had there been 1/4″ of extra space there, the knife would feel more balanced. On the other hand, the blade is very stiff and solid, giving the knife good stability during usage. Overall – an excellent entry-level Japanese knife.