Blade Profile – The blade profile on the Yaxell Mon is interesting. It does not fall into traditional Japanese or German/western. However, flatter than the belly, the blade’s body has a constant radius from the heel to the tip. Those coming from German and other western knives will likely enjoy the cutting profile of the Mon, while those who are expecting a typical Japanese profile may not.
Blade Core Material – Made in Japan Japanese VG10
Blade Hardness – 60-61
Out Box Sharpness – 8 out of 10 – Excellent
Real-World Edge Retention – 8 out of 10 – Edge held up very well in the 30-day test.
Handle Material – Micarta
Handle Comfort – 6 out of 10 – Two aspects of the Mon affect its long-term comfort score. The first is the width (narrowness) of the handle, and the second is the position (height) of the choil/neck. The top of the handle where the blade and handle meet is very narrow, making it feel a bit unstable, even while in a pinch-grip. The tang height (part of the blade that meets the handle) is usually not an issue with western handles, but the narrowing of the top of the handle creates a weird feeling for my hand when prepping food. In addition, I constantly readjust my grip and middle finger, not having a comfortable place to sit. I found using a regular/hammer grip is more comfortable than a pinch-grip.
Fit & Finish – 8 out of 10 – Excellent. The fit and finish on this Yaxell Mon 8″ is probably the best for a knife under $100. The spine and choil have an excellent matte finishing. The transition between the blade and handle is seamless. The matte finish gives the knife a nice low-profile appearance, while the gloss of the exposed core material looks very high-end.
Overall – The Yaxell Mon 8″ is highly well-finished. There are some drawbacks to the narrow ovalized handle. But also note this is the only Yaxell with this particular handle design. The cutting profile is not my favorite, being too much of a rocker for my liking. The Japanese VG10 core steel holds a good edge sharpens easily. Yaxell pays good attention to the finishing of their knives, and the Mon series is no different. Other than my gripe with its handle design and overly-relaxed cutting profile, you would be hard-pressed to find a knife with the same level of finishing at under $100.