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Mac Chef Knife Review

Mac Chef Knife is one the best Japanese Chef Knife on the market. It has a cult following among restraunt professional. Known for its light weight design and razor sharp edge, it is the knife that you keep reaching for. These knives are made in Japan and features a Pakkawood handle with scalloped edge. It is perfectly balanced to make it feel like an extension of your hand. However, is this really this knife really that great? This review will take a closer look at its design and construction.

Mac Chef Knife (MTH-80) Review Quick Summary

Mac Chef Knife (MTH-80)
TangFull Tang
BolsterHalf Bolster
Weight6.5 oz
Knife DimensionKnife Length: 12.63″
Blade Length: 7.88″
Height: 1.88″
Thickness: 2.5 mm
SteelSuperior Steel might be high-carbon Chrome Molybdenum Vanadium alloy, with Tungsten
Blade Angle15 Degree
Rockwell HardnessAround 61
Place of ManufacturerJapan
ThoughtsA different take on a traditional Japanese Knife. While it does look cool, the metal tend to get slippery if you cut greasy food. I personally enjoy using the nakiri the most.
Reviewed CookwareMac Knife MTH-80 Professional Hollow Edge Chef’s Knife, 8 Inch, Silver

History of Mac Knives

Mac Knife was founded by Kobaysahi in 1965. He sought to develop a knife that had a softer rounder edge. While working in a Kitchen in America, he was handed a German Knife with a pointed edge. While using it, he accidently dropped it and almost cut his feet. When he tried to remove it, the tip broke off. To alleviate the issue, he rounded the knife with a whetstone. This was the point where idea for Mac Knife was started. They managed to create 2 plus patent and design for knife. Since then the company has sold over 30 million knife world wide.

While most might get confused with Mac with Apple. The name Mac actually comes from Macroscosm, which means big universe. It was a abbreviation for his ambition to spread his knife around the world.

Mac Chef Knife MTH-80 Design

This section will discuss the design and construction of Mac Chef Knife. We will go over handle, blade design and general performance.


The handle is made of Pakkawood. Pakkawood is a composite wood that resembles that of natural wood. It is made of a wood/plastic composite material. They are often found in the handle of knives. Unlike natural wood, they resist water damage. They are typically very dense and wont warp and split like natural wood. Because of the way it can be dyed, they resemble those of natural wood. They are a great alternative to oak or other type of plastic.

The handle has a bias for right handed user.

Tang and Bolster

Mac Chef Knife has a full tang design. This means that the blade runs the length of the handle. This improves overall durability and quality. Lesser knives will often use a half tang design. Those knives are prone to snapping and can pop out if not carefully treated. However, some high end Japanese knives use a half tang blade.

There are three rivets on either side to secure the handle. This ensure that it wont pop out when in use.

Mac Chef Knife uses a half bolster design. Overall, these are better than the full bolster design. In a full bolster knife, the bottom of the bolster often gets in the way when sharpening. What you are left with is a stub at the base of the bolster and a shorter knife. While in the past, a full bolster usually mean that it is forged and made to a higher standard. This is not the case anymore. I highly recommend you get a knife with either a half or no bolster.

Mac Chef Knife Blade Design

The blade itself has a slight belly but it still resembles that of a traditional japanese knife. There is a significant amount of flat spot near the end of the knife. This gives you the best of both world. You can use both a rocking motion and a tap chop.

The blade itself is also very thin. It has a thickness of only 2.5 mm. This lets the blade glide through food a lot easier. German knifes are usually much thicker and uses a wedging motion instead of a slicing.

Granton Edge and Balnce

At the sides, there are scalloped edges. These are meant to prevent food from sticking. This is especially helpful when you are cutting potato. They tend to stick and bunch up on the side of the knife. However, in my experience, these scalloped edge do little to nothing for sticking. In my opinion, they are mostly there for appearance and weight saving.

In terms of balanced, it is at the center of the blade. This makes it feel like it is an extension of your hand. Having said that, some cooks actually preferred the blade to be either blade heavy or handle heavy. You should decide on which balance point is right for you.


Most of Mac Knives uses their original steel. However, the MTh-80 uses their “Superior Steel”. They are very tight lipped about the steel used and no official information can be found on it. Unofficial online sources state that it is a high-carbon Chrome Molybdenum Vanadium alloy, with Tungsten.

While it wont rust like a carbon steel knife, it can still rust. It is recommend that you hand wash the knife and dry after washing. If you leave it soaking in water or use a dishwasher, it the quickest way to ruin your knife.

Angle and Hardness

The blade uses a 15 degree angle with a 55/45 bevel. The lower the angle the better it cuts. However, the issue is that these steep angle tend to dull quickly. To get around this, manufacturer can make the knife really hard. The MTH-80 has a rockwell hardness of 61. This will ensure that you can keep on cutting all day without sharpening.

There is a downside to this, a very hard knife is prone to chipping. If you take a very close inspection of the blade, you might be able to see little chip on the blade. You have to avoid cutting really hard things like butternut squash or chicken bones. If you must cut those thing, get a cheaper knife that is generally softer. They are more malleable and can take more of an abuse. They will lose their edge quickly though.

The Best Japanese Chef Knife?

Mac Chef Knife (MTH 80) is a fantastic knife. The combination of blade, handle and design makes it one of the Best Japanese Chef knife around. The superior fit and finish is unrivaled and you wont be disappointed. Nonetheless, it is still very expensive. You might want to save some money and invest in this knife. One great knife is better than a bunch of junk knives.

I hope you like this Mac Chef Knife (MTH-80) review, If you would like to see more, please visit our Cutlery page.

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