A good set of knives is something I’ve wanted and needed for a long time now. For about 5 years I’ve been using the same two kitchen knives, a blue one and a copper one. Both had dulled down and the color was chipping off.
And yes, I could’ve sharpened them, but they were both beginner knives and I was ready for an upgrade.
If you know me, I can be a bit of a perfectionist. To find my new knife I wanted to travel to stores and hold different knives and wait until the perfect moment for the perfect knife that would find me instead of me finding it. But as I’ve grown, I’ve learned to accept that moments don’t always come to you, sometimes you have to go out and grab them.
Luckily enough, I had an Aunt gift me my first set of chef’s knives this past Christmas so sometimes the moments DO come to you! As soon as I opened them I was ready to get home and use them and start taking notes so that I could write this post.
But I don’t write my reviews strictly off of experience. I also sit down and spend an hour or two doing research. Sadly, when doing my research, I didn’t find many other reviews going into detail about these knives. Yet, there is so much information out there about them!
So of course, the perfectionist in me came here to give you a full and honest report about the designer, the design of the knives themselves and my own personal experience with the knives!
About the TUO Fiery Phoenix Series | For All the Knife Nerds.
TUO, in the Chinese language, means “to explore and adventure”. Those are TU-Of my favorite things!
I’m sorry I had to do it.
I always end my articles with “be brave in trying new things”. And I mean it 100%. Being brave in the art of cooking, exploring different foods and accessories, and bringing adventure into the kitchen is one of the things in life that I love the most.
The creator of TUO knives is CK Zhou. Zhou knew that the art of Chinese kitchen knives in China was not as popular as the professional knife culture in Europe. So he ventured out studying the art of the industry, determined to create a successful brand of professional kitchen knives to be used by people at any skill level.
75% of the world’s cutlery is manufactured in YangJiang, China where Zhou has become an industry pioneer. But he’s not stopping there. TUO knives is on it’s way to becoming an internationally popular collection! With 10 growing series of knives and several awards including “Kitchen Knife of the Year” in 2019 in Atlanta, TUO is now sold in more than 50 countries!
But wait a second. I’m not a professional chef, Haley!
No worries! The TUO Fiery Phoenix series was designed for anyone who loves to cook. Where a true professional chef probably has a specific knife for each food item they’re working with, these TUO knives are multi-purpose.
The Fiery Phoenix Series was designed to blend form and function together for practical use. This series blades’ are fabricated of Germain carbon steel and the handles are made of Pakkawood meaning it will not warp from absorbing water.
Each piece is designed for effortless slicing, dicing and chopping of fruits, veggies, meats and more.
I was gifted three knives from the Fiery Phoenix series. Each is lightweight in comparison to other chef’s knives, has a narrow blade for fluidity in movement and is elegantly designed for any experienced home cook, as well as the professional chef community.
Oddly enough, the 6.5″ Nakiri knife is a Japanese styled knife. Nakiri, Santoku, and Kiritsuke chef’s knives are all general-purpose knives used for cutting, slicing, dicing and mincing vegetables.
Being the smallest of the three knives I received, it was the least intimidating to use for the first time. It fits very comfortably in the hands and for beginners purchasing their first chef’s knife, 6″ to 6.5″ is a great starter size.
This Nakiri knife was designed for precise chopping. I like to use this knife for vegetables like mushrooms, peppers and green onions for finely chopped smaller pieces that are great in soups and bowls!
*insert anime gif for chopping skills*
This knife can also be used to cut fruit and meats, but I have not tried it on fruit and I rarely cook meats. However, I did find this review from someone who has!
5.0 out of 5 stars I’m loving Tuo knives: These knives are amazing values for the money. I have a lot of knives, including a couple of Japanese knives that I use all the time. If I’d found Tuo before buying them I would have saved a lot of money. These feel solid in my rather large hands, and they hold a sharp edge on a moderately thin blade. The slight added thickness compared to my Japanese knives make these feel a little more sturdy, a bit more reliable for harder vegetables and meat with bones in it. Love the nakiri — it is probably my number one knife since getting it.
When I knew I was ready to upgrade my knife collection, a cleaver is the main one I wanted. Something about the bulky design seemed powerful and intrigued me.
Last February my partner took me to a ramen making class in Chicago and attached to the school was a shop. I remember afterwards heading straight to the knife section and holding a professional cleaver in my hands for the first time and it was love at first sight.
The TUO 7″ cleaver will fit into any kitchen of anyone who is brave enough to try it out! This knife can slice, chop, dice, mince and cut through anything from large sweet potatoes to tough cuts of meat.
It can also take off some skin on your finger if you’re not being careful, AKA, I’ve had these knives less than a month and I’ve already cut myself. But I suppose that is just part of the learning process!
The TUO cleaver has a wide blade that you can use to smash garlic for easier peeling and also for tenderizing meats.
*Pro-tip! If you peel and mince your own garlic please use a wide blade knife like the TUO cleaver. I saw where someone used the Nakiri knife to press their garlic and their blade broke right off the handle. Which also left me questioning their strength.The sharp end of the blade has a slight curve that makes it easy for a smooth rocking chop. This is my preferred knife skill and is also why the cleaver is my favorite out of the three TUO knives I received.
The Kiritsuke knife is much like the Nakiri in it’s versatility. It’s another fantastic vegetable knife that is popular in most Western kitchens. The Kiritsuke and Nakiri are among some of the most used designs of knives in both home kitchens and professional kitchens.
This 8.5″ Kiritsuke knife is beautifully designed. Though it’s the lengthier knife out of the three, it’s still lightweight, balanced and fits nicely in the hand.
I use this one mainly for slicing vegetables in longer strips for salads or stir-fry’s using a chop and pull motion. Earlier this week I made sweet potato fries and roasted cabbage steaks. The Kiritsuke knife’s durability easily sliced right through large sweet potatoes and the length was perfect for cutting through the head of cabbage giving you all the control you need for perfect cabbage steaks.
How to Properly Care for Your New Kitchen Knives
A good knife should last a lifetime if you take good care of it.
To clean these knives, simply use water, a tiny bit of soap and a sponge. Do not put them in the dishwasher. Hand wash after use and then immediately hand dry them. Because they are made of carbon steel, air drying could cause them to rust over time.
To cut with these knives, avoid cutting on counter tops. This could damage your counter top and cause your knife to dull faster. Instead, use wooden cutting boards or plastic!To sharpen these knives, if you cook regularly you should only need to sharpen them about twice a year. What you need instead is a steel honing rod. You might have seen one of these before or even owned one yourself and thought it was your knife sharpener, but it’s actually a honing steel. A honing steel realigns the blade through the back and forth sweeping motion which makes it seem like it’s been sharpened, but it’s actually been corrected to it’s original position.
To store your knives there are a few options. TUO has a knife bag which is practical to store your knives but not necessarily easily accessible when you cook every day. However, it is a great way to get your knives off of the counter. Other great options are knife guards if you like to keep them in a drawer, a magnetic knife holder for the wall, a magnetic knife stand or a universal knife block.
Are You Ready for Your Own Professional Chef’s Knife?
Or do you already own a few from different brands? If so, let me know in the comments! If you have any questions about these items please leave your comments below. I would love to hear from you!
I hope you enjoy learning about the products we recommend! These products were independently selected by Haley’s Kitchen. Just so you know, as an Amazon affiliate, Haley’s Kitchen earns from qualifying purchases. Oh, and items are in stock as of time of publication unless noted otherwise!
Remember to be brave in trying new things and always cook with a dash of love!
Until next time,
Haley | Creator of Haley’s Kitchen