Cangshan OLIV Series Knife Block Set: A User Experience Review

Considering Investing in a High-End Knife Set?

The Cangshan OLIV Series 15-Piece Knife Block Set is a premium collection designed for serious home cooks and those seeking a culinary upgrade. But with a price tag of nearly $800, is it worth the investment? This review dives deep into user experiences to help you decide.

Sharpness and Performance

Across reviews, the most consistent praise goes to the exceptional sharpness of these knives. Users report effortlessly gliding through ingredients and a significant reduction in prep time. The Swedish 14C28N steel is lauded for its ability to hold an edge for extended periods, minimizing sharpening needs.

Aesthetics and Design

The Cangshan OLIV series boasts a beautiful combination of modern and traditional aesthetics. The olivewood handles are praised for their unique grain patterns and comfortable grip, although some users note a lighter weight than anticipated. The included maple block adds a touch of elegance to any kitchen counter.

Durability and Care

The Cangshan knives are built with longevity in mind. The high-quality steel and lifetime warranty inspires confidence. However, it’s important to remember these are not your average dishwasher-safe knives. Handwashing and proper care are essential to maintain their beauty and performance.

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Points to Consider

  • Price: This is a significant investment. Consider your cooking habits and budget before committing.
  • Handle Weight: Some users prefer a heavier knife. If you fall into this category, the Cangshan OLIV series might feel lighter than desired.
  • Handle Care: Olivewood requires occasional maintenance with oil to prevent drying.


  • Exceptional Sharpness: Users consistently rave about the knife’s ability to effortlessly glide through ingredients. The Swedish 14C28N steel holds an edge for extended periods, minimizing sharpening needs. Reviewers report a significant reduction in prep time and the ability to perform tasks like paper-thin slicing with ease.
  • Superior Edge Retention: The Cangshan OLIV knives are built with Cangshan’s proprietary ULTRA6 heat treatment, resulting in a Rockwell Hardness of 59 +/-2. This translates to a blade that resists dulling and maintains its sharp edge longer than many competitor knives.
  • Beautiful Design: The Cangshan OLIV series boasts a unique blend of modern and traditional aesthetics. The solid olivewood handles are praised for their stunning grain patterns, adding a touch of warmth and character to the set. While some users note a lighter weight than anticipated, others find the balance comfortable and ergonomic.
  • Lifetime Warranty: Cangshan offers a lifetime warranty against defects in materials and craftsmanship, giving you peace of mind knowing your investment is protected.
  • Complete Knife Set: This 15-piece set offers a comprehensive range of knives for most kitchen tasks, including:
    • 8″ Chef’s Knife – The workhorse of the kitchen, ideal for chopping, slicing, and dicing.
    • 8″ Bread Knife – Serrated blade designed for tackling tough-skinned breads and pastries.
    • 7″ Santoku Knife – Similar to a chef’s knife, but with a slightly curved blade and a hollow grind, making it excellent for chopping vegetables.
    • 6″ Boning Knife – Flexible blade perfect for deboning meat and poultry.
    • 5″ Serrated Utility Knife – Ideal for slicing tomatoes, sandwiches, and other delicate foods.
    • 6 x 5″ Fine-Edge Steak Knives – Perfect for serving a perfectly cut steak dinner.
    • 3.5″ Paring Knife – Great for peeling, coring, and intricate tasks.
    • 9″ Forged Come-Apart Shears – Versatile for a variety of kitchen uses.
    • 9″ Honing Steel – Maintains the edge of your knives for optimal performance.
  • Maple Knife Block: The included maple block provides a stylish and secure storage solution for your knives, keeping them organized and readily accessible on your countertop.


  • High Price Point: This is a significant investment, and some users may find the price tag difficult to justify. Consider your cooking frequency and budget before committing.
  • Handle Weight and Care: While some users appreciate the balance of the olivewood handles, others find them lighter than desired. Additionally, olivewood requires occasional maintenance with food-grade oil to prevent drying and cracking.
  • Not Dishwasher Safe: These knives require handwashing and proper care to maintain their beauty and performance. This can be inconvenient for some cooks who prefer the ease of dishwashing.
  • Potential for Staining: While the Swedish 14C28N steel resists stains better than German steel, some users report minor discoloration after use. Proper cleaning and storage can help minimize this.
  • Learning Curve for Sharpening: While the knives hold an edge well, eventually sharpening will be necessary. High-quality knives require specific sharpening techniques to maintain their integrity. If you’re unfamiliar with proper sharpening methods, you may need to invest in a sharpening tool or outsource the task to a professional.

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User Comments

  • Positive: “Extremely sharp…like cutting through butter” – Michael
  • Positive: “Beautiful set…makes my kitchen look classy & fab” – Christen
  • Neutral: “Like, but didn’t love how they felt…a little lightweight for me” – brownsugars
  • Negative: “Faded after getting washed…shouldn’t happen at this price point” – Halfway Hippie

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The Verdict

The Cangshan OLIV Series 15-Piece Knife Block Set offers exceptional sharpness, beautiful design, and heirloom quality. However, the price tag is a significant hurdle. If you’re a passionate home cook who appreciates top-tier performance and aesthetics, and you’re willing to invest in proper care, this set could be a worthwhile splurge. But if budget is a major concern, or you prefer a heavier knife, there might be better options available.

Ultimately, the decision comes down to your individual needs and priorities. Consider your cooking habits, budget, and preferred knife feel before making your choice.

About the author

Introducing Gias, an Engineer and Kitchen Knife connoisseur with a specialization in Japanese Knives. With over five years of dedicated testing, reviewing, and research experience, Gias brings a wealth of knowledge to the world of kitchen knives. Passionate and deeply committed, Gias has created this site as personal documentation of their unwavering love for kitchen knives.