Zelite vs Dalstrong: Which Newcomer is the Better Buy?
By Bobby B. | Updated May 28, 2020 | Kitchen Knife Comparisons
Probably the most glaring detail you’ll notice when comparing and contrasting Zelite vs Dalstrong is that both are relatively young companies. In fact, when comparing them to other kitchen knife brands, they’re mere babies in the space. Some of the others have been family-owned and making knives for hundreds of years!
The other major difference between these two and the bulk of other brand-name knife makers is that both Zelite and Dalstrong are made in China. That term, “made in China”, often gives products a negative connotation. Die-hard kitchen knife connoisseurs often mention this first when discussing these brands. But, something to consider if you’re still learning about knives, both of these companies still use both German and Japanese steels and higher-end processes and materials in their products. They aren’t using cheap Chinese steels like many of the no-name brands you might see selling online. This is the key to their success!
Zelite vs Dalstrong: Brand Comparison
As mentioned above, both Zelite and Dalstrong make kitchen knives with high-quality materials. They don’t skimp on the manufacturing process either. Their knives are full tang, fully forged, and often decorative with Damascus steel, grantons, and other designs in the blades. Despite this, both knife makers produce products that are offered at a relatively low price compared to other brands. We believe they can do this for two reasons.
The first reason is because they are made in China and therefore, their labor rates are much lower. Second, their knives are mass produced using the latest in factory automation to increase production rates. Many of the older, more popular knife brands still hand-make many of their knives, or at least hand produce parts of the knife.
Another thing we at BladeAdvisor have noticed with these two brands is their marketing. For example, both do a fantastic job of marketing their knives, producing high quality images, great videos, and advertising. Similarly, both also tend to sell the bulk of their knives directly on Amazon, and that’s where we recommend you find them for the best price and selection. So, these links will take you to their most popular knives respectively:
Zelite vs Dalstrong: The Knives
Now that we know a bit about the brands and companies behind the knives, it’s time to discuss the real meat and potatoes…the knives themselves. Below we cover their similarities, their differences, and if consumers even like them, or if they regret buying knives from Zelite or Dalstrong.
The knives made by Zelite and Dalstrong are more similar than they are different really. Both manufacture knives made out of quality materials and do it through several model families. Zelite makes knives that range from a value series called “Comfort Pro” to a German, mid-range series, “Alpha-Royal German” to their professional series called “Alpha-Royal Japanese”. You can find lots more information on these and more by reading our full Zelite Infinity review.
Of course, Dalstrong too has several different families of knives that range from the economical to professional-grade. They make something for almost every household, or any chef really, in their wide range of available kitchen knives. Similarly to above, you can dig much deeper into their offering by checking out our Dalstrong review.
Probably the most glaring difference between these two brands is how they market their knives. While both do a great job pushing their product and getting it in front of the consumer via Amazon, Dalstrong does a fantastic job of providing chefs of all types with amazing “knife sets”, whereas Zelite appears to focus almost exclusively on individual knife sales.
We see enthusiasts that fall on both sides of this “set” debate all the time. The argument for having a set is likely obvious. You get all the knives needed in your kitchen (maybe more), and they all match and all fit neatly in a knife block that we designed to match the knives themselves. Knife sets come in all shapes, sizes, and number and quality of knives, so there’s really something for everyone.
But, of course, there’s a counter-point to this argument, and there are some chefs that feel very strongly about it too. That point is that if you buy a set, you’re getting whatever knife the manufacturer decides to include with the set, which is just whatever matches the rest.
The die hard enthusiasts would argue one of two things…
1. That “brand A” makes the best of one knife, say a bread knife, and “brand B” makes the best of another, say a Santoku knife. They believe you should buy the top knife in each category to make up your own, home-made set.
2. That you should spend the big bucks on getting the very best of whichever knife you use the most of. And, you should spend less on those knives that you rarely use, or maybe don’t even need.
While I can understand both sides of this argument, here’s where I fall. If a manufacturer offers cool knife sets, you have both options. You can either buy one of those sets OR buy knives individually. Everyone wins. For this reason, I like the way Dalstrong handles this topic in particular.
Ultimately, this really is a tough comparison. Both knife makers do a great job of marketing cool knives with quality materials to the average consumer. The knives produced by these brands would likely be priced twice as high if made by one of the larger, more well known brands that have been around for over 100 years. You know who you are Henckels, Shun, and Wusthof.
That being said, Dalstrong seems to have a slightly larger range of knives from top to bottom. As I mentioned above, they also offer the knife sets, and actually have some really cool ones too that you should totally check out.
Don’t swear off Zelite though. They’re right there as well, and both brands deserve a shot at your business. They are a great way to get knives made of high quality materials without spending $200+ per knife. Not all of us can afford that. Even if we could, not all of us care so much about knives. However, there’s nothing wrong with it if you do either.