Cangshan S1 vs N1: Which Collection Is Worth Your Money?

By Ryan Leavitt •  Updated: 01/11/21 •  5 min read

Since the brand’s inception in 2015, Cangshan has been making waves in the culinary world.

They have a whole lot of different lines and collections to choose from, which is one of the reasons the brand is so popular.

And the two lines that people find themselves choosing between are usually the S1 and the N1.

The N1 is the better option for most chefs, with its professional design and great functionality.

However, each of these collections boasts its own set of unique pros & cons that make it ideal for any chef.

In this Cangshan S1 vs N1 comparison, we dive deep into the features and benefits of each of these collections.

If you’ve been trying to find out which option is better for you, you’ve come to the right place.

Read on to learn more.

 Cangshan S1Cangshan N1
Main featuresCurved bolster & minimalist designProfessional design and superior performance
Do pro chefs use it?YesYes
Knife steelX50CrMoV15 German SteelX50CrMoV15 German Steel
Sharpness16-degrees per side16-degrees per side

The Cangshan S1 – A Brief Overview

The S1 series of Cangshan is one of the cheaper options of the brand.

But while these blades are more budget-friendly, that doesn’t mean that they are low-quality knives.

Ergonomics and functionality are a top priority with these blades, which is very evident in the unique design of the handle.

The blades themselves are made out of forged German stainless steel, so they will come out of the box very sharp and with great edge retention.

All in all, this is a great pick for anyone on a budget.

The Cangshan N1 – A Brief Overview

While the S1 is on the cheaper side of things, the N1 is one of Cangshan’s most expensive options.

With that, you can expect impeccable quality and great knives from this series.

The blades are made out of forged German Stainless Steel and have great edge retention.

On top of that, they come out of the box razor sharp and ready for use.

The N1 series features an all-stainless steel design that has a very classy and professional look.

The handles are hollowed out, which makes it much easier to use the knives, and also gives the blades a very unique look.

This series was one of the Cangshan lines that won the Red Dot Design Award, and one quick look will instantly show you why.

The S1 Series Versus The N1 Series


The first feature we’ll be comparing is the sharpness of these two lines.

Both of these series have very sharp blades right out of the box, which is simply proof of the brand’s consistency.

That being said, the N1 has a slight edge against the S1, but that’s to be expected with the price differences.

But since they are both forged and sharpened in the Asian style, they need to be sharpened and honed much less than their Western counterparts.

Both of these knives come out of the box a bit sharper than the average kitchen blade, which is a great plus for any shopper.

Any chef will find that either of these collections would suit them well in the kitchen.

Materials Used

The materials used in making these two collections differ greatly.

The S1 features a German Stainless Steel blade, just like the N1, but the similarities tend to end there.

The handle of the S1 is made out of a very comfortable material that feels very natural in the hand, and it also gives it a very nice look.

The N1, on the other hand, utilizes an all-steel design that looks incredibly classy and professional.

Aside from that, it also gives the tools a bit more durability and makes them incredibly comfortable to use.

The identical steels used in forging the blades have a Rockwell hardness rating of 58 +/ -2, which is fairly high and will ensure that the edge will last a longer time than other brands out there.


This is where the two collections differ the most.

As mentioned earlier, the S1 is made with ergonomics in mind, which is why there are a slightly curved bolster and a minimalist look.

The light-colored handle gives a fresh take on the classic kitchen knife design, which is why this is a favorite of people who pay close attention to aesthetics.

The N1 has a slightly more professional look, but it’s still pretty unique.

The all-steel design of the N1 is something that isn’t too common in the market, which is why it really stands out amongst the rest.

Both of these collections are hand polished and sharpened by bladesmiths, which is part of the reason they have such a clean and classy look.

The Bottom Line – Which Is The Right Model For You?

If you’re a home cook, or a young chef starting out their career and you’re looking for a high-quality set on a budget, we recommend you go for the S1 Series.

While they are on the cheaper side, there is no evident dip in quality and you’ll still be getting a great set of forged stainless steel knives that will cut through any ingredient with ease.

However, if you’re willing to make the investment and you need a set of the highest quality, then it’s no question.

The N1 is the series for you.

It’s fairly expensive, but all the blades are incredibly sharp, the knives have a unique design, and they are also very easy to use.

But regardless of which set you choose, the most important thing to remember is that the best knife set for you is the one that can meet all your needs, and comes at a fair price for you.

Ryan Leavitt

Hi my name is Ryan Leavitt a Marine Corps Veteran and currently an over the road trucker (Long Haul). I am no expert chef but am enjoying preparing my own meals on the road and testing all the different knives.