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$8 Cheap Kitchen Knife vs. Expensive kitchen knife $250 – Kiwi Brand

While the 8 dollar Kiwi knife shares some similarities with the 250 dollar knife, the differences are directly noticeable. We will be looking at why the cooks love the 8 dollars and the 250 dollar knife.

Cheap Kitchen Knife vs. Expensive Knife
Cheap Kitchen Knife vs. Expensive Knife

Fit, Finish, and Quality

There is no doubt that a far more expensive knife will be better with the fit, finish, and Quality of materials. The Kiwi knife is and feels cheap and is made from inferior materials. You get what you paid for, but why do some cooks love the kiwi knife so much? 

$250 Shibata Kotetsu Bunka
$250 Shibata Kotetsu Bunka

Edge retention & Rockwell hardness

The most significant difference is the edge retention, and the kiwi knives have very soft stainless steel. They are very soft, which means that you most likely need to hone the knife after a few minutes of slicing. Compared to the 250 dollar Japanese knife with a Rockwell of 63, which can easily hold the edge for a few months.

Yu Kurosaki Shizuku, Kiwi Brand, Shibata Kotetsu
Yu Kurosaki Shizuku, Kiwi Brand, Shibata Kotetsu

Knife sharpness

The 250 dollar knife can get a lot sharper, but the most important thing is that it can hold the sharpness for a significantly longer time. As for the 8 dollar knife, you don’t want to spend the extra time to make the knife as sharp ass possible since the benefits of the sharpness are pretty much gone after a few minutes of use. 

SG2/R2, harder material, can hold a very sharp edge for a longer period
SG2/R2, harder material, can hold a very sharp edge for a longer period

Maintenance

With that being said, the cheaper 8 dollar kiwi knife is so soft that you don’t even need a whetstone to get the sharpness back. All you need is a honing rod, and you can maintain the knife with just a honing rod. As for the 250 dollar knife, you eventually need to use a whetstone to maintain or recreate the knife edge.  

KIWI Brand worry free knife, you can forse an new edge with a coarse honing rod
KIWI Brand worry free knife, you can forse an new edge with a coarse honing rod

Durability

With the 8 dollar knife, you don’t have to worry about chipping the blade. It will simply bend. As with the 250 dollar knife, you need to be a lot more careful since the edge retention and sharpness come with a risk of chipping due to improper use. 

$250 high Rockwell knife can chip due to improper use
$250 high Rockwell knife can chip due to improper use

Longer edge retention

There are multiple knives with multiple price ranges. You, as a consumer, have a choice in deciding what blade will suit you the best. There are thousands of knives with different edge retention, styles, and for various purposes. You have to ask yourself if the longer edge retention is worth it for you or not. With the obsession with Japanese knives, people tend to go for a higher Rockwell hardness, which gives you longer edge retention.

Yu Kurosaki Gyuto

But with everything good comes a downside, and that is the edge durability. The higher you go, the more brittle the edge becomes.  

Dengjia Western Style Chef’s knife

Knowing what works the best for you is more important than buying a popular knife that gets recommended.

Hezhen Nakiri

Final Conclusion

I understand why so many people love the 8 dollar Kiwi knife. It shares many similarities with the 250 dollar knives because it is thin, light, pretty much maintenance-free, and worry-free for an affordable price despite the underwhelming edge retention. The 250 dollar knife has a steep price point for several reasons. A knife artisan makes it with a limited workforce and supply. In return, you get a unique blade that is made with quality materials. Lucky for us, we can choose a knife based on our preference and price point from various brands. Is the 8 or 250 dollars knife worth it or not? That is something only you can decide. 

Kiwi Brand

What is the best knife?

There is no such thing as the best knife, a knife that works for a sushi chef will not work for your local butcher. The same applies to home cooks. The best knife, in your opinion, may not be the best for others. Therefore it is essential to know what you plan to cook and what your preferred cutting style is. The goal is to find a suitable blade material and knife style to assist you in your daily cooking task as much as possible. To do that, you have to search what knife style suits you the best and what blade can withstand the job you put the knife on. A super sharp and extremely thin Japanese knife with a high Rockwell hardness will work excellent for delicate tasks. But highly inadvisable to chop a chicken bone in half. 

Makoto Kurosaki Gyuto

Knife style

Which knife style will be the best fit for your task? There are plenty of knife styles and choices. Each of them serves a specific cuisine and cutting style better than the other. 

KIWI Brand Bunka Style and Nakiri

Questions

If you have any questions or need help choosing a knife style, leave them in the comment section below, and I will try to help you as much as I can. 

Dengjia Chinese Dual Purpose Cleaver/Slicer

Kives used in the video and article:

🛒S H O P:

$8 Kiwi Brand Kitchen knife:
NA: Kiwi Brand Amazon Store​
EU: Kiwi Brand Amazon Store

Hezhen Nakiri
Dengjia BJ-5312 Western Style Chef knife
Dengjia Dual-Purpose Chinese CLeaver JB-752

Dengjia Official AliExpress Store
NA: Dengjia Official Amazon Store

Japanese made knives
(Japanese artisan knives, recommended to order one from your local Japanese knife import store because of the return policy and warranty).

Shibata Takayuki Bunka Review
Makoto Kurosaki Gyuto Blacksmith finish Review
Yu Kurosaki Shizuku Gyuto Review

N O T E S:

The knife used in the video and article is for reference only. There was no particular reason for showing them in the video. At the same time, there are knives that I personally like, but there were also knives that I still need to test and review.

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ChefPanko

Hi, I'm ChefPanko, I have worked for multiple restaurants and have decided to share my experience with you guys. I will share recipes and techniques that I have learned, taken, and improved from the French, Japanese restaurants that I have worked for. I will also explore other cuisines with you guys.

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3 Comments

  1. Thanks for this comparison!

    Do you have any idea what the rockwell hardness of the Kiwi knives is? I could not find any valid information on the internet, but in other videos you estimated the HRC of knives by your experience. Any guess?

    1. They are extremely soft. I believe it is 51 or lower. Since the edge, while for most cooks not noticeable due to the thinness of the knife.
      I felt the edge degrading after less than 5 min which makes me believe that the Rockwell hardness is around 50 and definitely not above 51.
      Despite the softness, the knife was very fun to use which was the biggest surprise here. And I heard that the knife cost around $1 US in Thailand.

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