After testing many Chinese knives, I found a manufacturer that sells real imported VG10 steel from Japan. Most resellers and manufacturers on AliExpress are using the Chinese version of what they call 10Cr15CoMoV. GHL is one of the select few that actually sells knives with real imported VG10 steel from Japan. But is it just as good as a VG10 knife that is made in Japan? That is what you will find out in this article.
After talking to multiple OEM’s and pretty much every single one of them told me that imported Japanese VG10 is not possible (anymore), but 10Cr15CoMoV is a Chinese equivalent to the Japanese VG10.
Some OEM’s told me that VG10 export is banned, so pretty much exclusive to Japan and the knife makers in Japan. (Imported Japanese AUS10 is possible for import, but not the Japanese VG10)
Like you all know, when you guys asked in the comment sections if it was the real Japanese VG10, I always said that I have my doubts or the heat treatment was not on par with Japanese-made VG10.
This pretty much confirms why and why I have pushed AUS10 over VG10 a lot more when it comes to knives made in China. 10Cr15CoMoV would not be bad steel if heat-treated correctly. It will indeed sit between VG10 and AUS10 if the heat treatment is good.
It may be possible to import VG10 again in the future since the Export ban will eventually hurt the steel manufacturer in the long run as competitors order from their competitor (AUS10, German Steel, Swedish Steel etc.).
The Japnese VG10 Export ban has been lifted.
GHL Gyuto with imported Japanese VG10 steel made in China.
GHL is a manufacturer that does not offer its knives on Amazon yet. They sell knives with German steel, AUS-10, VG10, and more steel types. You will immediately notice that the manufacturer is honest, and the HRC of this VG10 steel range from 58HRC to 60HRC. They can also provide you the import documents and testing reports.
Is the GHL Gyuto VG10 better than a VG10 knife made in Japan?
There is no way to measure it exactly. I did test them side by side. Like the Japanese brands that sell VG10, their core material has a difference in sharpness, durability, and edge retention. For example, the Ryusen Hamano VG10 is sharper and holds the edge longer than the Shun VG-Max (Rebranded VG10 exclusively for shun no real difference than just a rebranding). If I tested them side-by-side, I could not spot any noticeable differences between the Shun and the GHL VG10 knife. There is no way to measure the HRC of the knife that I got, but it felt the same as the AUS-10 with a 60HRC.
Should I buy an imported VG10 made in China?
Just like the imported AUS-10 and the VG10 steel, the Chinese can manufacture a knife from equal quality compared to Japan. The only complain the quality control. They can never tell you the exact HRC, but that is something Japanese manufacturers can guarantee can. The Japanese manufacturer only specifies one HRC, and they don’t fluctuate. Chinese manufacturers always specify with 60HRC (+/-2). So it can either be 58 to 62 HRC. But that is something they can make up for the huge price difference. So in my honest opinion, you can’t go wrong with imported steel from Germany and Japan.
Made in China VS Japan and Germany
We are at a point where it does not matter where the knife is made. The differences are so small that it is not even worth mentioning where the knives were manufactured. China was making knives a long time ago, but suddenly they are not a good knife manufacturer? Their own Chinese Steel-types aren’t that bad either. The problem is that there are many resellers falsely advertising a cheap knife as the next big thing. They were selling Chinese steel types as a Japanese VG10. This gave the Japanese VG10 a bad reputation since the consumer was scammed and was sold a different steel type. That is why I started reviewing Chinese knives. You can see the reviews on my YouTube Channel, ChefPanko.
The aesthetics of the GHL Gyuto
After testing more than 20 Chinese knives, I could see a lot of different Damascus patterns. The Damascus pattern looks good, but there is definitely a nicer and better looking Damascus pattern. I would be happy to have a brushed finish without Damascus patterns. I like the aesthetics of the knife, and the added mosaic rivet is definitely a plus. Below are the pictures, and decides for yourself if you like the patterns or not.
This knife also has a G10 handle. I like and love the G10 handle. You don’t have to maintain the knife at all. Not only is there no maintenance needed, but it is also hygienic since this fiberglass material won’t absorb any liquids like raw meat juices. I like the adoption of the G10 handle in kitchen knives. You can mostly see G10 handles in pocket knives, but this is definitely a plus to have in the kitchen knife sector.
What I can say for sure is that the edge retention is definitely better than a Zwilling, Wusthof, and Global. The quality control could be improved, but for the price of just $55 for a 10.5-inch Gyuto, you can’t really complain. Your money is well spent if you did not buy this knife from a scammer/ reseller that sells it on their own website for a significantly increased price.
The Store I got this knife from is from GHL on AliExpress
▶ If you want to know what knife you should buy you can read the following article ''Choosing your knife''. ▶ On my youtube channel, I have reviewed a lot of different knives. You can watch the playlist by clicking here. ▶ Click here, if you want to search for other kitchen knives on: Amazon. ▶ Click here, if you want to search for other Chinese knives on AliExpress. ▶ Check out my gear on Kit: https://kit.co/ChefPanko ▶ Check out my recommendation on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/shop/chefpanko Full Disclosure: If you purchase from these links I get a small commission that goes towards supporting the channel and website. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases ▶ If you have any questions about Japanese knives made in China or about some of the brands feel free to ask it in the comment section below. Thank you for your support and feedback. ▶ Want to work with me? Please use the contact form by clicking here.