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Yarenh Japanese VG10 Knives From China Review

My Japanese Knife set from Yarenh

I own 10 Japanese knives, a Yanagiba, and a Santoku from Shun. I saw that Chinese manufacturers are making Japanese-style knives, so I got curious. I planned to buy one Damascus Nakiri and a Chef’s knife. Because the complete knife set (5pcs) was offered for $180, I could not let this offer go. I knew I wanted to look for the Chinese VG10 version called ” 10Cr15CoMoV” and a hammered Damascus finish. Since the reseller called Yarenh was cheaper than the manufacturer’s brand Xinzuo, I went for the reseller.

Yarenh out of the box Sharpness

The knives were super sharp out of the box. Unfortunately, the reseller Yarenh cramped the 5 pcs in 2 small gift boxes instead of a separate gift box for each knife. I understand that he did this to reduce shipping costs, but it did damage my meat slicer. This little damage can be easily fixed with 5+ passes on a 1000-grid stone, but this is not what I want to do on a brand-new knife. The sharpness is comparable with a brand new shun knife. Since I already have my shun for 2 years, I can’t compare it fairly.

Yarenh Knife Set Final Conclusion

I can’t say if the edge sharpness will last as long as Japanese VG10 steel. But the quality and price of what I can see are pretty good. For what I paid, it is worth it. As for the price, I would repurchase them for $50 or $40 for a Chef’s, Nakiri, or Santoku knife. If the quality is comparable to a VG10. I will test each knife individually and post a new review for them.

Quick Update: I have been using the Yarenh Knife, which is made by Xinzuo, for more than 2 months in a Professional kitchen. I discovered that these knives are good for domestic use. So if you are going to use it in your own kitchen at home and treat them well by not throwing in the dishwasher, then these knives from AliExpress with the 10Cr15CoMoV steel is good (which pretty much all sellers there advertise with VG10)


Warning: This will probably be unnoticed if used at home but, in a professional kitchen, we use these knives day in and day out for hours. This is what I discovered with Chinese 10Cr15CoMoV steel. They do rust that never happened with my Yanagiba shun classic series that I have been using for more than 3 years in a professional kitchen made from the real VG10/VG-Max steel from Japan.


Therefore I’m adjusting the price rating to a max of $40. I will not buy any 8-inch Chef’s, 7-inch Nakiri, or 7inch Santoku for over $40 if they use a 10Cr15CoMoV steel. Do I still recommend them? If used at home, then they are good for the $30 to $40 price mark. If used in a Professional kitchen, don’t even bother with it!

I will also retest all the knives that I have from AliExpress, China which include imported German steel, Imported VG10 steel, and imported AUS-10 steel with some other Chinese steel types like 4Cr13, 4Cr14MoV, 7Cr17MoV, 9Cr18MoV. I will retest them for a longer period of time now (2+months) in a professional kitchen before posting a review about them. I already have some of the knives for 6 weeks now so you won’t have to wait long.

Should you buy a Japanese knife made in China?

If you are currently deciding to buy one, I recommend buying the mentioned knives at the following price points. It is an instant buy if you find a Nakiri, Santoku, or a Chef’s knife for $36. The hammered Damascus and the looks of the knife are very nice. The handle grip is personal, but for home use, I like the knife’s handles. The Shun wooden handle feels better since it has been shaped to fit the right hand’s palm. However, I do like the Chinese knives’ wooden handle a lot more than a Global handle. Therefore I recommend the Xinzuo knife at the $50 $40 price point.

Japanese knives made in Japan are overpriced!

Japanese knives in Europe or America are overpriced since many of the costs like import and marketing have been calculated in the price. A santoku knife from ”Kai Shun Classic” cost around $200+ in America and Europe. When I was on vacation in Japan, I discovered that most, but almost all, knives that Japan offers were 40%+ cheaper than the same knives offered in Europe and America. Also, the Shun Classic series is sold to home cooks and is marketed for home cooks in Japan. And here in Europe, they are sold as ”Professional kitchen knives”. I was shocked to see a Santoku Shun Classic for $100, 50% cheaper than in America and Europe. They were also sold in all Don Quijote (Donki) stores, and believe me, that is not a store where they specialize in knives.

Xinzuo also has a store page on Amazon.

Yes!
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Xinzuo Chinese VG10 (10Cr15CoMoV)

Edge Retention, Steel-Type: Chinese VG10 (10Cr15CoMoV)
Handle Comfort: Wood
Sharpness
Maintanance
Durability
Rust Resistance
Price

Not suitable for proffesional use

Unfortunately, I have to score this with what they advertise it with. They advertise it with the Japanese VG-10 which most sellers lie about and use the Chinese 10Cr15CoMoV. It is definitely not VG-10 it lacks all the ability that a VG-10 has. Therefore I will say that is is a good buy for around $30 to $35 for an 8-inch chef's knife. Since the knife was rusting during my use in a professional kitchen I won't recommend you to buy this knife if they sell it over $ 40. If you use it at home and treat it well then this knife is definitely a good buy for you.

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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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11 Comments

  1. Thank you for recommendation. I’ve just received Yarenh – Xinzuo Chef’s Knife. As you said it’s very well made and good looking knife. I have a question, how to sharp this knife? Because sharping edge is very “short” in it, so I can’t figure out if it is symmetrical and what is the angle. Currently I’m using the King 1000/6000 stone. Will it be enough to sharp this knife properly?

    1. That will be enough to sharpen the knives, I recommend a 15 to 17-degree angle, but of course, you can keep following the factory angle.

      For the whetstone Grit size guide, you can see it here: https://www.chefpanko.com/maintenance-sharpening/
      For sharpening angle guide: https://www.chefpanko.com/best-sharpening-angle-for-kitchen-knives/

      I plan to complete the guide soon with a video of how I sharpen some of my knives and explaining why I use certain strokes and angles.

  2. Thank you very much for your detailed, and very professional reviews – I watched most of your youtube videos, and truly enjoyed them! One thing I was wondering about:

    Now that you tested many chinese damast knives, how would you compare the Xinzuo, with the Findking and Suneko (Keemake?). I also notice that there are just two Keemake knifes on the Suneko shop, and the Suneko branded knives do not say that they are made out of Japanese steel…

    I am looking to build a new knife set for our home kitchen, and am willed to spend around 200-300 total, so I believe most Chinese damast knives are within that price range, but am unsure which of the positive ones you reviewed you would recommend most (leaving price differences aside). The three knives I mention were those I noticed you liked in your videos, if there is another brand you would recommend even more, would be very happy to hear about it!

    Thank you for your help, and hope you have a happy new year

    1. Hi Andi,

      I find Xinzuo one of the select few brands that offer consistent quility, and the knives I have tested so far from them were as advertised.
      Findking is a good brand, while some knives had some quility control issues, which I think are fixed now.
      With Sunnecko, I have mixed results, the knife Rockwell was lower than the competitors, but on the other hand, Sunnecko knives were good for the lower price than other branded knives.
      Keemake is a sub-brand from Sunnecko, and they were better than Sunnecko, but that is partly due to the Japanese AUS10. The claimed imported VG10 on the Sunnecko knives, back in the days it was possible for them to import Japanese VG10, but they are now banned completely for export.

      Even when they claimed VG10 and after testing the Sunnecko VG10, I find the Japanese knives with VG10 made in Japan better in the heat treatment (which makes me believe Sunnecko is using ”10cr15comov” instead of the claimed Japanese VG10).

      I have updated most posts on 11.11.2020 with the following:

      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 was possible too, 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.

      So currently, it is Xinzuo, Dengjia, Dongsun, Shi Ba Zi.

      Other brands had problems with some knives quility control but told me they had fixed them:
      Findking

      While I like Keemake, Sunnecko is now pushing Keemake on their Sunnecko knives as a rebranding (therefore defeating why I recommended Keemake if they rebrand Sunnecko as Keemake).

      On this page, you can see my latest recommendations, and it will be replaced if I find a better knife:
      https://www.chefpanko.com/types-of-knives/

  3. hello sir

    hope you are doing well in your business
    i am a manufacturer and exporter of handmade knives like hunting knives chef knives skinning knives folding knives karambit knives viking knives and axes or swords
    if you like give us an opportunity to work with you
    you will be glad to work with us
    will be waiting for your positive response
    with best wishes
    M.Burhan

  4. I also purchased a XinZuo set comprised of a yanagiba, nakiri, gyuto, and santoku…this set I put together by asking the ebay seller so you can’t just buy the set listed. In any case, the set of 4 cost me $130 shipped. That’s a mere $32.5 each My set is an IDENTICAL COPY of the Shun Premier…Japanese 35+ layered damascus VG10, hammered surface, black/gray pakkawood grips…I’ve compared these to my friend’s Shun Premiers and they are SPOT ON in every way. I am the main chef in the family so I use these XinZuo’s daily, 3 meals a day making Cantonese, Japanese, Italian, American dishes…before I would only use my Chinese cleaver for everything. These XinZuo’s easily hold up to daily use…I can’t say anything for commercial use but I would use a knife steel on these XinZuo’s once a month…I’ve had these for 3 years and they are still razor sharp. (however, I also have Japanese white #1 and 2 carbon steel knives (Masamoto, Kikuhide, some other brand I can’t recall) that I use ONLY on sashimi & sushi…these perform so much smoother than the XinZuo’s..so there are huge differences between razor sharpness). The XinZuo’s replaced my Henkels 4-Star knives…I was so fed up of the lack of edge retention and difficulty in sharpening…even cheap-a$$ Tri-Star knives performed better than then Henkels.

    1. Xinzuo is definitely a great value knife. For the price, you can’t argue or complain, to be honest.
      The difference between the high carbon Japanese knives comes down to the knife maker, the thinness of the blade, spine distal taper, the finish, handle and balance point, etc.

      But for the price, it is not even fair to compare you definitely get way more than that you pay for those knives. And you got a great bundle deal too! Xinzuo is pretty much my current #1 with the 10cr15comov steel. Other manufacturers are lacking a bit in quility and quility control.

      I have done a few more reviews about Xinzuo one is the 440C on my YouTube Channel.
      I’m happy with the quility but as a Nakiri a bit strange:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PAgGpLy1r_s

      Thank you for sharing your experience.

  5. Dear chief,
    I am hobbyist cook, and I have read all of your articles and watched yours videos where I learned lot about knifes. One week ago I have bought Sunneco classic chief knife 8 inch VG10 damascus V10 handle.
    I am interested in your opinion about that knife.
    Thank you in advance and best regards,
    Zoran Matkovic

    1. Sunnecko core material over the series are basically the same, the Rockwell should be around 59/60.
      The only difference is probably the finish/aesthetics of the blade.

      It all comes down to the handle they also sell the Partial G10 handle was oke but I prefer the full G10 handles.
      I did the review for the Partial G10: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2RM0DFuaunM
      The overall packaging and consistent quility are good from Sunnecko as a brand.
      I still have my doubts about the Imported Japanese VG10 claim but the core material performs great especially for the price point.

      The partial G10 knuckle clearance is acceptable but could have been better, most knives from China with better knuckle clearance is around $15 USD more.

      I’m not sure which version you bought but comparing the specifications from the video I did should explain a lot.
      But I the core material should be pretty much the same as the one in the video.

      I hope that that helps 🙂 feel free to ask more questions.

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