The brand stamped on the knives is Yarenh but the manufacturer is Xinzuo. You can read more about this on this article ” Buying Japanese Knives on AliExpress from China” and ”Buying a Japanese VG10 Damascus Chef’s Knife from China”. If you don’t know about the hardness of knives or don’t know where to start then I recommend this article ”What you need to know about kitchen knives”, let’s start with the review.
My Japanese Knife set from XinZuo
I own 2 Japanese knives, a Yanagiba and a Santoku from Shun. I saw that Chinese manufacturers are making Japanese style knives so I got curious. My plan was to buy one Damascus Nakiri and a Chef’s knife. Because the complete knife set (5pcs) was offered for $180, I simply 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 manufacturers brand Xinzuo I went for the reseller.
Xinzuo 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 cost 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.
Xinzuo Knife Set Final Conclusion
I can’t say if the edge sharpness will last as long as Japanese VG10 steel. But for the quality and price of what I can see is pretty good. For what I paid, it is worth it. As for the price, I would buy them again for
$50 $40 for a Chef’s, Nakiri or Santoku knife. If the quality is comparable to a VG10 then I would be happy to pay a maximum of $80 and not more for a Japanese Knife made in China. 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 at 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 which never happened with my Yanagiba shun classic series that I have been using for more than 3 years in a professional kitchen which is actually made from the real VG10/VG-Max steel from Japan.
Therefore I’m adjusting the price rating to a max of $40, I would not buy any 8-inch Chef’s, 7-inch Nakiri, 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 then 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 knives handles. The Shun wooden handle feels better since they have shaped it to fit the right hand’s palm. However, I do like the wooden handle of the Chinese knives a lot more than a Global handle. Therefore I recommend the Xinzuo knife at the
$50 $40 price point. If the sharpness and the rust resistance is the same as Japanese VG10 steel then I recommend the knives at the maximum price of $80.
Japanese knives made in Japan is overpriced!
Japanese knives in Europe or America is overpriced since a lot of the cost like import and marketing has 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 for the same knives offered in Europe and America. Also, the Shun Classic series is sold to home cooks and are 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. Also, they were sold in all Don Quijote (Donki) stores and believe me that is not a store where they specialize in knives.