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.
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