I have been testing Chinese made knives for a while, and this knife from Yarenh was the first knife I ever tried. Yarenh is a reseller from Xinzuo. They are reselling the same knife but then under their own name. Both Yarenh and Xinzuo were a select few sellers who were actually not lying about the core material they used. Both Yarenh and Xinzuo use the Chinese VG10, also called the 10Cr15CoMov. You can read the previous review about Xinzuo/Yarenh here.
Xinzuo or Yarenh?
I have tested both knife brands, and Xinzuo is a select few that I’m consistently happy with. The quility control is one of the best; Yarenh uses other manufacturers too, so I don’t know how other versions from Yarenh performs. In this case, I would prefer Xinzuo since not only are they very accurate in their product description the quility control is also consistent. Xinzuo is one of the select few where the Chinese VG10, 10Cr15Comov is coming extremely close if not the same to all the other Japanese VG10 and Japanese AUS10 made in China.
10Cr15comov or VG10 or AUS10?
As for 10Cr15comov, I can only say that the quility fluctuates from the Rockwell hardness. Xinzuo is the only brand that is delivering a consistent 10Cr15comov steel with a Rockwell around 60. As for the Japanese VG10 made in China, the Rockwell also differs, and I even think that many resellers even lie about the VG10. But brands like Grandsharp and Findking is delivering decent VG10 with a Rockwell around 59/60. Keep in mind that there are a few bad resellers that lie about the used core material. The same applies to the Japanese AUS10 made in China. A few resellers sell the 10cr15comov or even other material and name it ”Japanese AUS10”. As for the brands that I have tested, the AUS10 Rockwell is around 60. I have tested many knives with different core materials. You can see all the reviews on my YouTube Channel ”ChefPanko”.
Xinzuo Nakiri (Yarenh)
The Xinzuo Nakiri knife is considered a cleaver styled knife that is ideal for cutting through vegetables. It is not only limited to vegetables. You can basically do everything with it from meat, fish, etc. The Nakiri is ideal for forwarding chopping motion instead of rocking. The benefit of the Nakiri is that you can use the wider width to transfer food, and it is an ideal knuckle guide. The downside is that it is missing a point, and some knife techniques won’t be as good with the Nakiri. Like slicing towards you, since the width is the same from heel to the front, there will be more drag. Because there is no point on the Nakiri, you won’t be able to pierce through food. The point is useful for scoring. Scoring is still possible on the Nakiri, but on certain food, it will stick the food in your blade, which will make scoring a bit harder. Also, because the consistent width not ideal for fish filleting task.
Xinzuo Nakiri Balance point
When it comes to the Nakiri, a cleaver-style knife, I prefer my Nakiri’s to be front heavy since this will help a lot with the forward chopping motion. A Nakiri that is neither front nor back heavy is acceptable but only if they have a slight fish belly curve. A back heavy Nakiri is just strange, and I would not want one that is back heavy. You can determine the balance point by knowing the gripping style. The Nakiri from Xinzuo is slightly front-heavy if you use the pinch grip at the cap. The pinch grip at the cap is also the most comfortable.
Xinzuo (Yarenh) Pakkawood handle
This version uses an oval-shaped Pakkawood handle. Since handle choices differ from the versions, I can only tell you my experience with the Oval shaped handle. They are not bad; it is just oke, definitely good for home use. I personally prefer octagonal/D-shape handles or western-styled ones. Pakkawood is wood with impregnated resins so it can resist water better than normal wood. It does require a few drops of oil once in a while, but that is basically all you need to do to maintain the Pakkawood.
Since the aesthetic is a personal opinion, I will only tell you that the Damascus layers are real. They are layered steel on to each other, which they name ”Damascus layers”. Real Damascus steel is never used on a knife from this price range. The layers are the same as displayed on the product page pictures. In this case, you get what you see.
Build quility of the Xinzuo/Yarenh Nakiri
The build quility is good from Xinzuo/Yarenh, there are no protrusions on the handle, and the knife is nicely polished, so no sharp edges at the blade. As for the brand Xinzuo, I’m consistently happy with what they deliver. All knives I got from them were good, no complaints at all. As for Yarenh, I only tried the version that Xinzuo also sells, so I have no idea about the other designs and series.
Final thoughts about Xinzuo Nakiri
You may notice that the Yarenh knife is a rebranded knife from Xinzuo. Since I have bought more from Xinzuo than Yarenh, I will only tell you the experience I have with Xinzuo. The knife is of good quility, and I have no complaints about the 10Cr15Comov core material. Xinzuo is also a brand that is specifying the correct core material that they use in their knives. The Nakiri has enough knuckle clearance. The balance point is also where I prefer. The knife profile performs like a Nakiri, so they did a good job in this version. Please contact the seller about the balance point on other series with a different handle.
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