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Remember "Zhen" brand knives?

For us who are into Japanese kitchen knives, we know VG-10 steel well. It is probably the best known high quality Japanese steel, which Shun (KAI) brand uses for most of its lines.

A few of us were looking for good quality VG-10 steel knives on the internet, and we have discovered many. Of particular, the Rader Kitchen Knives caught my eyes a few times, and discussed a few times here with curious but lukewarm attitude. It is an Ebay store which sells many VG-10 knives made in Taiwan at moderately inexpensive prices. (It also sells other steels like 440C...etc)

http://stores.ebay.com/raderkitchenknife

I just noticed that its knives (VG-10 as well as other steels) are being sold on Amazon now, so I guess it is trying to expand its market.

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=bl_sr_hom...

Here is a 8" VG-10 for $52 (free shipping):

http://www.amazon.com/Zhen-Japanese-K...

I am not really recommending these knives, since I don't know much. I just thought this information may be useful for others, and a good ride in the memory lane for a few of us.

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  1. Thanks for pointing these out. I think I've seen the Zhen Chinese cleaver before, but otherwise they've escaped my notice so far. The 12 inch gyuto is calling to me. If it's even halfway well made, that's a damn good price for a big knife in VG10.

    7 Replies
    1. re: cowboyardee

      I may just get one for the hack of it. I mean a $50 VG-10 knife is a very good deal. Certainly better some overpriced knives we have around here. Problem is that I don't have a need for now. If I do get one, I will update here.

      <The 12 inch gyuto is calling to me>

      12 inch? Man, you are have skill.

      < but otherwise they've escaped my notice so far>

      I remember you said that there are many copycat of the unique Global knives. Here are certainly a few:

      http://www.amazon.com/Zhen-Japanese-H...

      440C HRC 56-58. Soft for Japanese knife standard, but pretty normal by German knife standard.

      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

        "<The 12 inch gyuto is calling to me>

        12 inch? Man, you are have skill."

        When I have wrist and grip issues, I grab my 300mm Gyuto. It may be counter intuitive but, it is actually easier to cut most things with the longer Gyuto, especially if you leave the tip on the cutting board and lift the heel to slice vegetables and similar things for a soup or stew.

        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

          "440C HRC 56-58. Soft for Japanese knife standard, but pretty normal by German knife standard."

          A lot of knife knutts get hung up a steel snobbery but, the old "classics" have their place. For $15, a 440C Santoku with a POM handle will beat the heck out of the normal stamped stuff you see at the "big box" stores.

          http://www.amazon.com/Zhen-Japanese-S...

          If you must top off the final edge prep with your average ~$6 pull through sharpener, it's still a great option for most people.

          1. re: Sid Post

            <a 440C Santoku with a POM handle will beat the heck out of the normal stamped stuff you see at the "big box" stores>

            Agree. Zhen the company sort of brands/markets its knvies after Japanese knives, and I want other readers know that this steel (440C) and its hardness is more inline with classic German knives. I just don't want people think like they bought a "Japanese" steel knife only to find out that it is a more traditional 440C steel.

            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

              Good point. I pay attention to steel types but, I guess a lot people don't. After using good carbon and japanese stainless steels, I'm careful to avoid to the mass stamped blades for most of my knives though, the cheap stamped stuff can have it's place.

              1. re: Sid Post

                I bought one of these for myself and later one for my Mother for Christmas. For $15 it's a whole lot of knife. My Mom was convinced I spent $50 or $60 for it... LOL!

                1. re: Sid Post

                  You just got a Zhen knife or two, did you say? Oh nice. Thanks you for sharing. Did you get to play a little?

      2. "Good knives are one of the best gifts you can give!"

        They're trying to fill our country with bad luck, aren't they?
        ;-)

        1 Reply
        1. re: Eiron

          I saw that just yesterday too. Man, that is some funny line.

        2. Thanks for posting. Looks like another lower cost J knife style option to to along with the KAi (AUS-8 steel) knives.

          http://www.chefsresource.com/kai-4000...

          1. Hi just recently got the newest catalog from "the japanwoodworker", and it has zhen knives in it. Perhaps they will have something that might tickle your fancy.

            joel

            2 Replies