Try finding a reputable knife dealer or big-box retailer that carries or sells any Chinese knife brand found on Amazon (you won’t). One reason, is these brands have no issue misleading your gam gams, the homie that loves bargains, or your significant other looking for a gift for you.
I have numerous articles about this issue because Amazon will not do much against these misleading sellers, and you can not trust them. Unless you are the type to ask a stripper at the Body Shop on Sunset in West Hollywood if she has change for a hundred. Just give her a minute, and she will be right back (*fingers crossed*).
Chinese companies had a hard time selling to the American public till Amazon came along. Now, millions of Americans support China directly over local and reputable American, Canadian, and Japanese knife dealers at the click of a “buy now” button.38-42% of all the top sellers on Amazon are Chinese/China-based.
How to Spot a Fake Japanese Knife Brand
If the “brand” (the Chinese idea of branding is all about deceit) is blatantly using and implying they are Japanese, they will be featured on this list. Keep in mind, these individuals keep making up new names, so it is almost impossible to list them all.
Chinese brands can imply all they want, but they cannot say “MADE IN JAPAN” (because they are not), so they will use every tactic listed below.Thanks to TINA.org (Truth in Advertising).
- Japanese sounding name such as ninja, samurai, Asa Akira, Mr. Miyagi, to anime names. The worst offenders are the ones that use real Japanese knife or steel brands such as Kinzoku (Metal Technology Co., Ltd/MTC issued a cease and desist) or Jikko (I am sure the Japanese company is oblivious even though I reached out to them).
- Repetitive use of the word “j-word” (Japanese) throughout their marketing copy and never any mention or use of the word “China” or “Chinese”.
- Implying they are a Japanese knife because they supposedly use Japanese steel, and they will usually say “High-End Japanese Steel.”
- How is their product Japanese? They may say they have been trained by a “Japanese master,” and they utilize a “Traditional Japanese Hand Forging” technique that they learned while on vacation in Japan (sounds legit).
- Implying their products are Japanese because of the knife shape: gyuto, santoku, yanagiba, etc (that’s like saying a Chrysler 300C is a Rolls Royce because it has the same shape).
- They will incriminate themselves by saying (actual quote): “Mitsumoto Sakari opens factories in East Asian countries; gradually moving toward internationalization.” So it is not made in Japan, and you are clearly stating it is produced in East Asia, aka China.
- The Kamikoto tactic that others are copying is by telling people they are headquartered in Japan, except anybody can say they are “headquartered” somewhere, like Apple being in Ireland as a tax haven (it does not make Apple an Irish company or their products to be Irish).
The Long List of Chinese Products That Most Will Misconstrue As Japanese on Amazon.com
The easiest rule of thumb is that if it is on Amazon, it is a Chinese made knife unless it blatantly states “Made in Japan.”
Is there anything wrong with buying a Chinese made knife? Nope! The ONLY issue is with their misleading marketing that implies to consumers that they are buying a Japanese product.“State and federal laws are in place to protect consumers from false or misleading advertising.”
– Jacoby & Myers Law Offices
I have ranked each brands Amazon presence from 1). not so blatantly deceptive, 2). BS, and 3). TOTAL BS. (I also do not provide links because I am not endorsing any of these businesses).
- Aisyoko, not so blatant.
- Dalstrong, BS.
- Famcute, not so blatant.
- Hiroshi, TOTAL BS.
- Hoshanho, not so blatant.
- Ibeike, TOTAL BS.
- iMarku, not so blatant.
- Jikko, TOTAL BS.
- Kamikoto, TOTAL BS.
- Keemake, TOTAL BS.
- Kiritsuke, TOTAL BS.
- Kuma, not so blatant.
- Kyoku, TOTAL BS.
- Mitsumoto Sakari, TOTAL BS.
- Simple Song, BS
- Tatara, not so blatant.
- WeKit, not so blatant.
- Yaiba, BS.
- Yatoshi, not so blatant.
One of the most upfront and transparent brands on Amazon is Kuma, so if you are looking for a Chinese knife, this is the brand and seller that seems the most trustworthy.Based on the research provided on Amazon.
|BRAND / BUSINESS NAME||AMAZON DETAILED SLLER INFO.||ARE THEY MADE IN CHINA?|
|“No, this Damascus knife was made in Yangjiang, the hometown of Chinese kitchen knives. |
Yangjiang City is the most famous tool manufacturing center in China. There are many famous knives in Yangjiang.
The craftsmanship is superb, the product quality is the best, and the product design is also first-class!
hope you’ll like it!” – by supposedly an “Amazon customer.”
|22 Columbine Ave|
|“Dalstrong knives are made in Yangjiang China.”|
|Yangdongqu Dongchengzhen Jurongxilu 2 Jie 5 Xiang 13 Hao|
|“Thank you so much for your interest in our knives. First and foremost, we are a proud American brand. As our listing specifies, our knives are made with the highest quality authentic Japanese steel. Like many popular knives on the market such as Dalstrong and Zelite, our knives are crafted in a state-of-the-art facility in Yang Jiang China (a city renowned for knife crafting for nearly 1500 years). Our craftsmen are well trained in all of the traditional Japanese knife making techniques. Our factory’s master bladesmith has years of expertise acquired as an apprentice and journeyman in Japan working under Japanese masters. We are very proud of our knives, our factory workers, and knife smiths. Like Apple who builds their products in China, we are very pleased with the work of the Chinese Craftsman and our ability to bring you such high quality for such affordability. As an added measure, we have a very rigorous quality control inspection regime to ensure that your knife will be of the highest caliber. We back up the quality of our knives with a lifetime guarantee. If your knife is ever found to be defective, we will replace it for free or give you a full cash refund with free shipping.”|
(E Global, LLC)
|325 Front Street|
|“The box says “Made in China”. By a reviewer. (this product is also sold at Walmart).|
|“We are headquartered in Japan and have our own factories in our home country and East Asian countries. Please be assured that the quality of our products is strictly audited and certified, and the forging process is uniform. For example, our selected production site is in Yangjiang, China, a city with nearly 1,500 years of history in tool manufacturing. So there is no problem with the quality of our products. If you have any questions about the product you can contact our customer service and we will solve it for you within 48 hours.” – by “Amazon customer (they do not “officially respond).|
|iMarku||105 Exchange Place# A. Pomona, CA 91768 US|
China Office: 15 Floor, Anhongji Building, ZhongMei Road, LongHua District, Shenzhen, China 518000
|Off their website: “We also have a manufacturing unit in Yangjiang, People’s Republic of China, and our major distribution and shipping operation in China.”|
(Maison Jikko / Jikko retail, LLC)
Commerce St., STE 2338
|“Our steel blades are made in Japan in the Niigata region. We are the American subsidiary of the JIKKO brand, our goal is to offer our customers, knives at the best price offering efficiency and durability. Our walnut and mahogany handles are imported and assembled in China. Hoping to have answered your question, we are at your disposal for further information. Best Regards, The JIKKO team. |
I questioned their association to Jikko Japan that they are implying on their profile page, and this is their response: “Good morning, sir,
We would like to inform you that we are the owner and depositary of the JIKKO brand, which is also approved by Amazon, and that we have branches in Europe (France, Germany, Italy, Spain) and also the United States.
We hope to have answered your question as well as possible. We are here to satisfy you and offer the best quality/price products to our customers. Very cordially. Joyce, JIKKO USA Customer Service.
(United Quality Distributors Inc.)
|C/O GANER 1995 BROADWAY, FL. 16|
|This company is notorious online for their misleading marketing, and you can read more here: is Kamikoto knives fake (Chinese or Japanese).|
(Liao Zhi Hong)
|376 Xingang Middle Rd, Ke Cun, Haizhu District|
|“Our knives are made in Yangjiang China which only became a city in 1988. It had no history of knife making until the 1980s when the communist government opened a state owned factory there. Today there are some 1500 cutlery companies in Yangjiang with about half now privately owned. The majority of knives for the Chinese domestic market, the global export market, and the knife counterfeiting industry resides in Yangjiang.” |
By Keemake Kitchen-ware
(EMCL Exchange LLC)
|14 Greenview Pl|
|“Country of Origin China.”|
|3360 E. Foothill blvd, Apt. 240, Pasadena, CA 91107||“Country of Origin: China” (they are good in that they are upfront, unlike many of the other sellers).|
Also, in their own words:
“KYOKU knives are produced with Japanese steel, adopting the most traditional Japanese knife manufacturing technologies, and then they are painstakingly handcrafted in China. VG10 steel production volume is limited due to various factors, however KYOKU’s factory has tried the best to satisfy the needs every year so that we can handcraft each and every knife with Japanese made VG10 steel in China.” By KYOKU
(Oliver Mike Lee Saylor)
|30 N Gould St|
|“★ KUMA KNIFE BLADES; MAKE YOUR COOKING LIFE EASIER: Many chefs knives appear strong & durable at glance, but inferior blades eventually bend and break under pressure. Enter KUMA: 67 layers of premium VG10 Damascus Steel enable extraordinary strength and longevity in our 8 inch chef knife. An ultra strong and sturdy kitchen knife with chip-resistant steel for solid, lasting resilience. Painstakingly crafted with premium VG10 steel in historical YangJiang, China by our expert bladesmiths.” By Kuma and they state it themselves.|
|14601 North Bybee Lake Court, Portland, OR 97203 US|
(shen zhen shi san ben sheng mao yi you xian gongsi)
|“MITSUMOTO SAKARI brand is headquartered in Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan. And we have several factories in East Asian countries. Please rest assured that the quality of each of our products is strictly audited, so please buy with confidence.” By Mitsumoto Sakari|
|Simple Song (Simple Song LLC – Thaxia Lor)||6040 W. 112th Pl|
|“Thanks for taking the time to ask your question. Our knives are Japanese inspired knives that are designed here in the United States and made in China by very experienced knife makers. You are correct that the quality and durability of hammer forged knives made in Japan are of the utmost high craftsmanship but this does come at a very high cost to the customer. We designed our knives to be at an affordable price point which will allow every day home chefs, that usually cook in their homes, to have access to a Japanese design style knives without breaking the bank. Even though our knives are reasonably priced, we cut no corners to create a high quality knife that we specifically designed to our exact specifications for an extremely sharp and well balanced knife that should last a very long time if well kept. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any other questions.”|
|N4C188, 4 ceng, Guolidasha, Xinyazhou|
18hao, Zhonghanglu, Huahangshequ
|“The material of the steel is from Japan and the handle is African rosewood while it’s made in China.” By Kohiwa-US|
“Hi Federalx, thanks for your question! This Tatara chef knife is made from genuine ThyssenKrupp steel and final assembly is done in China under the supervision of our Japanese technical team and highly trained staff. We follow the same high-standard protocols as knives made in Japan, but we’re able to bring this chef’s knife to you at a fraction of the cost compared to Japanese-assembled knives.”
|xixiangjiedao, laodongshequ, xixiangdadao, 288hao|
jidasha, Bzuo, 338
|They do not state where their product is made, so I asked them directly although there is one reviewer questioning if they are even using VG10 as they said they are.|
|“MADE IN CHINA!!! Just got it today, says “made in China”. But so far good knife.” |
By Amazon Customer
(Prospect Ventures LLC)
|651 N Broad St|
Suite 205 #565
The Pattern is Laser Etched.”
They might not be so blatant, but they do not openly disclose or respond to questions.
Most of these brands imply to be “Japanese” because they use Japanese steel. They claim to use VG-10 which is a stainless steel by Japanese company Takefu, out of Fukui which is part of the Honshu island (one Chinese brand markets “Honshu steel knives”).Except if these brands mislead you on where their product are made, can you trust that they actually use VG-10?
So You Are Probably Wondering If There Are Any REAL Japanese/German Knife Brands Sold on Amazon
If you are, here are a few that are almost impossible to find amongst all the Chinese products (seriously, try for yourself), and I am used to sending people to dealers although I found a few:
- Yoshikin/Global, 11+ dealers around the country.
- The Kencrest Corp/JCK, Seki City, Japan
- Kaspien, Zwilling/Miyabi, 2818 N. Sullivan, Suite 130, Spokane Valley, WA
- Amazon, KAI/Shun, Amazon fulfillment center.
- Regal Distributions, Inc/Tojiro, 5904 Ave. D, Brooklyn, NY
- Hayate/Yoshihiro, 2207 Artesia Blvd, Redondo Beach, CA
Also, it was not me trying to get the change, it was a dude we took out from Europe here on a business trip, and after he told me what had happened, I had to flag down the manager. Luckily for Euro dude, the manager yelled at the stripper to give him his change back, and she finally did.