You’re better off saving your money and spending it on another knife set than going for the Kinzoku knives.
From personal observation and what everyone else is saying around me, I don’t see why you should risk spending some good money on this knife set.
The Kinzoku knife set sells cheap and is highly affordable for most people but is not a good value. From dodgy knife steel to non-substantial claims about where the knives are from, there’s a lot to unpack in this review.
If you’re shopping for good Japanese knives with excellent value for money and quality craftsmanship, you’re better off with the Shun knives (check reviews here)
Where Are Kinzoku Knives Made?
This is the million-dollar question about this brand, and I’ll tell you why in a moment.
Of the knife brands I have reviewed, most of them are quick to point out where they make their knives from. This is because their location can significantly impact how buyers and customers trust that they’re doing the right thing.
For example, I would not trust a Japanese knife brand that was not based in Japan. This is the issue I have with the Kai Wasabi Japanese knives, which are good enough for the money but not made in Japan.
Even if they were made in Japan, I would love to see them come out of Seki City, renowned for their blades and knives. In China, even though most of you might not like knives out of there, Yangjiang is an excellent province where unique knives are made.
For Kinzoku, there is nothing to indicate where these knives are from – and that is the first red flag.
Since they claim to be making Japanese knives, why not represent the Japanese background? This leads me to believe that the knives are made in China, not even in Yangjiang.
Doing a little digging about the company bolstered that position. Till they come out with claims of where else their knives are made from, Kinzoku knives are most likely designed and shipped from a Chinese factory.
PS Find out where other major brand knives are made in the world.
What Are the Knives in The Kinzoku Set?
For some reason, Kinzoku sells most of its knives via its official website rather than Amazon. For a brand that targets the US and is not based in the US itself, that is strange.
It is almost like they’re dropshipping the knives to the buyers who want them instead of having physical stock that they made themselves.
More on that part later.
Looking at the Amazon history of this brand, I was only able to find one of their knives on there – and it was an entire set.
Here’s where it gets interesting:
On the Kinzoku website, the brand is focused on Damascus steel knives only. If you look at the one they have on Amazon, that is not a Damascus steel knife. This lack of consistency across the review board is another big red flag.
You don’t have to dig too deep on their website to see that they carry:
- A 7-inch santoku knife;
- An 8-inch chef knife; and
- A 3.5-inch paring knife.
I give them points for sticking with the essential knives everyone should have rather than trying to do it all.
They used to have several series, but they have now streamlined that to one (the Fuurin Wind series). They might come up with more in the future or stick with this, but I’d update this page accordingly if anything changes.
How Do the Kinzoku Knives Compare?
As I do with other knives, I checked out the Kinzoku knives under what materials they’re made of, their build quality, edge retention, etc.
Find out how they compare below:
Materials of Build
If you have been following my previous knife reviews, you know already that I don’t like when a company doesn’t mention its core steel.
A brand would do this when they wanted to get away with using poor steel and slap marketing gimmicks on their knives.
The Kinzoku knife was made from 420J2 steel, which is the least hard in the 400 series on the Amazon listing. While I am not a fan of tough steel on knives, it doesn’t have to be of the cheapest hardness either.
I went to the main website looking for a better insight into the knife steel, and all I got was the “Japanese Damascus steel” marketing. While I don’t doubt that it’s true Damascus steel, what core steel did they layer that over?
That would only ever be answered when they provide us with the truth.
TL; DR – Stay away from brands that aren’t proud enough to mention what core steel they’re using.
If the core steel is out of it, I don’t see why I should spend time with the build quality.
A knife is supposed to be a tool, not a beauty queen. That is why I don’t care so much for the aesthetics of this knife.
I would be lying if I didn’t say Kinzoku outdid themselves. I also love the nice patina and patterns from the Damascus steel, but that does not translate into cutting.
Likewise, Kinzoku chose to go with steel for the knife handles. This makes sense from a premium point of view, but that could also mean making the knife open to rust depending on the steel.
Make sure to check this guide to removing rust on your knives if you have some rusting blades already.
If there is any advice I can give you against rust, though, it is that you don’t buy low-quality knives in the first place.
Overall, Kinzoku knows what they’re doing on the knife assembly line. They might not bring the best steel or most extraordinary handle material, but they know how to assemble everything.
420J2 steel is one of the worst when it comes to edge retention.
If you don’t mind sharpening your knives after every few uses, go for knives with this steel.
That said, this is not the poorest steel used to make knives. It is better than most, by far, so be careful when choosing other knives too.
The best knives are those you would have to hone more than sharpen. This helps them keep their edges longer and prevents wearing out the knife edge on the sharpening stone too frequently.
What Do I Like About the Kinzoku Knives?
Before considering how good a knife looks, I’m always a fan of its core steel and how that compares. I am buying a knife to cut stuff with not to stare at.
I would have bought some vintage knives if the latter were the case.
Kinzoku didn’t mention where their knives are from, which is another thing I love about knives.
Knowing countries where knives are made helps me identify with the different knifemaking styles across manufacturers, countries, and continents. Here, I don’t have that kind of luxury.
On top of that, I can say I like what they have done with the design and fabrication. It is undoubtedly pleasing to look at and a joy to handle. But that won’t convince me to buy one for myself anytime soon.
What I Don’t Like About the Kinzoku Knives?
If you have been following this review from the top, you know that there are a lot of red flags I cannot ignore.
Some of these are:
- The lack of a clear country of origin;
- The absence of a core steel mention; and
- Poor choice of steel (420J2), if that is what the brand truly uses here.
Besides that, I can’t shake the feeling that these knives might be rebranded and dropshipped into the US. After all, I have seen similar knives selling on Ali Express for about half the price of this one.
I also noticed that their knives are almost always on sale. Even on their website, they were having a 50% off sale on their knives as of the time of this writing.
I don’t know of any good knife brand that will discount their knives heavily after everything they invested in making the knife.
There are many things to put me off about these knives and little to convince me on them, so I’ll always pass more times than I don’t.
Final Thoughts on The Kinzoku Knives
Damascus knives usually only cost more than stainless steel knives and do not offer anything special on top beside the looks. It would have been okay if that was the only issue with the Kinzoku knife brand, but they have a lot more to answer for.
I know they promise you affordability, but what good is it if you can’t get better value for the money?
I would instead invest in a good Shun knife set, or you pick up specific units you want from the Shun series. You can find a complete Shun knives review here to help you make a better choice and buying decision.