Vertoku Knives - Buyer Beware

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btbyrd

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No. I said they are too expensive for what they are. Paying any amount of money for a set of lasered-on “Damascus“ knives is a mistake.
 

btbyrd

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And if you do decide to make the decision to buy Alibaba/Aliexpress stuff, save yourself the money and go straight to the source. Vertoku doesn't sell the 6-piece $100 set anymore, but they do offer a 5-piece one for $100. And here are the same exact knives on Aliwhatever for $42. The 8-piece set is $160 from Vertoku and $61 on Aliwhatever.

So please... continue talking about how much markup there is on Japanese knives.
 
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daveb

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Everybody take a breath.

OP - I hope you continue to enjoy your knives. This is a site that's focused on wares for knife geeks. There are properties of those knives (and most of their brethren) that have been found wanting by the resident geeks, myself included. But at the end of the day, they're your knives and if you like them, good on you.

Hope you'll stick around.
 
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btbyrd

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Apologies if I was a bit too harsh; I'm not trying to abuse or insult GWB. I'm mostly averse to Vertoku and their business practices, as well as those of countless other vendors who rebrand cheap Chinese knives and sell them at extreme markups. I'm also against OEMs who cut corners but then add extra manufacturing steps to make it look like they didn't (like not using layered steel but lasering on a pattern to make it look like there are layers). This is the sign that they're not serious about creating a quality knife and that they want to appeal to buyers who value style over substance. In the end, these are somewhat sketchy knives of unknown provenance, unknown steel, and unknown heat treatment. It sounds like the company selling them misrepresented their product or shipped the wrong thing and didn't take care of the error. I'm glad that GWB is happy with the set for the price he paid, but I'd steer people toward a basic "set" of a Victorinox chef and paring knives along with a Tojiro bread knife.
 
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The Damascus texture is just rolled or stamped on i doubt that they use lasers and it serves the same purpose as the circular scallops some knives have. I have bought much more expensive german and french knives that were kind of terrible. I've never tried Victorinox, they would be the same company that makes the Swiss Army knives, right?

The various german and french knives I've had just didn't get sharp or stay sharp, and I know how to do that properly. Anytime I'm a guest at a friend's house that cooks a lot he's quite happy to have me sharpen his knives. He has about 20 knives and about four of them sharpen quite nicely. Others that cost 4x as much as mine, not so much. One of the most expensive ones he has, does get really sharp and seems a bit less delicate than my Chinese ones.

These get so sharp I don't even need a bread knife. Even fairly soft bread cuts easily. So what properties don't they have compared to a knife that you would "respect" and I really don't care that they aren't really damascus, I didn't believe that in the first place at this price. What I care about is balance, nice rounded handles, and a good edge and these have it. Perhaps the edge is too easily dulled on these and I could possibly agree with that.
 
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Does Vertoku pay by the word?
My set didn't even come from them. The company I bought them from switched to even fancier looking and far more expensive Chinese knives with side rivets on the handles (not that it really matters) and Vertoku came up on a search when I wanted to buy similar knives for my sister. They never came up on Alibaba, but google seems to ignore listing things from Alibaba. I am here trying to figure out why a knife that takes such a good edge is considered bogus somehow. I do realize that some of their claims about the knives don't hold much water, the company I bought them from insisted that they were actually Japanese, at least Vertoku is honest that they come from China.

But you guys are right that you can find them for much less elsewhere and it's hugely surprising how much less. Like $10 a set. I should have searched on Alibaba.
 

migwal

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For what? Marking up a product? Falsifying Damascus pattern, like Shun?
Say it ain’t so! I’m heartbroken, haha. I thinned my 8’ Shun classic gyuto a decent amount and all the damascus pattern remained. Must be a somewhat deep etch/engraving?
 
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So I have found a seller on Alibaba, that has a larger set that what I bought (2 more knives, and the two extra ones look like they'd be useful) for $87 including shipping. The Chinese companies are completely honest about what they are, they are "laser pattern, Japanese-style knives"
 

Delat

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So I have found a seller on Alibaba, that has a larger set that what I bought (2 more knives, and the two extra ones look like they'd be useful) for $87 including shipping. The Chinese companies are completely honest about what they are, they are "laser pattern, Japanese-style knives"
Happy you love your knives. If you give a set for Christmas to your friend who collects expensive Japanese knives, let him know he can sell his j-knives here on BST.
 
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To the OP,

FYI, the knife you wanted is not real Damascus, it’s just printed pattern, although a beautiful feather Damascus pattern.

You can get it for $35 on AliExpress or about $50 on ebay.
With shipping in single order quantities, the price is more like $90 for a set of eight knives. It's still cheaper than a set of barely ok Kitchen Aide knives, and they are considerably sharper than that. If you can afford to order a few hundred at the time and wait for three months for them to ship by container, the price does go down by about half, but even the Vertoku price isn't unreasonable retail, it's just the lies that are a bit disconcerting. It doesn't matter to me if they are really Damascus steel, they work just fine, they didn't need to lie about them.
Happy you love your knives. If you give a set for Christmas to your friend who collects expensive Japanese knives, let him know he can sell his j-knives here on BST.
He just collects things. His entire house is piled high with various things he's bought over the years, he has narrow aisles all over the house, boxes in front of cabinets and the dishwasher, counters piled high with stuff, and half of the huge kitchen cabinets are full of stuff he never uses. And even though he had these beautiful knives they were dull as eff when I first moved in, but boy did they resharpen beautifully. Some of the items are valuable others are just junk like 30 year old calculators. He owns about 300 knives, and other than the Japanese ones, none of them are collector's items. He's just hoarding.

I do agree that his $300+ Japanese knives are better than my $90 set. But the $150 or so each French and German knives are considerably worse than these cheap Chinese knives. But I can't afford $300 for a knife, and these are awfully good, very sharp, nicely balanced knives with comfortable handles for the price.

I am in an apartment now with 1/4 of the cabinet space and I have more room for my cooking gear than he did in his huge kitchen.

Out of sheer curiosity I've ordered a set of eight knives directly from China for $89, which is about $30 less than I paid for my six-piece set. I'm sure I can find someone that will be very happy with them as a gift.
 
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Delat

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He's just hoarding.
Definitely sounds like hoarding - I hope he’s able to get the help he needs. Hoarding always seemed like a horrible mental disease to me because it starts off so small and then one day your friends are looking at you like you’re crazy but you have no idea why.

Regardless of relative value, as long as you like your knives and they’re in budget that’s what counts at the end of the day. A carrot is a carrot and as long as it ends up in the pot we all get to eat.
 

talcum

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Facebook and basically any social media purchase. Kickstarter has become especially sour lately.
Wait, I just bought a parer from Butch on Facebook a couple of months ago. And it certainly looked like him and the knife seems to be CPM154 (still). So maybe it's just "Caveat emptor" and know your source if you go that route.
 
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So out of curiosity I ordered a set directly on Alibaba. The whole set of eight knives is $23 in China. It cost another $55 including tax to have them shipped to Seattle.

This is about one third as much as my first set from a vendor even more sketchy than Vertoku. It's a little cheaper than Vertoku's price.

They may not meet the minimum standard of knife afficionados but they still are wicked sharp, with nice rounded handles, and they don't look cheap. I'm going to suggest that they are perhaps not stainless but are heavily chrome plated carbon steel. This explains the absolutely fabulous sharpness, carbon steel has a much finer grain structure than stainless.

It wasn't good when my previous roommates washed them in the dishwasher or soaked them in the sink. The edge corrodes. But if you wash them by hand this doesn't happen.

But as a practical matter these are an absolute joy to use and cost less than a set of mediocre Kitchen Aide knives. They are certainly sharper than my former roommates German and French knives.
 
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So out of curiosity I ordered a set directly on Alibaba. The whole set of eight knives is $23 in China. It cost another $55 including tax to have them shipped to Seattle.

This is about one third as much as my first set from a vendor even more sketchy than Vertoku. It's a little cheaper than Vertoku's price.

They may not meet the minimum standard of knife afficionados but they still are wicked sharp, with nice rounded handles, and they don't look cheap. I'm going to suggest that they are perhaps not stainless but are heavily chrome plated carbon steel. This explains the absolutely fabulous sharpness, carbon steel has a much finer grain structure than stainless.

It wasn't good when my previous roommates washed them in the dishwasher or soaked them in the sink. The edge corrodes. But if you wash them by hand this doesn't happen.

But as a practical matter these are an absolute joy to use and cost less than a set of mediocre Kitchen Aide knives. They are certainly sharper than my former roommates German and French knives.
At that price I don’t think it’s real Japanese VG10 or even AUS10 steel. It’s possibly the Chinese made “vg10” type of steel which has 0.8-1% carbon and it could take a better edge than those German x50 steels. For real imported AUS10 the lowest price they can sell a chef’s knife locally in China is about $20. No way they can sell an 8-knife set and shipping to US for only $78.

I’ve bought multiple $40 Chinese cleavers made with Chinese 9cr steel (0.9% carbon) for my families in China and they all love it. It comes a better edge than almost all Shibazi and all regular Zwilling knives (2 most popular brands in China) and it’s kinda thin behind the edge so all my family love it. I think the handmade Japanese knives are not overpriced compared with Chinese factory made knives because it’s an entirely different market (they could be overpriced compared to Western artisan knife makers though), but I agree German Zwilling /Wusthof knives COULD be overpriced for mass family market or commercial market. Even Victorinox, Chinese can probably make a similar preliminated knife using the exactly same Sandvik steel and handle and good HT and sells it for half the price like $15.

This knife series uses real prelaminated multilayer damascus AUS10 steel and the vendor sells it for about $50 for a 210 or $60 for a 240. It uses a nice wood handle and the knife is laser thin. Just want to show you the normal price for a nicely made Chinese knife using real Japanese steels. Still very cheap but not that cheap.
03C21603-04A7-42DA-9521-C22ED241D48F.png
 
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tostadas

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At that price I don’t think it’s real Japanese VG10 or even AUS10 steel. It’s possibly the Chinese made “vg10” type of steel which has 0.8-1% carbon and it could take a better edge than those German x50 steels. For real imported AUS10 the lowest price they can sell a chef’s knife locally in China is about $20. No way they can sell an 8-knife set and shipping to US for only $78.

I’ve bought multiple $40 Chinese cleavers made with Chinese 9cr steel (0.9% carbon) for my families in China and they all love it. It comes a better edge than almost all Shibazi and all regular Zwilling knives (2 most popular brands in China) and it’s kinda thin behind the edge so all my family love it. I think the handmade Japanese knives are not overpriced compared with Chinese factory made knives because it’s an entirely different market (they could be overpriced compared to Western artisan knife makers though), but I agree German Zwilling /Wusthof knives COULD be overpriced for mass family market or commercial market. Even Victorinox, Chinese can probably make a similar preliminated knife using the exactly same Sandvik steel and handle and good HT and sells it for half the price like $15.

This knife series uses real prelaminated multilayer damascus AUS10 steel and the vendor sells it for about $50 for a 210 or $60 for a 240. It uses a nice wood handle and the knife is laser thin. Just want to show you the normal price for a nicely made Chinese knife using real Japanese steels. Still very cheap but not that cheap.
View attachment 158586
Does that include shipping? That's not bad at all for aus10
 
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