This is our Haarko knives review.
In this review I will discuss with you the reality of the Haarko kitchen knives and if they are real Japanese Santoku knives or a scam.
You may be wondering about the quality of the knife, if they depict their product and if they are true to their promises.
After 20-hour research through Google, Facebook, Instagram, Trustpilot, Scam adviser, and several other websites I am confident in answering all your questions.
Let’s get started!
In a hurry? Haarko knives have a history of dodgy marketing practices. There is a lot of evidence that these knives are made in China, not Japan. Check our best alternatives.
FKM Gyuto Knife
Tuo kitchen knife set
Mac Knife Professional
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What are Haarko Knives? (According to the Manufacturer)
Haarko Japanese knives advertise their knives as premium Japanese knives. Haarko Santoku knives allege they have been present since the 1950s in Japan. They were made to get the best of both worlds of modern western kitchen knives and traditional Japanese knives.
Furthermore, the Haarko premium chef knife markets that their knives are made carefully by a 138-step design. They go through rigorous testing before every shipment.
Haarko knives add that their knives have sharp edges which in other regular knives might come at the cost of their fragility. With Haarko premium knives you get the quality of a real kitchen knife.
Haarko handmade knives cut through sinewy meat with ease during food preparation. Unlike regular chef knives with dull edges.
Adding to that, they mention that they made an Index finger hole to add to the comfort while using this knife. This addition was to allow for ultimate control while using the knife; hence, safer.
Haarko knives should have a nice dark texture that gives them a beautiful look.
You can buy a Haarko Japanese knife in a package:
- 1 Knife for $39.95
- 2 Knives for $59.96
- 3 Knives for $75.96
- 4 Knives for $89.96
Haarko Santoku knife Specifications
- Weight: 252 grams/ 0.5 pound.
- Length (blade): 15.5 cm/6 inches
- Length (blade and handle): 28 cm/11 inches.
- Width (blade and handle): 5 cm/ 2 inches.
- The sharpening angle: 38-degrees
- Blade material: High-quality Stainless Steel (18/10 electroplated)
- Handle material: Premium Oak/ carbon onyx material.
Haarko knife leather sheath
The handmade genuine leather sheath from the Japanese Haarko knife is advertised as the superior quality holster for your santoku knife.
Haarko knives are said to be designed by professionals according to old Japanese traditions. They claim that this sheath protects the knife better than other sheaths for its thicker leather and extra protection in its pad.
The sheath is supposed to be made of high-quality materials and has a compact design which makes it the perfect tool to hold your knife.
Haarko Knives review (Business transparency)
In more than one instance when a company is trying to mask the product they are selling, they use vague vocabulary as a way to attract customers. For example, A business implying they are selling a Japanese product while never saying it was made in Japan.
Also, they use made-up words that sound Japanese to lure the customers in. While in reality, they are using Chinese products sold on Aliexpress and market them as their own.
Another method they use is heavily advertising on social media, especially Facebook and Instagram.
Marketing claims Investigation
The point that I see an emphasis on while searching about Haarko knives is their use of traditional Japanese steel in the making of their knives.
However, the term traditional Japanese steel is so broad and does not ring a bell. Especially when you find out that the stainless steel they are using is the same used for making kitchen cutlery.
The stainless steel 18/10 electroplated is the same as that used to make pots and pans in your kitchen tools. Yes, it is durable and resists rust, but it fails in edge retention.
Where are Haarko Knives located?
According to DNS lookup, the so-called Haarko Japanese kitchen knives are located in Lithuania under a Lithuanian company called UAB Ekomlita.
When looking at their Facebook transparency, you will find that all their admins are from outside Japan and the United States. They are mostly from Lithuania and the Philippines.
Where are Haarko knives made?
What I can say for sure is that Haarko Santoku knives are not made in Japan. It is not said where they are made; according to their site, they are shipped from their warehouses in China.
This shows that they are not Japanese knives, but some knockoffs trying to trick customers. Authentic Japanese brands take pride in the city and even the district they were made in, Haarko knives seem to be avoiding any mention of that.
Haarko Santoku knife Price
Haarko premium kitchen knives advertise themselves as selling an incredible knife that has never been put out in the market. A quick search on Aliexpress showed that this unique product was being sold under various names.
Dropshipping itself is not something to condemn; the way Haarko knives uses it is the problem.
Haarko chef knives sell their knives with about a 100% profit while you can find the same knives at a way lower price elsewhere. For instance the picture below.
Some of the products are even sold with the leather sheath Haarko advertises and sells for an additional cost.
Customer reviews on Haarko Knives website
Haarko santoku knives reviews on site are all positive. Most of the reviews have stock images on them, making them even more sketchy.
Oddly, there will be no visible negative reviews given the fact that there is no perfect product and there are always customer complaints.
The contact number visible on the Haarko Japanese knives is an American virtual number even though they are not situated in the United States.
Third-Party Haarko Knives reviews
The reviews on Trustpilot have been fairly positive, but some reviews did not make much sense to me. They felt redundant and some did not match an average review for a knife. For example:
The rest of the Haarko knives reviews were normal but all the reviewers do not feel trusted as their accounts were all new and only with one or two reviews.
This just adds to the speculation that most of the reviews on site might be paid for.
Haarko santoku knife reviews from real customers
After intensive searching, I could not find many trustworthy reviews regarding the Haarko knives. However, I found some frustrated customers who were not satisfied with the customer service of Haarko while others were delighted with the knife. I will let you decide who to believe.
As you can see in the Facebook review above, the Haarko kitchen knife customer service team seems like they do not care about the customer as much as their gain.
Here you can see an instance where the company has done a good job providing for a customer which can happen. Hopefully, the product they got did not have all the problems I mentioned in my Haarko kitchen knife review and they are enjoying the product.
Haarko vs Huusk
Haarko knives claim to be superior to Japanese Santoku knives that are made with the Japanese hand forging methods in addition to the style of German knives. On the other hand, the Huusk knife declares that they are a Japanese chef knife made with extreme precision.
Both Huusk Japan and Haarko belong to the trademark of the same company “UAB” as seen below.
Furthermore, both knives are very similar with the same characteristics. This gives us the feeling even more that this is a scam. Because according to the Huusk Japan website these are the knife characteristics.
Then if you look closely at the characteristics of the Haarko knife you will find that they are the same as you can see below.
Haarko Knives Legit Alternatives
FKM is our Japanese knife of choice. If you are looking for an affordable and good Gyuto knife this will be your best choice.
The Fujiwara Gyuto knife is made of AUS8 steel, it has decent sharpness out of the box and has edge retention that allows it to be used for a while. For a beginner home cook, this knife is a really good start; it is easy to sharpen and you can get your edge back within minutes.
Its out-of-the-box edge is good and does not need any touch-up. Additionally, it dices onions easily without any noticeable wedging. Are you a cook who usually uses the push cutting technique? If your answer was yes, then this knife is the one for you.
One of the very nice qualities of this Gyuto knife is its food release; it is not its main quality but, for a stamped blade it is very good at handling sticky foods.
Lastly, the handle is made of black Pakkawod which gives it a very nice finish. The knuckle clearance of this knife can be a little uncomfortable at the start but after using it regularly, you will not notice the difference.
A question will spur your mind right now, we have been warning you about fake Japanese knives this whole review, why should you trust this one?
Fujiwara Kanefusa has been present in the knife-making market from Seki city since around the 16th century. The family implemented the Samurai sword-making strategy in creating their high-quality knives. Kanefusa kitchen knives have gained a high reputation for their special knives and affordable prices.
I would like to state that as a starter Gyuto knife the FKM is a highly recommended quality knife. For a regular cooking enthusiast who wants a knife to learn to sharpen, this was made for you.
For the home cooks looking for a set that will cover all your basic needs. The TUO Kitchen Knife set has all you need.
- Bread 9″: Your long serrated knife that can slide through bread with ease.
- Chef 8″: The chief knife is your versatile kitchen knife. It is always needed in your kitchen and is available for all your basic needs.
- Honing Steel 8″: An essential kitchen gadget to maintain your knives’ sharpness.
- Santoku 7″: Your second most used knife. It has a Granton edge which allows for slicing through ingredients with almost no food remnants on your blade.
- Serrated steak 5″: The scalloped edge allows for easy cuts through the steak.
- Utility 5″: Eases your meal preparations.
- Parer 3.5″: Helps you with your delicate tasks which require a small knife. Such tasks may be but not explicitly: peeling fruits.
- Shears: Having trouble with preparing your chicken? The kitchen shears can break through chicken bones, fish bones, and seafood shells with ease.
With this set of knives made of special-forged high-carbon stainless steel; each knife has a razor-sharp cutting edge. A customer recounted that they did not know how sharp the knife was until they noticed they cut their hand. This was from how smooth the knife was cutting through the potatoes.
This ease of cutting allows you to use less force to cut your ingredients, resulting in more precise cuts. Furthermore, utilizing a sharp knife reduces the risk of injuries and is safer for a true chef than using a dull knife that requires more power.
The TUO knives’ wooden handle has an ergonomic design with visible rivets that allows for knuckle clearance and a perfect grip on the knife. This allows for perfect control while using this beautiful knife. Adding to that, it is made of Pakkawood which adds more beauty to an already beautiful knife.
Lastly, let’s talk about the particular wooden block that comes with the set. It allows for easy storage of the knives. Giving you extra space and keeping the knives safe. This allows for it to be your long-lasting knife set.
The Mac Mighty MTH-80 is the chef’s knife of choice. It’s a versatile knife that’ll become your go-to in the kitchen due to its wide range.
Almost all cutting actions may be performed because of the combination of the German knife’s curved blade and the Gyuto’s straight blade. Do you want to cut with a rocking motion? Or did you intend to pull and push? The Mac Mighty is ideal for both.
The blade of this knife is composed of high-carbon steel. This makes it company to some sharp knives on the market, with an HRC value of 59-61.
The Granton on the side of the blade allows for easy release of food. This contributes to the knife’s high precision.
The Mac Mighty has a lovely polish that contributes to the overall appeal of the knife.
You will feel at ease with this wonderful knife’s ergonomic handle. Even people with larger hands will feel at ease when using this knife; making it a comfortable knife.
The Mac Mighty’s blade is made of high carbon steel, thus it’s vital to take particular care of it. For example, keep it in a dry location and always clean it after use. That is if you want your knife to be rust-free and last a long time.
Verdict: Is the Haarko santoku knife any good?
In this Haarko knife review, I demonstrated to you that Haarko knives have been deceiving their customers.
If you are set on buying a Japanese knife, go for the Fujiwara FKM. It is an affordable knife that will help you set your path to becoming a professional chef or your friends’ favorite cook.
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My name is Kenzo Kishita. I’m a retired cook and a knife nerd. Now I’m a full-time home cook and a passionate blogger. Here in the blog, I share with you my love for knives and cooking.
Thanks for your review. Unfortunately I bought 5x of the Haarko knives. And paid separately for the covers. I find their marketing practices misleading. After buying so many knives, I did not receive the book as promised. I have other friends with restaurants I wanted to recommend the knives to buy. But now I wont…