I have been looking for the Masamoto KS Honkasumi Gyokuhaku-ko Japanese Chef’s Gyuto Knife for about 2 years. I went to Tokyo but ran out of time to head to the headquarters. I was able to get another knife which I will write about soon.
In February, I noticed one of my Facebook or Instagram ads about a company called Hocho Knife with Masamoto knives. I quickly went to the website. Sure enough, the knife was in stock and I bought it right away. I received it a few days later.
I was so impressed with the service that I decided to complete my collection. I’ve been needing a Deba and a Petty knife. Mainly, I deal with a lot of fish and I’m finding that my chef knife is too big to make fine cuts. I was also in need of a petty because I find myself picking up my pairing knife to do more jobs but then switching to my chef knife to finish up the work. The petty should solve that problem. I know a few other chefs that use their utility/petty knife to do most of the work.
Unfortunately, we were in the middle of COVID19 and people are afraid of online deliveries. I checked Hocho Knife’s website. Turns out they have been thinking about our safety too. First, they are not seeing any delays in their deliveries. More importantly, they have a great procedure for making sure the items are packed with precautionary measures to keep their employees safe and show that they care about you.
First, their employees have daily health checks. The employees sanitize their hands and gargle before starting their shift. Then they sanitize their work stations before packing the knives. And of course, they are wearing a mask, hair net, and a white coat to protect you.
This helps ensure me, as a buyer, to know that they care about me.
My knives came in. Don’t worry, I’ll cover them in another post. The package arrived and I saw the big sticker: Disinfected Inside. This brought a smile to my face. This meant that I could wipe down the outside and check out my new knives right away.
I am quite amazed at the detail and care it took to send me my knives. Check them out if you’re in need of a really good knife, worried about COVID, and want it sooner than Amazon.
Visit Hocho Knife to get your next knife!
While I love the Masamoto brand, I know that most of my sushi chefs use Sakai Takayuki. Also, when ordering, plan to spend over $250 to get the free shipping. Yes, it will be worth it.
Hi. Thanks for the review of Hocho. I came here specifically for your review as that’s what I googled. I’m happy to read your review about the company but I can’t find your review on the actual product??
I’m still working on one review. Here are another set of knives I purchased from them. I appreciated their COVID protocols.
I have quite a different experience with Hocho… I’m not discounting your experience but because of your review and looking for a Masamoto KS, I ordered from them and it’s costing me nearly $400 to return 2 knives, one of which I did not want but they gave me no choice since they charge 30% if an order is cancelled even before it’s shipped (even when backordered or out of stock). Now I am returning purely out of principal… it is just wrong what they did… and a friend told me they felt it is unethical, which I probably agree with.
Here’s my experience:
Zero stars if I could. I ordered a couple knives 5 days ago that totaled about $1,000. The following day I get an email stating one of the knives is no longer in stock… asking if I agree to a shorter version of the knife plus a $2 refund (yes, $2). This particular knife I need so I reply with a very upset email (since there is no other way to contact them) telling them I don’t understand how they are out of stock on an item I ordered hours before… and specifically state they *leave me no choice* but to accept the shorter version that I don’t want. 3 days later they finally reply apologizing for the “inconvenience” – I’m sorry, but charging me nearly USD $600+ for a knife in the size I don’t want is MORE than an inconvenience.
Before receiving their reply it was easy enough to check their site several times a day to see if the knife was back in stock… then when going to bed I look on the site for the last time that day and the size of the knife I originally ordered was in stock again… a few mins later I received an “order shipped” email with the knife they substituted instead of the one I wanted! Literally.
A simpler way of stating it: I ordered a very specific knife I needed. The next day I received an email stating the knife I ordered was “now out of stock”… they offered a different knife. Since I would have been charged nearly $400 to cancel the order (they charge 30% to cancel even if nothing shipped- see below), I HAD no choice but to accept and replied telling them they left me no choice and how unhappy I was. 4-days later, the knife I originally ordered was listed back in stock and within minutes of seeing that I received an email that my order had shipped. Never received a reply to my email.
I will NEVER order from Hocho again.
It’s important to know that there is absolutely NO PHONE NUMBER or any way to contact them except via email and it takes days for Hocho to respond… IF they respond.
The knives were shipped, including the knife I didn’t want… not the knife I originally ordered that was listed in stock the same day my order was shipped. I NEVER received a response to my email telling them not to send me the knife I didn’t want.
I received the order so I sent an email telling them I received the order with the knife I didn’t want and requested instructions on how to return since the website does not have any information on how to return. I finally received a response that said my email was “impolite and threatening”… huh?! Which, of course, it was not impolite OR threatening… unless telling them that if they continue to ignore my emails I will contact the FTC… which seemed to resonate with them as that got a response.
It gets better…
In order to return the knife I DID NOT WANT, I have to pay for shipping… fine… to be done with this debacle I’ll pay the shipping and that’s not unusual. BUT, what is unusual is they will also charge me 30% of the total amount to accept the return. So I will have to pay nearly USD $400 to return unopened, unused knives.
Here’s the fine print buried in their site… and yes, if you cancel an order an hour after placing customers pay 10%… it goes up from there… from hocho-knife.com:
– If you must cancel it, we regret to say that it is needed to accept to deduct the following percentage from what you paid, and we can refund the rest.
10% (from 1 hour after placing the order)
20% (from 24 hours after placing the order)
30% (from 48 hours after placing the order)
– In case that the parcel were returned to Japan because of your responsibility”
There is a TON of fine print that is not typical in my experience… including listing the same penalties if a customer decides to cancel an item that is backordered. So if a customer orders an item that is backordered and decides to cancel it before it ships, the customer pays a 10-30% penalty depending if it’s 1 or 48 hours after ordered. These are NOT custom, made-to-order items.
There are A LOT of additional customer penalties that I won’t list and I never would expect these days… so customers should be aware of so be aware and READ ALL THE POLICIES of Hocho Knife BEFORE submitting an order. It’s easy to spend thousands of dollars for a few knives so be sure you are comfortable with the most customer unfriendly policies I can recall.
I have NEVER been a customer of any business online or in person that charges such amounts to cancel or return items. If they were selling custom, made-to-order items, I’d completely understand, but Hocho Knife sells standard retail consumer items.
So I’ve learned a very expensive and hard lesson ordering from Hocho Knife… which is a “front” for Japan.com (which I just learned). I will NEVER do business with Hocho Knife or any Japan.com related business again… ever and I will make sure I warn as many as I can with my own personal experience.
Thanks for the comments! Sorry to hear about your experience. I’m actually moving to buy blades from American Bladesmith masters. The prices are similar and this way, you know you’ll get a forged blade. Out of all the masters, I’m looking at https://jonasblade.com/