The Global line of culinary knives, from Yoshikin Metal Industry Co. of Japan, distinguished itself by being the first knives to fully integrate the handle and blade from one piece of high-grade stainless steel. They are also broadly counterfeited--enough so that Yoshikin itself polices online sales and reports counterfeit blades. The counterfeits do not hold the edge that a genuine Global blade does, and will spot and corrode in ways that a Global blade does not. Identifying counterfeits is fairly easy.
Examine the dimpled handles. Yoshikin uses one of two dimple patterns on its handles. These dimples should be evenly spaced and perfectly symmetrical; they should also be darker in color than the blade but not painted. The metal itself is darker.
Look for the word “Global” on both sides of the blade. The word should be etched into the blade, not painted on it. Look also for the words “YOSHIKIN” and “CROMOVA” (in capital letters) and the word “Japan,” signifying the country of manufacture.
Look for the words “Global Chef” and “Global Professional.” These identify the knives as counterfeits, as Yoshikin does not use those on its product.
Avoid sets sold in quantities of nine or 11 knives, knives advertised as “Global Chef” or “Global Professional,” and collections of knives sold in a roll or laptop-style case. Global dealers sell the knives individually, not in sets.
Run a thumb lightly across the edge and listen for a distinctive sound. A genuine Global blade will produce a high-pitched ring; this is distinctive of the high-quality stainless steel. A lesser-quality blade will make a scratching sound.
Avoid knives that appear to be a bargain. The “Global Chef” and “Global Professional” counterfeit sets sell for as little as $50. A check of authorized Global retailers reveals that as of December 2009, the company’s least expensive knife—a 3 1/2-inch cheese knife—costs at least $51.95. A genuine Global 7-inch chef’s blade, which all of the counterfeit sets purport to include, costs between $99.95 and $111.95.
Buy the knives from a reputable dealer and in person whenever possible. According to Yoshikin, Global counterfeits “are being sold primarily on the world’s largest eCommerce website—eBay,” particularly on eBay UK.