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High carbon ‘Rose Knife’ under fire for exaggerated quality

High carbon ‘Rose Knife’ under fire for exaggerated quality

Posted August. 03, 2013 07:50,   


“POSCO’s high carbon special steel 420J2 is capable of cutting a baseball bat.”

This is an advertising copy for the kitchen knife dubbed “Jangmi (Rose) Knife,” which is sold on TV home shopping channel and online shopping malls. Rose Knife has emerged as a best seller item due to advertisements suggesting that it has strong capacity and durability due to technological alliance with a German kitchenware producer. According to the home shopping industry, more than 1 million units of Rose Knife have been sold in Korea.

In tune with growing attention to Rose Knife, buyers of the product have mounting discontent. At the online bulletin of a seller of the product, consumers who bought the product have uploaded a number of posts reading "the knife does not cut well," and "coated surface patterns easily come off." The Korea Consumer Board said, “It is difficult to make a comprehensively tally, but we have constantly received consumers’ complaints.”

The producers of the knife advertises that “The knife is made of original, high-carbon special steel supplied by POSCO.” According to POSCO on Friday, however, the steel used to make the knife is not high carbon special steel but ordinary steel that is used in making forks and knives, which are widely used in kitchen.

A POSCO source said, “420J2 is a Martensite (steel tissue that is created when high temperature solid steel is swiftly cooled off) group steel, and it contains relatively low carbon contents, but because it is relatively strong and cheap, it is often used in making low- to intermediate cost kitchenware products.”

High-end kitchenware products from Germany, including Fissler and WMF, are mostly produced with “304L,” a special material used in surgical operation tools, which is up about 70 percent more expensive than 420J2.

“We sent an official letter to producers of Rose Knife urging them to refrain from releasing exaggerated advertisements,” POSCO said. “Since most of them are small and medium-sized firms, we will not take legal action.”