The Best Chinese Cleaver – Get a Superior Piece of Cutlery for Your Kitchen
If you are looking for the ideal multi-functional kitchen knife, nothing is better than a Chinese cleaver. This super sharp kitchen knife can chop up cartilage and tough meat as well as hard vegetables and fruit. You can also use it for delicate dicing and slicing thanks to its sharp edge. Here are a few tips and reviews to help you find the best Chinese Cleaver for your kitchen needs.
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Benefits of Using a Chinese Cleaver
Capable of performing pretty much any cutting task in your kitchen well, owning a Chinese cleaver means you won’t have to own a ton of knives anymore. With it’s a large side to the blade, you can also use it to carry chopped ingredients to the cooking pot or wok.
- Fine and Effortless Cuts
As thin as a chef knife, the blades on a Chinese cleaver tend to have a bit more weight to them. With this extra weight, you are able to apply less pressure since the handle is doing most of the cutting for you.
Durable and strong, the materials that are used to construct the cutting edge of the blade are designed to hold up well. When the edge does go blunt, the edge can be easily sharpened using a honing stone or steel.
1. Zwilling J.A. Henckels
This seven-inch vegetable cleaver is made of stainless steel and features both durable blades and laser-controlled edges. The Zwilling J.A. Henckels Twin Signature Chinese Chef’s Knife offers precision and quality without taxing your budget. This chef’s knife has been stamped out of one piece of high-carbon stainless-steel using the patented Friodur ice-hardening process to guarantee its strength.
With laser-controlled edges, you get sharpness and consistency with each knife that is hand-honed as it’s produced. Ergonomically designed polymer handles are a comfortable fit for small to mid-sized hands. The Henckels Twin Signature Chinese Chef’s Knife uses three stainless-steel rivets that keep the blade secured to the handle and, with full-tang construction, it provides durability and better handling.
Useful for stir-fries and making diagonal cuts, this seven-inch cleaver is safe for the dishwasher. The Henckels Twin Signature Chinese Chef’s Knife is a lighter weight knife and will not chip or stain. They are capable of retaining the sharpness longer to guarantee a perfect cutting angle.
- It is sharp and consistent
- This is an easy to clean knife that you can put in the dishwasher
- It will not stain or chip
- The back of the blade has sharp edges
- It gets dull quickly
The Kasumi Vegetable Knife measures seven-inches and is made by Sumikama Cutlery in Seki, Japan. Using the most advanced materials along with the most advanced manufacturing techniques, this vegetable knife is made with 33 layers of stainless steel. However, just the middle layer operates as the cutting edge.
Made with V-Gold No. 10 stainless steel that is a high carbon stainless steel comprised of vanadium, molybdenum, manganese, and cobalt. With the addition of cobalt to the steel, it requires special tempering to maximize the advantage of this steel. This special tempering technique is a closely guarded secret by Sumikama Cutlery.
Created to cut vegetables quickly, the Kasumi Vegetable Knife features a Damascus pattern that is rust-free and attractive. Featuring a larger bevel than American and European brands, it has a bevel edge on both sides and offers a sharper edge. Plus, the asymmetrical handle is constructed of several layers of wood that are impregnated using a plastic resin that is also riveted to the full tang.
- It makes quick work of vegetables with its sharp edge
- The handle has an asymmetrical design and a Full tang
- It’s made of high-carbon stainless steel
3. Shi Ba Zi Zuo
This Chinese cleaver features an ergonomic design that includes a comfortable wooden handle. Measuring seven inches long, the Shi Ba Zi Zuo is made with stainless steel that is corrosive resistant and durable. Using a unique wet sharpening method, the edge of the blade is able to stay sharp for long periods of time.
Equipped with a well-polished wooden handle made of rosewood, the Shi Ba Zi Zuo is able to give you a better grip and a more enjoyable cutting experience. Perfect for a wide variety of tasks that include slicing, dicing, chopping, and mincing, you can use it on meat, fish, fruits, and vegetables along with other food items.
Ideal for use outdoors, in restaurants, and in households, the Shi Ba Zi Zuo has a wide blade that can also be used as a spatula to crush garlic and prep ingredients for a wok. Made with a three-layer, high quality clad steel, this thick and strong blade that adds to the knife’s force. It also features a non-stick coating that prevents ingredients from getting stuck on the blade.
Featuring a full tang handle, the Shi Ba Zi Zuo has an anti-slip design that provides a good “pivot point” for your cutting stroke. It also has a carving pattern on its surface to provide a nice tight grip. This is a heavy-duty multi-functional knife that works in a variety of settings.
- It has a Full tang handle that gives you a nice, tight grip
- You can use the wide blade as a spatula
- The blade comes with a non-stick coating
- The handle needs to be a little longer
- The surface of the blade is rougher than expected which can cause some drag
Blending function and form, the TUO Vegetable Cleaver measures seven-inches and is constructed with stainless steel. Practical and beautiful, this knife has an ergonomic design and comes with a narrow blade that provides easy maneuverability that is elegant, modern, and functional. Using special-forged high-carbon stainless steel, this knife receives nitrogen cryogenic tempering and a high-tech vacuum heat-treatment that guarantees excellent performance, durability, flexibility, and incredible strength.
Made with a German stainless-steel edge, the Tuo offers efficient and easy cutting. It is appropriate for a wide range of cooking tasks and will become an essential kitchen knife for every kitchen. This multi-functional professional cooking knife can cut, mince, dice, chop, and slice through hard vegetables, cartilage, and dense pieces of meat.
Thanks to its wide blade, the Tuo easily flattens garlic and tenderizes meat while also allowing you to scoop up ingredients that you can carry to the wok. This resilient and versatile cleaver also comes with a polished handle made of Pakkawood that features a gentle curve of the blade. With its ergonomic design, this handle features a polished bolster design to give you incredible maneuverability and comfort. Plus, its full tang structure guarantees that you have a durable and stable knife.
- It has a full tang and ergonomic design
- You can use it on cartilage and dense pieces of meat
- It’s elegant and functional
- It’s a rocker and not a chopper
- Some users felt the blade was not thin enough at the edge
5. Aroma House
Made with imported high-carbon German Steel, the Aroma House Knife Cleaver is perfect for use in a restaurant or home kitchen. Equipped with an ergonomic handle, this seven-inch knife is a great choice when you need to break down poultry and large cuts of boneless meat. It can chop, mince, and dice tough fruits and vegetables using minimal effort and easy cleanup and maintenance.
Featuring an incredibly sharp edge, the Aroma House Knife Cleaver has a 17-inch angle on each side to give you peak performance when handling kitchen tasks, plus a curved blade for efficient chopping. Precision-forged from just one piece of high-carbon German steel, you have ensured a super-sharp edge that has incredible stain and wear-resistance. This Chinese cleaver knife has a perfectly engineered balance that allows you to handle heavy-duty, thick cuts as well as delicate detail work.
Adding counterweight, the hand-polished bolster offers finger protection. The Aroma House Knife Cleaver is made with a high-tech vacuum heat treatment, so it will cut longer and go further. Its wide blade allows you to keep your fingers away from cutting surfaces and has a rust and corrosion-resistant design.
The high-quality carbon stainless steel is made with vanadium, molybdenum, and chromium, molybdenum metal elements offer special properties with hardness and strength to this Chinese cleaver. The Aroma House Knife Cleaver has a non-slip handle design with a Full tang that helps stop the blade from falling easily. Plus, it comes with its own sturdy storage box that features a magnetic closure to keep your knife safe and protected from staining.
- It has a Full tang and non-slip handle
- This knife has a design to protect your fingers
- It is efficient and won’t stain
- There are rough-edged rivets in the handle that you have to smooth out
- The handle can get too slippery to hold on to
6. Kyoku Samurai Series Cleaver Knife
Equipped with a full tang, the Kyoku Samurai Series Cleaver Knife is made with Japanese high-carbon steel and a Pakkawood handle. Featuring a hollow edge design, this knife has a sharp blade that is mirror polished and made with flexibility, corrosion resistance, and incredible hardness. The included Mosaic Pin accents the ergonomically designed handle with a luxurious touch.
Using cryogenically treated steel and added cobalt, the Kyoku Samurai Series Cleaver Knife has incredible edge retention and unrivaled performance. This well-balanced knife is ergonomically designed to alleviate finger pain and fatigue, so you can chop and slice longer and still be comfortable. The durable handle is constructed meticulously and goes through a special treatment that makes it impervious to moisture, cold, and heat and is accented with a mosaic pin.
This extremely sharp knife is handcrafted by seasoned artisans using a traditional three-step Honbazuke method. The Kyoku Samuari Series Cleaver Knife comes with a sheath and a case, plus it includes a lifetime warranty.
- It’s handcrafted and has a lifetime warranty
- This knife isn’t affected by moisture, heat, or cold
- It comes with a mosaic pin
- It needs a better knife cover
- It’s on the expensive side
7. Shun Classic
Equipped with an ebony Pakkawood handle, the Shun Classic is the ultimate tool you need for slicing and chopping vegetables. A powerful, but nimble knife, this Chinese knife has a wide blade perfect for crushing garlic and a sharp edge that is great for large vegetables like cabbage. This seven-inch knife has the power and weight to provide accurate and agile movements.
Made with VG-MAX steel, this innovative formula features carbon for durability and strength as well as tungsten for sharpness, plus chromium helps to make it corrosion and wear-resistant. This vegetable cleaner has a thin blade that makes it easy to control as well as make cooking more fun. Perfect for any household, this is a beautiful knife that is handcrafted in Japan.
Using innovation and cutting-edge technology, the Shun Classic is handcrafted with precision and skill. The gorgeous Damascus cladding is created with various metal alloy layers that are forged into just one sheet of steel.
- It is strong and durable
- This knife is wear and corrosion-resistant
- It is very easy to control and maneuverable
- It’s a little small for some users
- It chips easily
8. Mac Knife
Featuring a thin, double bevel edge, the Mac Knife is perfect for chopping and slicing most vegetables and fruit. Measuring 6 1/2-inches long, this vegetable cleaner has a straight edge the allows the entire length of the blade to contact the cutting board without needing to rock the knife.
Usually used by Japanese chefs to perform Katsura-muki, which is a Japanese technique to create thin sheets out of vegetables like cucumbers and daikon radish, this is also a multi-purpose knife that is perfect to use on seafood and meat. The Mac Knife is made with molybdenum steel and also features a Pakkawood handle.
- It has a double bevel edge
- This knife has a Pakkawood handle
- It’s great for meat, seafood, vegetables, and fruit
- It has a modestly sharp edge
- The handle tends to stain
The Winco Chinese Cleaver comes with a wooden handle and a 3 ½-inch wide blade. Made of high carbon steel, the blade is eight inches long and is dishwasher safe. This is a corrosion-resistant knife that is super easy to clean.
Able to cut through tough meat and tissue, the Winco Chinese Cleaver is made with a strong stainless-steel blade that is durable and long-lasting. The wooden handle has a traditional appearance and comfortable grip, so you won’t get tired of using it for long periods of time.
- It has a comfortable grip that won’t make you tired to hold it
- This is an easy to clean and dishwasher safe knife
- It’s durable and long-lasting
- It’s on the heavy side
- The blade will split easily
Hand-forged and incredibly sharp, the Kitory Chinese Steel Cleaver is made with a carbon steel blade that is integrated with the handle without soldering. This traditional cleaver is designed to cut vegetables and is a staple in Chinese cutlery. Durable and firm, this knife is manually sharpened to ensure a long lifespan.
Using manganese steel, the Kitory Chinese Steel Cleaver is 100 percent handmade. The handle is created from century-old trees with no added modern chemical substances. The handle is ground by hand, so it’s possible to even see uneven lines on it.
- This knife is completely made by hand
- It is strong and firm
- This is an incredibly sharp knife that was sharpened manually when it was constructed
- The handle is too small
- The handle is poorly attached and will fall off
What is a Chinese Cleaver?
So, what exactly is a Chinese Cleaver? Similar in appearance to a regular meat cleaner, a Chinese cleaver is actually more versatile, lighter in weight, and has a thinner edge. It’s a great choice when you need to chop through pork ribs, poultry, and thick bones.
Chinese cleavers are constructed for different reasons, and they tend to vary in the thickness of their edges. Typically, a Chinese cleaver’s blade edge will range between two and seven millimeters, while a cleaner that can smash bones will need at least an eight-millimeter edge.
The Chinese cleavers with the thinnest edges are super sharp and ideal when you need to slice very fine strips of vegetables or meat. Just remember that these edges tend to be pretty brittle. Also, Chinese cleavers with edges that range between three and seven millimeters are capable of handling almost any cutting task you have in the kitchen.
What Do You Use a Chinese Cleaver For?
Every part of a Chinese cleaver can be useful, so it’s understandable why every Chinese style kitchen has one. In fact, it’s so versatile and multi-functional that it may be the only knife you will need in your kitchen.
With its thin and sharp edge, you can easily dice, mince, and slice vegetables or salmon creating paper-thin pieces, which is great for making sushi. The blunt edge of the cleaver is also useful when you need to pound or tenderize meat.
With the cleaver’s wide flat side, you can easily smash ginger and garlic. Or, you can use the cleaver’s side as a scraper to easily and safely move chopped food from a cutting board to a wok saving you effort and time.
Features to Look for in a Chinese Cleaver
- Blade Material
Greatly affecting how the knife will work or how you can maintain it and sharpen it, the blade material is a very important consideration. Traditionally, the Chinese use carbon steel cleavers, but carbon steel has a tendency to rust. Carbon steel can also make your food taste and smell like metal.
Stainless steel is now preferred among manufacturers to avoid the issues with carbon steel. While stainless steel is rust-resistant and more durable than carbon steel, the blade has a tendency to hold an edge that is less sharp than carbon steel. And, it can be harder to sharpen a stainless-steel Chinese cleaver.
Experts tend to recommend stainless steel Chinese cleavers over carbon steel, or cleavers that are made with a mix of the two metals.
- Handle Design and Material
As you shop, it’s important to also consider the handle on the Chinese cleavers you are considering. Varying in design, material, and length, which is best really depends on your preferences. Since there are tons of Chinese cleavers on the market, it shouldn’t be difficult to find the best one for you.
For those that like the traditional feel of the grip, you will probably prefer that the handle is made with real wood. In comparison, other handle materials tend to be easier to clean and more durable.
It’s common to see the design style on a knife described as partial tang or full tang. When a handle has a full tang, it means that the handle and blade are continuous, which makes it less likely for the blade to fall out if the handle breaks.
- Size and Weight
You want to make sure that you choose a knife whose weight and size is comfortable for you to hold as well as control. Make sure you choose wisely in order for you to be able to use and move the cleaver without your shoulders and arms becoming tired.
How to Maintain a Chinese Cleaver?
Along with honing your Chinese cleaver frequently to maintain its level of sharpness, you also need to thoroughly clean it and store it in the right conditions. The ideal way to wash a cleaver is using soap and warm water. This is particularly important after you have used the blade to cut acidic food to stop the blade from rusting or staining. Once you have it cleaned it properly, let it dry completely before you store it in a dry place in order to maintain its durability and efficiency.
Easily becoming the only knife you will use in your kitchen, a Chinese cleaver can chop through bones and cartilage as well as slice and dice vegetables. Make sure you do your research and find the right Chinese cleaver to match your preferences and kitchen needs.