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School me on Chinese cleavers Login/Join 
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I've been getting very interested in acquiring a Chinese cleaver. It seems like there is a very large range (as with many knives) in price, but I'm not seeing much of a difference in design.

Am I missing some of the more subtle features? Is this the type of knife where the extra cash is a bit of a moot point, like paying for a $200 screwdriver?


________________________________________

-- Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past me I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain. --
 
Posts: 14871 | Location: New Mexico | Registered: October 14, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I only know the basics. Two basic types: light for cutting, heavy for chopping. Most serious Chinese chefs have at least one of each. I use the light one most of the time. It naturally becomes a workhorse, and you'll be astonished at how many different tasks it can be used for. There was a time that it was all I used, and never touched chef's knives at all.

Traditional cleavers are carbon steel, but I guess the trend now is stainless or alloy. I'll stick with the carbon I've used for 40 years. You just have to wipe it down every time it gets wet, and that should put off the tendency to rust. A good chef will reflexively wipe down several times while preparing meals.

On the slightly different styles, the main thing is it should feel good in your hand. Only you can decide that. Some are toe-weighted, some heel-weighted.

You will need to sharpen regularly, so have the stones to do so.

As far as cost, it's just like knives. Better quality will cost more. If you can spring for the muti-hundred dollar layer-forged cleavers, great. They'll generally hold their edge longer and work better. However, a non-forged cleaver *can* be surprisingly high quality, due to better access to higher purity steels these days.



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Posts: 12191 | Location: SF Bay Area | Registered: December 11, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Good info. Can you recommend a stone that works for such large blades?

I wish I could get my hands on a few of cleavers, but I’m not aware of such a store in my area.


________________________________________

-- Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past me I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain. --
 
Posts: 14871 | Location: New Mexico | Registered: October 14, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Lost
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I've actually become lazy and just use an Accu-sharp for a quick re-edge most of the time.



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Posts: 12191 | Location: SF Bay Area | Registered: December 11, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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https://www.americastestkitche...s/4035-meat-cleavers





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Posts: 48410 | Location: Henry County , Il | Registered: February 10, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Bendable, those are heavy duty meat cleavers and not the Chinese style.

"Westerners are most familiar with cleavers as crude tools of butchery but there is tremendous variety and versatility in this class of cutlery. Traditionally, Chinese cooks use a single cleaver shaped knife for every task in the kitchen. The Chinese cleaver or Chinese chef’s knife is a thin delicate knife that slices and chops well with height that can be used to scoop up large volumes of product and enough mass that the spine or flat of the blade can be used to crush product before cutting."

https://youtu.be/7A6BPci0BEs
https://www.1843magazine.com/d...-only-knife-you-need



flesheatingvirus,

I've had an inexpensive Tarhong Chinese Ping (vegetable) Cleaver 8.5" x 4.25" Carbon Steel for years and years. Like kkina and his, it gets a LOT of usage.



Also have another inexpensive number in a beefier, kinda hybrid between western and Chinese styles in a Sky Light Chinese Utility Cleaver 7" x 3.14", 17° bevels, German X50CrMoV15 Stainless RC58.
They both do quite well. Big Grin



The sadly gone knifeforums.com had a kitchen knife subforum that had some tremendous reviews and discussions about the venerable Chinese cleaver. The bottomline was that the cheaper inexpensive models were what most Chinese used and were excellent performers. One could pay more or even a LOT more for modern cutlery steels and fancy handles and hardware but performance wouldn't necessarily improve all that much other than edge retention and initial quality control.

But like quality Japanese Gyuto chef's knives, having an upscale Chinese cleaver can be rewarding. Smile

CCK, Dexter, and similar inexpensive Chinese cleavers would be a decent way to explore to see if such an instrument resonates in your kitchen. Smile CCK Small cleaver was used and recommended in Christopher Kimball's Milk Street Magazine. You could always go upscale from there if desired.
https://www.reddit.com/r/chefk...r_a_chinese_cleaver/
https://knivesadvisor.com/best-chinese-cleavers/
https://www.foodsharkmarfa.com/best-chinese-cleavers/

https://www.korin.com/japanese...hinese-style-cleaver
https://japanesechefsknife.com...ions/chinese-cleaver
https://www.chefknivestogo.com/cleavers.html
https://www.tigerchef.com/chinese-cleavers.html

This message has been edited. Last edited by: bald1,



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Posts: 9958 | Location: Black Hills of South Dakota | Registered: June 20, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thanks so much! I have lots more to go on now. The Sugimoto and Takeda models are gorgeous.


________________________________________

-- Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past me I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain. --
 
Posts: 14871 | Location: New Mexico | Registered: October 14, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by flesheatingvirus:
Thanks so much! I have lots more to go on now. The Sugimoto and Takeda models are gorgeous.


I agree! And glad to be of help here. Smile



Certifiable member of the gun toting, septuagenarian, bucket list workin', crazed retiree, bald is beautiful club!
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Posts: 9958 | Location: Black Hills of South Dakota | Registered: June 20, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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All I know is the one my dad uses is probably 40 years old and the blade near the tip is thinner and sharper for slicing, and the edge near the handle is thicker and made for chopping bone.
 
Posts: 6122 | Location: CA | Registered: April 08, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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