Are you looking forward to preparing a Chinese meal, or maybe expand your culinary abilities? I bet you’ll do well by investing in the best Chinese chef knife.
The Chinese chef knife is among the best contenders for all-purpose kitchen knives. It can perform nearly every task. Whether you want to chop, pound, grind, mince, or slice food, this knife comes in handy. And while it costs less than its Japanese and Western counterparts, the quality and performance are above standard.
Best Chinese Chef Knife Reviews
Well, most Chinese products have a reputation for inferior quality. Its chef knives are no exception. Still, there are a few brands that rival Western-style knives. Such brands provide impeccable quality at a price that’s hard to beat.
This review sheds light on the best-rated Chinese chef knife. Still, it goes further to provide a guide for choosing the best Chinese chef knife for the money. Here you’ll see the most top-rated and user-friendly Chinese knife for everyday use.
Even my long guide will help you to learn how to use them properly and how to care for last longer performance? I hope this comprehensive guide will help you a lot to choose the best knife for you. So let’s started!
01. Mueller 7-Inch Cleaver Knife – Best Value
- Blade size/material: 7-inch no-stain high-carbon steel
- Edge angle: 18-degree double bevel
- Handle material: Pakkawood
- Weight: 12.7 ounces
Whereas it’s a Chinese-style cleaver, the Mueller 7-inch knife uses German steel. It’s one product that exudes premium quality and durability.
Personally, I think the steel is too thick for a knife at this price range. Of course, that’s a good thing. It gives the knife a decent amount of weight. Still, it’s not overly heavy as to throw it off balance.
Now, that’s the kind of quality you get in higher-tier knives, making the Mueller cleaver a steal. I must say, it’s pretty much close to the Wusthof knife, but without the hefty price.
Okay, the heft in the knife makes it excellent for cutting, deboning, and cleaving meats. But with a razor-sharp edge, it can also make paper-thin slices of vegetables. Hence, it’s more of a multipurpose knife for all sorts of food prep.
The steel on this knife is hard, no doubt. Thus, it’s going to take a bit more effort to put a good edge. However, the effort is worth it because the edge lasts longer in between sharpening.
The handle, too, receives positive feedback from users. It looks great and fits well in most hand sizes. Also, it’s easy to hold and not too long to make it feel awkward. It’s certainly a step-up from cheap cleaver knives.
02. TUO 7-Inch Chinese Chef’s Knife
- Blade size/material: 7-inch high-carbon German steel
- Edge angle: 18-degree double bevel
- Handle material: pakkawood
- Weight: 10.4 ounces
TUO Fiery Phoenix Series vegetable cleaver is a one-time winner of the best kitchen knives. It’s pretty much a stellar knife that surpasses industry standards. Not only is it the best-selling but also the best-rated Chinese chef knife on the list.
This vegetable cleaver has a curved blade. But it is very impressive how it dices and makes paper-thin slices out of vegetables.
For your attention, this cleaver really has weight. So, I will not recommend it for extended chopping sessions. But on the brighter side, the heft allows it to go through bones, potatoes, and carrots easily. Still, it’s sharp and agile enough to slice delicate vegetables.
I like how the knife is ideally balanced at the pinch grip, a remarkable feature in a cleaver-type knife. The Pakkawood handle, while a bit primitive, is smooth and warm. Also, it has a thick coating you find in high-end knives. And for that, it can withstand years of washing.
Read Next: 7 Best Budget Chef Knives Under $50 In 2021
03. Zwilling J.A. Henckels Twin Signature 7-Inch Chinese Chef Knife
- Blade size/material: 7-inch ice-hardened no-stain steel
- Edge angle: 15-degree double bevel
- Handle material: Triple-riveted polymer
- Weight: 10 ounces
Zwilling J.A. Henckels Twin Signature knife is a true testament to the impeccable German ingenuity. It comes a close second to the TUO Fiery Phoenix cleaver as the best-rated Chinese chef knife. Personally, I regard it as a kitchen workhorse among Western-style chef knives.
The blade has a straight tip. As such, it can’ rock back and forth, at least not in a fluid motion. Rather it relies on sheer momentum. Thus, it cuts more efficiently and chops straight through.
While lighter, the blade doesn’t sacrifice strength. As it turns out, the blade is ice-hardened. So, unlike other hard, thin slicing knives, it’s less likely to crack under repeated stress.
The polymer handle doesn’t have the girth of traditional, round-style cleaver handles. Still, the size and the ergonomic shape make it more comfortable. Most customers find the grip ideal for mid-size or smaller hands.
Related: Best J.A. Henckels Knife Set In 2021
04. Aroma House 7-Inch Vegetable and Butcher Knife
- Blade size/material: 7-inch high-carbon German steel
- Edge angle: 17-degree double bevel
- Handle material: Pakkawood
- Weight: 12 ounces
Aroma House is renowned for its fashionable craftsmanship. Such is evident in this 7-inch meat cleaver. Well, the blade holds a pretty sharp edge, right out of the box.
Moreover, it has a good heft to it. For this reason, it can slice through meat like butter. Also, it can dice, mince, and chop tough vegetables and fruits.
But while the blade is a bit heavier, it’s well-balanced to handle more delicate detail work. Furthermore, it’s curved, enabling it to rock back and forth for efficient chopping.
The handle is pretty firm and fits both large and small hands. And to the keen chef, the lovely grain on the wooden handle is irresistible.
Personally, I think the point between the blade and the handle is a little rough. But not that much as to cause any harm. Overall, I must say this is one of the best meat cleavers available in the market at a reasonable price.
05. Wusthof Gourmet Heavy 8-Inch Chinese Cleaver
- Blade size/material: 8-inch high-carbon German steel
- Edge angle: 14-degree double bevel
- Handle material: triple-riveted polymer
- Weight: 12.5 ounces
This Chinese cleaver is another German ingenuity at its best. It hails from Wusthof, a leading manufacturer of chef knives. Like Zwilling J.A. Henckels, it has over two centuries in the knife-making business. So, it’s a brand that knows what it’s doing.
The blade has a seemingly lower angle than the Zwilling J.A. Henckels cleaver, making it sharper. But while not as durable, the blade is harder to provide longer-lasting sharpness.
I hear some people say this cleaver isn’t for meat. But I beg to differ. While not designed for bony meats, this cleaver makes quick work out of boneless meats. It can do chicken thighs, steak, salmon, and more.
The handle has a distinct curve near the butt end, providing the same ergonomic grip as the Zwilling knife. However, Wusthof has added the advantage of smoother contoured lines, making it more comfortable.
Like Zwilling, this is no cheap cleaver. So, I find it ridiculous for a beginner, not unless you want a cleaver that will outlast you. Other than that, I find it more ideal for professionals.
Related Reads: 10 Best Chef Knives Under $200 In 2021
06. PAUDIN 8-Inch Chinese Professional Chef’s Knife
- Blade size/material: 8-inch hammered high-carbon German steel
- Edge angle: 12 to 14-degree double bevel
- Handle material: Upgraded ABS
- Weight: 8.8 ounces
A good-quality knife can be pretty expensive. And unless you are a professional, it’s sometimes hard to justify the cost. Well, the PAUDIN 8-inch knife changes all that. It’s a true testament that you can get a really good quality knife at an affordable price. Even its Damascus-style blade makes it very attractive.
Okay, PAUDIN is a utility. It can cut, slice, and dice fruits and vegetables. And thanks to the sharp tip, it can remove fat and sinew from meat effortlessly. So, as far as functionality goes, it’s more flexible than a cleaver or your average chef knife.
Instead of a standard flat blade, this knife has a hammered pattern. It’s aesthetically pleasing and does a great job of keeping food from sticking to the blade.
Whereas it has a hammered pattern, the blade still retains that mirror-like finish. In fact, one customer makes fun of it, saying it’s so reflective you can use it as a mirror to check your hairdo in between cuttings.
PAUDIN is a bit heavy for a utility knife. Still, it’s well-balanced. Also, the upgraded handle is very comfortable for all hand sizes. And while not as beefier, it provides a sure grip.
Read More: Best Chef Knife For Beginners Of 2021
07. Mercer Culinary Asian Collection Chinese Chef’s Knife
- Blade size/material: 8-inch no-stain high-carbon German steel
- Edge angle: 15-degree single edge
- Handle material: Non-slip Santoprene
- Weight: 10.2 ounces
Mercer Culinary specializes in high-quality, value-driven cutlery that appeals to both professionals and food enthusiasts. Well, this 8-inch knife is among its best creations.
It’s a single-edge blade knife ideal for softer foods like boneless fish and some types of vegetables. Also, it’s a taper-ground for long-lasting sharpness and stability. Because of that, it can cut, chop, and slice more efficiently than other knives.
This knife has a 20-degree bevel, more like a German knife. But it has a secret that makes it sharper. Instead of the conventional V-grind design, it has a concave grind. It not only makes the knife sharper but also keeps veggies from sticking to the blade.
Also, you’ll find the tip a bit more rounded. Though not ideal for delicate tip work, the rounded blade doesn’t dig as much into the cutting board. Hence, it makes rocking and draw-cuts easier.
The plastic handle is yet another strong selling point. Unlike a wooden handle, you can leave it in the sink without worry.
Mercer chef’s knife is for right-hand users. Interestingly, left-hand customers report no problem using it. It’s indeed very well-balanced for a single-edge knife.
08. Winco 8.3-Inch – Budget-Friendly
- Blade size/material: 8.3-inch KC-401 stainless steel
- Edge angle: 19-degree double bevel
- Handle material: indented stainless steel
- Weight: 13.8 ounces
Winco has a wide range of quality food service products, both for chefs and restaurateurs. This stainless steel cleaver knife is among its most highlighted products.
Now, this cleaver comes in one solid piece, though the handle is a different material. As such, you get a cleaver that pretty much lasts a lifetime. Moreover, it goes into the dishwasher without any concerns.
It uses very hard steel. Hence, it is not super easy to sharpen. However, it holds the edge for longer once you get it on there. You’ll notice that the blade has a deeper belly than most Chinese cleavers.
For this reason, it makes the ideal choice for slicing through thicker food. And pairing with a nice natural curve on the blade, this cleaver offers a smooth rocking motion. The handle has indentions for your fingers. And while it’s not non-slip, it provides adequate grip.
09 AUIIKIY 8-Inch – Best Damascus Style
- Blade size/material: 8-inch etched high-carbon steel
- Bevel design: Double bevel
- Handle material: Pakkawood
- Weight: 12.7 ounces
There are many of its kind on the market. Still, the AUIIKIY 8-inch knife seems to receive consistently high marks. It costs next to nothing and is possibly as low as you would ever find for a chef knife.
Well, this knife uses the Chinese copy of 440A stainless steel. That makes it quite a solid option for a chef knife. And by using more carbon, this knife is twice as hard as other knives.
It’s easy to mistake the blade for Damascus steel. It’s merely an etched waved pattern which makes it a Damascus-style chef knife. Still, it provides aesthetics and non-stick cutting performance.
AUIIKIY has the right weight and balance of a professional chef’s knife. And as one user puts it, the knife is scary sharp, sharp enough to slice paper tomato, vegetable, and all cooking ingredients. It literally cuts anything and everything with little to no effort.
However, it needs polishing every few days to maintain its sharp edge. The handle, too, is a nice-looking piece. It’s strong and ergonomically designed to create the perfect grip.
Another Reads: 7 Best Chef knife For Small Hands 2021
What Is a Chinese Chef Knife?
The Chinese chef knife is a much multipurpose knife with a seemingly thinner blade that accommodates nearly every function. It can pound, scoop, mince, chop, crush, and slice food. The heel also comes in handy for bashing and grinding food.
A slender, fine nature with lightweight construction also characterizes Chinese chef knives. These work in tandem with the thin blade, making it the perfect tool for slicing and chopping.
Types Of Chinese Chef Knives
Slicers: Also known as ping or vegetable knives, slicers have the thinnest, sharpest blades. They don’t have the height and length of cleavers and choppers; hence they look more like the Japanese Nakiri.
Choppers: Choppers are general-purpose knives with a blade slightly thicker than slicers. It has a good height for scooping and is nimble and lightweight enough for prepping mounts of vegetables.
Cleavers: Also called bone choppers, cleavers have the thickest, heaviest blade. Though they have the dullest blades, the heft and momentum make them suitable for chopping bones and tough meats.
How is a Chinese Chef Knife Different From Others?
Compared to other kitchen knives, the Chinese chef knife is more versatile. It performs almost all tasks, replacing your complete set of knives.
Another difference is in the point of balance. Whereas Western-style chef knives have the center of weight on the handles, the center of mass in a Chinese chef knife tends to shift forward. This offers greater leverage, especially when cutting veggies lengthwise.
Also, the cutting technique tends to differ. A Chinese chef knife excels in horizontal cuts, thanks to the thinner spine. Such is what makes it the best at slicing vegetables.
What Purpose Can You Use a Chinese Chef Knife?
You can use a Chinese chef knife for pounding, mincing, chopping, grinding, and slicing food. Also, it has a wider blade for scooping food.
Chinese Chef Knife Vs. Meat Cleaver – Key Difference
- The Chinese knife has a thinner, sharper blade, whereas the meat cleaver has a blunt but heavier blade
- A meat cleaver has a thicker, beefier spine ideal for chopping through bones and joints. As for the Chinese chef knife, the spine is thinner, making it perfect for slicing
- A Chinese chef knife is more of a multipurpose knife, whereas a meat cleaver is a uni-tasker.
- The handle of a Chinese knife is usually full-tang and lighter than that of a meat cleaver.
Best Way To Use a Chinese Chef Knife
Hacking or chopping through bone: Place your hand at the far end of the handle, more like you would in a hammer.
Slicing vegetables: Place your palm closer to the blade, resting your index finger and thumb on opposite sides.
Mincing vegetables: Hold the cleaver as you would for slicing. However, place your free hand across the far end of the blunt edge of the blade.
For pounding: Use the broader side to loosen garlic or pound the meat to a uniform thickness.
Why Should You Invest Your Money In a Chinese knife?
- It’s a versatile, all-purpose knife that pretty much replaces your entire set of kitchen knives
- Chinese chef knives are well-made yet sell at shockingly low prices; hence you get to save more
- It provides lightweight handling and glides through food with less drag
- A Chinese knife allows a rocking cutting motion, making it the perfect choice for fine chopping
Best Way To Care For Your Chinese Knife
- After slicing acidic ingredients, such as tomatoes, ensure to clean the blade immediately. Now, for a quick cleaning tip, I recommend washing the knife by hand using warm, soapy water. This is because dishwashers are often too abrasive, leading to rust and corrosion.
- Dry the knife thoroughly as stainless steel is not entirely rustproof.
- After use, I recommend storing the cleaver in a proper knife block to reduce the risk of damage.
Best Chinese Chef Knife – Buyer’s Guide
Most Chinese knives are very affordable than European-style knives and easy to handle. If you are interested to purchase one for your kitchen, so should know some facts before investing your money in it. Here are these:
Chinese chef knives are fashioned from carbon steel. I recommend high-carbon content but combined with stainless steel. Not only does it provide much-needed strength and durability, but it also provides resistance to stain, rust, and corrosion.
Blade size tends to differ, with most ranging from 7-11 inches. Also, the height ranges from 3-5 inches. For me, blade length is more of a personal preference. Still, it should have enough height for scooping.
Handle Materials & Comfort
Handles can either be of traditional or modern design and materials. For a traditional design, go for wooden, cylindrical handles. But should you fancy a modern design, then consider hollow stainless steel or molded polypropylene. Modern handles are often injection-molded or riveted in place. Whichever you choose, ensure it provides a good grip.
Chinese cleavers often have a sizeable blade. Hence, weight can be an issue. Should you want to do a lot of prep work or have strength issues in your forearm and wrists, go for a lightweight, balanced blade. Just ensure the spine has enough weight for pounding or tenderizing meat.
I recommend a full-tang blade that extends three-quarters or more into the handle. That way, it will provide optimal strength, balance, and edge stability.
Accidents happen, and you need to ensure you are safe. Hence, look for a knife that has the right set of safety features. Among them is a handle that provides adequate grip, or at the best, one that is non-slip. Also, consider food-grade blade material that doesn’t affect the taste of the food.
A Chinese cleaver is primarily a vegetable knife. Still, it can be used for slicing boneless meat. As such, it demands a thinner blade with a narrow cross-section.
So, how sharp should it be? Well, a Chinese cleaver needs to have a sharp edge, sharper than a meat cleaver or Western knives. Most are honed to a tight angle of 15 degrees. Still, you can get an edge of up to 20 degrees.
Ease of Cleaning
Dishwashing is not recommended for most chef knives, and the Chinese cleaver is no exception. Hence, consider a knife that is easy to wash by hand. It will minimize the risk of dulling, rusting, or corrosion.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is a Chinese Chef Knife?
A Chinese knife is a multipurpose tool for nearly all cutting tasks. It’s lighter than a meat cleaver but with a sharper, thinner blade that has a heavier tip. And for an all-around performer, a Chinese knife can chop, grind, pound, scoop, mince, and slice food.
Are the Chinese Chef Knives Dishwasher Safe?
Well, some are dishwasher safe. Still, I don’t recommend putting them in the dishwasher. The abrasive dishwasher worsens edge retention and makes the knife more prone to rust and corrosion. Hence, it’s better to wash by hand to lengthen the lifespan.
Is It the Right Decision to Invest Money in a Chinese Knife?
Yes. Still, ensure you get a good quality knife. A Chinese chef knife is more versatile, replacing your entire set of knives. Also, Chinese knives are often priced lower than Western or Japanese counterparts. Hence, it offers more value on a tight budget.
Well, that concludes our comprehensive review of the best Chinese chef knife. Hopefully, I have captured every bit of information you need in picking the best knife from the list. The review is pretty much well-rounded and includes a Chinese knife for every need, skill, budget, and taste.
But before we part ways, let’s know what you feel about this review. Also, share with the masses and tell us which knife you find the best.
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I’m a food and cooking enthusiast and I love testing new kitchen gadgets almost as much as I love eating new, different exciting foods. Most of the time I try to taste new recipes even sometimes I cook. But if I don’t then I go to my computer and start writing for my blog or research for other kitchen products manually. I believe the kitchen and food are an important part of our everyday life. That’s why I spend tons of time on it and learned a lot about it.