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The 10 Best Chinese Cleavers In 2021

Do you know which is the best Chinese cleaver? From a home cook to a professional chef even a culinary artist, everyone loves meat cleaver. If you don’t know what it is or wondering how to use it, then this article will help you know everything about a Chinese cleaver.

One can use every part of it, making it quite versatile, especially for doing tasks like slicing, chopping, dicing, and cutting the toughest veggies or meats. It’s different from a traditional vegetable cleaver, but you haven’t used it yet; finding the right one might look like a tedious task.

Best Chinese Cleaver Reviews

There are various multipurpose Chinese cleavers available in the market, with different blade sizes, weights, designs, etc. One might be an awesome product for a user but can be utterly useless for another with just a slight difference in the product.

Therefore, I have researched a lot to find out the best quality Chinese Cleavers for you. Based on the functionality, strength, durability, and other features, this review will help you choose the best one for your kitchen!

With this detailed guide, you will also learn how to use them, what to look for while buying them, and all other things you should know about a Chinese cleaver. Read on to know more about the Chinese cleavers and become an expert in choosing your cleaver by the end of this article! So let’s start!

01. Shun Classic Cleaver – Best Value

Highlighted Features

  • Ultra-thin 7″ blade
  • Ebony Pakkawood handle
  • D-shaped handle

When it comes to unique cleavers, Shun Classic 7″ is one of them. The VG-MAX steel cutting core, with cobalt, chromium, carbon, and tungsten, creates an extremely durable and effective forge on the blade.

The ultra-thin 7″ square blade can be used for multiple purposes, from cutting to slicing. It has a D-shaped handle made up of Ebony Pakkawood. It’s a high-quality genuine hardwood infused with resin which gives more durability and water-resistant property, making it perfect for daily use.

The razor-sharp edge of the blade is ideal for cutting, chopping, mincing, and slicing. The Layered steel of the blade makes the cleaver immune to rust and corrosion and ensures durability. The cleaver can also be used for crushing garlic cloves due to its wide surface area. The overall ergonomic design of the cleaver makes it extremely comfortable to work with and delivers effective cuts.

Related: Shun Knives Review – (Top 7 Picks With Ultimate Guide)

Pros
  • Ergonomic handle design enables comfortable grip and usage
  • Layered VG-MAX steel makes the blade anti-resistant
  • Increased durability for daily use
  • Ultra-thin, razor-sharp blade
Cons
  • Not very affordable

02. TUO 7″ Chinese Vegetable Cleaver

Highlighted Features

  • 7″ blade with 18-degree angle
  • Razor-sharp and ultra-thin
  • German stainless steel blade
  • Pakkawood waterproof handle
  • Curved and polished bolster design

The TUO vegetable Chinese Cleaver is one of the best culinary tools for chopping, cutting, mincing, and other culinary activities. The blade is forged with German Stainless steel and tempered with High-Tech Vacuum Heat Treatment.

It’s corrosion-resistant and prevents rusting. The 7″ cleaver’s edge is hand sharpened on each side at 18 degrees to ensure razor-sharpness.

Its beautiful and luxurious premium-quality Pakkawood handle is unique, dense, and waterproof. It delivers a sturdy and comfortable grip for long and daily use. Warping and splitting are common in other wood handled-knives, except in this one.

It even has a gentle curve with a polished bolster design which improves maneuverability. The cleaver ensures chopping, cutting through vegetables. Designed ergonomically, the TUO vegetable Chinese cleaver is durable and ensures stability, along with offering an unrivaled cutting experience.

Pros
  • Ergonomically designed wooden handle
  • Durable and maintains stability in long term
  • Sharpened at 18 degrees to provide extra sharpness
  • Waterproof and rust-resistant blade
Cons
  • Has to be sharpened frequently on whetstones

03. MSY BIGSUNNY 7″ German Steel Bone Chopping Knife

Highlighted Features

  • German stainless steel blade
  • Hand polished with 30 degrees
  • 7″ long
  • Curved and angled handle

This model comes from MSY BIGSUNNY is one of its kind with certain extra features along with the standard ones. It’s a hand-polished blade, made up of German stainless steel, provides immense ease and efficiency while cutting.

Some of its features include rust-resistant, hard for bacteria to breed, easy to maintain, etc. The superior design of the handle made with Pakkawood ensures balance while working with the cleaver. A curve and angle of the handle give a certain comfort to the hand while being worked with. The expert craft of the edges with stainless steel enables smooth and minimal slicing resistance.

The cleaver can easily cut through vegetables and other food ingredients such as bones, meat, chicken meat, and fish head with ease. Thus the efficient and modern 7″ MSY BIGSUNNY cleaver is one of the best products suitable for both professional and home usage.

Pros
  • Easy to use
  • Comfortable handle
  • Extra sharpness for easy cutting and slicing
Cons
  • Might corrode with time

04. Winco Blade Chinese Cleaver with wooden handle

Highlighted Features

  • Weighs 1.6 ounces
  • 8″ long and 3.5″ high blade
  • Carbon steel material
  • Wide surface area

I would say that Winco Blade Chinese Cleaver is one of the must-haves in the kitchen. Not only is the blade 8″ long and has a width of 3.5″, but it’s made up of premium-quality stainless steel. Still, you will be surprised that it still weighs just 1.6 ounces. The edge of the blade is made with advanced carbon steel to prevent corrosion and rust.

It has a beautiful wooden handle that is 4.5″ long. The cleaver can easily cut through meat, vegetables, and bones. The handle’s user-friendly cylindrical design helps in easy working, butchering meat to chopping vegetables; this cleaver is efficient in doing it all. Its dishwasher-safe and suitable to be used daily. The best part is it provides a comfortable, agile grip while using it.

Pros
  • Stainless-steel blade ideal for cutting food items
  • Dishwasher-safe
  • Best for cutting anything hard or large
Cons
  • Not light weight

05. Mueller Cleaver Knife with Pakkawood Handle

Highlighted Features

  • Stainless German steel blade
  • 7-inch long
  • Pakkawood handle

With its premium quality, Mueller Austria’s Cleaver knife is one of the most useful tools to have in the kitchen. To make the blade more durable and efficient they used premium-grade German stainless steel. Its sharp edge can easily cut through the toughest food items, bones, and large pieces of meat.

Not only is the blade rust-free, but it also prevents discoloration, which is why many people love to have it in their kitchens. It’s simple and easy to use, clean, and maintain. The angled handle is made of Pakkawood. With layers of wood stacked together, you can see a radiance from the wood grain.

The handle is dense and compact, avoiding splitting the common wooden materials while preventing any water damage. The wooden handle provides a secure, non-slippery, and comfortable grip which causes minimum fatigue.

The state-of-the-art cleaver chops, minces, slices, and dices through ingredients smoothly through vegetables, meats, and bones. The extreme sharpness is long-lasting even after daily use. Combined with the quality design and the extraordinary features of the blade and handle, it’s one of the best Chinese cleavers you can buy.

Pros
  • MU-CLK2 Stainless steel blade
  • Beautiful wooden handle
  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • Rust and corrosion-free blade
  • Non-slippery, sturdy and comfortable grip
Cons
  • Using much water can damage the handle looks and quality

06. WALLOP Single Bevel 7.5″ Meat Cleaver Knife

Highlighted Features

  • 7.5′
  • 67 layered Damascus steel edge
  • High carbon German steel blade
  • Solid WENGE wood handle

WALLOP 7.5″ Cleaver is one of its kind when it comes to extra sharpness and quality. The blade is made of 67 layered Damascus steel, creating micro-serrations that keep the blade’s edge super sharp. The high-carbon German DIN 1.4116 is stainless, rust-resistant, and edge-holding.

Ergonomically designed, the wooden handle is made of solid WENGE wood, which protects the handle’s quality from moisture. Non-slippery, the comfortable and sturdy grip is best for mincing pork, slicing beef and other meats, cleaving vegetables, and peeling off fish.

Pros
  • The Japanese Damascus style blade
  • Rust-resistant and corrosion-free
  • Ergonomic design
  • Non-slip grip
  • Extra sharpness and performance
Cons
  • Available only single bevel

07. Victorinox 7″ Chinese Classic Chefs Knife

Highlighted Features

  • Stainless steel blade
  • Fibrox-swiss made handle
  • Weighs about 226g

The Victorinox Chinese Cleaver can do it all, from chopping steaks to cutting thin julienned strands of herbs. Its stainless steel blade has a delicate, sharp edge that chops finely through vegetables and meat. Fibrox Swiss-made handle is made with thermoplastic elastomers, which is exceptionally light.

The cleaver, with the blade and the handle, weighs about 226g and improves versatility. With its advanced features, the cleaver can chop, slice and mice better than any other cleaver.

What’s more? It can smash, scrape and scoop food ingredients. All in all, this cleaver is one of the best tools to use from home to professional culinary activities.

Pros
  • Best for all professional tasks
  • Very straight edge
  • Comfortable Fibrox handle
  • Budget-friendly
Cons
  • Not recommended for beginners

08. SKY LIGHT 7″ Cleaver Knife With Ergonomic Handle

Highlighted Features

  • 7″ hand-polished blade
  • 17 degrees angle
  • High carbon stainless steel blade
  • Full tang construction

The SKYLIGHT cleaver, with its professional sharp blade, is a must-have in your kitchen. It comes at a 17 degrees angle, with a hand-polished blade. The wide and thin 7″ blade is extremely sharp and effective. The one-piece solid High-carbon stainless steel forged edge delivers very high performance every time.

Having a full tang means experiencing a seamless transition while handling the cleaver from blade to handle. This provides comfort, balance, and a secure grip while working with the cleaver. You need to wash the cleaver with warm water and mild detergent to sustain the blade’s sharp and glossy look.

From chopping, mincing, slicing vegetables and meat to flattening garlic bulbs, this cleaver can do it all. It can also be used as a serving spatula to carry ingredients to the cooking vessel. The durable, strong, ultra-thin, and sharp blade is one of the most suitable daily use tools.

Pros
  • High performance, durable stainless steel blade
  • Ultra-thin and delivers extreme sharpness
  • Full tang handle
Cons
  • The handle may not very comfortable

09. LUX Decor 7″ Cleaver for Meat and Vegetables

Highlighted Features

  • 7″ blade
  • Dishwasher friendly
  • Full tang coverage

The beautiful stainless steel material of the LUX Decor Meat Cleaver is really a great tool for kitchen purposes. The full tang high carbon steel coverage makes the cleaver immune to being broken or falling apart. The premium quality material protects the blade from corrosion, rust, and stains.

Being ultra-sharp, the cleaver delivers a fine cutting. The blade is long-lasting and is extremely easy to sharpen when needed. For this purpose sharpening stones can help you a lot, even most professional chefs recommend sharpening the knife with a stone. The comfortable grip in a butcher’s design with the protective bolster makes the cleaver non-slippery while working with.

It’s easy to use, maintain, and dishwasher-safe too. It is ideal for your daily tasks like chopping, slicing, dicing, mincing meat, as well as vegetables. With all its professional features, the robust and durable cleaver is sure to help you work through ingredients smoothly.

Pros
  • Sleek and grip-friendly design
  • Stain, corrosion, and rust-resistant
  • Ultra-sharp blade provides effective cuts
  • Durable and robust quality cleaver
  • Authentic stainless steel material
  • Easy to clean and sharpen
Cons
  • The blade needs frequent sharpening

10. JapanBargain Chinese Chopping Knife

Highlighted Features

  • Molybdenum blade
  • 6-8″ with 3.5″ high blade
  • Overall length is 11 and 1/2 inches
  • Plastic bolster
  • Oakwood handle
  • High carbon stainless steel blade

The advanced Chinese cleaver by JapanBargain comes with a rust-resistant molybdenum blade. Being 6-8 inches long with a height of 3.5 inches, the blade is super thin and delivers maximum sharpness.

The plastic bolster and the wooden handle made of Pakkawood delivers a superfine ergonomic benefit to the user. This multipurpose cleaver is suitable for heavy-duty and daily use. The razor-sharp edge of the blade is designed especially for chopping, mincing, and slicing. It is perfect for long-term usage both in a home and a professional kitchen.

Pros
  • The product comes with a safety sheath
  • Beautiful Pakkwood handle
  • Super sharp and ultra-thin blade
  • Anti-rust blade does not allow corrosion
  • Durable blade perfect for daily use
Cons
  • The blade becomes blunt with heavy use

What Is a Chinese Cleaver?

What Is a Chinese Cleaver

To start with, a cleaver is a heavy rectangular big knife that is mainly used for butchery. But a Chinese cleaver is a little different than the traditional ones. It can also be used for other things with pure perfection, such as chopping, cutting, dicing, mincing, and slicing.

The Chinese cleaver or the Chuka Bocho originated in China in the twentieth century. If you are wondering how it’s different from a normal cleaver, then here is the answer. A Chinese cleaver has a finer and thinner blade along with a more balanced and curved handle. It even provides a better grip.

Benefits of Using a Chinese Cleaver

A Chinese cleaver is a multipurpose tool used to perform several cooking preparations. For example:

  • Top or the blunt edge of the handle is used to tenderize the meat
  • With its sharp edge, one can cut anything from soft to hard food items
  • The wide side of the blade is used for crushing ginger or garlic or lightly bruising the item. It can also be used to transfer the ingredients from the cutting board into a bowl or vessel.
  • One can use the handle’s butt unconventionally. This blunt end of the cleaver can be used as a pestle to pound spices and other items such as garlic cloves and ginger.

How To Use a Chinese Cleaver?

Some professional chefs use beginners’ grip for work that does not require finesse, like chopping vegetables roughly. They use the second grip for superior control for finer results, like julienne cuts of herbs and vegetables.

Let’s see how to use it for different things:

For Crushing

For crushing an item, you need to lay the wide blade of the cleaver flat over the item, with the blade facing away. With the other hand, hit the exposed side of the blade to crush the food ingredient. Ensure that you are not using the sharp edge; you need to use the cleaver’s blunt side.

For Slicing and Chopping

Most of the time, the second-grip method can slice the items with a smooth, downward motion. While continuing the process, lift the cleaver a bit above from the cutting board every time you place the next slice for chopping or slicing.

For Transferring

While transferring items onto the cooking stove or a vessel, you should grip the cleaver handle and lay it horizontally at a slight angle.

Gently slide the cleaver blade underneath the items, using the other hand to scoop them onto the cleaver’s wide blade area.

Then transfer the items onto the cooking vessel, anchoring the freehand onto the top of the items to prevent them from spilling. You should be careful enough not to place the free hand too close to the sharp end of the blade.

For Mincing

There are mainly two ways of mincing with a cleaver depending on the comfort of the user.

1: Rock-Mincing

Hold the cleaver with the first grip method. Use your other hand to place 2-3 fingertips on the blunt side of the blade. Keep the cleaver’s tip in contact with the surface, lift the cleaver a bit, and bring it down by rotating the blade slightly from one side to another.

2: One-handed mincing

Here also, hold the cleaver with the first grip method. Lift the cleaver from the cutting board and bring it downwards onto the meat, gently with a control on the cut.

Keeping the blade pivoted, continue the motion from side to side until the desired mince is achieved.

3: For Tenderizing

To tenderize a meat portion with a cleaver, grip onto the handle. Then hold the cleaver upside down, using the blunt edges to pound the meat in a pattern.

4: For Scaling

While scaling a fish, hold the cleaver and hold the fish head with the other free hand. Run the cleaver blade up and down on the fish, keeping a slight angle for the fish to de-scale.

How To Sharpen a Chinese Cleaver?

After using the Chinese cleaver daily, the blade tends to become blunt, like any other cleaver. Thus, it is important to sharpen the blade for a long-lasting effect.

A whetstone is an essential tool when it comes to sharpening the cleaver’s blade.

Below are the simple steps to do it:

  1. The whetstone has to be soaked properly
  2. You should begin with the coarse side of the whetstone
  3. Hold the cleaver at an angle, slide it on the stone in a smooth fashion across the blade
  4. Keep repeating the process for some time
  5. Flip the cleaver blade and repeat the process
  6. Now repeat the above five steps by turning the stone to the fine side

How Should You Choose The Best Chinese Cleaver?

Why is there a hole in the cleaver

To choose the most suitable Chinese cleaver, you need to have proper knowledge of the product’s features. It will help you understand them better, and you can easily make a good decision regarding the purchase that suits your needs:

Blade Materials

One of the most important features to look at while buying a Chinese cleaver is the blade material. Carbon steel used to be the forging material earlier due to its sustainable and durable properties. But Now, Stainless steel is commonly used due to its anti-corrosive and anti-rust quality.

Moreover, the stainless steel blade does not leave a lingering taste in the chopped items like the carbon models used earlier. The mixture of carbon and stainless steel is a popular and durable choice these days.

Handle

Different types of handles have different functionality. For example, wood, stainless steel, and hard modeled plastic handles are the most common ones.

Plastic handles and stainless steel ones are well to work with; however, wooden handles provide a much nicer look and a firmer grip.

Although different handle material has different functionality, it comes down to be a matter of preference.

Weight

Cleaver has a wide blade area which requires more material than a normal knife. Thus the weight of the cleaver can sometimes be a factor to the user. You should look for a lightweight and well-balanced cleaver if you are prone to a lot of prep work. The lightweight material also works well for users who have a strength issue in the forearm and wrists.

Comfort

The comfort of a Chinese cleaver is entirely individualistic. Some users prefer wooden handles to ones made of polypropylene. From the blade length, material, thickness, and other features, you should abide by the ergonomic designs and functionality of the product which suits your needs.

Length

It is ideal to choose a cleaver that is 7″ or more in length. The height should ideally be three to five inches.

Thickness

The thickness of the blade comes with the purposes:

  • 2mm thickness- This is the thinnest of the blades and is best when finesse is needed in the cut. This blade’s thickness comes with a steep angled edge and is best to slice vegetables with a thin consistency or skin a fish.
  • 3-7mm thickness- This is the middle range of the thickness. This type of blade serves well for cutting through soft chicken bones and smashing items like garlic cloves and ginger.
  • 8mm thickness– This type of blade is the thickest. The blade is wide and is excellent in chopping through bones and meat chunks. It can also be used for wedging.

Ergonomic Design

The ergonomic design of the Chinese cleaver is one of the most important factors to consider while making a purchase. The handle’s design, material, and blade, which suits your hand and provides a non-slippery, comfortable and balanced grip, is the best buy.

Sharpening

You should always choose a cleaver that does not need frequent sharpening. Sharpening frequently with a whetstone can lead to the material being corroded in the long run. Thus, a cleaver that sustains the razor-sharp blade upon frequent use is an ideal buy.

Maintenance

Although stainless steel blades promise to be anti-corrosion and anti-rust, moisture can harm the blade’s quality if not wiped properly. You should always avoid putting a cleaver in the dishwasher, as the detergent can eventually reduce the blade’s durability and quality. After usage, gently wash the cleaver or wipe with a cloth to sustain the cleaver’s blade’s quality and sharpness.

Balance

You should choose a cleaver which provides proper balance to avoid accidents. A properly balanced cleaver depends upon the handle shape, size, and quality and is solely a user’s preference.

Other Features

Tang is the point where the blade and handle meet in a cleaver. A full tang runs from the center to the end of the cleaver. A proper tang makes the cleaver well-balanced, durable, and strong. A partial tang shows that the handle and blade are not attached in a continuous form, leading to breakage or cracking anytime.

Blade’s angle plays a vital role while selecting a Chinese Cleaver. An ideal Chinese cleaver will have its blades sharpened at 11o-14o, creating an extremely sharp edge.

The durability and strength of the blade also play an important role in ensuring the cleaver’s long life and functionality.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to hold a Chinese cleaver

Why Is There a Hole in the Cleaver?

Traditionally, the hole in the cleaver was made to hang for safety and ease of access. Apart from hanging the cleaver, the hole is meant to insert a finger and pull while cutting through something tough as frozen meat.

Can You Use a Cleaver for Everything?

The primary use of a Chinese cleaver is to cut vegetables and slice through boneless meat. Not only can it cut the hard food items, but it can also be used to cut soft parts like chicken wings, fruits, vegetables, etc.

The detailed purposes of the Chinese cleaver are enlisted below:

Chopping and Slicing

The Chinese cleaver is a fine tool to chop and slice from meats to vegetables. A smooth downward motion, assisted by the razor-sharp blade, helps slice through ingredients easily.

Crushing

It can easily crush certain items such as garlic and ginger. The items are crushed with the help of the wider area of the blade pushed against the board with your palm to provide the desired form of the ingredient.

Transferring

The cleaver’s wide blade also serves the essential purpose of transferring the chopped and sliced items onto the cooking vessel.

Other purposes

The Chinese cleaver is also used to section meat from the bone. The large sharp blades help in cutting through the bones with ease and quickly scale a fish. This is done with a little bit more finesse than simply cutting into the surface of the meat.

How to Hold a Chinese Cleaver?

Although used for cooking, the Chinese cleaver has some specific ways to be used, which produces the best result.

The first grip

The beginner grip of the Chinese cleaver involves holding the handle close to the blade. Place your thumb on the side of the handle at the point where it meets with the blade and curl the rest of the fingers over the other side of the handle.

The second grip

The second or the advanced grip is similar to the first grip with a definite focus on the blade.  Hold the handle at the point where it meets the blade by placing the thumb on one side of the blade and keeping your index finger on the other side. You need to ensure the grip’s main pressure and distribute it between the index finger and the thumb. This provides added control on maneuvering the cleaver.

How to Chop Using a Chinese Cleaver?

Various cuts can be achieved with a Chinese cleaver, like – julienne, dicing, chopping, etc. Most of the time, the second-grip method can slice the items with a smooth, downward motion. You should lift the cleaver off the cutting board each time before placing the next slice during the motion.

If you feel more comfortable with the cleaver, you can use a gentle thrusting motion while slicing downwards. Then the desired shapes can be achieved using the same method.

Conclusion

Personally, the WALLOP cleaver and the TUO Chinese cleaver are my favorites. The advanced, ergonomic design and durable blades, and long-lasting features make them stand out among the other cleavers.

Now that I have enlisted top-rated and best Chinese cleavers you can easily find in the market, I hope it will lessen your burden of selecting through so many.

I have provided enough information in this guide so that you can learn everything about the Chinese cleaver knife and choose the right one for your kitchen.