Chinese Cleavers


Cohiba Stevie
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Anybody use a Chinese cleaver? Like on of these but not this exact model: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Medium-Chinese-Cleaver-stainless-Shipping/dp/B004PZ5E2U/ref=pd_sim_sbs_kh_2

I will be cooking more Asian food soon and the versatility of these knives seems endless...

Thoughts?

Many thanks

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Chinese cleavers are not just for asian cooking. I use a 7 inch Chinese cleaver for most of my meat and vegetable chopping as well and for crushing garlic, ginger etc and a larger heavier one for cutting through large cuts of meat and bone.. I find them tremendously versatile. Word of warning though, unless you are buying from a reputable source do not buy them online. It is always best to feel a knife in your hands before buying.

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Chinese cleavers are not just for asian cooking. I use a 7 inch Chinese cleaver for most of my meat and vegetable chopping as well and for crushing garlic, ginger etc and a larger heavier one for cutting through large cuts of meat and bone.. I find them tremendously versatile. Word of warning though, unless you are buying from a reputable source do not buy them online. It is always best to feel a knife in your hands before buying.

Yeah I can definitely see it becoming a widely used knife in my kitchen, I've been watching videos on YouTube of many chefs using them and they are amazing, chopping, slicing, crushing, tenderising, scooping, lining, scraping... The list goes on, one chef was even using the bottom of his handle like a pestle for grinding up herbs and spices.

I will try and buy one in my local Asian market so I'm comfortable with it.

Thanks tmac77

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A few caveats about Chinese cleavers. Yes they do look cool and smashing garlic and ginger with them is fun but...

1) the cheap ones are cheap for a reason. They suck. They are thin and the blades chip and bend.

2) a lot are made with high carbon steel or an alloy containing high carbon steel. High carbon steel needs to be well taken care of. Washed and oiled after each use. Never placed in the dishwasher or allowed to lay in sink making contact with water and doesn't like contact with high acid foods. They pit and chip easily.

3) they tend to be heavy. For lengthy cutting jobs these cleavers will tire your hand and arm.

4) because the blades tend to be flat (no bow) they aren't good for rocking back and forth as you slice. You must pick up the heavy blade for each cut.

Good luck with what ever choice you make

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1) the cheap ones are cheap for a reason. They suck. They are thin and the blades chip and bend.

2) a lot are made with high carbon steel or an alloy containing high carbon steel. High carbon steel needs to be well taken care of. Washed and oiled after each use. Never placed in the dishwasher or allowed to lay in sink making contact with water and doesn't like contact with high acid foods. They pit and chip easily.

These two points are especially relevant as there are allot of cheap quality knives being sold out there especially in the local asian markets. We have quite a large china town here in Toronto and most of the cleavers sold in the markets are cheap. Best to get a double Henckel like this one:

http://www.zwilling.com/en/artikeldetails/items/30795-180-0.html

.

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Coincidentally I'm also in the market for a new set of cutlery. After 25 years my Henckel's Professional Series Set has seen better days. The steel held up great until this year when I mysteriously lost the tip of my blade on the 10" Chef and the handles on most have cracked or broken off. Most if not all are in the process of being refurbished with some rosewood handles in my shop. But they may become a secondary set if I purchase something new.

My big question is it even worth the extra money for the Damascus steel blade. My choices thus far are between the American made Benchmade Prestigedge, the Wustolf Classic or Kershaw Shun

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My big question is it even worth the extra money for the Damascus steel blade. My choices thus far are between the American made Benchmade Prestigedge, the Wustolf Classic or Kershaw Shun

Damascus steel is beautiful in a knife but usually comes at a premium and won't improve how we'll you cut or cook. If you have the cash and want some really nice knives, go for it. I have used a number of knives in the past and have had great results. When I first started cooking I used:

Forschner: inexpensive, thin but strong blade, maintained edge well but hard to sharpen if you allow them to go dull.

As I moved forward in my career knife choices changed and became more expensive but I still love forschner knives but I think they are now sold as victorynox. Here are some other knives I used and som pros and cons

Wusthof Grand Prix: moderately expensive, great knife, sharpens easily, dulls easily, knife blade is thick so if it isnt extremely sharp it tears hard veg like carrots, potatoes etc.I still have my Grand Prix chef knife but its 17 yrs old and looks more like a stick than a knife.

Assorted Japanese: from ultra expensive Matsumoto to cheaper less known brands from korin trading, these knives can get a surgical edge but dull very quickly and must be maintained extensively to keep an edge and keep them from rusting and pitting.

Global: expensive, good knives, handles are a little slippery

Shun: most of the knives i use now are shun premier. Great knives expensive, pain to maintain. Pit and rust easily, sharpen well, dull quickly.

I have not used the knives that you mention but the price point on the kershaw is good as long as the knives have a full tang. The blades aren't cheap/really thin

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These two points are especially relevant as there are allot of cheap quality knives being sold out there especially in the local asian markets. We have quite a large china town here in Toronto and most of the cleavers sold in the markets are cheap. Best to get a double Henckel like this one:

http://www.zwilling.com/en/artikeldetails/items/30795-180-0.html

.

Thanks tmac77

It's funny you posted that link because that's the knife I was considering purchasing, all my knives are henckels and I think they are fantastic, they keep their edge and are relatively easy to sharpen.

I think that will be the knife I buy, but the only thing holding me back is that I was going to use it to cleave chicken bones and the website clearly states its not to be used for that. What are your thoughts?

The cheaper cleavers seem to be used for cleaving for chicken bones and pork ribs with ease.

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Thanks tmac77

It's funny you posted that link because that's the knife I was considering purchasing, all my knives are henckels and I think they are fantastic, they keep their edge and are relatively easy to sharpen.

I think that will be the knife I buy, but the only thing holding me back is that I was going to use it to cleave chicken bones and the website clearly states its not to be used for that. What are your thoughts?

The cheaper cleavers seem to be used for cleaving for chicken bones and pork ribs with ease.

The one that I linked you to is a cutting chopping chinese knife. Should be fine for chicken wings and ribs but not heavier duty chopping.

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My 2 cents:

In this order:

Shun Premier

Kyocera ( ceramic)

Calphalon Katana Series

You can always pick up a nikiri style blade for that mini cleaver feel, but not the work load.

For most home cooks, look no further than the Calphalon Katana set , they have a great warranty and sharpening/honeing program and they also have a great matching set of steak knives. You can add specialty blades to the set as you desire. The blades are Japaneese Demarcus and the craftsmanship is superb.

I prefer these over Henkels and Wusthof anyday!

http://store.calphalon.com/productline/katana-series-cutlery/4294959912-1982-1957

http://store.calphalon.com/calphalon-katana-series-18-pc-knife-block-set/299052

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