Best Chinese Cleaver

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These days there is such a wide variety of available kitchenware available. From utensils for baking to fancy machines to make the cooking process easy, one almost needs a notebook to keep track of what gets used and when. 

When it comes to knives, the situation is no different. There are knives for chopping and knives for paring. Then there are knives specifically for bread and others that are specifically for meat. 

You would almost expect each knife to come with a detailed engraving, to be able to be sure of its use. Or you would need to go on a course just to learn what each product is meant for. One of the most widely used and versatile knives is the Chinese cleaver. 

These incredibly versatile knives have been used for centuries by people all over the world, not just in China. The reason these knives are named Chinese cleavers is based on the fact that they originated in ancient China hundreds of years ago. 

Why Would You Purchase a Chinese Cleaver?

Considering the cleaver has so many uses, you would be at somewhat of a disadvantage if you did not have one in your kitchen somewhere. These versatile knives can slice through thick cuts of meat and in most cases the bones too. 

Some people use them individually for a purpose, and others use them as a one size fits all approach. Interesting to note that many Chinese people do still use these cleavers in their kitchens for all their cutting needs. Whether it is chopping, slicing or dicing - the versatile Chinese cleaver is an absolute gem to have in the kitchen. 

You may find that some of the products are a bit heavier, and some not so heavy. If it’s heavy, it doesn’t mean it’s necessarily a better product. And of course vice versa. Buying a Chinese cleaver is a matter of what feels right for you. 

What is more comfortable, what feels right in your hand? We will go through some reviews of various Chinese cleavers to try to give you a more in-depth look into what each product has to offer. 

Chinese Cleaver Comparison Chart

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EDITOR’S RATING

Stainless steel handle 

Affordable and versatile 

Durable high-carbon steel 

Wooden grooved handle

Corrosion-free stainless steel 

Wooden handle for better grip 

100% stainless steel 

Ideal for commercial use 

Heavy, professional use

Not suitable for bones as it may damage the blade

Budget-friendly

Corrosion-free and durable

Unique special design, contains high carbon NO STAIN steel

One-piece precision strength blade

Product Reviews

1. Winco Chinese Cleaver

This stainless steel knife comes with a stainless steel handle, making it durable and long-lasting. The Winco products are of the highest standard and are incredibly affordable.

Editors Rating:

Overview:

  • Durable material
  • Stainless steel handle 
  • Versatile

Product Overview

If you have a limited budget, then this knife is a must-have for your kitchen. Whether it is to cut through your portions of meat or slice up those fresh and crispy salad ingredients; this Winco cleaver is up to the challenge. And it won’t cost you an arm and a leg. This Chinese cleaver is rust-free, so as long as you take good care of it, you will have a trustworthy cleaver on hand.

What We Like

The stainless steel handle is more durable and long lasting. The width of the knife is perfect for quick and sharp cutting. 

What We Don't Like

If the product is not dried correctly, the watermarks from cleaning are visible on both the blade and the handle. 

Pros

  • Easy to clean 
  • Multiple uses 
  • Long-lasting 

Cons

  • Watermarks can show up on the blade if not wiped properly

2. Crestware Chinese Cleaver

This heavy-duty Chinese cleaver comes with a wooden grooved handle. This cleaver is made using high-carbon steel and is durable. 

Editors Rating:

Overview:

  • High-carbon steel 
  • Wooden grooved handle 

Product Overview

This perfect for home use cleaver will fit into almost all kitchens. The easy to hold wooden handle with the indented grooves gives you a non-slip grip hold. 

What We Like

This extremely budget friendly cleaver is surprisingly effective and will rise to any cut of meat you put in its path. The traditional looking cleaver will make you feel like you are cooking in the East. 

What We Don't Like

The wooden handle should not be left in water for long periods, this can damage the wood and cause it to change shape and even crack.

Pros

  • Extremely affordable
  • Easy to clean

Cons

  • The handle may get damaged if exposed to long periods submerged in water 

3. Winco Heavy Duty Chinese Cleaver

This heavy duty 8-inch knife looks the part. This durable knife is made from high-quality stainless steel and is dishwasher safe too. The knife boasts a wooden handle for a more comfortable and more reliable grip. On close inspection, the wooden handle is gently curved to fit snug into your hand, making this a dream to work with.

Editors Rating:

Overview:

  • Durable, stainless steel 
  • Comfortable and easy to use wooden handle 
  • Dishwasher friendly

Product Overview

This cleaver is designed to fit its name. With its heavy-duty blade, you will slice through food with ease. The knife is dishwasher safe, making it easier to clean. The heavy-duty design in stainless steel will ensure a long-lasting life. The cleaver is affordable and is well designed. You will be feeling like a pro when you are using this cleaver. 

What We Like

This product is so easy to clean that it just wipes clean. 

What We Don't Like

The weight can get a bit heavy after slicing for extended periods of time. 

Pros

  • Corrosion-free
  • Durable material
  • DIshwasher safe

Cons

  • The wooden handle can deteriorate over time

4. Utopia Kitchen Chopper Cleaver

This 7-inch stainless steel chopper and cleaver is perfect for the bigger kitchen. If you mean business, then this is the product to buy. The strong and solid finish will not disappoint. If you are going for the all stainless steel finish look, then this cleaver will fit right into your kitchen. Another added extra is if you prefer to store your knives on a magnetized rack, this works too! With little force, you will slice through a whole chicken with ease. 

Editor's Rating

Overview

  • Durable and strong
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Comfortable to handle

Product Overview

This product is perfect for either your home kitchen or for the commercial kitchen. The stylish design looks classic. This product will blend in well with your other stainless steel products in your kitchen. 

What We Like

The complete stainless steel finish gives the cleaver an expensive look. 

What We Don’t Like

The product does not come with any guarantee. 

Pros

  • Easy to use handle
  • Dishwasher safe

Cons

  • No guarantee

5. Wusthof Heavy Chinese Cleaver

Although this product may be a bit on the pricey side, this gourmet 8-inch knife is suited for the more serious home cooks and professional chefs. This product will slice effortlessly through meat but is not recommended for bones as this may damage the blade. The stamped blade is made using high-carbon stainless steel, giving you chef quality performance you won’t easily forget. The handle has been triple-riveted for safety, and is heat resistant and can withstand high impact. 

Editor's Rating

Overview

  • Rust free 
  • Perfect for everyday and professional use

Product Overview

This knife will show your friends that you are not just an amateur in the kitchen. This may not be a budget-friendly purchase, but you can rest assured you are buying a quality product. This Chinese cleaver is made in Germany and is not suited for cutting through bones. 

What We Like

With the purchase of this product for your kitchen at home, it makes you feel like you are leaving the amateur ranks and moving up to the more professional standing. While the cost of this cleaver may exceed what you are initial want to spend, this purchase is a wise choice. 

What We Don’t Like

The cleaver should be gently washed, to avoid any scratching or damage to the blade. 

Pros

  • Professional finish
  • Cuts through meat with ease

Cons

  • Needs to be washed gently to avoid scratching

6. Tuo Cleaver

This affordable 7-inch cleaver not only cuts through food using it’s high-quality German steel. This beautifully crafted cleaver is finished with an attractive wooden handle and boasts a perfect weight. The strength and durability of this cleaver will ensure it won’t break or crack.

Editor's Rating

Overview

  • Well-crafted handle
  • Affordable, easy handling
  • Every day use

Product Overview

This sharp well-crafted cleaver will be an asset to your kitchen. The pakkawood finish to the handle makes the cleaver an attractive feature in your selection. This product is both oil proof as well as corrosion-free, ensuring you will get a long-lasting experiencing when choosing this product.

What We Like

This cleaver is very affordable, even though it looks pricey. The well-crafted handle is easy to manage while cutting food.

What We Don’t Like


The slight bend at the end of the blade may mean you cannot cut straight, but instead, need to roll the cutting to ensure even slicing. 

Pros

  • Comfortable handle

Cons

  • Slightly rounded end

7. Zwilling J.a. Henckels Cleaver

This high-end product is precision-made in Germany. This one-piece stamped blade is made using special formula carbon NO STAIN steel. The one-piece blade makes the knife lighter in weight, but does not sacrifice any of its strength. The special ice-hardened FRIODUR blade is extremely resilient and stays sharper for longer. 

Editor's Rating

Overview

  • Polymer handle for perfect handling
  • No stain steel
  • Ice-hardened blade

Product Overview

This incredible specially formulated high carbon no stain steel product will make you the envy of your friends. Using their traditional three-rivet design with the embeded logo, this product is one you will want to have on show in your kitchen for everyone to see. The handle is ergonomically designed for the most comfortable and excellent grip. The unique design, using the ice-hardened technique will ensure that your blade stays sharper for much longer. 

What We Like

This cleaver is absolute value for money. The precision made product from Germany will last a lifetime.      

What We Don’t Like

While the price may be on the high side for some, you are definitely getting what you pay for. 

Pros

  • No stain steel composition

Cons

  • A bit on the expensive side

Buyer’s Guide

The choice of products available is endless. The broader and thinner blades are a little more tricky to work with and can take some practice to master. Keep the use in mind and then ensure that the Chinese cleaver you purchase fits that use.

These Chinese cleavers are incredibly versatile so can generally be used for more than just cutting through meat. Be careful to select products made from durable and long-lasting materials. If your budget is not tight, there are more high-end professional products available.

Safety First

First and foremost, you want to ensure that you purchase a product that has a good grip. Try to find a cleaver with a comfortable handle that is not likely to slip out of your hands easily.

A Lasting Effect

The last thing you want is to spend money on a low-quality product. A good quality versatile knife is a valuable asset in any kitchen. A little will go a long way when it comes to choosing the right cleaver for you. You want something with a bit of weight, but not something too heavy to handle. Lightweight may mean that the knife is prone to snapping or breaking, which can result in reasonable harm being done. 

Something Extra

If you want to impress your friends, some of the more upmarket cleavers even have handles that double up as meat tenderizers and can be used to grind spices. Fancy that! 

Chinese Cleavers: Frequently Asked Questions

Can i sharpen the knife myself?

Depending on the quality of steel, some cleavers won’t need to be sharpened for a long time. Generally, products made using high-quality stainless steel will maintain its sharp edge for quite some time. This is also dependent on what you use the cleaver for. If you are chopping through hard bones, then you may need to sharpen your cleaver more regularly.

A cleaver can be sharpened in the same way that you would sharpen your other kitchen knives, by using either a file or a stone.

Why do most people say stainless steel is better?

The reason consumers choose to purchase stainless steel products is that they tend to be corrosion resistant. Often products made from carbon steel have been known to rust and thereby also leave a strange aftertaste with the rust. A product made from stainless steel will ultimately last longer.

How long should the blade be on the Chinese cleaver?

While there are various sizes available, the most used and favored cleavers have blades measuring 7-inches in length as a minimum. When you are making your purchase, hold the cleaver in your hand. It should feel comfortable and balanced in your hand. 

Does it matter if i buy a Chinese cleaver with a thick blade or a thin blade?

Depending on what you want to use the cleaver for, yes this matters. If you only want to cut vegetables, then a thin blade is more suitable. However, if you’re going cut through bones and meat, then you will require a thicker blade for this. 

Is a cleaver with a stainless steel handle better than a cleaver with a wooden handle?

While this is mostly a matter of personal preference, always make sure that when you hold the cleaver that it feels comfortable but more importantly safe in your hand. A good grip will ensure that the cleaver does not slip out of your hand while using; this could result in severe harm if you are not careful. 

How can i choose the right Chinese cleaver for me?

With so many products boasting very similar qualities, price and availability may play a part. With some products being affordable, others can top the scales. As long as the Chinese cleaver is durable and safe to use, you will not go wrong. 

Do the Chinese cleavers come with a guarantee?

This depends on the manufacturer. It is always safe to check if the product you are looking to purchase comes with any guarantee. 

Final Verdict

We hope that this has given you a bit more insight into Chinese cleavers and how they can be used. While taking the time to see which product works best for you, remember when working with knives a person should always take extra care. Some consumers have a particular preference to stick with a reputable brand that they know, while others may be comfortable to venture out and try something new.

Don’t be alarmed if the name of the product does not specify ‘Chinese’ - a cleaver is generally a cleaver and most of the available products are made with the same concept in mind. 

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