View Full Version : Chinese chef knife (cleaver)

09-11-2011, 10:53 AM
Hey everyone,

I posted in the other forum and had decided after getting some advice to buy a CCK full size carbon steel veggie chopper but after it arrived with the blade damaged and I was able to hold it for a few minutes I decided I would like a higher quality and a bit smaller knife. I love a wide blade to work with I hate the but i think I need ~195mm width blade instead of the 210mm. And after seeing it I really would like to have a bit better fit and finish.

Can anyone recommend a carbon steel Chinese veggie cleaver that looks a bit nicer than the CCK for $100-$200?

I found the Sugimoto #30 but that is made of something called "Chromium and Molybdenum " which seem to be something they throw into stainless to make it harder?

Anyone have any thoughts

09-11-2011, 11:00 AM
Jaybett made a post about this very subject a short while ago that I thought was awesome.

Here is the link (http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/showthread.php?2668-Which-way-to-go....Chinese-or-Japanese&p=40514&highlight=#post40514)

its the third post down.

09-11-2011, 11:08 AM
Hehe, yeah he was responding to my earlier post. He suggested I try a CCK to start out with and thats what I got. Although I didn't use the damaged cleaver, I did hold it and decided I want a smaller one to start out. Jaybett did give me a few suggestions for cleavers other than the CCK but they were in the $300 + range, which I can't do. I'm looking for a max of $200.

09-11-2011, 11:14 AM
Opps, i meant to put that I wanted a smaller width blade than the 110 mm not 210 mm*

09-11-2011, 11:32 AM
While it may not be higher quality the CCK 1303 is only 86 mm tall which I really like. The only other option that I am aware for a cleaver with less width would be the Kagayaki from JCK (http://www.japanesechefsknife.com/ChineseCleaver.html)

Or go custom

09-11-2011, 11:34 AM

Personally, I use this knife alot. It is suppose to be a chinese chef's knife not a cleaver. You mentioned " chinese veggie cleaver" . I use mine to slice a fish (6-8 inches) laterally ( debone), cut through chicken tendons or go through joints with no problem. Smashing garlic no problem. Being blade heavy it cuts very nicely. Most of all I like the scooping action it allows.

The edge I put on this one is almost the same as my other chef's knife and it is really sharp. Being a home cook.. my prep is full of interruption; cut, clean, wash and pack and repeat for something else... But I suppose if you are using a really heavy blade knife non stop.. it can be tiring on the wrists.. Having said that, whilst i was in china, I saw a street vendor cutting the skin off water chestnuts with his chinese chef knife very fast and non stop...

I would not be too concerned if I have nicks and chips as the height is very high and as you grind them upwards ( towards the spine) it becomes a tougher knife sort of become "customized" for your use.

Their highest grade steel is under the category of OMS. High Price. They also have a mid range and the CM model The one you are looking at is for Home use. Others are for professional use.

have fun... either you love it or hate it...
rgds david

09-11-2011, 11:41 AM
I haven't used the Sugimoto cleavers before, so I can't comment on how they feel - but I *think* choices in 195mm length are pretty limited. The steel sounds to me like a stainless variety, but that doesn't say much about whether it's a good stainless or not.

09-11-2011, 11:46 AM
The only other option that I am aware for a cleaver with less width would be the Kagayaki from JCK (http://www.japanesechefsknife.com/ChineseCleaver.html)

The Kagayaki from JCK gives me a better impression than the Sugi 30. Of course, that's based purely on the two webpages - I haven't used either before.

09-11-2011, 12:28 PM

I have no problem getting their edges real sharp on their qyutos. They are quite secretive about steel used other than pure Japanese ore which is known for its purity..

The angle of sharpening is 30/70 adn 8 degrees each side.. http://www.sugimoto-hamono.com/e/sharpening.html

rgds david

09-11-2011, 05:21 PM
I saw the last post on your other thread. What do you mean by the blade was broken? It snapped in half? There are chips in the edge? The handle is loose?

The first step with cleavers is finding out, if you can work with them and be productive. There is a bit of faulty thinking that one can pick up a cleaver and use it as easily as a gyuto. I'd say that a cleaver is just as alien in western kitchens as are single bevel knives. There is a learning curve with both of them.

The key to using a cleaver is the grip. Thumb and forefinger are extended down the blade. For even more control, extend your index finger down the blade, to make a sideways peace sign. The height of cleaver allows the muscles in the forearm to be used, in addition to the wrist muscles. I find that I am much more comfortable using a cleaver over extended periods, then a gyuto.

The CCK's advantage, over the competitors is that its thin. Some people who have upgraded to a Japanese cleaver, have complained that their new knife doesn't cut as well as out of the box as a CCK.

Dexter - Russells are well regarded cleavers that are in the price range of a CCK.

Sugimoto describes the 30 as a utility knife. The chromium would suggest that the knife is stainless.

Sugimoto number 1 and number 2, are a less wide version of number 6 and number 7. Unfortunately they are just as expensive, as the full size cleavers.

After the CCK, the next logical step would be the Suien VC Cleaver, for $160. It would ship free from JKI.

Tojiro makes a nice stainless cleaver from $200.00.


09-11-2011, 06:10 PM
I have the small misono cleaver. It was my main knife for more than one year and a half and my first high end cleaver. It is thin, with very good steel and is not difficult to put a good edge on it. I was very happy with it at that time. Then I started buying full size cleavers and soon got used to that size, which I prefer now. So the misono gets almost no use at all these days.

I think it depends on what you get used to, I would say try different sizes and find out which one you like most. I would repair the cck if possible and try to use it for a while before buying a new one

09-11-2011, 06:38 PM
If the Sugimoto CM cleaver is the same steel as the CM gyuto, and I see no reason why it shouldn't be, it's hard, easy to sharpen stainless that takes a fine edge and holds it quite well.

NO ChoP!
09-11-2011, 10:35 PM
Suien virgin carbon ??? I think its 220mm, though. But, a good value @ $160ish.....

09-11-2011, 11:32 PM
Yeah, I just looked at the Suien VC and I might go that direction, though i read from a lot of people that the handle is really uncomfortable. I'm not sure if they are using the pinch grip, but it seems like if you use the grip you suggested the "Peace" sign grip, which is what I'll be using. I guess I just wanted a nicer quality knife, I don't own that many quality crafted things and I thought I might be able to find something with a bit nicer finish if i jumped up to the $150-200 range. The blade seems perfect but the handle is, well what you'd expect from a $50 knife.

As far as the blade goes it look someone a pair of pliers on about a half inch long piece of the blade and bent it back until it broke. very strange, not sure how that could happen from a drop in the mail...

thanks for all your advice!