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Thread: Help with choosing a chopping cleaver

  1. #1
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    Help with choosing a chopping cleaver

    So in my review of the Ashi cleaver I noticed that chopping while hella fun, is not so good on the edge. Sooo I need a chopping cleaver. I ask the collective wisdom of KKF to help me.

    Currently my CCK 1303 is my main chopper. The chopping will mostly be with veg like carrots and potato. The cleavers secondary duty is mincing meat like pork or chicken.

    What type of knife(s) do you think you want?

    A No7 chopping cleaver 550 - 600grams

    Why is it being purchased? What, if anything, are you replacing?

    After getting a No6 I realized the fragility of a No6 when used in a chopping motion. Thus begin my quest to find a chopping cleaver.

    What do you like and dislike about these qualities of your knives already?

    Aesthetics- donít care
    Edge Quality/Retention- yes if the edge doesnít last long it better be easy to sharpen, vice versa
    Ease of Use- as long as itís the same as any cleaver
    Comfort- has to be comfortable

    What grip do you use?


    Pinch or peace depending on the knife

    What kind of cutting motion do you use?

    My chopping motion is a down and backward chopping motion. Like Iím pulling my arm back while pushing the blade down. But Iím comfortable with the various cleaver slicing motions

    Where do you store them?

    Kitchen drawer with blade cover

    Have you ever oiled a handle?

    sure

    What kind of cutting board(s) do you use?

    a $20 Horizontal grain hardwood board, not the best but it works.

    For edge maintenance, do you use a strop, honing rod, pull through/other, or nothing?


    Stroping on a surgical black arkansas, with a quick cut on some cork.

    Have they ever been sharpened?

    Yes, sharpening consists a 2000 sharpton then on the Arkansas. If really bad I have a tiger 800

    What is your budget?

    300ish


    What do you cook and how often?


    Everything from Western, Mexican, French, Chinese etc

    Special requests(Country of origin/type of wood/etc)?


    The no7 has to be a generalist for me so that rules out any flat bladed cleavers like a moritaka. Must have some belly but not crazy belly.


    Right now I'm having trouble choosing between the Tojiro pro F632 or the Sugimoto no7, from what I understand these 2 are the standard cleavers in Japan and Andy the cleaver guru rates both cleavers favorably (all be it the slicer no 6 versions) . But that being said I'm open to anything, its just that the market is very limited for the heavier chopping cleaver.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Notaskinnychef's Avatar
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    i just bought this cheapy, i know it certainly doesn't have any quality compared to others on here, but it works well for a solid, heavy chopping cleaver and actually came quite sharp OOTB

    great deal for 13 bucks shipped lol

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Winco-Heavy-...E:L:OU:CA:3160

  3. #3
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    That is a great deal, but I think it maybe too heavy duty for my needs.

    I think I need something just a bit heavier then the slicing cleavers but not really a butcher cleaver. A middle weight if there is one.

  4. #4
    Senior Member mpukas's Avatar
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    My first thought is you may consider adjusting your technique a bit. Second thought is adjust your edge to a higher angle to allow for more durability. Cleavers come in different flavors, but even a heavy duty cleaver isn't going to hold a sharp edge if used for heavy pounding on a board. Not much force is required for chopping veg, and if mincing meat on a board, it still doesn't take that much force. Sharpness will always be more important with these items. With any knife, there's always a balance between sharpness and edge retention and technique.

    Saying that, I stumbled across this eBay store, Rader Kitchen Knives, recently that sells some Taiwanese made cleavers - called chopping knives at this store. This one under the Handmade section looks appealing, but may not be heavy duty enough for what youíre looking for. Been meaning to post it up on the cleaver thread for a while now...
    Shibui - simplicity devoid of unnecessary elements

  5. #5
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    I have ordered from this website and received my cleavers without hassle. While I do not have experience with any of the heavier chopper models, there may be some there that meet your requirements, especially if you like the profile of the 1303.
    http://www.chefsmall.net/Chinese-Knives

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by mpukas View Post
    My first thought is you may consider adjusting your technique a bit. Second thought is adjust your edge to a higher angle to allow for more durability. Cleavers come in different flavors, but even a heavy duty cleaver isn't going to hold a sharp edge if used for heavy pounding on a board. Not much force is required for chopping veg, and if mincing meat on a board, it still doesn't take that much force. Sharpness will always be more important with these items. With any knife, there's always a balance between sharpness and edge retention and technique.

    Saying that, I stumbled across this eBay store, Rader Kitchen Knives, recently that sells some Taiwanese made cleavers - called chopping knives at this store. This one under the Handmade section looks appealing, but may not be heavy duty enough for what youíre looking for. Been meaning to post it up on the cleaver thread for a while now...
    Thanks for the links, the VG10 cleaver does look very interesting. I never thought VG-10 would make its way out of Japan.

    I guess chopping is a bad term for the cutting motion, dicing may be a better term as I'm not lifting the blade any higher then 2 inches at a time. Thus whyIi think something with a bit more weight then a 400gram slicer would be better for the role.


    Quote Originally Posted by statusquo View Post
    I have ordered from this website and received my cleavers without hassle. While I do not have experience with any of the heavier chopper models, there may be some there that meet your requirements, especially if you like the profile of the 1303.
    http://www.chefsmall.net/Chinese-Knives
    Thanks, would you know were they ship from?

  7. #7
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    China; shipping came to $20 for two cleavers and I did not get charged duty.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by statusquo View Post
    China; shipping came to $20 for two cleavers and I did not get charged duty.
    Which 2?
    one man gathers what another man spills...

  9. #9
    Senior Member JKerr's Avatar
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    In the same boat of looking for a #7 cleaver myself. The front runners at the moment are the Sugimoto and the Mizuno carbon; though I'm concerned the Mizuno might have too much belly and I'd like to get a Sugimoto OMS cleaver further down the line so while I'm hard pressed to justify the cost of the OMS (at the moment) I don't want the standard if it'll become redundant in a year or so; I liked the idea of treating myself to an OMS as a reward for finishing the apprenticeship

    There's also the issue of other cleavers I'd like to try which may be harder to get a hold of; namely the Gesshin Hide at JKI, FH with wooden handle (another I know, but I really miss that knife) and the Takeshi Saji. I'm starting to really enjoy my Konosuke #6 now that I've worked the kinks out of it, don't know how much the #7 would go for now with the price hike though.

    Enough about me though. For the OP, it might be worth considering the Monzaburo #7 at Aframes. F+F looks a little rustic on the handle, but Takeshi doesn't sell crap and he's great to deal with. White 3 steel might be a good choice for a heavier cleaver too, plus it's only $200. Having said all that, I have no experience with Monzaburo products.

    Cheers,
    Josh

  10. #10
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    The Sugimoto #7 is the right balance between size and weight. It is a fairly nimble knife. If a cleaver can be called nimble. Sugi have the most comfortable handle, short of a custom. The spine is rounded and the choil is slightly rounded. The knife is very comfortable in hand, mainly due to the handle, but the spine tapers, where fingers naturally rest, giving it a locked in feel. It does a good job on veggies, and surprisingly well on proteins.

    Fit and finish are rough. There is scale on the front and choil. The handle is held on by a rat tail tang. They bent the tip over and pounded it into the handle. The bevels have grind marks in them.

    It's not a knife that is going to win a beauty contest. It was designed to be used, and it cuts very well.

    Moritakas can be custom ordered. I've got two of their cleavers. When I placed the orders, I asked for height and width, and left the rest up to them. They asked, If I wanted an all mighty knife or thin like a nakiri. I went with all mighty. They were also curious, how much curve to put in. I asked for flat edge. When I first opened the box, I was shocked. The spine at the handle was 7mm. The cleaver looked more like a battle axe, then a kitchen utensil. I was surprised how well it cut veggies.

    The next knife, I ordered, was with even more height. I asked for it be thin, with a slight curve. Even though I was prepared for large knife. This one was even bigger then the first. It has the largest wa handle, I've ever seen. It has the weight of a 7, but the edge of a 6. It does a nice job with veggies.

    Fit and finish are better then the Sugi. Moritakas are known for having problems with over grinds. I haven't been able to spot any on my knifes, but I wouldn't be surprised if they were there. I don't know what Moritaka is charging now, but I got mine, when they were just under $300.

    If you like the Ashi, you could always order a #7 from them. The best steel I've seen in a cleaver is from Mizuno. Whatever they are using plus their heat treat, makes a knife that has great edge retention. Koki at Japanese Chef knifes should be able to order you one. I think the cost would be in the $400 dollar range.

    Jay

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