Chinese Cleaver sizing
I've been shopping for a Chinese cleaver for all-around kitchen use and found they come in different sizes, from 7" to over 12". The custom made ones also have various sizes. How do you choose the right size for you? I realize the factors may be very subjective, but I still like to hear how other people found their go-to cleaver.
Thanks in advance!
I have found Japanese full size cleaver around 220x110 to be very nice for all rounder. There are models that is a bit less tall around 220x90 which should be just as good if you want a lighter chuka.
ive tried out several sizes. 160, 170, 180, 200, 210, 225, 235 and have a 220 on the way. the small ones (160/170, even 180 sometimes) always felt way to small to be productive. i.e. there are onions around that have a bigger radius then their edgelength... size depends also on how much space u have. if it is for private home use, id go with a 200 x 90, due to space issues and the fact that you hardly produce large amounts there. if its for a pro environment, id go with a "fullsize" 220/225 x 100/110, simply because you can work even faster with it once you got used to it. the 235 feels to big when dicing onions. i guess the sweet spot is the 220 there.
The sweet spot for a cleaver is in the 220 - 225 x 110, for size, weight and agility. Smaller the cleaver doesn't have size and weight to be productive. Larger cleavers can feel awkward.
Weight and edge thickness play a role with a cleaver. Thin edge cleavers are commonly known as slicing cleavers. Medium edge cleavers are called chopping cleavers. Most people prefer slicing cleavers, while a few of us, myself included like the chopping cleavers. The chopping cleavers edge is almost as thin as a slicing cleaver, but the spine and middle part of the knife, are significantly bigger then a slicing cleaver. While there are some wedging issues with a chopping cleaver, I find the extra weight to be an advantage.
I used a cheapo stainless 175 x 83 cleaver for years. The I upgraded to a CCK 1303 at 214 x 90. Very nice. Used that for a year plus. Then upgraded to an Ashi Hamono at 225 x 110. Ah, very nice. They're all good. I'm not looking for anything larger than the Ashi.
i have an ashi in white no.2 as well. good value for the money.
another vote for 22-22.5 cm.
right now i have rather large 24x12.5cm (cck 1101) cleaver and while i have no problem with using it, my next one would be ~22x11cm (cck 1103). i find smaller cleavers (like popular cck 1303) to be surprisingly much, much less comfortable to work with.