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Which do-it-all cleaver for my wife?
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Thread: Which do-it-all cleaver for my wife?

  1. #1

    Which do-it-all cleaver for my wife?

    My wife is not a knife person. She's never been one to fuss over kitchen tools, and special treatment of knives is beyond her comprehension. With a toddler and an infant under her care, it's tough enough for her to do anything more than throw a knife into the sink after use, let alone wash and dry it. When I saw her use my gyuto to draw cut a pizza directly on a metal baking sheet (it's just a Tojiro DP, but still) I figured it was time get some knives that she could grab when she knows she won't have the time or focus to treat them properly, but still nice enough for her to enjoy using them.

    Currently, her most used knife is a Ronco Six Star Chop 'n Serve from a set I bought through an infomercial about ten years ago. Aside from being absolute garbage, it's also super-thin, feather-light with a tall profile and a rectangular shape most resembling a Chinese cleaver. It also has a handle shape that forces a grip over the blade, so I think a standard pinch-grip would be natural for her. I figured it wouldn't be too far a leap to get her an actual Chinese cleaver, so I'm looking for some recommendations. So far, I'm considering the following:

    Dexter Russell Sofgrip Chinese Cleaver (basically, a synthetic-handled version of the S5198)


    Victorinox Nylon Handle Chinese Cleaver


    My concern is that neither of these is a lightweight cleaver and both are 8", which is almost twice as long as her crappy Chop 'n Serve. Are there any other choices out there that are...?

    a) Affordable enough to replace easily if it gets damaged
    b) All stainless/synthetic for the unavoidable trip through the dishwasher or left soaked in lemon juice for hours
    c) Small enough and light enough for someone unaccustomed to using large/heavy knives
    d) Easily hand-sharpened, taking a decent edge and holding it with regular honing
    e) Useful for all-around meal prep tasks like slicing meat and dicing veggies and used in tandem with Vic paring knives for everything else

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    Which do-it-all cleaver for my wife?

    How about the smaller dexter ? It's about nakiri size.

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B0001M...pi=SL500_SS115



    I have one and it's pretty thin at the edge. So it's not a chopper but it's still pretty robust for general work.

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    Senior Member daveb's Avatar
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    I can't keep up with cck model numbers but they make a small, 5-6 inch that fits your description and I've read they offer it in stainless. I got one from the wok shop in SF many years ago thats still around somewhere.

    Will offer that a cleaver is difficult to use effectively and wife would prob be better served with small chef/gyuto or santoku. Wimins like the santoku, stainless can be had in hundred buck range. Good luck in your search.
    Dave
    Older and wider.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by MikeHL View Post
    How about the smaller dexter ? It's about nakiri size.

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B0001M...pi=SL500_SS115



    I have one and it's pretty thin at the edge. So it's not a chopper but it's still pretty robust for general work.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Yes, the smaller Dexter is just about perfect but I was worried about the wood handle swelling and cracking if left in the sink. I suppose I'd have to oil it on occasion but it seems like a good solution otherwise. I wish they made it in a sani-safe or sofgrip version though.

    Quote Originally Posted by daveb View Post
    I can't keep up with cck model numbers but they make a small, 5-6 inch that fits your description and I've read they offer it in stainless. I got one from the wok shop in SF many years ago thats still around somewhere.

    Will offer that a cleaver is difficult to use effectively and wife would prob be better served with small chef/gyuto or santoku. Wimins like the santoku, stainless can be had in hundred buck range. Good luck in your search.
    Thanks, I'd love to see some CCK cleavers that fit the bill. I've seen some that are all stainless (handle included) and they seem pretty robust. I would normally agree about a chef/santoku but I specifically asked her which knife she used the most (we have two chef knives in different sizes) and it was the veggie cleaver. She's comfortable with the height of the profile and choking up on the blade.

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    Check out Katom.com's site. Town Food Service has some metal handled cleavers that might do the trick. And a bunch of D-Rs, too.
    You just think you know who he is.

  6. #6
    Senior Member brainsausage's Avatar
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    Nakiri's might be the way to go. Lots of stainless and synthetic handle options out there.
    The AI does not love you, nor does it hate you, but you are made out of atoms it might find useful for something else. - Eliezer Yudkowsky

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    Hmm looking at the ronco chop & serve it looks like a scraper with a handle.
    Have you looked in to the Zhen cleavers? they are VG10 clad with stainless.

    I got my mom the light slicer, it is what it says it is a thin light slicing cleaver. Will tend to dent if used for any hard chopping. The knife is all metal with a rubber warped handle (the black stuff). Personally I'm not a big fan of the long thin handles on cleavers, so I think the handle is so so, but my mom likes it.


    http://www.amazon.com/ZHEN-Japanese-...pd_sim_sbs_k_1

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    I have had that Zhen's bigger brother for a couple years now and I find it very comfortable and capable. And if you're already familiar sharpening VG-10 as evidenced by your Tojiro, it seems like a natural fit.

  9. #9


    Dave Martell's Avatar
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    Veg cleavers are thin but VERY tall and VERY long and I've never met a woman who owned one but I've seen thousands of nakiris from women users/owners which makes this seem like a much safer bet. Unless your wife specifically asked for, or showed interest in, a cleaver I'd steer away from that choice and look towards a nakiri.

  10. #10


    Dave Martell's Avatar
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    BTW, in my experience, this is what most women call a cleaver....




    *Note - I'm not putting women down here, this is just a fact that I've experienced over the years sharpening.

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