Chinese Cleaver Considerations
I currently have the Vegetable Cleaver (198 x 86mm) from the WokShop.com (only $10) and find that I'm reaching for it more and more. It's fairly thin, takes a keen edge and after modifications (rounding spine and choil, removing lacquer) is great to use. I like my 270 Yusuke gyuto too but the cleaver definitely has advantages so I'm thinking about an upgrade.
Yoshihiro for $140, carbon HRC 61, bigger, unsure of weight or thickness, no reviews
Sugimoto #30 for $150, unknown hardness, similar size to current, not a stainless fan
Suien VC for $175, carbon HRC 62, bigger, tolerable price but appears to have way too much belly now.
Sakai Ginga for $270 (Blueway), White #2 HRC 61, worth the extra for flatter profile?, no reviews
Sugimoto #6 or Moritaka for $325, carbon HRC 62, too expensive for minimal gain?
CCK doesn't sound much different from what I have now. The Fanatic handle isn't flush with spine (plus permanently out of stock). Any other options? Leaning towards the Yoshihiro but would like to hear from someone who has tried one.
the yoshihiro cleaver on ebay is nice looking. ive considered it in the past also, but the problem is that its 13.8 ounces compared to cck cleavers of similar size which are only 9.8 ounces. It just seems heavy to me for a cleaver that size. the sugimoto and the ginga white steel cleaver are both 420grams or so which seems like a good size for a cleaver. on the old knife forum a pretty well respected member named seb used to rave about his ginga white steel. i had a gesshin ginga cleaver stainless that i liked alot also. JCK makes a nice little cleaver for like $80 or so but theyve been sold out for awhile and koki told me it would be sometime before they restock it. i like that white steel ginga. as much as i want to try a ******** fanatic i just cant trust that theyre good knives.
Well any of these are certainly a step up fr. your 10.00 cleaver.The CCK is better than what you have now,strong point of CCK is the geometry,thin,lite,not too much belly,decent carbon steel.
I have the Suien VC as well,you are right it has more belly,it is wide as well, over 10 cm.spine to blade road.The steel is higher quality than the CCK & has better edge holding.
If you do not mind spending more for a quality Japan carbon cleaver go for it.The Sakai Ginga is over 100.00 more than the Yoshihiro.I kind of like the Sakai 2mm at the spine.I know fr. my Sakai Gyuto that the Heat Treatment of their white steel is excellent,it takes a razor edge & holds it well as any white steel carbons I have used.
I'm a huge fan of the Sugimoto #6, it's a great all-rounder and generally my go to knife at the moment. There are better slicers and better choppers out there, but the Sugimoto bridges the gap well and feels fantastic in hand. They're not cheap, but I won't hesitate to buy another (if) I ever wear mine out. Steel is your typical white 2, gets super sharp, fast and retention is so-so.
I've heard geometry and profile wise the sakai yasuke are very similar to the Mizuno stainless cleavers, in which case it'd also be an excellent option. Super thin, well ground, F+F is great.
Can't really comment too much on the others. The steel in the sugimoto #30 is nice, kinda similar to Gin 3 I think, assuming it's the same as the CM series gyutos. But personally, I would recommend going for a full size cleaver if you're looking to experiment.
There was a sugimoto #6 in the BST forum a couple weeks back, dunno if it's still available, but it was a real bargain, maybe have a look there.
I'd also recommend getting in touch with Butcher&Baker and seeing if they're expecting more of the Pierre Rodrigue Mid Techs. Feel's a little delicate due to how thin it is, but the steel holds up nicely, well balanced and at $250, they're a steal.
rodrigue mid tech cleavers for $250? wow. that sugimoto was never sold. the buyer removed it from the listing. but you can ask him if he still wants to sell it, i think he is still searching for a buyer.
The CCK is commonly recommended to people who are interested in a cleaver and want to try one. Geometry of the knife is suppose to be excellent. The steel has been called odd, and does not maintain an edge, for very long, but its very easy to sharpen.
The Suien VC is recommended to people who want to try a full size cleaver 220 x 110, with Japanese steel.
The Sugimoto 30 is a smaller cleaver and meant for the home kitchen.
Sumgimoto 6 is probably the best all around cleaver, that I've used. The size and weight is ideal for a cleaver. It feels nimble in the hand. The distal taper is very useful. The front end is thin and is great for slicing onions. The back is noticeably thicker, so it works well with harder vegetables. The handle is the most comfortable for a production knife. Who ever designed the Sugi 6, knew cleavers. Everything that could enhance the performance of the knife, was done from rounding the spine, to slightly rounding the choil, to the handle.
Moritaka cleavers with AS have a lot going for them. The steel takes a very keen edge, which it can hold for a very long time. With their wide bevels, they just slide through vegetables. If you haven't poked around the threads, you may want to take a look at the concerns that have been raised about Moritaka. In a nut shell, the knives can be over ground, so that with sharpenings what has been called a hole in the edge may appear. It doesn't happen with all Moritakas, but enough that it is a cause for concern.
I don't have any information on the rest of the cleavers on your list.
Okay, I'm convinced...in part because Jason still had his Sugi #6 for sale at $200. Payment sent.
FYI, I checked with Koki and Suien did in fact change the design three years ago to add more belly. The photo on JCK shows the older, flatter style but those are no longer available. All current Suien's look like the JKI photos. What a shame.
The Yoshihiro is made from 2.5 mm White #2 and has a flatter profile. At 391 grams, it's very similar to the JCK Kagayaki KG-25 (380 g) but the blade appears to be a bit shorter and wider. $140 vs $110 delivered. Same factory?
Great let us know how you like it when you start using it.