'Official' Dimensions Cleaver vs. Nakiri | Chime in

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Jville

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True, that’s where grind comes into place. Have you used one of those before, thoughts?
 
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Those are super thin slicers, some chefs actually use them for very delicate jobs like Wensi tofu. Tho in Chinese those are just called duck knife. I think one thing we didn’t discuss is no one calls Chinese chef knives cleaver in Chinese. And Chinese chef knives have many sub categories with wildly different design.
 

Luxman

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I actually have a Nakiri that’s heavier than my cleaver…

You must have some lighter cleavers then! For me, my 165 wa handle nakiri is the lightest compared to my 6 cleavers! :)
 
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You must have some lighter cleavers then! For me, my 165 wa handle nakiri is the lightest compared to my 6 cleavers! :)
There’s tons of cleaver under 300g, especially Sang Dao or Siu Pian. Toyama 210mm are hardly the heaviest Nakiri, 195mm Yo handle Denka is 330g, the Anryu 400mm is 400g, this one here is almost 500g.
 

IMakeOnionsCry

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How would you define a nakiri then? Is everything that isn’t a cleaver a nakiri, or does a Nakari have its own arbitrary dimensions?

Is there something in between?
 
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Since my formula was rejected, I guess we will have to go with the test provided by Justice Potter:

“I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of [rectangle] I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description ["cleaver"], and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it…”
 

M1k3

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Should it be about height at all though? What about the height to length ratio?

I could make a 120mmX480mm blade and that would fall under you specs, but it wouldn't resemble much of a cleaver.
Extra tall paring knife?
 

BillHanna

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Jonas just sent out a newsletter with a very attractive nakiri in it.

Second one is this 191x76mm Cleaver.
Coresteel is 1.2519 and cladding is wroughtiron, Handle is Bog Oak.
Price for this one will be 5300sek incl. shipping (+25% VAT within EU)

isasmedjan.jpg
 

Jville

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And then there are the Peking Duck cleavers that look like long narrow nakiri

Since my formula was rejected, I guess we will have to go with the test provided by Justice Potter:

“I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of [rectangle] I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description ["cleaver"], and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it…”
Well said Sir, well said!
 

Qapla'

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Depends who you ask, nakiri are sold as small cleavers in China.
I think one thing we didn’t discuss is no one calls Chinese chef knives cleaver in Chinese. And Chinese chef knives have many sub categories with wildly different design.
What then is the nakiri design known as in Chinese (inasmuch as it's identified as a "small 'cleaver'")?
 
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What then is the nakiri design known as in Chinese (inasmuch as it's identified as a "small 'cleaver'")?
I don’t have a direct answer for you, but note that caidao (Chinese name for the standard slicing cleaver) literally translates to “vegetable knife” (ignoring that “cai” also generally refers to cuisine in Chinese), which I would consider a close parallel to nakiri (ie. vegetable cutter in Japanese)
 
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What then is the nakiri design known as in Chinese (inasmuch as it's identified as a "small 'cleaver'")?
Depends on who's selling it, most large brand sell them as 小菜刀/small cleaver or 女士菜刀/ladies' knife, but some more specialized brand will use the Japanese kanji 菜切/nakiri.
I don’t have a direct answer for you, but note that caidao (Chinese name for the standard slicing cleaver) literally translates to “vegetable knife” (ignoring that “cai” also generally refers to cuisine in Chinese), which I would consider a close parallel to nakiri (ie. vegetable cutter in Japanese)
Caidao is kind a broad term, in a sense every knife used in cooking can be called a Caidao, include western chef and gyuto.
 

nickw_

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I'm curious to know everyone's thoughts on:

What are the precise dimensions that make a rectangle a Cleaver vs. a Nakiri?


So share your thoughts...

What are the precise dimensions a midsize car becomes a full-size car?

There is no fixed standard. You’re really asking for opinions. I would say somewhere between 60-70mm in height it usually crosses over. You start moving from large nakiri’s to small chuka bocho’s.


You could also say, a nakiri is by definition a small cleaver. So I’m thinking you are trying to define the differences between a Chinese cleaver (chuka bocho) and a nakiri (small Japanese vegetable cleaver)?

If so, I would say shape is also important in helping to define and differentiate. A cleaver tends to have a rounded belly. Where as a nakiri tends to have a flatter asymmetric profile like a santoku. Curves towards the tip, and flattens towards the heel.
 
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Qapla'

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Hypothetically, does a cleaver stop being a cleaver once it's been sharpened below the purported height threshold between cleaver and nakiri? Does it stop being a cleaver when it passes .1mm under the line? And, how does it self-identify? Would the nakiris accept it among their number or would it be an outcast from both cleavers and nakiris alike?
I'm guessing the answer is yes, not unlike how a chef's knife that loses too much height (e.g. a repair after a massive chipping) might get reprofiled into a slicer. But as others with more experience than I have have said above, the terminology for nakiri's and "cleavers" isn't that exact.
 

mushroom

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Why do you need that height in a cleaver? Isn't it just dead weight? Except if you try to disassemble a coconut?
 
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I'm guessing the answer is yes, not unlike how a chef's knife that loses too much height (e.g. a repair after a massive chipping) might get reprofiled into a slicer. But as others with more experience than I have have said above, the terminology for nakiri's and "cleavers" isn't that exact.
Funnily that reminds some of the old cleavers using Warikomi would only have couple centimeters of hard steel, so there is a build in mechanism to prevent it turning into a nakiri.
 

Qapla'

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Why do you need that height in a cleaver? Isn't it just dead weight? Except if you try to disassemble a coconut?
Question for "cleaver"-users: Which "cleaver" designs would most often be used to disassemble a coconut?
 
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