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Andy777

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Hey all, I thought I'd make a thread of the cleavers I have left after all these years. They are as follows, in no particular order. See if you are skilled enough to match them with the pics. :tongue:

Sugimoto #6 Fish custom
Sugimoto #7 OMS
Sugimoto #3? This cleaver was made some time in the late 40's not long after WWII, a pretty badass piece of history if I so say so myself.
Takeda Andy Custom :)
Tadatsuna #6 Andy Custom :)
Mizuno #6 Fish Custom
CCK 1102 Fish Custom
Suien VG-10 Andy Custom :)

My absolute favorites are the Tadatsuna and the Suien VG-10, but after all the cleavers and all these years they are all pretty awesome. Ultimately I should probably sell off at least another one or two but it's to the point that I have no idea which one I'd part with. It's late and I'm beat so I'll have to come back tomorrow to discuss. Enough rambling here are the pics. I think you have to click a couple times to get to the full resolution. Enjoy!















 

Don Nguyen

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Man, looking at these photos makes me ask myself, "How in the world do you grind and heat treat something like that?" Should be simple right? I mean, its JUST a square thing.

Bonkers. Those are really cool. I really like the first one. Actually, I like them all.
 

Adagimp

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I remember thinking how awesome the Fish double row of pins handle was the first time I saw it. My opinion hasn't changed. Classy covey of cleavers all around.
 

mattrud

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Nice Andy! It is nice to see you posting more and of course your cleaver collection. I would never part with my fish handled knives!
 

hax9215

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Will be watching tomorrow, if you decide you want to part with any of these I am interested. :cliffhang: Impressive set!!!

Hax the Cook CLEAVERS RULE!!! :D
 

Sarge

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Great collection. I miss my cleavers perhaps one day I'll buy one again
 

Johnny.B.Good

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I think I could do pretty well identifying these Andy...given that it is only a matter of matching them up (I could never do it cold). The Fish handles help. Very distinctive. The patinas on all of these are amazing.

I don't know how you will decide which of these to part with. I would say the CCK, but you mentioned that one has strong sentimental value (on top of being a solid performer). I'm still trying to understand how you were able to sell this all those years ago!

I'll look forward to hearing some more of your thoughts on these (and to the answers as to which one is which!).
 

JohnnyChance

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A lot of great handles there, including the great Fish Mizuno handle, but that Takeda handle is just perfect, one of my favorite wa handles ever. Very nicely done sir.
 

apicius9

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They all look alike to me ;)

Stefan
 

Andy777

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The patinas on all of these are amazing.
I was thinking the opposite. :D after looking at that patina thread I'm embarrased for cleaning mine. I promise from this point forward I'll let more of a patina develop. I can't tell you which pictures are which because the place I'm working today has all photo sites blocked. In fact my access to this site is hit and miss today. :(

JohnnyChance
A lot of great handles there, including the great Fish Mizuno handle, but that Takeda handle is just perfect, one of my favorite wa handles ever. Very nicely done sir.
I have a love-hate relationship with that handle. From a craftsmanship and comfort standpoint it is probably the best I've ever made. However, the brass kind of clashes with the kurouchi for me. I've been this close (picture my hand and my thumb and index finger mere millimeters apart) from tearing it off and making a new one. I was thinking something shorter and stubbier made of ironwood burl with nickel silver highlights. What does everyone think?
 

hax9215

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I am not a religious man but it would be a SIN to tear that handle off! If it does not speak to you, sell that one and do another with the ironwood burl etc. In all honesty, I do like the 'stubby' hande profile but I can say with certainty you could find a buyer! :doublethumbsup:

Hax the Cook CLEAVERS RULE!!! :D
 

malacara

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Thanks for posting pics of your (impressive) cleaver collection and for your comments about them :doublethumbsup: And as hax9215 says: Cleavers rule :lol2:
 

Johnny.B.Good

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I was thinking something shorter and stubbier made of ironwood burl with nickel silver highlights. What does everyone think?
Ironwood burl with nickel silver spacers would be my preference, but the existing handle is impressive (fit and finish wise) and doesn't look too out of place. Maybe you can reuse the existing handle on anther knife and/or sell it to fund the materials you have in mind.
 

bikehunter

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I have a love-hate relationship with that handle. From a craftsmanship and comfort standpoint it is probably the best I've ever made. However, the brass kind of clashes with the kurouchi for me. I've been this close (picture my hand and my thumb and index finger mere millimeters apart) from tearing it off and making a new one. I was thinking something shorter and stubbier made of ironwood burl with nickel silver highlights. What does everyone think?
Well, I'm not even a cleaver fan, so I can't pick'em out by brand, except for maybe the fish ones. But if you are thinking of tearing off the gorgeous handle on the one at the very top, with the almost black kurouchi.... I think you should seek the help of mental health care professionals. :bigeek:
 

David Metzger

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Hi Andy777

I am wondering if you might enlighten us about the weight of cleaver you like best? I was also wondering if you like the grind above the edge symmetrical or perhaps flatter on one side? Do you try to make the edges the same angle? I have always wondered if the 220mm x 110mm is ideal, it just seems a bit taller than needed? Can I ask 1 more question? How thick do you like the spine - I guess this has more to do with overall weight and comfort in holding blade?

Beautiful cleavers, I think you should keep them all!

Thanks
David
 

mr drinky

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That's an impressive keeper collection. I was lucky enough to land one of your cleavers with a fish handle (Masahiro M3). I'm grateful for your collection, but I am also grateful for what you have sold off ;)

k.
 

Andy777

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Well, I'm not even a cleaver fan, so I can't pick'em out by brand, except for maybe the fish ones. But if you are thinking of tearing off the gorgeous handle on the one at the very top, with the almost black kurouchi.... I think you should seek the help of mental health care professionals. :bigeek:
All right you guys have me convinced. :) I still need to decide which one to sell, it may very well be that one. It is probably the best cleaver I have as far as everything I love in a cleaver, but it has the least sentimental value. We'll see. I just really want to get my collection down to a size where I use every knife on a weekly basis. It's just so hard with such a big collection.

I am wondering if you might enlighten us about the weight of cleaver you like best? I was also wondering if you like the grind above the edge symmetrical or perhaps flatter on one side? Do you try to make the edges the same angle? I have always wondered if the 220mm x 110mm is ideal, it just seems a bit taller than needed? Can I ask 1 more question? How thick do you like the spine - I guess this has more to do with overall weight and comfort in holding blade?
I still don't consider myself much of an expert but I do know I love to cook and the cleaver is by far my preferred tool for that task. I don't think there can really be a wrong type of cleaver, it all just depends on what you want to use it for and what qualities you are after. For my #1 everyday go to slicer I like it light, ~400 grams is great. I can't say if I'd like a lighter cleaver because once you take a super thin piece of steel, make it 22x11 and add a handle the high 300's to low 400's is about where it will always come out at the lowest. You want to body behind the cleaver because that is where its strength lies is letting the blade do the work. A lot of times I love using my sugimoto #7 that comes in around 550 grams for that reason.

I don't really worry about how each side is ground as long as it is thin, my Masahiro M3 was nearly flat on one side, I didn't find myself with a preference to my 50/50 knives. With the slicers being so thin and the blade being so tall I don't think it matters as much as it does for other styles of knives. I will say one thing, I know US knife makers consider it a point of pride to have one single grind from spine to edge, however, with a cleaver being so wide I don't prefer that, I like a thin blade that is ground to super thin the last two inches or so. Otherwise you get really bad suction to the blade, and you can't thin it as you use it. I don't know if I'm making any sense on that point, let me know if not.

You are right on the spine thickness. The Sugimotos have very thick spines right in front of the handle, and it quickly tapers to the end of the spine and down the edge, that is super comfy to hold. a thicker spine is pretty much better on all counts for comforts sake, you just have to factor in overall blade thickness and weight. For a slicer you obviously want thin and light, so there is a tradeoff.

As far as size goes, I really like 220-230 and 90-110 wide. If the blade is relatively flat I get the same cutting area as a 270 gyuto, I just like that size, like some like a 210 gyuto or a santoku, there's not a wrong answer it's just preference. Any less wide and the feel in the hand changes for me. It becomes more like a gyuto with a broken tip or a nakiri, not bad but not what I'm after. I like to feel like I'm not top of what I'm cutting, plus you have the scoop factor etc. This is what you have to understand, when I joined knife forums 7 years ago the only cleaver that ever got talked about was the Dexter. Knife outlet and Japan woodworker sold the M3 but no one had one and google searches turned up a few places like the wok shop, your standard made in China Dexter type cleavers occasionally on eBay and around the internet. No one was willing to drop cash on a nice one if it did turn up because there was no one that already had one to ask about it. No one talked about the cleavers like you saw on Iron Chef and if they did it was not in a complimentary manner. Why would anyone pay $100 letalone $400 for a cleaver, I can get a great one with a steel handle for $10 at the Asian market. I wish I had some of the old threads from KF to show. The main theme was that Chinese cuisine consisted of greasy buffets, so you would never need a good knife. These are the same people who were already knife snobs and mocked people with Henkels. None of us gaijins had ever heard of CCK. I started buying cleavers just because no one else was interested or willing in seeing what was out there. Koki at japanesechefsknife started tracking down different cleavers for me and I got better at my google searches to bring up Japanese sites with their badass chukabochos. I never planned on owning 30 different cleavers, but I was curious and wanted to help our understanding about what was out there. I honestly did see it as a strange research project of sorts. Now all of the sudden there were pictures and descriptions and reviews of these mysterious $400 blades. I unwittingly had become the source on these things for a lot of people. I preferred a 220 length and since I was the only reviewing them everyone thought they had to have a 220 as well. But really that's just what I preferred. If someone wants a 180 and that fits their style more power to them, just make sure to post a review and some pics! I've rambling now so if I didn't answer all your questions let me know.
 

Andy777

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That's an impressive keeper collection. I was lucky enough to land one of your cleavers with a fish handle (Masahiro M3). I'm grateful for your collection, but I am also grateful for what you have sold off ;)

k.
Don't remind me, I miss that one. :biggrin:
 

Dave Martell

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Andy I don't remember the exact quote but Fish once said something like you were going to change magnetic north with all that steel you had hanging on your wall. :D
 

David Metzger

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Thanks Andy777, Your comments really help my understanding of the vegetable cleaver. I really like them too, the distal taper on such a wide piece of steel make them difficult to make. David
 

mr drinky

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Andy, I think that long post of yours was one of my favorite posts of the year. You gave some cool history and raised at least a few points that I hadn't thought about before. I'm just a noob when it comes to cleavers, and this stuff helps me understand them more.

Thanks,
k.
 

Tristan

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Martin Yan would be really proud of you and all you have done for the Cleaver cause.
 

Andy777

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Hahahaha, thanks! I like to think I've made a small impact in my little corner of the world. :biggrin: A CCK or Suien in every kitchen in America is my goal. I just need to pass the torch to someone now that I'm retired from buying. :wink:
 

Tristan

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Hahahaha, thanks! I like to think I've made a small impact in my little corner of the world. :biggrin: A CCK or Suien in every kitchen in America is my goal. I just need to pass the torch to someone now that I'm retired from buying. :wink:
The BEST way I can figure for you to achieve your cause, is to buy one, practice your handle making skills, sharpen and use it, review and praise it, then put it in B/S/T! Every time you do that, one more kitchen will have a cleaver...

:)
 

jaybett

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I never get tired of looking at your collection. I bet you posted it, but for some strange reason, I don't remember the Fish re-handle on the Mizuno.

If you ever feel the need to re-handle some more cleavers, I'll be happy to volunteer mine.

I think the forum would really enjoy re-posts of your classic posts of 'Why I like Cleavers', was it 'Using Cleavers?', and a link to the video 'Five cleaver cuts'.

Jay

PS If I can identify all the cleavers, does that put me at the top of the list in getting to buy the next cleaver from you? You know it would have to be your Sugimoto #6 with the Saya.
 

Andy777

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You are probably right Jay, I should repost my old cleaver posts, if for nothing else than nostalgia. :)

You know you are already near the top of the list for that Fish Sugimoto. :poke1:
 

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