or Connect
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

cleaver believer

post #1 of 63
Thread Starter 

While I am rehandling my gyutos and vintage carbon chefs knives ( a slow process for lack of free time), I've been using a $10, no name, carbon steel chinese cleaver just about exclusively for two weeks.


I'd say I can accomplish 99% of kitchen tasks with a cleaver and itinomonn wa butcher.   I might even be 20%+ more efficient with the cleaver.  So why do I have thousands of dollars in knives...


Anyway I think I'm becoming a cleaver person.  I have a CCK 1303 coming tomorrow and a thai brand, Aranyik, also on the way. 


I'll post reviews when they get here


Here's a pic of the thai one...

Processed By eBay with ImageMagick, z1.1.0. ||B2

Edited by MillionsKnives - 7/27/15 at 11:44am
post #2 of 63
Thread Starter 

So the CCK arrived. It's as thin as they say.  Spine and choil are rounded out of the box.  Great for veg but unfortunately the lightweight makes it useless for mincing meat with double cleaver technique.


post #3 of 63

I would never have guessed the CCK was so nicely thinned.  If I did a lot of rough-cutting of veggies I'd probably think a cleaver neat also.


So when's the for-sale list going up?




post #4 of 63

I have used Chinese cleavers for years. Not only do they cut  great but hey can be used to make pallards from chicken breast and  also used for pounding veal cutlets .It can also be used as a spatula in a pinch. Just make sure you get one of the proper weight

post #5 of 63
Thread Starter 

Basically I like this CCK 1303 as a "laser" more than my Konosuke 210mm white steel gyuto that I paid 3x more for.


Seems to be less reactive too.

post #6 of 63

I have a cheapo Forschner cleaver I really enjoy. Also very thin, but not that thin. Has a pointy corner I need to file down a bit. 

Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
post #7 of 63
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Rick Alan View Post

If I did a lot of rough-cutting of veggies I'd probably think a cleaver neat also.



It's for so much more than rough cutting:



In fact for precision cuts that need to be repeated, it's a lot easier.  Try doing this stuff with a chefs knife.  It's the same reason that for totally uniform soba noodles, they use a menkiri.

post #8 of 63
Wow. Fascinating. I didn't want it to end!
post #9 of 63

I have done those <1mm horizontal cuts in large onions with a [relatively speaking] dull suji, but not with consistent uniformity of thickness like that.  But even speaking apples to apples as far as edge goes, I can see how having a cleaver you can grab mid-spine and push straight through with would be an advantage in some applications requiring finesse.  But for fine slicing the like of celery and shallot I prefer a suji over anything taller.






post #10 of 63
Originally Posted by BrianShaw View Post

Wow. Fascinating. I didn't want it to end!


Me either - MK what model CCK did you get?

post #11 of 63
Thread Starter 
KF1303. I got it for $50 new, which is a good deal these days; CKTG has it at $70. Im going to get the 1301 (longer) and give this one to my mom.
post #12 of 63
Thread Starter 
Today I met a fellow cleaver enthusiast. My friend knows the sous chef here.

Im on the left..
Edited by MillionsKnives - 6/11/15 at 6:07pm
post #13 of 63
Very cool. I never would have guessed that was you. Ha

I spent an afternoon with Martin Yan a few years ago. Another cleaver master.
post #14 of 63
I've been rocking one for a couple weeks now. Great on veggies and pretty much everything I'm required to do at my work. Awesome to see there are people who actually prefer a cleaver
post #15 of 63
Originally Posted by BrianShaw View Post

Very cool. I never would have guessed that was you. Ha

Nor I, always thought Millions was an old white guy like myself after having mentioned a while ago about having to cut back on BBQ per the doctor's orders.  Or am I getting you mixed up with someone else?  Old white guys do that.




post #16 of 63

I have that same Thai cleaver I bought back in March off a guy peddling knives out of the back of his pickup bed in a little village south of Chiang Mai, Thailand. It has become my favorite slicer/dicer blade for Thai cooking. I tend to match my cleaver to the country the dish is from so I have several dozen knives I've picked up in China and if I'm doing Sichuan its going to be a different chopper in my hand.

post #17 of 63
Thread Starter 
It's a big thick heavy meat cleaver. So far it has excelled at mincing meat.
post #18 of 63

Mine is fairly thin but I know they make that pattern in all sorts of blade thicknesses. I brought back a couple of smaller ones with thick spines I've been using on chicken bones when making broth.

post #19 of 63

I use a 4 pound hammer in breaking up bones for stock, and it's the only accessible way I have of reducing cow bones.


I used to use a heavy cheap chefs sharpened to 60deg inclusive, but it made a mess of the poly board so I then got the brilliant idea of putting the hammer to use.  Added benefit is that the chicken bones don't go flying as much as with the knife.  For the cow bones I have a nice piece of granite ledging outside to beat on.


As with the knife I wear goggles, best to be safe when things are flying around.




post #20 of 63

poly boards and bone chopping certainly don't go well together. I have a 4-inch thick round Boos Asian style chopping block I use when I've have big jobs to do. Cattle bones are little out of my league but I spend most of my time on Thai, Chinese and Viet dishes.  

post #21 of 63
Hacksaws are quite affordable and works pretty good for big bones.
post #22 of 63
Thread Starter 
post #23 of 63

Years ago (I can't remember the forum and username), somebody talked about "the moral superiority" of cleavers. It's a funny saying but there's a hint of truth in it.

I own three Chinese cleavers which I abuse as no one here could even imagine. I mean, I cut branches, small trees and all kind of woods for barbecues, with almost no harm to the edges. Geometry is a no brainer, just a piece of almost rectangular steel that duplicates as a scraper. They are cheap, strong and reliable and one cleaver will last generations in a home cook environment. 

I have some respectable Japanese knives, but would never stop using cleavers on a daily basis.

Gebe Gott uns allen, uns Trinkern, einen so leichten und so schönen Tod! Joseph Roth.
Gebe Gott uns allen, uns Trinkern, einen so leichten und so schönen Tod! Joseph Roth.
post #24 of 63
So why are good cleavers so cheap?
post #25 of 63
Thread Starter 

There are bad cheap cleavers too!  I think my CCKs are just entry level. What is cheap compared to gyutos, is expensive to someone used to stainless junk from block sets.


$70-100 for a cleaver with this level of performance is a deal to me.


IMO it's cheaper because

1- steel they use is cheap (don't expect white steel, blue steel, etc here.  these are just simple carbon steels)

2-fit and finish is just okay

3- handle is cheap but usable

4- I think cleavers are easy to make.  I don't think you have to worry so much about fancy convex grinds, the profile, etc.  Start with a rectangle, take up the ends a little bit, hammer it as thin as you want, and grind near the edge even thinner.  The end!

5- scaling up  - Just the pure # of cleavers they are producing is so much higher than any fancy Japanese artisan.  Scaling up anything lets you sell it cheaper.


On that note...  I got my KF1103 today, I'll post pictures later.  Gonna regift the smaller KF1303 and maybe get some more cleaver converts! 


Some day I'll get into more expensive ones.  A Sugimoto for my birthday would be nice :D

post #26 of 63

All of that and maybe more.  It also may also have something to do with the customer base - folks who buy Japanese knives are more likely to spend more money on them.

post #27 of 63

The potential market in China for cleavers is probably bigger than the rest of the world combined but many there still have a very low income. That means everything needs to be inexpensive by our western standards. Then there is the labor factor. More than once over there I've asked someone how they were going to possibly accomplish a project only to be told I didn't understand how much cheap labor there was available to do it. I might also add that I've had it pointed out to me (by Chinese in China) that the average Chinese consumer is something of a miser when buying things like this. "Why would anyone spend $400 on a Japanese cleaver when you can buy a Chinese made one for $3.00 in the market?"

post #28 of 63
Thread Starter 

I paid $70 for my new KF1103, and I'd do it again.  This thing is sweet!


I go so much faster with a cleaver because I'm not scared of cutting myself.  I know exactly where the knife is all the time.


post #29 of 63
Care to take a pic showing the thickness?
post #30 of 63
Thread Starter 

@Atatax here you go


It's marginally thicker than the CCK 1303 pictured above, but still very thin.  I already sold the 1303 cheap to a friend trying to win a cleaver convert or I'd take a side by side picture.


Here is the CCK 1103 next to a 210mm Konosuke.  Up to the height of the konosuke, it is THINNER.  I'd hold it up side by side, but I only have two hands that I need to focus this picture!


Edited by MillionsKnives - 7/28/15 at 5:34pm
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cooking Knife Reviews