Vegetable (Chinese) cleaver - Shun Classic or?

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Todd F r e n c h
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Vegetable (Chinese) cleaver - Shun Classic or?

#1 Post by Todd F r e n c h »

I've put a Chinese Cleaver on my gift list, so far my favorite is the Shun DM0712 Classic, but wondered if others had recommendations.

$239 on Amazon



I've never used one but after seeing how well they cut vegetables and how you use it as a scoop I'm wanting to give it a go. I love the hammered steel look of Japanese knives.
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Re: Vegetable (Chinese) cleaver - Shun Classic or?

#2 Post by Elliot Steele »

Check out Epicurean Edge. They have a great selection of Japanese knives. I just picked up a really nice nakiri from them on Cyber Monday which is in the realm of what you're looking for. You can get some great knives from small makers for a little more than half the price of that Shun.
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Re: Vegetable (Chinese) cleaver - Shun Classic or?

#3 Post by Todd F r e n c h »

Elliot Steele wrote: December 4th, 2018, 7:56 pm Check out Epicurean Edge. They have a great selection of Japanese knives. I just picked up a really nice nakiri from them on Cyber Monday which is in the realm of what you're looking for. You can get some great knives from small makers for a little more than half the price of that Shun.
The Shun Classic has a HUGE 'platform' (not sure what that's called, really, but the side surface of the blade) so I figure that must make things easy for scooping up the chopped vegetables.

Some great options on there, thanks for the link! I sent the family a few picks from there, including the Shun Classic
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Re: Vegetable (Chinese) cleaver - Shun Classic or?

#4 Post by Elliot Steele »

You're honestly better off using a bench scraper to scoop up vegetables than using your knife. You'll just end up dulling it faster that way
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Re: Vegetable (Chinese) cleaver - Shun Classic or?

#5 Post by Betty C »

Go to chinatown and buy the real deal. They'll last longer than any of us.
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Re: Vegetable (Chinese) cleaver - Shun Classic or?

#6 Post by Sarah Kirschbaum »

Betty C wrote: December 4th, 2018, 9:06 pm Go to chinatown and buy the real deal. They'll last longer than any of us.
What Betty said. Your cleaver is not where you put your "fancy knife" money.

*edited to correct for my own stupidity.
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Re: Vegetable (Chinese) cleaver - Shun Classic or?

#7 Post by Kevin Porter »

Is a Chinese cleaver a vegetable cleaver? I was under the impression that a Nakiri is a Japanese vegetable cleaver and is very different (much smaller 'platform' to use Todd's terminology) from the Chinese cleavers that I've seen. I though that the Chinese cleavers were more traditional (meat) cleavers.

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Re: Vegetable (Chinese) cleaver - Shun Classic or?

#8 Post by Sarah Kirschbaum »

Kevin Porter wrote: December 5th, 2018, 6:01 am Is a Chinese cleaver a vegetable cleaver? I was under the impression that a Nakiri is a Japanese vegetable cleaver and is very different (much smaller 'platform' to use Todd's terminology) from the Chinese cleavers that I've seen. I though that the Chinese cleavers were more traditional (meat) cleavers.
Kevin - my understanding (haven't looked anything up, just what I have always thought) is a Chinese cleaver is a large tool usually used for more delicate work than the shape would indicate, generally vegetables . You can use on cooked bones, like spare ribs or chicken, but it's much lighter than a heavy cleaver you'd use for breaking down your whole pig. In our house we have both, and usually call one the Chinese cleaver and the other the heavy cleaver. We also have a beautiful nakiri from Japan that is indeed a much narrower blade "platform."
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Re: Vegetable (Chinese) cleaver - Shun Classic or?

#9 Post by Jay Miller »

FWIW Korin is currently having their end of year 15% off sale:

https://www.korin.com/
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Re: Vegetable (Chinese) cleaver - Shun Classic or?

#10 Post by Kevin Porter »

Sarah Kirschbaum wrote: December 5th, 2018, 7:48 am
Kevin Porter wrote: December 5th, 2018, 6:01 am Is a Chinese cleaver a vegetable cleaver? I was under the impression that a Nakiri is a Japanese vegetable cleaver and is very different (much smaller 'platform' to use Todd's terminology) from the Chinese cleavers that I've seen. I though that the Chinese cleavers were more traditional (meat) cleavers.
Kevin - my understanding (haven't looked anything up, just what I have always thought) is a Chinese cleaver is a large tool usually used for more delicate work than the shape would indicate, generally vegetables . You can use on cooked bones, like spare ribs or chicken, but it's much lighter than a heavy cleaver you'd use for breaking down your whole pig. In our house we have both, and usually call one the Chinese cleaver and the other the heavy cleaver. We also have a beautiful nakiri from Japan that is indeed a much narrower blade "platform."
Thanks Sarah - fits my experience now that you say it!

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Re: Vegetable (Chinese) cleaver - Shun Classic or?

#11 Post by Jason T »

Todd F r e n c h wrote: December 4th, 2018, 8:18 pm
Elliot Steele wrote: December 4th, 2018, 7:56 pm Check out Epicurean Edge. They have a great selection of Japanese knives. I just picked up a really nice nakiri from them on Cyber Monday which is in the realm of what you're looking for. You can get some great knives from small makers for a little more than half the price of that Shun.
The Shun Classic has a HUGE 'platform' (not sure what that's called, really, but the side surface of the blade) so I figure that must make things easy for scooping up the chopped vegetables.

Some great options on there, thanks for the link! I sent the family a few picks from there, including the Shun Classic
+1 for bench scraper. I sharpen my own knives and I definitely noticed how much more quickly they dulled until I forced myself to use the scraper.
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Re: Vegetable (Chinese) cleaver - Shun Classic or?

#12 Post by geoffpm »

Buy an inexpensive one on Amazon, I paid $15 and it has lasted a long time and rarely needs sharpening
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Re: Vegetable (Chinese) cleaver - Shun Classic or?

#13 Post by Todd F r e n c h »

geoffpm wrote: December 6th, 2018, 5:38 am Buy an inexpensive one on Amazon, I paid $15 and it has lasted a long time and rarely needs sharpening
A $15 Chinese cleaver??
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Re: Vegetable (Chinese) cleaver - Shun Classic or?

#14 Post by Sarah Kirschbaum »

Todd F r e n c h wrote: December 6th, 2018, 8:23 am
geoffpm wrote: December 6th, 2018, 5:38 am Buy an inexpensive one on Amazon, I paid $15 and it has lasted a long time and rarely needs sharpening
A $15 Chinese cleaver??
Guess we really overpaid at $30!
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Re: Vegetable (Chinese) cleaver - Shun Classic or?

#15 Post by Lee Short »

Sarah Kirschbaum wrote: December 5th, 2018, 4:32 am
Betty C wrote: December 4th, 2018, 9:06 pm Go to chinatown and buy the real deal. They'll last longer than any of us.
What Betty said. Your cleaver is not where you put your "fancy knife" money.

*edited to correct for my own stupidity.
Totally disagree with this. But then, I've got a Sugimoto No 6, and I use it all the time. It's the most expensive knife I own, and I have zero regrets about that. We often call these knives cleavers, but they are not intended for cleaving animal parts -- except for the heaviest versions; they come in several weights. My Sugimoto is mid-weight, and I never let it touch a bone because I'm afraid it will chip. I use it for most of my vegetable prep, and for slicing boneless protein. The knife is surprisingly light and agile for its size -- it's not nearly as heavy as it looks. It gets razor sharp, holds an edge a long long time. The thing that I love most about it is that the height of the knife keeps the food off my knuckles so I don't feel like my hands are dirty the whole time I'm doing prep work.

My guest knife version is made by Zhen from Taiwan from VG-10, and I paid like $45 for it off of ebay a few years back. It's a really solid knife for the price. It looks like my exact model has been discontinued, but there are similar ones readily available on ebay and Amazon. The knife is even lighter than the Sugimoto and makes a great knife to buy if you're curious about trying out a "cleaver" as your everyday prep knife.

That said, a well-chosen carbon cleaver from chinatown works pretty well too, if you choose a good one. CCK is a recommended brand.

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Re: Vegetable (Chinese) cleaver - Shun Classic or?

#16 Post by geoffpm »

This is the one I recently bought as a gift -

Less than $15
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Re: Vegetable (Chinese) cleaver - Shun Classic or?

#17 Post by NED VALOIS »

I just picked up a Sukenari ZPD189 Kiritsuke 240mm with Buckeye Burl Handle.
Anybody with experience with this maker for a newbie in knives ?

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Re: Vegetable (Chinese) cleaver - Shun Classic or?

#18 Post by Dave English »

It depends on what you want to do with it. For veggies it is fine, but so is a Nakiri with a much smaller footprint. If it is for chicken/ribs and frozen things, get a rough and tumble one (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00004RFMX), a cleaver sharpened to a Japanese edge won't last 5 secs with that sort of punishment.

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Re: Vegetable (Chinese) cleaver - Shun Classic or?

#19 Post by NED VALOIS »

Added this one to the pile ;

Sukenari ZDP189 Damascus Gyuto 210mm

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Re: Vegetable (Chinese) cleaver - Shun Classic or?

#20 Post by Mich@el Ch@ng »

If you want a Chinese cleaver, get a Chinese cleaver. We just bought a new one in sf Chinatown very similar to my mom’s which has had hers for literally 60 years and is still razor sharp. It was $12.

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Re: Vegetable (Chinese) cleaver - Shun Classic or?

#21 Post by Mich@el Ch@ng »

Someone reviewed a bunch of these online and this winco did well; it’s basically like the Chinatown ones and is like $10.


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Re: Vegetable (Chinese) cleaver - Shun Classic or?

#22 Post by Betty C »

Mich@el Ch@ng wrote: December 18th, 2018, 7:21 pm Someone reviewed a bunch of these online and this winco did well; it’s basically like the Chinatown ones and is like $10.

That looks like the kind my dad has. He uses it to cut through chicken bones and whatnot.
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Re: Vegetable (Chinese) cleaver - Shun Classic or?

#23 Post by Mark.Ricca »

Talk to Tane Chan at the Wok Shop in S.F..

She sells a $9.99 veg cleaver that is carbon steel, takes an edge very easily, and lasts for about ten years of heavy use.

https://www.wokshop.com/newstore/produc ... l-cleaver/

I'm on my 2nd one and it is my goto knife.
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