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The Features, Uses, Care, and Storage of Chinese Cleavers

Views: 223     Author: Vickey     Publish Time: 2023-12-11      Origin: Site


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The Features, Uses, Care, and Storage of Chinese Cleavers

A kitchen knife's primary functions include chopping, slicing, and mincing. However, one knife can perform all three functions despite the availability of knives designed for each purpose. A multipurpose knife that is essential in both home and professional kitchens is the Chinese cleaver.

The Chinese cleaver has a wide, flat edge and a broad blade. Because of the broad blade's increased surface area, the knife can handle bigger cuts and cut through meats and vegetables more quickly. The flat edge allows for surgical accuracy when chopping, mincing, and dicing food.

This article will give you some background on the Chinese cleaver, go over its characteristics and applications, offer some care instructions, and provide some storage advice.

What Is a Chinese Cleaver?

The Chinese cleaver is a huge knife with a broad blade and a large, flat edge that has a rectangular shape. It works well for slicing through bones most of the time. Its versatility allows the knife to be used in nearly any application that calls for chopped, minced, or sliced items.

Chinese cleavers can have blade lengths between 180 and 220 mm. Depending on the style and intended purpose of the knife, the weight may change. The weight ranges from a hefty 900g to 300g.

Home cooks will probably prefer a bigger cleaver with a sturdy spine for large-scale chopping, grinding, and bone splitting. A professional chef, on the other hand, could like a lightweight model that allows for light cutting.

The Components of Chinese Cleavers

The Chinese cleaver's entire construction is essential to its function. While some aspects are more crucial than others, each component must serve a distinct function and be manufactured to the highest standards for the tool to function as intended.

The following list outlines the key components of a Chinese cleaver:

1.The blade

The knife's steel blade is its main component. The most important dimensions to consider when choosing how to use a blade are its width, thickness, and form. For knives, stainless steel is still the material of choice since it is rust-resistant and simple to sharpen.

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2.The handle

The magic happens at the handle. Wood and plastic are the most popular materials for handles, and each has advantages. Wood offers an aesthetically beautiful, comfortable, and long-lasting grip. In addition to being sturdy, plastic handles provide a non-slip surface.

3.The skeleton

Starting from the handle and tapering to the tip, the spine is the thickest component of the blade. Cleavers designed for frequent usage typically have a heavier spine. The thickness of the spine can vary, ranging from heel to tip or from top to bottom.

4.The point

The point refers to the junction of the cutting edge and spine. The point can be tapered or blunt, depending on its intended use. A Chinese cleaver with a blunt end is useful for heavy-duty chopping and cutting through bones, while one with a sharp point is perfect for fine operations like mincing and slicing.

The Major Characteristics of Chinese Cleavers

Look for these essential characteristics in a Chinese cleaver:

1.Design material

Stainless steel is the best material since it offers the best durability and maintenance-friendliness. Modern cleavers use a combination of robust alloys to achieve optimal sharpness, longevity, and ease of maintenance. Additionally, incorporating a high carbon component in the material enhances durability and facilitates sharpening.

2.Length and weight

Depending on the intended purpose, weight and length vary. The cleaver will range in length from 180 to 220 millimeters. The weight must be sufficiently substantial for robust cutting yet manageable for effortless mobility. The Chinese cleaver should ideally weigh between 300 and 900 grammes.

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3.The blade's form

The classic Chinese cleaver has a thin blade with little to no curve and a thick spine. Their sharp points drop out from their straight edges, giving them a rectangular appearance. The blade's backside ranges from flat to somewhat hollow.

4.The edge's angle

The cutting edge of a classic Chinese cleaver has a gentle slope from the spine. Chefs use an 11- to 14-degree angle to sharpen the edges. Certain knives can have a double-beveled edge that chefs sharpen from both sides of the blade, or they can be ground smooth from heel to tip.

Uses of Chinese Cleavers

The Chinese cleaver is a versatile kitchen tool that works well for almost any cutting task. However, not all Chinese cleavers are created equal, and certain blade shapes are more effective for specific uses than others. The primary distinction between functions is the thickness of the blades.

Below are some applications for a Chinese cleaver:


The thinner the blade, the better it slices. Very thin-pointed Chinese cleavers work great for slicing vegetables and meat. The slicers have a very sharp tip, but they aren't as long as choppers.

Slicers are great for peeling, pairing, mincing herbs, and slicing thin meats and vegetables. In addition, slicers are commonly employed for stir-frying and creating specialty Japanese sushi cuts. The knife's thin blade makes it ideal for people who prefer precise cuts free from tearing or crushing.


Using a Chinese cleaver to chop is probably the simplest. It's easy to handle because of its wide blade, and it works well with tougher meats like chicken, duck, and ribs because it can cut through bones. The blades on Chinese chopper knives are marginally thicker than those on slicers.

They are a little bit wider than cleavers, but not as thick. Their blades are also somewhat longer, at times as long as those of a French chef knife. They can chop through parts and bones, veggies, and herbs.

Choppers are lightweight and suitable for quick chopping chores that demand skill and control. Depending on the design material, you can use them to cut through thin poultry bones, shellfish or fish bones, and even little ribs. However, manufacturers suggest against slicing through larger bones.

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Chinese cleaver blades allow you to crush garlic, cloves, ginger, and other materials. To smash garlic and other ingredients, place them on a chopping board and hold the cleaver with the flat side facing over the garlic. Place the fingers of your free hand over the back of the blade to help control it, and strike down on the garlic with medium pressure.

4.Transferring chopped parts

The wide blade lets you transfer sliced items from board to pan or pot conveniently. You may use the knife’s body to scoop up ingredients, and its sharp tip functions as a carving tool for numerous cuisines.

How to Store a Chinese Cleaver?

The right place to put your Chinese cleaver is a knife block. Proper knife storage reduces accidents, injuries, and accidental damage to the blade. If you lack a knife block, store the knife in a drawer or cabinet and ensure it is covered with a sheath for protection.


Chinese cleavers provide maximum control and cutting of a professional caliber. Their stainless steel or high-carbon steel blades cut easily through both meats and vegetables. Additionally, their design guarantees accuracy when cutting, and with the right maintenance, they can remain in superb shape for many years.


1.What are the uses for Chinese cleavers?

Chinese cleavers are useful for chopping, slicing, dicing, mincing, and moving chopped food across the kitchen. Professional chefs also use them to cut tiny slices of meat and vegetables due to their extreme sharpness. When cutting a lot of vegetables, they make great chopping and mincing knives.

2.Do chefs in China exclusively use cleavers?

Chinese chefs employ knives other than cleavers. They also use carving knives for filleting and boning, knives with pointed points, and single- and double-edged blades. Traditional Chinese chefs prefer cleavers over other types of knives because they are useful for every step of the cooking process.

3.How do you take care of Chinese cleavers?

Washing and drying Chinese cleavers after each usage is the proper technique to maintain them. To prevent water stains, you could also hand-wash the knives with a mild detergent and pat them dry with a soft towel. You can use mineral oil after cleaning to give it more defence and stop it from rusting.

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