If you love to spend time in the kitchen, investing in an excellent Chinese knife can seriously improve your skills. Many people are taken aback when they start looking at Chinese knives as they look a lot like meat cleavers. While they do look like a tool for a butcher, they are actually quite a bit different. The blades are thinner, which makes them more versatile. Whether you want to chop, dice, or julienne, a Chinese cleaver is going to be a great tool to use. Some even find they like using this day-to-day more so than their standard chef’s knife.
When you are going to invest in a new knife, it is essential to buy a high-quality one. If you don’t, you will end up with a dull blade that is impossible to sharpen, and cuts that are less than stellar. Let’s look at the best options in Chinese knives.
View The Best Chinese Knives Below
1. TUO Cutlery Vegetable Meat Cleaver Knife
This knife is easy on the eyes and the hands. The ergonomic handle is made from gorgeous Pakka wood and is comfortable to hold no matter how long you need to use it. The blade is 7-inches long, making it perfect for just about any cutting occasion.
Additionally, the blade is made from German Steel, which is exceptionally durable and holds a razor-sharp edge for an extended time. The high-carbon stainless steel blade also means you won’t need to worry about rust taking hold on your knife.
+ 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
+ Excellent Balance
+ Great Price & Amazing Quality
+ Comfortable Pinch Grip
Why We Liked It – Not only is this knife pleasing to the eye, it is also very sharp. It maintains its edge for a decent amount of time and is easily sharpened. With great balance and a nice feel, it offers more comfortable use for longer periods.
2. Shun Classic Cleaver
This option offers a wide blade that is square. This shape is going to allow you to make precision cuts on things like vegetables, and offer the surface space needed on the side to crush garlic cloves with ease. The handle of this knife is also made from Pakka wood, but it is ebony in color. It is “D” shaped, making it very comfortable to hold on to. The blade is hand sharpened and double-beveled. You will be able to easily cut any and everything with this knife.
+ 16-Degree Angle = Extra Sharpness
+ Excellent for Daily Use
+ Good for Small & Large Ingredients
Why We Liked It – This is one of the best options because of how thin the blade is. Chinese and Japanese knives tend to be thinner than their American counterparts. This leads to more accurate cuts, a lighter knife, and happier hands and wrists.
3. Aroma House Meat Cleaver
This carbon steel knife is a great price and beautiful to look at. The handle is contoured and has a pleasant wood grain finish. The metals that the blade is made of resist rust and staining. Additionally, they are a great mix for a sharp blade that keeps its sharpness.
The handle helps to ensure you maintain great control over your knife and it is comfortable while being used. While this knife is great when using it as a cleaver its also good for use on vegetables. Additionally, the wide blade is great for ensuring your fingers stay away from the sharp blade.
+ Lifetime Warranty
+ Resharpens Easily
+ Non-Slip Grip
+ Exceptionally Affordable
Why We Liked It – Whether your cooking skills are at a five-star level or you are just learning, having good knives in your kitchen is essential. Unfortunately, when you purchase a high-quality knife it usually comes with a crazy pricetag. This knife is sharp and built to last without breaking the bank.
4. Kiaitre Chinese Chef Knife
The blade of this option is made of materials that avoid rust, corrosion, and deterioration, even with frequent use. It is made from high-carbon German steel, which is known to last. Many people have noted that this blade does not need to be honed or sharpened for an extended period of time.
Not all knives are created equal when it comes to looks, and this one is better than most. The blade is curved which improves the look and the balance of this knife. Additionally, the handle is attractive, comfortable, and offers decent grip so you don’t have to worry about slips.
+ Lifetime Warranty
+ Nice Point at Tip
+ Good for Cooks of all Levels
+ Vacuum Heated = Extra Durability
Why We Liked I – When we review this item it is easy to see why so many people love it. It will fit into basically any budget and you will have a reliable knife that stays sharp. It is exceptionally eye-catching and made of high-quality materials to ensure you can use it for years to come.
5. SKY LIGHT Cleaver Knife
If you are looking for a knife structured like a standard cleaver, this is one of the best options. The blade is a bit thicker than others within this guide, which makes for a knife that is heavier. Some prefer a knife that has some weight to it. This option is also a bit different than the others due to the construction of its handle. Instead of Pakka wood, it is made of military-grade polymer. This material is going to improve balance and grip. The blade is stainless steel, so you won’t have to worry about rust or corrosion.
+ 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
+ 1-Year Manufacturer’s Warranty
+ Easy to Resharpen
+ Handles Cutting Through Bone
Why We Liked It – This knife performs well in a variety of situations. Not only is it great when dealing with meat, but it also excels when cutting fruits and vegetables. The heavier nature of this item makes it easy to control leading you to precise cuts.
6. Mercer Cutlery Chinese Chef’s Knife
This knife is bigger than other Chinese knives. It comes in at 8-inches rather than 7. One of the unique features customers like about this option is the handle. It is made of Rosewood and has canals carved into it for added grip. The blade is made of Japanese steel, which is going to make for a sharp and durable item. Like many others, it has the classic rectangle-shaped blade. This makes it great for all sorts of kitchen tasks.
+ Limited Lifetime Warranty
+ NSF Certified
+ Blade = 1 Piece of High-Carbon Steel
Why We Liked It – Though many people have not heard of this brand, it is one that stands behind their items. You will get a lifetime warranty that covers any manufacturing defects that may be found with your knife.
7. Zwilling J.A. Henckels Chinese Chef’s Knife
The blade of this option is one of the best. It is structured out of a single piece of stainless steel, which makes it stronger and less likely to chip. Additionally, the Freodur blade is ice-hardened. This will make it sharper out of the package and allow it to maintain its sharpness for longer, even when using it daily. You will find this knife to be lighter yet just as durable as others like it. The polymer handle is riveted on in three places and contoured so that it will maintain sturdiness and fit in your hand nicely.
+ Retains Edge Well
+ Hand Finished
+ Very Secure Handle
+ Nice Fit for Smaller Hands
Why We Liked It – This is a very versatile knife and it works well while cutting meat, poultry, fruits, and vegetables. It is important to note that this Chinese cleaver is not meant to cut through bone. The handle being suited for all hand sizes is also a pretty nice advantage.
8. Wusthof Gourmet Heavy Chinese Cleaver
When you are working hard and cutting through bone, this cleaver is one of the best options on the market. The handle of these knives is made from ABS polymer. This material is resistant to heat and impact, making it a dream to work with for the serious chef. It is a heavier knife, coming in at 12.5-ounces. Consumers love the balance and the feel that this fiercely sharp knife has to offer. It offers excellent durability and craftsmanship.
+ Longer 8-inch Blade
+ Well Balanced
+ Easily Handles Tough Jobs
+ Maintains Sharp Edge
Why We Liked It – Wusthof is a brand that has earned the trust of their patrons. They have been in the field of making knives for decades, and their products prove how much they have learned in that time. When you count on a brand like Wustof you will not be disappointed with quality or performance.
9. Victorinox 7″ Chinese Classic Chefs Knife
This Swedish made knife uses a stainless steel blade with a standard 2-sided western edge. It will do an excellent job cutting meats, fruits, and vegetables. However, one thing it can’t do is cut through bone. The blade is thinner than those with the ability to cut through bone. The advantage of this is that the blade will be quite a bit sharper, allowing for precision cuts. The handle of these Chinese cleavers is made of Fibrox. This offers an excellent grip and a more comfortable hold than most others.
+ Good for Daily Use
+ Thin Blade = Precision Cuts
+ Won’t Slip
+ Nice Balance
Why We Liked It – We really fell in love with these Chinese knives because of their handle. The edge is good but the handle really shines because of the feel of it. There won’t be any concern about it slipping and it provides a comfortable grip no matter how long you use it.
10. JapanBargain Chinese Style Kitchen Chop Knife
Many people love this brand and the knives they produce. This Chinese knife is fantastic for chopping. It is sharp enough to handle most kitchen tasks. However, the blade is thin so it should never be used to cut through bone. Once you use it you will see why so many people feel that its handle is the best. It is made of Japanese Oak and it has grooves cut into it to improve grip. The bevel (piece between the handle and the blade) is made from plastic, which may decrease durability.
+ Very Affordable
+ Maintains Edge Nicely
+ Easy to Sharpen
+ Well Liked Grip
Why We Liked It – When it comes to Chinese knives, this one is very affordable and would be a nice addition to anyone’s kitchen. It will do an amazing job with precision cuts and is strong enough to handle tough meats. Additionally, the handle offers stellar grip and comfort while being used.
Chinese Knives Buyer’s Guide
There is a plethora of variety in the world of knives. Picking out the best one for multipurpose use in your home can be difficult. Also, knowing what to look for can become quite a challenge. We have put together some of the key aspects to look for and answered some of the would be questions floating around out there. This information should make it easier to figure out which Chinese knives are going to be well loved inside your kitchen.
When you start to review different knives you quickly find out that the weight of the blade plays a major role in how the knife is going to perform. A light blade will work better when trying to make precision cuts and when dealing with softer food items. A heavier blade will work well for the harder jobs, like cutting through bones or cracking coconuts.
While some people like a heavier knife, most people much prefer one that is lighter. The thicker the blade the heavier the handle and the overall knife will be. It is good to pay attention to the weight of a knife before you decide which one you like the best.
German and western designs tend to be a bit heavier than Chinese and Japanese designs. This is part of the reason that so many people like Chinese cleavers, they are lightweight yet they can handle tougher jobs than many other knives.
A heavy knife will weigh anywhere between 11 and 13-ounces where a lightweight knife may only way 6 or 7-ounces. Obviously, the heavier the knife the more fatigue you will notice in your hand and wrist. If you are doing some serious cutting you may want to go with a lighter option. Many people like to stick to a knife that falls somewhere in the middle as it gives them the strength they need for cutting heavier items without causing them pain through the wrist and hand.
Blade Thickness & Angle
The blade of a knife will be cut at an angle and this will determine the thickness of the blade itself. We see a pretty wide variety of angles being used, though some are better than others. This, naturally, depends on the task at hand. When you are slicing, the thinner the blade the better. Though you won’t find the strength of a thick blade you will have much more accurate cuts with a thin blade.
All knife’s blades are cut at an angle. The degree of that angle can differ pretty dramatically. Depending on the degree at which your steel is cut will determine how sharp and strong it is. Most kitchen knives will be anywhere from a 17 to a 20-degree angle. When dealing with Chinese knives, you are looking at something more like 14 to 16-degrees. Western knives tend to sit closer to 20-degrees. The lower the number the sharper and thinner the edge is going to be.
If you buy a knife that has an edge that is cut at less than 15-degrees you may find that it is not as durable as others. It will be razor sharp and good for making precise cuts. It will also be lighter in weight and thickness. You may find that this is a good choice for prep-work though it may not be awesome for bigger tasks.
The material of your knife will also play a role in the thickness, weight, and sharpness of your knife. Good knives are typically made out of steel, carbon steel, or stainless steel. More often than not it will be a mixture of metals. One thing to remember is that steel and high-carbon stainless steel are excellent at avoiding rust and maintaining their edge.
When you are on the prowl for an amazing piece of cutlery, you will want to pay attention to the balance that it offers. When you try to balance a knife on your finger, where the steel meets the hilt, it should sit nicely. When it does, you will have a knife that causes less fatigue for the user.
It is important to note that how a person prefers their knife to be balanced is an individual decision. All knives will balance a bit differently. Most people prefer it to balance as mentioned above. It is funny to think that most will know immediately upon holding a knife if the balance is beneficial for them or not.
When you are using a piece of cutlery that is balanced in your preferred way, the cuts you perform will be more precise. You will find that you have better control over the knife and therefore better cuts. It is less likely for a person to harm themselves unintentionally when they are using a knife that is well-balanced.
Depending on the knife you purchase, you may be able to adjust the balance so that it suits your needs better. If it has a wooden handle, you can simply shave off part of the handle to give it balance against the steel more effectively. If you find that the handle is not providing enough weight, you can glue a piece of metal to the end to help add some heft to it. These are only two of the many ways you can change the balance and weight of your knives to provide the perfect fit for you and your culinary needs.
Keep in mind that the heavier the steel is, the heavier the handle needs to be. Knives that use plastic handles will typically not have the balance of those with wooden or polymer handles. Wooden handles are lighter than their polymer counterparts. So, more often than not a wooden handle is going to work the best for Chinese knives and polymer handles will work better for cleavers.
Shape & Versatility
Many Chinese knives are structured like a standard cleaver. This provides the user with many options for versatile use. The large flat sides are excellent when working with ingredients like garlic. You can easily peel, smash, and cut your garlic all with the same utensil. It is imperative to understand that while this type of cutlery may look like a cleaver, but not all of the options are designed to handle that kind of workload. It is important to ensure you pay attention to what your cutting tool should be used for.
Other chinese knives have more curve to the steel that makes up the bulk of them. These are exceptionally pleasing to the eye and they are just as effective when working on fine cutting techniques. The sleek shape of these helps to remind users that they are not dealing with a cleaver and may help ensure you don’t use your knives for the wrong thing and end up ruining them.
There are absolutely options out there that will be able to handle all of your slicing, dicing, and bone cutting needs. You will likely pay a bit more money for these but, in the long run, you will be getting a really good bang for your buck. Using knives that are versatile can actually leave you spending less money. Sure, you may be making a bigger investment in the beginning, but overall, you will have solid cutting choices that are long-lasting and hold their sharp edge without requiring much maintenance.
One last note on shape. Realistically, the shape of your cutlery is something that comes down to preference. There are certain shapes that will work better depending on the task at hand. However, overall it is not going to have a huge impact in the day-to-day uses of this kitchen utensil. A idea to follow is to go for larger options for bigger tasks, smaller ones for intricate designs.
Most people would not mind if their knife came from the USA, Germany, or China, but it plays a role in a few different aspects. When it comes to the weight, feel, and style of your knife, where it is made can seriously change the features. Let’s take a peek at where some of the most magnificent knives are made and why people like them and feel as if they are well worth the money.
Many excellent knives are made in China. Knives manufactured in China tend to be a bit lighter than other options. Knives from china come in all shapes and sizes, so it is easy to find the perfect one to suit your needs. In China, their cooking style is a bit different from other locations around the globe, and the form of their knives reflects that. The conventional foods eaten in China vary from other areas, which is part of the reason you see a different type of knife come from there. The Chinese cleaver has become a well thought of favorite among chefs because of its versatility.
Germany is also known for producing good quality knives. You tend to see some of the best steel being used in their knives. They usually use a western edge, and their knives are typically more substantial, though you can find light options if you look. The Wusthof brand is from Germany, and they make knives that are beloved by amateur as well as professional chefs. You can see the quality of German knives once you decide to give them a chance.
Sweedish knives are also well known around the globe. Many people like them because they use a mixture of styles. You can find knives like you would in China, Germany, or America being produced in Sweeden. Though many people know about knives from other locations, Swedish built knives are becoming more and more popular. They have excellent handle options and offer exceptional versatility in style, weight, and size.
Last but not least, we have knives that are produced in the United States of America. Like most things, you will be able to find a wide variety of knife designs being used in America. Whether you are looking for something that would be produced in China or one that has German roots, you are sure to find what you are looking for in the American market. The western edge is used in American knives more than the single-edged counterparts. This is preferred once you start to review people’s knife preferences.
What’s the difference between a Chinese knife and a cleaver?
Well, the answer to this is pretty simple. Even though these two types of knives look the same, they are much different. You may find that they are in the same price range, but that is one of the only similarities other than look. Chinese knives are lighter in weight, even though they are constructed of steel. The edge is much sharper even in the options that hold a slightly higher weight. Additionally, you get to use a Chinese knife for more in the kitchen than you will a cleaver.
Can I use my Chinese knife to cut through bone?
You will quickly see that the answer to this question whole-heartedly depends on the knife itself. If you read a review on most Chinese knives, it is going to tell you that it is not meant to cut through bone. Some will work for this purpose, but most will not. You will get yourself into trouble if trying to use a lightweight, razor-sharp knife to cut bone. You will likely end up chipping the edge and may make your knife unusable. The steel of these knives tends to be much thinner, so it won’t be able to easily handle the aggressive nature it takes to work through bone.
Are Chinese knives expensive?
The price of your new knife will depend on what you choose. There are many options out there that offer decent quality, sharp edges, and a price that will please just about any budget. Keep in mind the way the type of steel that is used, the handle, and craftsmanship will be part of how much money you pay for your knife. Price doesn’t always equal quality, but when it comes to knives, the higher the price, the better review we are seeing. Top-quality will come at a higher cost.
There are a ton of different steel knives available on the market today. What you see is not always what you get. Taking the time to understand the construction of Chinese knives as compared to that of a cleaver will make sure you get what you want. Working in the kitchen is no easy task, and the ability to get the correct tools will enable you to work miracles you didn’t think were possible.
When it comes to high-quality knife choices, more often than not, you get what you pay for. Investing a bit more money for a high-end brand like Wusthof or Victorinox will get you the quality you are looking for. Additionally, you will get a knife that can withstand frequent use.