Chinese cleavers offer a ton of versatility in the kitchen but do require careful consideration when purchasing. You want a cleaver that is equally safe as much as sharp. With some close attention to maintenance, you can find a great cleaver from our list, including our top pick, the Zwilling Twin Signature 7” Chinese Cleaver. In the end, it will always come down to your personal preference as the most critical factor. That is why we have put together a Chef knives buying guide for those that prefer a bit of a different style, but the same power and versatility. Let’s get on to the list of the best Chinese cleavers of 2022.

Contents show

Top 10 Chinese Cleavers

Best nakiri Knife for Under $100
Price
Blade Material
Warranty
More Details
#1. Zwilling Twin Signature 7”
 Zwilling Twin Signature 7
Editor's Choice



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Stainless Steel



Limited Warranty



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#2. Tuo Vegetable
Tuo Vegetable



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High Carbon Stainless Steel



Lifetime guarantee against manufacturer defects



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#3. Linoroso 7.5”
Linoroso 7.5” Chinese Cleaver



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High Carbon Stainless Steel



Lifetime and 100% money-back guarantee



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#4. Shi Ba Zi Zuo 8”
Shi Ba Zi Zuo 8” Chinese Cleaver



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3-layer high quality clad stainless steel



Unknown



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#5. Shun Classic 7”
Shun Classic 7” Chinese Cleaver




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VG-Max 69 layer Damascus



Limited lifetime warranty



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#6. Dexter 8”
Dexter 8” Chinese Cleaver



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Stainless Steel



Limited lifetime warranty



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#7. Kyoku Samurai Series 7”
Kyoku Samurai Series 7” Chinese Cleaver



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Premium Japanese Steel



Lifetime warranty



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#8. Shi Ba Zi Zuo 9”
Shi Ba Zi Zuo 9” Chinese Cleaver” Chinese Cleaver



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High Quality Clad Stainless Steel



Unknown



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#9. Shi Ba Zi Zuo 6.7”
Shi Ba Zi Zuo 6.7” Chinese Cleaver” Chinese Cleaver



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Stainless Steel



Unknown



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#10. Kyoku 7” Shogun Series
Kyoku 7” Shogun Series Chinese Cleaver” Chinese Cleaver



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Stainless Damascus



Lifetime Warranty



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1. Zwilling Twin Signature 7” Chinese Cleaver – Editor’s Choice

We chose the Zwilling not only because it looks the part, but also because it has the best features for the price level to add to any home or professional kitchen.

Zwilling Twin Signature 7 Chinese Cleaver

Zwilling Twin Signature 7” Chinese Cleaver Specifications

General
Brand
Zwilling
Price Range
$105-$130
Balance
Well Balanced
Manufacturing Country
Germany
Warranty
Limited Warranty
Most suitable for
Perfect blade for heavy vegetables
Dimensions
Total Knife Length (In/cm)
12.4 / 31.50
Cleaver Weight (Oz/Gr)
10.56 / 299.37
Blade Length (Inches)
7.09
Blade Height (Inches)
3.15
The Blade
Forged/stamped
Stamped
Blade Material
Stainless Steel
Blade Flexibility
Slightly Flexible
Tang
Full Tang
Blade Edge
V-Edge
Straight/Serrated
Straight
Blade angle
15 degrees per side
HRC (Rockwell Hardness)
55-58
The Handle
Handle Feel
Ergonomic
Handle Material
Polymer
Handle Color
Black

About the Knife

If you were surprised to find out the top choice of the best Chinese cleavers is a stamped knife, so were we! This incredible kitchen tool has just enough balance of all the features we want in a cleaver that we had to boost it to the top. Not to mention the price point is incredible considering this makes easy work of thick vegetables that you would use in Asian cuisine as well as cutting cleanly through smaller bones. Between all of that and the easy maintenance, we highly recommend this cleaver for your kitchen.

Maintenance 

You can put this cleaver into your dishwasher if you want, but we suggest sticking to hand drying and washing to maintain the quality of the blade. Be sure to hone the edge occasionally whenever it’s needed.

Pros
  • Keeps its edge extremely well
  • Has just enough weight to cut through meat
  • Makes easy work of thick vegetables like pumpkins
Cons
  • Back of the blade is sharp, so watch your fingers
  • No easy way to store due to size
  • May require an initial sharpening out of box

2. Tuo Vegetable Chinese Cleaver

An excellent forged cleaver with a pointed tip and rounded top makes for a solid grip when dealing with large amounts of ingredients.

Tuo Vegetable Chinese Cleaver

Tuo Vegetable Chinese Cleaver Specifications

General
Brand
Tuo
Price Range
$35-$52
Balance
Good Balance
Manufacturing Country
China
Warranty
Lifetime guarantee against manufacturer defects
Most suitable for
Home use for vegetables chopping, dicing, and mincing
Dimensions
Total Knife Length (In/cm)
12 / 30.48
Cleaver Weight (Oz/Gr)
10.4 / 294.83
Blade Length (Inches)
7
Blade Height (Inches)
3.9
The Blade
Forged/stamped
Forged
Blade Material
High Carbon Stainless Steel
Blade Flexibility
Flexible
Tang
Full Tang
Blade Edge
Double bevel
Straight/Serrated
Straight
Blade angle
18 degrees per side
HRC (Rockwell Hardness)
56 +/- 2
The Handle
Handle Feel
Ergonomic handle with polished bolster design for exceptional comfort and maneuverability
Handle Material
Pakkawood
Handle Color
Orange

About the Knife

This is more of the traditional cleaver choice for home kitchens that will still get you all the benefits you want in your ingredient preparation. The edge is more than sharp enough, and the handle is, to put it bluntly, fantastic. Everything about this knife feels professional quality. The only thing to watch out for is flexibility. If you prefer a more rigid cleaver, you may want to try something else from our list.

Maintenance 

The pakkawood handle and forged steel make this a no-go for the dishwasher. Hand washing and drying only, and be sure to store a cool, dry space safe from little hands.

Pros
  • Stunning traditional design
  • Excellent sharpness with a high HRC
  • The handle feels amazing
Cons
  • Careful with hand placement to avoid nicks
  • Pretty heavy for smaller hands
  • Has a lot of flexibility for a cleaver

3. Linoroso 7.5” Chinese Cleaver

The traditional rectangle-styled cleaver that you would expect to see buried in a wooden block at a Chinese restaurant.

Linoroso 7.5 Chinese Cleaver

Linoroso 7.5” Chinese Cleaver Specifications

General
Brand
Linoroso
Price Range
$30-$45
Balance
Balanced
Manufacturing Country
China
Warranty
Lifetime and 100% money-back guarantee
Most suitable for
Vegetables and some meats
Dimensions
Total Knife Length (In/cm)
14 / 35.56
Cleaver Weight (Oz/Gr)
19.68 / 557.92
Blade Length (Inches)
7.5
Blade Height (Inches)
4
The Blade
Forged/stamped
Forged
Blade Material
High Carbon Stainless Steel
Blade Flexibility
Flexible
Tang
Full Tang
Blade Edge
Double bevel
Straight/Serrated
Straight
Blade angle
11-14 degrees per side
HRC (Rockwell Hardness)
56+
The Handle
Handle Feel
Ergonomically crafted for optimum comfort, control, and agility
Handle Material
Stainless Steel
Handle Color
Black

About the Knife

This is a bigger blade than the other cleavers we’ve looked at so far and in the traditional rectangle style. The extended length helps with thicker veggies and meats, making this a highly useful tool in kitchens that handle a lot of Asian-inspired cuisines. There is a decent amount of hardness to the blade even though it has flexibility as well. The bolster is thick enough for control while using sweet potato or something as small as garlic clove.

Maintenance 

 You have to hand wash and dry the blade completely because of the forged materials. Do not put this into your dishwashing. It is way too sharp and bulky.

Pros
  • Larger size for more ingredients
  • Excellent bolster for a pinch grip
  • Incredibly sharp for even smaller veges
Cons
  • Does have flexibility
  • Not great if you are not used to the rectangle style
  • May need to sharpen out of the box

4. Shi Ba Zi Zuo 8” Chinese Cleaver

A cleaver you would expect to see at a Chinese food cart in one of the famous shopping alleys of Shanghai.

 Shi Ba Zi Zuo 8 Chinese Cleaver

Shi Ba Zi Zuo 8” Chinese Cleaver Specifications

General
Brand
SHI BA ZI ZUO
Price Range
$40-$50
Balance
Well balanced
Manufacturing Country
China
Warranty
Unknown
Most suitable for
Non stick siding is perfect for heavier ingredients
Dimensions
Total Knife Length (In/cm)
12.2 / 30.99
Cleaver Weight (Oz/Gr)
11.55 / 327.44
Blade Length (Inches)
3.4
Blade Height (Inches)
4
The Blade
Forged/stamped
Forged
Blade Material
3-layer high quality clad stainless steel
Blade Flexibility
Not Flexible
Tang
Full Tang
Blade Edge
Double bevel
Straight/Serrated
Straight
Blade angle
25-30 degrees
HRC (Rockwell Hardness)
55-57
The Handle
Handle Feel
Ergonomic - anti-slip and anti-freezing and firm to grip so you avoid any harm
Handle Material
Rosewood
Handle Color
Brown

About the Knife

This Chinese cleaver is made for frequent use. You’ll notice the shorter handle compared to others in the “beehive” style, which makes it optimal for people like shop owners or restaurants with a high turnover rate. The 3-layer clad sides make it far more durable than you would expect and helps keep food off the blade when you are working, making for a much easier clean-up.

Maintenance 

 Not dishwasher safe because of the quality of the blade and the handle. You will ruin both if they are exposed to air-drying instead of hand drying and then safely storing away.

Pros
  • Excellent control with the handle
  • Durable steel materials designed for heavy use
  • Heavy enough to do the work for you
Cons
  • Bolster is a bit small for the pinch grip
  • Handle is hard for people with larger hands
  • This is a big knife making it bulky at first

5. Shun Classic 7” Chinese Cleaver

The first Damascus blade on our list with stunning patterning along both sides and a character accent that make it wildly attractive.

Shun Classic 7 Chinese Cleaver

Shun Classic 7” Chinese Cleaver Specifications

General
Brand
Shun
Price Range
$265-$340
Balance
Perfect balance
Manufacturing Country
Japan
Warranty
Limited lifetime warranty
Most suitable for
Meant for a professional kitchen
Dimensions
Total Knife Length (In/cm)
12.2 / 30.73
Cleaver Weight (Oz/Gr)
13.6 / 385.55
Blade Length (Inches)
7
Blade Height (Inches)
3.8
The Blade
Forged/stamped
Forged
Blade Material
VG-Max 69 layer Damascus
Blade Flexibility
Not Flexible
Tang
Full Tang
Blade Edge
Double bevel
Straight/Serrated
Straight
Blade angle
16 degrees per side
HRC (Rockwell Hardness)
Unknown
The Handle
Handle Feel
D-shaped ebony finished - comfortable for both right and left-handed users
Handle Material
Pakkawood
Handle Color
Silver-black

About the Knife

It is interesting that Shun went with a black pakkawood instead of the natural brown color. Otherwise, this is a beautiful cleaver. The hardness and multi-layered forging mean you get those tell-tale designs along the sides of the cleaver to let you know it is real Damascus steel. This option is on the higher end of our pricing scale, but for obvious reasons. The detailed work of creating this blade is fantastic.

Maintenance 

You cannot wash this blade in a dishwasher. It will damage Damascus steel. Stick to hand washing and drying entirely before replacing in a safe space. Many users report using this as a display knife.

Pros
  • Excellent sharpness retention from the forging process
  • Highly sought after Damascus steel
  • Both right and left-handed users can enjoy it
Cons
  • On the pricier side of our list
  • Does require a bit of maintenance to keep that shine
  • Bolster could be thicker

6. Dexter 8” Chinese Cleaver

A very traditional cleaver design with a beehive handle that requires a bit of strength to maneuver well.

Dexter 8 Chinese Cleaver

Dexter 8” Chinese Cleaver Specifications

General
Brand
Dexter-Russell
Price Range
$35-$60
Balance
Good balance
Manufacturing Country
USA
Warranty
Limited lifetime warranty
Most suitable for
Good for at home use with most vegetables and small meats
Dimensions
Total Knife Length (In/cm)
11 / 27.94
Cleaver Weight (Oz/Gr)
11.06 / 313.55
Blade Length (Inches)
8
Blade Height (Inches)
3.7
The Blade
Forged/stamped
Forged
Blade Material
Stainless Steel
Blade Flexibility
Not Flexible
Tang
Partial Tang
Blade Edge
Double bevel
Straight/Serrated
Straight
Blade angle
Unknown
HRC (Rockwell Hardness)
54-57
The Handle
Handle Feel
For those who prefer the warmth and feel of a real wood handle
Handle Material
Wood
Handle Color
Brown

About the Knife

You have to clean this cleaver carefully. While you get the experience of a traditional cleaver with a wooden handle, that also means you need to watch your maintenance a bit more. It is amazing this is an American brand, but the quality is undeniable. For a partial tang cleaver, you get a lot of chopping power that can handle practically any Asian-inspired dish. At one of the more reasonable prices on our list, this would make an excellent blade giving as a gift.

Maintenance 

You have to keep this blade out of a dishwasher. The forged materials and wooden handle require hand washing. Be sure to do a good job hand drying the handle to avoid any issues down the road.

Pros
  • Love the feeling of a wooden handle
  • Longer cleaver length for larger ingredients
  • Feels hefty in your hands
Cons
  • Wooden handle requires careful maintenance
  • Lower hardness to the blade for bone work
  • Chinese cleaver made in the USA

7. Kyoku Samurai Series 7” Chinese Cleaver

A lot of pluses about the handle and material construction of this taller cleaver that you can use with pretty much anything in the kitchen.

Kyoku Samurai Series 7 Chinese Cleaver

Kyoku Samurai Series 7” Chinese Cleaver Specifications

General
Brand
Kyoko
Price Range
$45-$60
Balance
Well balanced
Manufacturing Country
China
Warranty
Lifetime warranty
Most suitable for
Heavy chopping and thicker ingredients
Dimensions
Total Knife Length (In/cm)
12 / 30.48
Cleaver Weight (Oz/Gr)
10.88 / 308.44
Blade Length (Inches)
7
Blade Height (Inches)
3.15
The Blade
Forged/stamped
Forged
Blade Material
Premium Japanese Steel
Blade Flexibility
Slightly flexible
Tang
Full Tang
Blade Edge
Double bevel
Straight/Serrated
Straight
Blade angle
13-15 degrees per side
HRC (Rockwell Hardness)
56-58
The Handle
Handle Feel
Ergonomic grip and a long lasting natural feel with a mosaic pin
Handle Material
Pakkawood
Handle Color
Black

About the Knife

This Japanese cleaver was definitely created by a designer with a deep appreciation for craftwork. From the premium steep to the mosaic in one of the handle pins, you can see real effort was made towards a user with experience using a cleaver. The bolster makes this one of our favorites because it is wider and allows for way more maneuverability. Just be sure to take advantage of the included sheath because this is an extremely sharp blade.

Maintenance 

Not safe for the dishwasher because of the premium steel. Only use a bit of soapy water and be careful when drying so you avoid needing a band-aid.

Pros
  • Excellent sharpness right out of the box
  • Wide bolster for added grip
  • Fantastic craftwork in the design
Cons
  • The sheath can slide occasionally
  • Reports of some loose rivets
  • A little lighter than others on our list

8. Shi Ba Zi Zuo 9” Chinese Cleaver

Get ready for a seriously heavier and longer meat cleaver that is meant for repetitive use in a professional kitchen.

Shi Ba Zi Zuo 9 Chinese Cleaver

Shi Ba Zi Zuo 9” Chinese Cleaver Specifications

General
Brand
SHI BA ZI ZUO
Price Range
$40-$45
Balance
Well balanced
Manufacturing Country
China
Warranty
Unknown
Most suitable for
Designed for heavy use in a pro kitchen
Dimensions
Total Knife Length (In/cm)
13.5 / 34.29
Cleaver Weight (Oz/Gr)
12.35 / 350.12
Blade Length (Inches)
9
Blade Height (Inches)
3.74
The Blade
Forged/stamped
Stamped
Blade Material
High Quality Clad Stainless Steel
Blade Flexibility
Not Flexible
Tang
Full Tang
Blade Edge
Double bevel
Straight/Serrated
Straight
Blade angle
25-30 degrees
HRC (Rockwell Hardness)
55-57
The Handle
Handle Feel
Ergonomic - anti-slip, anti-freezing and firm to the grip to avoid harm
Handle Material
Wood
Handle Color
Brown

About the Knife

Yes, this is a beast. If you are not in the market for a seriously huge cleaver, then you may want to try a different option. This is also a wooden-handled cleaver, meaning you will need to pay close attention to maintenance. However, the control and sharpness of this cleaver is pretty impressive. For the price point, you can get a lot of value from the blade. So much so that we recommend this to professional ramen cooks or cart chefs.

Maintenance 

Must be hand dried and washed to avoid the handle gathering any bacteria.

Pros
  • Excellent wooden handle control
  • More than enough length and weight for bigger ingredients
  • Quality materials for the blade
Cons
  • Slightly softer HRC for durability
  • Wooden handle requires more maintenance
  • Not meant for people with smaller hands

9. Shi Ba Zi Zuo 6.7” Chinese Cleaver

Excellent blade for the price and meant for people who do not like a larger cleaver in their kitchen.

Shi Ba Zi Zuo 6.7 Chinese Cleaver

Shi Ba Zi Zuo 6.7” Chinese Cleaver Specifications

General
Brand
SHI BA ZI ZUO
Price Range
$30-$35
Balance
Well balanced
Manufacturing Country
China
Warranty
Unknown
Most suitable for
Meant for people with smaller hands and equally smaller ingredients
Dimensions
Total Knife Length (In/cm)
11.02 / 27.99
Cleaver Weight (Oz/Gr)
8.6 / 243.81
Blade Length (Inches)
6.7
Blade Height (Inches)
3
The Blade
Forged/stamped
Stamped
Blade Material
Stainless Steel
Blade Flexibility
Not Flexible
Tang
Full Tang
Blade Edge
Double bevel
Straight/Serrated
Straight
Blade angle
Less than 30 degrees
HRC (Rockwell Hardness)
55-57
The Handle
Handle Feel
Biomechanical rosewood handle with the exquisite finish to be anti-slip
Handle Material
Wood
Handle Color
Brown

About the Knife

Another of our wooden handle options, but this time for users that prefer something slightly smaller. You can still get all the Asian cuisine needs out of the way with this cleaver. There is no bolster, so watch your hands. We think this is a great introductory cleaver for people who may not be used to the tool as part of their ingredient prepping habits.

Maintenance 

This is not a dishwasher-safe cleaver because of the metal and the wooden handle. You will need to completely hand dry after washing in some light soap.

Pros
  • Smaller size for those with smaller hands
  • Wooden handle feels amazing in your grip
  • Shorter length for greater maneuverability
Cons
  • Material is not as hard as you would like
  • Wooden handle requires more maintenance
  • Lighter weight requires a bit more effort for cutting

10. Kyoku 7” Shogun Series Chinese Cleaver

The only other Damascus blade on our list that looks and feels amazing to use.

Kyoku 7 Shogun Series Chinese Cleaver

Kyoku 7” Shogun Series Chinese Cleaver Specifications

General
Brand
Kyoku
Price Range
$83-$100
Balance
Good balance
Manufacturing Country
China
Warranty
Lifetime warranty
Most suitable for
Good for those that prefer a fancier looking blade
Dimensions
Total Knife Length (In/cm)
12.2 / 30.99
Cleaver Weight (Oz/Gr)
13.76 / 390.091
Blade Length (Inches)
7
Blade Height (Inches)
3.15
The Blade
Forged/stamped
Forged
Blade Material
Stainless Damascus
Blade Flexibility
Slightly Flexible
Tang
Full Tang
Blade Edge
Double bevel
Straight/Serrated
Straight
Blade angle
8-12 degrees
HRC (Rockwell Hardness)
58-60
The Handle
Handle Feel
Ergonomic grip and a long lasting natural feel with a mosaic pin
Handle Material
G10
Handle Color
Black

About the Knife

If you are looking for the most aesthetically pleasing cleaver on our list, this is probably it. Between the sheath and rippled side layers, you get a knife that is great for displaying. As for cutting, there is enough weight and sharpness to work with most ingredients. You cannot go wrong with Damascus steel, even when blended with a little stainless steel to even out the design.

Maintenance 

Damascus steel is not meant for the dishwasher and will require hand drying and washing.

Pros
  • Damascus steel is more durable than others
  • Excellent grip on the handle
  • Wonderful design details
Cons
  • On the more expensive side of our list
  • Feels a bit lighter than you would expect
  • Requires occasional sharpening at a fine angle

FAQ

How to use a Chinese cleaver?

Traditionally, this is the only knife in a Chinese kitchen. You can use it for pretty much anything, but do need to adjust your grip occasionally to get the full maneuverability. Start with the pinch grip along the top of the blade or bolster and then take your time getting used to different activities to naturally adjust.

How to sharpen a Chinese cleaver?

You should often hone your edge to ensure you are getting the most out of the blade. A honing steel is a thin rod with a handle, and you hold it vertically (handle up) while sliding the cleaver along the steel, moving away from you 5-10 times per side depending on the angle you desire.

How thick is a Chinese cleaver?

Most Chinese cleavers will be between 2 and 8 mm. You want it to be a little flexibly without losing the durability or blade hardness. The best cleavers are usually between 3-5mm. When you work with less than 3mm, you get a thinner blade that may not hold up well to chopping actions.

Why do the Chinese only use a claver?

Most traditional Chinese cooking at home involves a pot or wok. Everything is cooked in the same pan, with the exception being rice. That requires all the ingredients to be thinly sliced to cook evenly. A cleaver can do the work by itself. It is a cost-affordable choice to just have one knife for everything.

How to store a Chinese cleaver?

Most cleavers are sharp and do cause a risk of getting hurt. You need to keep them in a safe spot where the blade edge is covered by a sheath and away from children. If you do use a magnetic bar, make sure it is high enough that little ones cannot grab the cleaver.

Conclusion

There are a lot of different options for your Chinese cleaver selection. We strongly encourage you to check out the Zwilling Twin Signature 7” Chinese Cleaver, but always go with a knife that is comfortable in your hands. Be sure to maintain your knife well, and you should get plenty of years out of its use for practically any style of cooking in your home or kitchen.

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