Japanese vegetable cleavers offer a ton of versatility in the kitchen. You can do everything from finely chopping herbs to cracking open many traditional shellfish found around the island nation. You have to pay close attention to the cleaver material to ensure you get a well-made product that can handle all the different ingredients you are using safely. We at Knives Academy have put together our list of the best Japanese vegetable cleavers on the market, including our top choice, the Global Kitchen-Knives Chop & Slice 7. The best cleaver for you will always be the one that feels the most comfortable to use and provides you with the tool necessary to make delicious meals. Let’s get started.

Top 5 Japanese Vegetable Cleavers

Best Japanese Vegetable Cleavers
Price
Blade Material
Warranty
More Details
#1. Global Kitchen


Global Kitchen-Knives Chop & Slice 7

Editor's Choice



Price



CROMOVA 18 stainless steel



Limited lifetime warranty



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#2. Shun Classic 7 Inch  
Shun Classic 7 Inch  



Price



VG-MAX 69 layer Damascus



Limited lifetime warranty



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#3. YOUSUNLONG 7 inch 
YOUSUNLONG 7 inch Vegetable Cleaver



Price



Alloy Steel



Limited lifetime warranty



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#4. ZHEN Japanese VG-10 3-Layer
ZHEN Japanese VG-10 3-Layer



Price



High carbon stainless steel



Limited lifetime warranty against defects



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#5. YOKU Samurai Series - 7 Inch
YOKU Samurai Series - 7



Price



Premium Japanese Steel



Lifetime warranty



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How to Use a Japanese Vegetable Cleaver

Most Japanese vegetable cleavers are long, straight blades that provide the best cuts when using a vertical chop. You can also employ the famous push or pull cut the Japanese use. A lot of cuisine in this niche derives its flavor from clean, crisp cuts, so your blade’s sharpness will matter just as much as how fresh the green vegetables are from the grocers. The point is to never rip your ingredients but to slice through them. The other purpose of the vegetable cleaver is to crack open some shellfish with the flat of the blade. That is a traditional purpose and not one that we suggest anymore, but it is good to keep in mind while shopping.

1. Global Kitchen-Knives Chop & Slice 7Editor’s Choice

A beautifully designed knife with enough weight and sharpness to handle any natural ingredient from an Asian vegetable garden and prepare gorgeous-looking and tasting meals.

Global Kitchen-Knives Chop & Slice 7

Global Kitchen-Knives Chop & Slice 7 Specifications

General
Brand
Global
Price Range
$199-$250
Balance
Well Balanced
Manufacturing Country
Japan
Warranty
Limited lifetime warranty
Most suitable for
For home and professional cooks using Japanese traditional cuisine
Dimensions
Total Cleaver Length (In/cm)
13.10/33.27
Cleaver Weight (Oz/Gr)
4.80/136.08
Blade Length (Inches)
7.75
Blade Height (Inches)
3.3
The Blade
Forged/stamped
Forged
Blade Material
CROMOVA 18 stainless steel
Blade Flexibility
Slightly flexible
Tang
Full Tang
Blade Edge
Razor-sharp edge
Straight/Serrated
Straight
Blade angle
Unknown
HRC (Rockwell Hardness)
56-58±
The Handle
Handle Feel
Ergonomic
Handle Material
Stainless Steel
Handle Color
Silver

About the knife

This is a stunning piece of equipment. The edge alone on this vegetable cleaver is worth the price tag. Even though we associate Japanese culture with samurai, you have to remember that not everyone had access to that kind of income. A regular family would only have 1-2 knives in the home – the vegetable cleaver and something to handle fish fillets. This cleaver has the heft you need for thicker ingredients while also the razor-sharp edge to get refined slices that make Udon bowels and fine cuisine possible. This way, you can bring out more of the flavor of your vegetables instead of relying on rough chopping. The highly resilient CROMOVA 18 metal also makes this an excellent purchase for longevity. All you will need honing steel, and you are good to go.

Maintenance and Cleaning

You can use a sharpening stone in the traditional manner, but we suggest a honing rod made from ceramic or diamond finish. Do not put this cleaver in a dishwasher. The soaking and harsh cleaners could damage the blade. Hand washes and dries before storing safely away.

Pros
  • Made with highly resilient CROMOVA 18 stainless steel
  • Razor-sharp edge that does not need to be sharpened often
  • Excellent design for longevity
Cons
  • Will rust if left in the water to soak
  • Can be hard to handle for those with smaller hands
  • Dangerous knife-edge that needs special attention

2. Shun Classic 7 Inch  

A very traditionally designed cleaver in the classic rectangle shape and a comfortable handle.

Shun Classic 7 Inch  

Shun Classic 7 Inch Specifications

General
Brand
Shun
Price Range
$265-$340
Balance
Perfect balance
Manufacturing Country
Japan
Warranty
Limited lifetime warranty
Most suitable for
More for professional chefs
Dimensions
Total Cleaver Length (In/cm)
12.1/30.73
Cleaver Weight (Oz/Gr)
13.60/385.55
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° per side
HRC (Rockwell Hardness)
Unknown
The Handle
Handle Feel
D-shaped ebony-finished - comfortable for both left- and right-handed users
Handle Material
Pakkawood
Handle Color
Silver-black

About the knife

If you have the resources, this cleaver will elevate your Japanese cuisine to another level. The durable Damascus steel has been folded and layered numerous times to get that gorgeous visual effect on the sides and the balance on this cleaver is extraordinary. It makes it much easier to maneuver and get the classic push and pull cuts that end in uniform food slices. This is also a highly resilient blade with no flexibility, so you can expect some chefs to use it for opening shellfish as well.

Maintenance and Cleaning

Never put Damascus steel into a dishwasher. That will cause rust stains and lower the quality of the blade. Always hand washes and dry before storing somewhere safe from children’s fingers.

Pros
  • Excellent balance, so the blade does the work
  • Made with resilient Damascus steel
  • Comfortable handle for both left and right-handed users
Cons
  • On the expensive side of our list
  • Does need a little sharpening out of the box
  • Slightly smaller than our top choice

3. YOUSUNLONG 7-inch Vegetable Cleaver 

Our winner for the most eloquent design that elevates Japanese artistry and has refined details any chef will appreciate.

YOUSUNLONG 7-inch Vegetable Cleaver 

YOUSUNLONG 7 inch Vegetable Cleaver Specifications

General
Brand
YOUSUNLONG
Price Range
$155-$165
Balance
Well balance
Manufacturing Country
Japan
Warranty
Limited lifetime warranty
Most suitable for
Great for home cooks with a backyard garden
Dimensions
Total Cleaver Length (In/cm)
12.6/32
Cleaver Weight (Oz/Gr)
1.65/47.34
Blade Length (Inches)
7
Blade Height (Inches)
3.54
The Blade
Forged/stamped
Forged
Blade Material
Alloy Steel
Blade Flexibility
Flexible
Tang
Full Tang
Blade Edge
Plain
Straight/Serrated
Straight
Blade angle
15°
HRC (Rockwell Hardness)
60±
The Handle
Handle Feel
Ergonomic
Handle Material
Walnut, Wood
Handle Color
Brown

About the knife

One of the better attributes of the Yousunlong cleaver is that it is beautifully packaged and designed. You are treated to stunning fold and layer patterns along with the alloy steel when you open the sheath. As far as cutting is concerned, there is plenty of sharpness to get the work done, and this is a slightly more flexible cleaver than others for those that prefer more agility in their work. This is also a wooden handle that helps distribute the force of a hard chop on the cutting board, which is great for those unused to the wrist work of a cleaver.

Maintenance and Cleaning

Both the alloy and wooden handle are not meant for a dishwasher. Use the sheath whenever possible, and be sure the blade is dried off before storing. You will also need to hone the edge occasionally for sharpness.

Pros
  • Beautiful design and layering effect
  • Comes with a sheath and excellent packaging
  • More flexible for those who want that in a cleaver
Cons
  • Flexibility is not always suitable for a chopping instrument
  • Blade edge could use a bit more bevel
  • The pointed tip close to the handle is dangerous

4. ZHEN Japanese VG-10 3-Layer

Appropriately named cleaver with three distinct layers of construction and an excellent anti-slip, soft handle for safety.

ZHEN Japanese VG-10 3-Layer

ZHEN Japanese VG-10 3-Layer Specifications

General
Brand
ZHEN
Price Range
$47-$65
Balance
Well balance
Manufacturing Country
Japan
Warranty
Limited lifetime warranty against defects
Most suitable for
Budget friendly blade for home use
Dimensions
Total Cleaver Length (In/cm)
11.5/29.21
Cleaver Weight (Oz/Gr)
9.10/257.98
Blade Length (Inches)
6.5
Blade Height (Inches)
3
The Blade
Forged/stamped
Forged
Blade Material
High carbon stainless steel
Blade Flexibility
Not Flexible
Tang
Full Tang
Blade Edge
Single Bevel
Straight/Serrated
Straight
Blade angle
15°
HRC (Rockwell Hardness)
60-62
The Handle
Handle Feel
Ergonomic with soft TPR
Handle Material
Thermoplastic Rubber
Handle Color
Black

About the knife

This is the first budget-friendly cleaver on our list that offers plenty of features that make it a good option for people just starting out in Japanese cuisine. The 3-layer effect is stunning and easy to see along the blade’s sides. The best part of the cleaver is the handle. Cleavers use a lot of force and routine movement that takes a toll on your hand and wrist. It is good to see a blade using rubber to deal with the vibration and help with your grip, so you do not have an unwanted accident. This is also an extremely hard material that is suitable for all kinds of kitchen ingredients.

Maintenance and Cleaning

We do not recommend putting this cleaver in a dishwasher because of the rubber and steel material. Constant heat and soaking can lower the quality of the cleaver. Instead, stick to hand washing with a tiny bit of soap in warm water and then completely dry before returning to its sheath.

Pros
  • Budget-friendly price point
  • Thermoplastic rubber handle to avoid slippage
  • Easy to maintain and sharpen
Cons
  • Does require more sharpening than others
  • It could use more of a bolster for pinching grip
  • A little smaller than others on our list

5. KYOKU Samurai Series – 7″ Cleaver Knife

A pretty standard cleaver with a good balance of features and will work as a starter cleaver for most households.

KYOKU Samurai Series - 7" Cleaver Knife

KYOKU Samurai Series – 7″ Cleaver Knife Specifications

General
Brand
KYOKU
Price Range
$20-$35
Balance
Well balance
Manufacturing Country
Japan
Warranty
Lifetime warranty
Most suitable for
Great for first-time cleaver users
Dimensions
Total Cleaver Length (In/cm)
12/30.48
Cleaver Weight (Oz/Gr)
10.88/304.44
Blade Length (Inches)
7
Blade Height (Inches)
3.15
The Blade
Forged/stamped
Forged
Blade Material
Premium Japanese Steel
Blade Flexibility
Unknow
Tang
Full Tang
Blade Edge
Double bevel
Straight/Serrated
Straight
Blade angle
13-15° per side
HRC (Rockwell Hardness)
56-58±
The Handle
Handle Feel
Ergonomic grip and a long-lasting natural feel, made still more beautiful by its elegant mosaic pin.
Handle Material
Pakkawood
Handle Color
Black

About the knife

This is the most affordable Japanese vegetable cleaver on our list, but do not let that fool you as far as the material is considered. You still get plenty of heft and size to work with all kinds of fresh ingredients, and the blade edge stays surprisingly sharp for longer than you would expect. You have to remember that Japan has a rich metalwork history, especially when it comes to blades. The hardness is a little softer than we would want in our top choice, but the added features of design, pakkawood, and style make this an excellent choice for those just getting started out.

Maintenance and Cleaning

Do not place in the dishwasher. Be sure to hand wash and hone occasionally. Always dry it off completely before putting safely away.

Pros
  • Excellent price point
  • Nice detail work for a traditional cleaver
  • Easy to maintain
Cons
  • Thinner blade than others
  • Does require proper maintenance to maintain
  • Could use a better sheath/cover that doesn’t slide around

Conclusion

Japanese vegetable cleavers offer a lot of options when working around your home or professional kitchen. They have just enough weight to handle most ingredients and are sharp for traditional cuts that bring out unique flavor profiles. We strongly suggest using the Global Kitchen-Knives Chop & Slice 7, but also repeat our mantra that the best knife for you is the one that is most comfortable and responds to your cooking needs. Happy shopping and thank you for checking out our list!

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