This knife is primarily a vegetable knife used for chopping, but it can also be used to slice finely through meat and other proteins - although it isn't meant for hacking through large bones. For that purpose, you'll need a much heavier cleaver or a butcher's saw with a thick cross-section.
The Chinese cleaver, also known as the vegetable cleaver or cai dao, is a useful tool for cutting, dicing, and mincing meat and vegetables. This blade may also be called a Chinese chef knife because in Chinese culture, one knife is traditionally used for all kitchen tasks.
Why do the Chinese use cleavers?
Also known as a Chinese chef's knife, the cleaver is a staple of the cuisine, rivaled in utility only by the wok and chopsticks. We reach for it for every task from crushing aromatics to filleting fish—it's the ultimate do-it-all tool.
Shun Classic Vegetable Cleaver, sometimes referred to as a Chinese cleaver, is a large knife with a very wide blade. A multi-purpose knife, it is the Chinese equivalent of a chef's knife. Vegetables, especially those that are larger such as cabbage, are processed best with this machine. Despite its nimbleness, the cleaver can cut and slice almost anything, from fruits and vegetables to a full array of proteins. The Shun Classic Vegetable Cleaver feels solid, but Shon’s thinner blade makes it easy to handle, so food preparation is easy. You should use a Meat Cleaver for cutting joints and bones; the Shun Classic Vegetable Cleaver is not meant for that.
The best way to prepare vegetables, fruits, and proteins - a favorite of professional chefs
A proprietary VG-MAX cutting core is wear and corrosion resistant, strong, and very fine-grained to allow for a razor-sharp, long-lasting edge of 16° on both sides
Stainless Damascus cladding on both sides (68 total layers) protects the core, adds stain resistance, and helps food release from the blade
Packwood handles with ebony finishes are comfortable for both left- and right-handed users; they're durable, beautiful, and won't harbor bacteria
Lightweight and balanced with full composite tang
Designed and handcrafted in Japan
How should a Chinese cleaver be stored?
It should be handled similarly to other knives since Chinese cleavers are not that different from other knives. Any knife can be damaged if carelessly thrown in a drawer, so consider investing in a knife cover or storing your cleaver on a magnetic knife strip. For more information about how to care for a carbon steel knife, click here. Clean and dry your knife before storing it.
A Chinese cleaver needs to be sharpened.
Learn how to sharpen knives with our guide. We recommend sending your knife to a professional if you are uncomfortable using a sharpening stone.