Chinese Cleaver vs. Chef Knife – Main Differences

Chef’s Knife Shape

The chef’s knife has a small and pointed shape that is more popular for cooking a western dishes. The french dietary tradition has a grave impact on chef knife tasks like mincing garlic and dicing scallions feel effortless with that knife.

Chef’s Knife Balance

Chef’s knives are lighter in weight than Chinese cleavers and that weight can make you worry when working with the kitchen products. Again, this doesn’t mean that chef’s knives have better balance, in fact it’s just a different factor to use when cooking.

Chef’s Knife Hand Position

The chef’s knife is not much taller as compared to a cleaver knife so your hand will be very close to the cutting surface of the knife. But still you can do some tasks by up and down motion and most of the things you do with a chef’s knife will benefit from the classic oscillating motion that helps prepare food quickly.

Uses of Chef’s Knife

  • Use in kitchen for variety of tasks
  • Mincing, Dicing and Slicing
  • Provide precise cutting of fish and meat
  • As well used for peeling and cutting of vegetable and fruits

Basic Stats of Chef’s Knife

  • It comes having a length between 6 to 12 inches but a 12 inch knife will feel overwhelming to a beginner.
  • The ideal quality chef’s knife blade comes with a thickness of 0.01 inches.
  • The HRC ( How hard they are ) between 57 to 62.

Chef’s vs Chinese Cleaver Knife – How are They Different

Both knives are considered all rounder knives because they do all work well. The main difference between both chef and chinese cleaver knives is their shape and sizes of each knife. Usually A cleaver knife is used to crush things like ginger and garlic, prepare a large number of vegetables and then pull it all over the big, rectangular handle.

Furthermore, for getting the best result always use an up and down motion. If you have never used this type of knife before, you will also need to adapt to the different weight distribution and desired hand position.

Chef’s vs Chinese Cleaver Knife - How are They Different
Blade Lenght6-9 Inches6-12 Inches (Usually 6-8, Though)
Blade Thickness0.07” – 0.31” ThickThe Ideal Thickness is 0.01”
FlexibilityLowVaries but Typically Low
HRC60 – 6257 – 62
Main PurposeChopping, Slicing, Dicing, Denser Meats, Softer BonesAlso General Purpose, Less Capable with Bones

Which One You Should Buy

If you are ready to work with curves just for the sake of learning for one or two weeks then there is a lot to say for high quality Chinese cleaver. You can also use its large surface for transferring the uncooked food from the chopping surface to the frying pan. Consider whether it’s okay to use a more ‘hard’ up and down motion when you cut. Also think about that high quality handle and different balance style might be a problem for you. But if you are still good with what you are already using then chef’s knives will also perfect knives for you.

Chinese Cleaver Knife Recommendation

Are you looking for the best chinese cleaver around in 2023 ? According to us – Zwilling Twin SIgnature 7” chinese cleaver knife. The Zwilling is highly reputed and this model offers excellent performance

Chef’s Knife Recommendation

Are you looking for a knife for western food cooking which means you want to buy a chef knife. For us the best chef’s knife is – Victorinox Fibrox Pro 8” Chef knife. The balance and size are perfect for doing kitchen tasks.

Final Verdict

Hopefully this article will be helpful for you to clarify which one is the best knife for you. Chinese cleaver and chef knife are versatile tools in the right pair of hands but the main difference in both knives are their sizes and shape and you select them according to your need. For us both knives are perfect in their place that’s why we describe them but the main thing is that Western buyers will need to adapt hand position and cutting style if they opt for a cleaver.

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