The Best Chinese Cleavers for Cutting Steak

The Best Chinese Cleavers for Cutting Steak in 2024

You have all seen the traditional meat cleaver or butcher’s cleaver in your butcher’s shop. You have seen the well-used stainless steel blade coming done on a thick meat piece or a big tough meat slab.

A Chinese cleaver is a very useful kitchen tool. It can be used for many things, but one of its main purposes is to chop steak and also used a vegetable cleaver.

This is a very useful cleaver knife or tool for cutting, chopping, slicing, dicing, mincing, and more. It has a comfortable handle and a sharp blade. As a result, it is a very good alternative or substitute for a chef’s knife.

See how to polish your knife and cleaver so it keeps shinny and gleams.

For a great kitchen knife then the santoku knife has become increasingly popular for dicing.

How To Choose a Good Chinese Cleaver

The main areas to look at for any kitchen knife, but in particular the Chinese chef’s knife – and in this case the Chinese vegetable cleaver and meat and steak cleaver.

Blade Material

When shopping for your new kitchen knife set, make sure to choose a meat or vegetable cleaver that has been forged out of high carbon stainless steel at the very least. Stainless steel is durable and will last longer than cheaper materials. Further the stainless steel blade won’t rust over time either, which means less cleaning after each use.

Carbon steel is often considered inferior because it doesn’t hold an edge well. However, this isn’t always true. Carbon steel is still very useful for some tasks and will retain a sharp edge and edge retention. There is also german steel which is high carbon steel and excellent quality and could be considered also.

Cleaver Cutting Steak
Cleaver Cutting Steak

Blade Length

Chinese cleavers come in several different lengths: 7 inches, 9 inches, 12 inches, and 14 inches. There are also some commercial butcher knife or chinese chef knife of 16 inches but we will exclude these as the are like to be too heavy and cut right through your cutting board. Blades longer than 10 inches will make chopping difficult because they won’t fit into your hands comfortably. If you plan to use your knife frequently, opt for a shorter length; otherwise, go with something closer to the middle ground.


Most Chinese cleavers feature a tang that runs along the entire length of the knife. Tangs provide stability during use and help prevent slippage. They also make chopping tasks faster because there’s less chance of accidentally slicing yourself. Some manufacturers offer optional handles without tangs, though these lack the strength needed to chop hard foods such as onions carrots and of couse tough meat and steak.


Handle Shape, ergonomic handle and pakka wood handles.

Chinese cleavers come in many different shapes, including straight handles, pakkawood handle, curved handles, and even ergonomic designs. Some people prefer the feel of a traditional knife shape, while others find comfort in using a design that fits naturally into their hands. If you plan to use your new knife frequently, consider investing in a model with a comfortable grip. I like a wooden handle, but the modern plastic handles are really good now, and there are some japanese meat cleaver handles that are really good and made from modern materials.

Handle shape

There are two types of handles; wooden and plastic. Wooden handles have been around since ancient times and they still remain popular today. They are very sturdy and easy to maintain. Plastic handles are lighter but less durable.

Wooden handles are usually thicker and sturdier while plastic ones tend to be thinner and easier to grip. Both designs work perfectly fine though so there isn’t really a right choice here.

What are the main types of Chinese Cleavers?

Chinese Meat Cleaver – Choppers – Cleaving Knife

Often thought of as a Chinese general-purpose chef’s knife. These cleavers have a blade that is a little thicker to give them a little more rigidity.  The blade is not as wide as a real heavy-duty cleaver though.

A Chinese Cleaver style chopper is good to chop, i.e dice all vegetables, most meats, and even herbs.

These knives are also lighter in weight and will not stress or tire your fingers or hand when in prolonged use.

What is the Best Chinese Cleaving Knife for Cutting Steak

Chinese Cleaving Knife for Slicing

In China or Professional kitchens, these are called a ping-bladed knife.

They are best for fining slicing or Juliane of vegetables.

The Chinese cleaver for slicing has a very thin blade.

Because they have a fine blade then you can also use them to finely slice steak. This Chinese cleaver can also slice steak so thin it is minced and can be used in steak tartare. This is typically a more lightweight cleaver, with a thinner blade and sometimes made from Damascus steel. Japanese knives are also dominant in this category. They also have a great blade edge, often better than the Chinese knife. However, some of the more modern Chinese cleaver knife styles are really high quality, have good Rockwell hardness in the sharp blade, and can easily cut boneless meat.

What is the best Chinese Cleaving Knife for Slicing Steak?

The best-around knife for cutting and slicing steak is the Dalstrong Cleaver Hybrid.

Chinese Cleavers For Bone Chopping to Thick Meat

Chinese Bone Choppers are used by chefs to chop bones. They are also used by butchers to cut through tough cuts of meat. Of course, their blade is very thick and therefore strong.

What is the best Chinese Cleaving Knife for cleaving thick Steak

What Features to Look For in A Chinese Cleaver

Older or traditional Chinese knives used carbon steel in the blade. But nowadays blades made with new very strong alloys are really good.

Why, well in addition to giving strength to the blade these new alloys do not rust are corrosion and stain-resistant.

So at the least choose a knife with carbon steel and the best Chinese cleaver knife will contain a new modern alloy of high carbon steel.  One other advantage of the new high-tech alloys is they have a really fine edge that is very sharp. Even more important this knife keeps a sharp edge for a very long time.

Here is the best High Tech Alloy Chinese Cleaver for Cutting Vegetables.

Why do Chinese chefs use cleavers

Cleavers are used for chopping meat or vegetables in Chinese restaurants. The chef uses the cleaver to chop up the ingredients into small pieces. This helps the chef to cook the food quickly and efficiently.

What would a thick cleaver be used for cutting

A thick cleaver is used to cut through thick meat, sometimes including the bone.

Can you use a Chinese cleaver for everything

Yes, you can use a Chinese cleaver to chop vegetables, cut meat, slice bread, and dice onions. However, a Chinese cleaver is not suitable for cutting through thick bone.