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Cleaver help wanted

Mon Jul 16, 2012 9:17 am

Hi there,

I'm looking for a little bit of help selecting a cleaver.

I have a few Japanese knives that i enjoy using, a Hattori Santoku and Guyoto and a Saiun paring knife so i'm used to a non western style blade, but i would like a good quality cleaver.

I did not want to buy only on price, but instead wanted to make the correct choice for my needs.

From reading around i thought, since it will be used only for chopping veg and meat (no bones !! ) a thin blade would be best and something that has a little bit of corrosion resistance (i'm worried as to how quick a carbon steel blade would rust), but also one that holds a reasonable edge. Oh yes and not unreasonably large either.

I had been looking at the Sugimoto #30 , would that be suitable, or is there a better choice ?

Your advice would be greatly appreciated.


Re: Cleaver help wanted

Mon Jul 16, 2012 9:38 am

The sugimoto is a good one, but the ones I've handled(not sure if it was exactly that model) was not super thin behind the edge. I may be totally wrong on that one, perhaps someone who has one can chime in.

You can get a CCK 1303 and try it out cheap, but the steel is very reactive, so yeah, it will rust and discolor in a gross kind of way. Cuts good though, and gets you in the door.

If you want a LOT of corrosion resistance, the Richmond Fanatic is basically a CCK 1303 in a stainless straight razor steel. It's also available in a 52100 version, and 52100 takes a nice patina.

Also the Takeda smaller cleaver will undoubtedly be a crazy awesome cutter, as all Takedas are, and it's a fantastic core steel(Aogami Super), and the forge scale will keep the rest of the giant blade from rusting. Spendy though.

Re: Cleaver help wanted

Thu Jul 26, 2012 12:46 am

I have a smaller Sugimoto - nice cleaver. Sugimotos are made of white steel - not sure which white steel though. I got this information from a conversation with Mrs Sugimoto when I visited Tsukiji Market many years ago. They do have them in different 'weights so be careful to get a thin one (for veggies).

http://chanchikee.com/ChineseKnives.html gives you the selection of CCK cleavers. You would probably be looking at the 1103 model. Their carbon steel cleavers are MUCH better than their stainless ones. The CCKs are quite thin and make excellent knives but they take an edge quickly and loose it quickly too. Another affordable Chinese (actually Taiwanese) knife is the Maestro Wu, available in a range of sizes. More Western looking and less 'rustic' than the CCKs. The Moritaka cleaver is probably my all time favorite knife. Both the Moritaka and Takeda cleavers are available in Aogami super steel and take a superb edge. My preference goes to Moritaka as it is the more affordable of the two. Both excellent knifemakers.

Enter Mark Richmond and his Cleavers. American made, each one topping the one preceding it. Using modern steels. All excellent and, in terms of value - well they are exceptional values, comparable to knives far more expensive than their price. As a new cleaver user the size of these may be particularly attractive.

Consider the pricing and your intended use and if carbon steel is an alternative and pick one. It's hard to go wrong with this group of choices.


Re: Cleaver help wanted

Thu Jul 26, 2012 10:57 am

I still have my Misono No. 61 available:


Re: Cleaver help wanted

Sat Jul 28, 2012 12:33 pm

As mentioned, the CCK offers very much "bang for the buck". It's cheap and get's the job done. That's about it.

I love my Moritaka cleaver, but it's a lot heavier and thicker, but cuts like mad. It is however, dead flat at the edge. It doesn't have any belly. I like that feature, but some prefer a bit of belly.

The Richmond Fanatic comes in 2 versions:
Stainless AEB-L: No discoloration, sharpens easily, holds a good edge and with belly. Very nice cleaver imo and very thin.
Carbon 52-100: Dead flat à la Moritaka, carbon does patina (I like it) Get INSANELY sharp, very thin and I prefer the machi on this one.

My pick:

Modern cleaver: Richmond
All time classic and favorite: Moritaka

Re: Cleaver help wanted

Sat Jul 28, 2012 2:39 pm

i like the looks of the fanatic 2 more than the first fanatic. im guessing the fanatic 2 will be available in aeb-l eventually? anyway 52100 is no slouch either, im certainly going to get one next time i purchase a cleaver. the nice array of handle options certainly sets them apart from anything else also. i personally would stay away from any white steel cleaver because low edge stability/ ease of sharpening trade off isnt worth it to me for cleavers.

Re: Cleaver help wanted

Mon Jul 30, 2012 1:00 pm

I'm hoping to have the all new fanatic 2 in AEB-L next week.
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