A Cleaver is a large multipurpose kitchen knife useful in everything from breaking down meat to cutting and chopping vegetables. Often referred to as a Chinese Cleaver, these are typically heavier than most kitchen knives and consist of a slightly thicker blade with extra depth and a short handle.
Chinese cleavers have a thicker blade and are more durable for use when chopping or breaking apart meat and bones.
Japanese cleaver knives are ideal for slicing and disjointing. This knife is useful for breaking down whole fish, meat and poultry where a heavy blade is useful. They can also be used for breaking down vegetables.
Often times a Nakiri is mistaken for a Cleaver due to both having squared tips. However, while the Nakiri is specifically designed for vegetables, the Cleaver is much more durable and multipurpose.
The Cleaver typically has a thicker blade and the angle of the edge is sharpened to a less narrow angle to make it more durable when breaking apart harder objects.
Caring for a Cleaver properly is important to guarantee its performance for many years. We recommend that you hand wash your blade with warm water and then dry with a soft tea towel. It should never be placed in a dishwasher, and it should be stored in a dry environment, away from moisture. Periodic applications of Tsubaki Camellia Oil will also help prevent rust and corrosion.
If the knife you are purchasing is high carbon steel, then we recommend wiping off excess moisture immediately after use as they are more prone to corrosion. High carbon knives will have the tendency to form a patina, this is not bad and actually can help protect the blade from rust.
Your blade should also be periodically sharpened with a whetstone; this will provide better quality edge and last longer than an electric sharpener or honing rod.