Products recommended in the post contain affiliate links. We may receive a commission when you buy something through our posts.

How to choose the best Japanese cleaver knife

Choosing the top Japanese cleaver knife for your kitchen can be challenging. There are so many different types of knives available on the market that it is difficult to determine which one is best for you. 

We’ve discovered that Japanese Cleaver Knives are ideal for home kitchens because they can perform any task, from slicing meat to chopping vegetables. In addition, the ergonomic design of these knives makes them easy to use and comfortable to hand. 

The Best Japanese Meat Knives Described 

Cleavers are a surprisingly versatile knife type. They typically resemble something from a scary movie in which someone is pursuing you. The reality is that this oddly shaped knife is quite versatile. In the context of this article, Japanese meat cleavers are no exception. As their name implies, they are ideal for chopping meat but capable of performing various other tasks. 

Why is Japan so famous? Well, many of our readers are fans of Japanese knives and are looking for a matching meat cleaver. However, you must be careful when purchasing one. In Asian culture, it is more common to use cleavers to chop vegetables like a chef’s knife than to cut meat. The Chinese “Chuka Bocho” cleavers were explicitly designed for this purpose, despite resembling meat cleavers with their large, balanced blade. 

Nonetheless, Japanese meat cleavers are available, and we can assist you in your search—first, a quick primer on something crucial. 

Japanese Meat Cleaver vs. Vegetable Cleaver 

Meat cleavers have thicker, more robust blades for more challenging tasks, such as cutting and deboning the meat, in case you’re unfamiliar with the distinction between vegetable and meat cleavers. This is the typical application of a meat cleaver of Western design. Their job is to crush through the most brutal cuts you’ve seen and destroy everything in their path. 

Finding a Japanese-style meat cleaver is possible, but it is highly uncommon. Because Japanese-style knives typically lack a large, thick blade capable of slicing through anything you throw at it. Most would be destroyed the first time they nicked a bone due to the blades’ extreme hardness and fragility. 

Vegetable cleavers of Japanese design, also known as Chuka Bocho, are much more delicate knives. They use premium steel, a thin, lightweight blade, and beautiful Damascus designs. That sounds wonderful, and it is ideal for slicing, chopping, and mincing vegetables. However, they are frequently inadequate for cutting large portions of meat, especially if bones are present. It is not worth risking ruining an expensive vegetable knife by striking a bone. 

Always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations and warnings to ensure you understand what your knife can and cannot do. Before releasing a new knife model, they will likely conduct extensive factory testing to determine its capabilities. This is particularly true if you intend to cut through bone. 

In either case, the cleaver’s large surface area sets it apart ideal for crushing garlic and ginger. You place the blade lengthwise, flat, and away from the garlic. Then, with your free hand, strike the top side of the edge to crush it, being careful to stay away from the blade’s sharp end so as not to cut yourself. 

Advantages of the Best Japanese Cleaver Knife 

When it comes to finding the best Japanese cleaver knife, you can enjoy several benefits. A quality cleaver’s most significant advantage is its ability to reduce cooking time. 

You can easily cut through meat, vegetables, and other ingredients with a swift, clean cut. Additionally, a cleaver is ideal for thicker cuts of meat, such as pork or roast beef. The substantial blade and handle make it simple to slice through thicker materials. 

In addition to its versatility, a Japanese cleaver can be used for more than just chopping food. A high-quality knife such as this one can also be used as a sushi knife, allowing you to make perfect cuts every time. 

The flexible blade makes it simple to insert the knife into sushi rolls, allowing you to prepare a flavorful meal quickly and easily. 

A Japanese cleaver can additionally be used to serve food. The razor-sharp blade makes cutting through food easy and creates uniform slices every time. 

Considerations When Selecting the Best Japanese Cleaver Knife 

Numerous variations in size, weight, blade shape, and thickness make it challenging to select the best Japanese cleaver blade. 

Additionally, various quality levels are available. Regarding handle design, steel type/quality, and blade hardness, there is also a matter of personal preference. So how do you choose? Here are five considerations that will assist you in deciding: 

Blade Size 

The size of your hand will play a significant role in determining which Japanese cleaver knife is best for you. If you have large hands, select blades at least 10 inches long. If you have small hands, choose blades of 6 inches or less. 


Weight is another factor to consider when choosing a Japanese cleaver. Keep in mind that the blade will be heavier the larger it is. And the type and quality of steel will also affect weight, or how much something weighs relative to its size. Therefore, keep this in mind when making your choice. It depends on what you feel comfortable handling and employing regularly. 

Handle Shape & Design 

The design of the handle is subjective. Some people prefer a barrel-shaped handle for comfort and stability when cutting large bones or frozen meat with a cleaver; it does not shift in the hand while cutting. 

Others prefer an octagonal handle that fits snugly in the palm and enables more precise cuts. Then some like a “pistol grip” handle, which provides greater cutting leverage. 

Blade Shape 

The shape of the blade is also a matter of individual preference. Do you prefer a conventional rectangular blade or something more unique, such as a sheepsfoot or hawkbill? Select a blade shape with the appropriate applications and benefits depending on how you intend to use the cleaver. 

Steel Type & Quality 

A high-carbon steel blade is more durable than stainless steel because it does not rust or pit quickly. Carbon retains a sharp edge for a more extended period and requires much less time to hone and resharpen when dulled by regular use. 

A carbon blade must be adequately maintained, or it will rust. However, stainless steel blades may not hold an edge like carbon steel blades. It would help if you decided which is more important to you: the quality of the steel or the blade’s ease of maintenance. 


If you’ve perused our website, you’re probably sick of hearing us discuss the significance of well-known knife brands. The difference in the quality of materials and manufacturing process between an inexpensive kitchen knife and one handcrafted by skilled artisans in Japan is staggering. Spend the additional cash; it’s worth it! 


It would help to consider the price when looking for the best Japanese meat cleavers. Prepare to spend a bit more when purchasing a Japanese knife, as they are more expensive than most other options. However, this does not imply that you cannot find one at a reasonable price. You must only know where to purchase them. We appreciate the deals available on Amazon. 


On top of durability, you need a cleaver with: Balanced weight for control. Tough steel to endure a beating. A cutting edge that can slice cleanly without crushing foods.

The two main types of cleavers are field cleavers and precision cleavers.
  • Field cleavers are also known as beaver cleavers. These cleavers are used primarily for Multimode fiber applications and they are sometimes used with quick term connectors. …
  • On the other hand, there are precision cleavers.

Its thin, sharp blade was originally designed for cutting vegetables, but it can be used for any cooking tasks. Cleaver is called chukabocho in Japanese.

In Japanese cutlery, the main cleaver used is the light-duty deba bocho, primarily for cutting the head off fish.

The yanagi is the Japanese chef’s knife used around the world for cutting precise slices of sushi and sashimi. Its especially long blade (ranging from 8-12 inches) is used for long slicing motions and is also perfect for breaking down large fish fillets.

A Chinese cleaver is a strong multi-use blade that is as handy as a chef’s knife. Often made out of carbon steel, which will last for years, its sharp-edge design and flat blade make it perfect for mundane and advanced cooking tasks alike.

The hole on the heavy-duty blade makes cutting through bone easy. The hole enables you to hold the upper part with your fingers. As you reinforce your grip on the handle, you are able to pull the blade free.

Cleavers are typically used on thin, soft bones and sinew to make short work of them. You can, for example, use it to chop through thin chicken bones or separate ribs from the bird’s body.

The Chinese cleaver is surprisingly thin and light if you’re expecting a butcher’s weapon. Known as a “vegetable knife” (caidao), it’s typically the only knife in a Chinese home kitchen and used for practically everything.

A cleaver can take on heavy vegetables like different varieties of squash and root vegetables with more force than a chef’s knife or santoku knife. Aside from breaking down tendons and bones, cleavers can also be used for pounding, mincing, dicing, and slicing of a variety of other foods

Japanese Cleavers 

At this point, hopefully, the distinction between the FINESSE of a Chuka Bocho and the BRUTE of a meat cleaver is clear. Although it’s probably not the best tool for the job, a meat cleaver can be used to cut vegetables safely. We strongly advise against using a Chuka Bocho to cut through any bone. It is likely to break or chip the blade’s fine edge. 

This does not mean, however, that the vegetable cleaver cannot cut through the meat. It is acceptable to chop, mince, and even tenderize meat without bones. Fish scaling is another task that their shape makes them ideal for. It is crucial to avoid cutting near a bone, as this would cause damage. 

Related Posts

Why Trust Us

You will find what you are looking for at Jody's Bakery. From classic to luxury brands, you'll find both. We will help you to select appliances that fit your needs, budget and lifestyle. Whether you want to stop by to learn more — or plan to make a major purchase — we’ll treat you like family and assist you every step of the way. Shop with us today to receive friendly and experienced help along the way.