Where to find an inexpensive but high quality Japanese cleaver?
for opening coconuts
a cleaver????? not a hammer?
whatever, kitchenarts on newb st usually has reconditioned knives; call and see about recond or regular price cleavers.
china fair in newton(and when they were in brookline 10 years ago) used to sell super sharp carbon steel chinese/japanese cleavers years ago, they may still do so...they always warned people when they bought them just how sharp they were, and they werent costly whatsoever....might be worth a call
Why the need for a high-quality Japanese cleaver? I wasn't aware of a pressing need in Japan for precision coconut cleaving implements.
If you're looking for an inexpensive cleaver, try the Super 88 in Chinatown. I love the one I got from there. Be aware that you may trash the blade trying to slice a coconut. Cleavers are heavy-duty knives but they aren't meant to be used on just anything.
Have you considered a high-quality clawhammer?
There's no need to buy a cleaver, it would not work very well, be very dangerous, and get ruined. Just locate the 3 spots on the coconut and hit the area between them with a hammer or any heavy blunt object. The coconut should break into 2 pieces. Make sure you give it a good solid WHACK and hold the coconut in your hand rather than placing it on a table or any hard surface.
Unless of course you have a "young" coconut. These are the ones that are either green or yellow. If the outer skin has been removed, then it will have a "soft" moist yellow husk around the shell. For these, we use use a sharp machete. A saw will work too but will introduce some sawdust to the inside.
Frozen young coconut meat is also quite good and available at Asian grocers. They are frozen with the "water", but sugar is often added.