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Dec 13, 2009 03:52 PM

Chinese knife vendors - Calgary

I've been to Pacific Palisades - T&T, and the adjacent cookware store. However the selection was limited. Do any of you know of a retailer with an extensive offering and, better yet, knowledgeable staff?

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  1. If you are looking for high end Asian knives you may wish to try Williams Sonoma at Chinook. While I don't think they carry Chinese knives, they do carry Japanese knives, some of which are typical Asian styles, like the ubiquitous Asian cleaver.

    They will also cost many times more than the typically cheap knives at T&T, for example.


      For Japanese knifes, the quality of selection and knowledge of the staff at Knifewear in Inglewood cannot be surpassed.

      1 Reply
      1. re: sidepockets

        I second this recommendation so much.

        If you're looking for Chinese knives, of which I'm really only familiar with cleavers, there is a beautiful Moritaka Suminagashi Mega Nakiri that would be an amazing kitchen tool to have. It will set you back almost $500 though!

      2. by chinese knives, do you mean really cheap counterfeits????? or just really cheap knives in general? i would imagine that most cheap knives bought in department stores and dollar stores are from china.

        1. The original comment has been removed
          1. From rosetown's other posts, he/she was looking for a cleaver.
            Or he/she could be looking for Chinese knives in general.

            Maybe rosetown could clarify what he/she is looking for.

            26 Replies
            1. re: cancowboy

              To all, thanks for the reply. I'm a male.

              More specifically, I'm looking for Chinese style knives not exclusively cleavers, preferably carbon steel. At the moment I'm just browsing and educating myself, not purchasing. I enjoy caring for knives myself using stones. When I visit elsewhere, sharpening my hosts knives is one of first things I do. I'm looking at brand names such as Shi Ba Zi, CCK, Ho Ching Kee Lee, and San Han Nga. Purchasing knives made in China doesn't concern me. Japanese, although great, cost more than I'm willing to pay. The knives I've seen so far are not in the same league as the dollar store product. :)
              So, I'm looking for a vendor with a larger selection than I've already seen. I prefer to support local vendors but I go to Vancouver frequently and can, reluctantly, browse and purchase there. Thanks again.

              1. re: rosetown

                i've yet to see a CCK in calgary, although you can find them in toronto and vancouver, and they're well worth the hunt, especially for the 11XX series. There are sometimes interesting cleavers at the chinese grocer on 17th ave SE behind safeway (Jay's maybe? can't remember the name). You might also want to peek in the restaurant supply store that's on the west side of center street at about 12th ave N, but last I was there, they just had kiwis and such. Generally speaking, there aren't that many good spots to find mid-range chinese knives in town.

                1. re: marcopolo

                  Thanks, I'll check out the Forest Lawn location.

                  1. re: marcopolo

                    Hey marcopolo... out of pure curiosity, do you know of any good spots to check out in Vancouver for cleavers? I'd be really interested in checking out brands like CCK.

                    1. re: peter.v

                      Hey peter - try Tinland in Chinatown. I -think- that's where I purchased my CCK cleaver many years ago now. (Note that CCK is also called Chan Chi Kee in case you have translation issues).

                      1. re: fmed

                        Confirmed. (I was dining at Phnom Penh and I popped into Tinland in Chinatown). They are all in the $20-45 range (I think). Excellent valued knives at even three or four times the price.

                        Photo evidence attached:

                        1. re: fmed

                          ^^^ Photo evidence attached: LOL

                          Tnx - will check them out - agreed - great value.

                          Found it in google streetview link below:


                          1. re: fmed

                            I'm in Vancouver, and purchased a CCK 1102 (doesn't carry a 1101 - "not popular), and a 1301. Both carbon steel. Took some time - measuring the cleavers length and widths to help identify the model. Nice people. He, of course remembered you taking photos.

                            I accidentally and superficially cut a finger. :) Both slicers are very sharp. The horizontal taper (lengthwise) pleasantly surprised me. These are thin cleavers.

                            1. re: rosetown

                              "He, of course remembered you taking photos."

                              Heh! I thought I was being discreet. I must be losing my touch. :-)

                              How much were they?

                              1. re: fmed

                                More than I expected and less than I was willing to pay. :)

                                KF1102 120mm X 230mm - $61.99
                                KF1301 100mm X 240mm - $43.99

                                total tax included for both cleavers $118.70CAD

                                Still, they are so thin at the bottom that it's difficult to see the bevel:))


                                1. re: rosetown


                                  I am hoping to get a CCK knife as well. For the two knives you got, KF1102 and KF1301, it looks to me that KF1102 is a thin blade knife. Am I correct that KF1102 is much thinner than KF1301?

                                  Another question I have for you as well as others. Many said CCK makes excellent quality Chinese chef's knives. Are we only referring to the traditional carbon steel knives like KF1101 and KF1201? Or do they make great stainless steel knives as well, like KF1902 and 1911. Thank you.

                                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                    Most people are referring to the carbon steel CCK's. I don't have a SS CCK, so I don't have a first hand comparison, however. From what I have seen, the build quality is about the same. The blades are not likely to get as sharp as the carbon steel version, but the day-to-day maintenance will be easier. SS might be fine if you are looking for a meat cleaver rather than a thin vegetable slicer.

                                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                      Sorry, but I can't answer you stainless steel questions re: CCK.

                                      I own a KF 1102 and a KF1301, both carbon steel. The 1102 is very marginally thinner. As it nears the edge I can't see a difference from the 1301.

                                      1) Both knives taper from on the top edge to the end of the blade .I can't see a difference in the taper in the 2 knives from the top of the blade. Still, I am amazed at how thin the end of both blades are.
                                      2) From the end of the blade the 1102 is thinner top to bottom but not discernible for the last 1/2 inch. Oddly both knives at the end of the blade, top to bottom increase in thickness to approximately the middle and then taper.

                                      Because the 1102 is a larger knife it is harder to handle when slicing small pieces. The hand rotation at the top of the blade is larger and thus harder to control. Still both are large slicers and designed for coarse work on large pieces. A master can use them for fine work. :)
                                      The top half of the 1301 is blackened and not quite as smooth as the 1102 which is not blackened Many prefer the 1100 series, but I'm not convinced. I have to reserve judgment. The 1300's give more control to a novice IMHO. Differentiating between identical twins might be easier. :)


                                      1. re: rosetown

                                        Thanks Rose and Fmed,

                                        I understand that CCK stainless and carbon steel has the same blade profile. I know CCK carbon steel has a good reputation, but I am not sure if CCK stainless steel knives are made from good steel. In short, I am not sure that CCK 1903 is a better knife than Dexter-Russell S5198.

                                        My understanding is that the 1101, 1102, 1103, 1201, 1202, 1203 are professional chef's knives. 1901, 1902, 1903, 1904, 1911, 1912, are for home cooks. Just like in the western kitchens, professionals use 10" to 12" French, but most home cooks use 8" or small. Thanks.


                                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                          I believe that your assessment is correct.

                                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                            Chemical, I think your overview of the knives is slightly incorrect. the 190x are "choppers" and the 110x and 13xx series are "slicers". Choppers are thicker-bladed and can be used for going throw bones, while slicers are for slicing vegetables and protein, not bone chopping. The 110x series are their pro slicers and the 130x series are their home slicers.

                                            The 13xx series is said to have inferior carbon steel to the 11xx series, but the more noticeable difference is that the blade is much smaller in length and height.

                                            It appears to me that the 111x series is the stainless equivalent of the 110x series (and the 112x series adds the metal handle), and the 191x series is the stainless equivalent to the 130x series (and the 181x series adds the metal handle).

                                            1. re: marcopolo

                                              Thanks MarcoPolo,

                                              If you noticed KF110x are called 片刀 which means "thin knife", and KF191X are also called 片刀. Yet, KF191X are more geared toward home cooks for their smaller sizes.

                                              KF190X are 菜刀 which means "vegetable knife", which is essentially the same word Nakiri and usually referred to slightly thicker blade knives


                                              For their size and thickness, KF190X are more gear toward home use as well. (Small enough to wield and thick enough to do some light bone chopping).

                                              I think my last entry is really about that the smaller size knives like KF190X and KF191X are geared toward home cooks, whereas KF110X are for professionals. Consequently, there is nothing wrong that rosetown feels easier to handle the smaller size knives. That was all I was trying to get to.

                                              KF130X are 桑刀. Although the CCK website translates KF110X and KF130X into slicers. Their Chinese names point to something different. 桑刀 (KF130X) are meant for even more delicate works than KF110X.

                            2. re: peter.v

                              Since I will be spending Christmas in YVR, if you or anyone, have checked out Tinland, I'd be interested in impressions.

                              1. re: rosetown

                                Tinland is also associated with Attinson Food Equipment in Richmond (3 Rd sort of across the street from Parker Place).

                                1. re: fmed

                                  Do you know if Attinson's inventory of knives is larger than Tinland? Also, how far are they from then new Skytrain line? Tnx

                                  1. re: rosetown

                                    Oh, and maybe some good restaurant food nearby if I'm now in that hood!!

                                    1. re: rosetown

                                      I found it on google maps streetview link below: But still would like more information. :)


                                      1. re: rosetown

                                        It's best if you called them. It has been a while so I don't know what their knife inventory is like. I bought a yellow-handled restaurant style Victorinox chef's knife the last time I was there.

                                        Foodwise - you are right in the thick of things in that zone. Sea Harbour (Cantonese/dim sum), Golden Spring (Sichuan), No 1 Shanghai, Gordon Park (Hunan), Shiang Garden (dim sum) and dozens of others. You are fairly close to Aberdeen Centre as well.

                                        The closest Skytrain stops are Aberdeen and Lansdowne (Attinson is closer to Aberdeen).

                                        1. re: fmed

                                          Tnx - will call or take a chance. :)

                                          1. re: rosetown

                                            Golden Spring (Sichuan) and No 1 Shanghai are in this strip mall:

                                            This is Sea Harbour:

                                            This is Aberdeen Centre.

                                            It's all pretty walkable from Aberdeen Station.

                                            1. re: fmed

                                              Walkable? I could do it in a wheelchair. Tnx again.