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Feb 16, 2013 10:50 AM

Reasonably priced Chinese chef's knife?

I'm looking for a reasonably priced Chinese chef's knife. I don't want a psuedo-cleaver and I don't want to spend $200+.

What's available out there via mail order/internet in a large size and moderate cost? I really want large, thin, and light.


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  1. < I really want large, thin, and light.>

    What you want is what Chinese call: 桑刀 or 片刀.

    If you like carbon steel Chinese Chef's knife, then you really cannot go wrong with Chan Chi Kee (CCK) thin blade slicers. It has a great reputation, and I have many CCK knives over the past couples of years.

    If you live close to a Chinatown, then you may able to find some. If not, then you can get one from Mark (Chefknivestogo). I recommend the small slicer:

    It is not small by most people's standard. It is just small by Chinese restaurant standard. If you want a larger one, then this is the one:

    It is larger than most Chinese Chef's knives you probably have seen. It is the one on the right:


    I have the pleasure of buying and using the stainless steel version of the small slicer. It is a great knife, but unfortunately, you will have problem finding one.

    If you really want it, then you can contact the Canadian CCK store and ask it to send one to you.

    Some say Suien Chinese Cleaver is very good, but I have not had the pleasure using one. You can get one from Japanesechefsknife for $160:

    2 Replies
    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

      >I have the pleasure of buying and using the stainless steel version of the small slicer. It is a great knife, but unfortunately, you will have problem finding one.<

      I wonder how it compares to the carbon steel versions in your experience.

      1. re: rosetown

        Hi rosetown,

        Haven't talked to you for awhile.


        In short, the stainless steel version is better than I originally thought. I think the carbon steel version is mariginally better at holding the edge, but the stainless steel CCK KF1912 holds its edge very well.

    2. Based on Chemicalkinetic's previous recommendation, I got the CCK 1303 and have really enjoyed using it for veggies. In the summer, I'm sure I'll get even more use out of it.

      It is indeed large and light, and the price was right. It is carbon steel so you need to clean and dry it right away.

      7 Replies
      1. re: tcamp

        +1 (also based on Chem's rec :-))

          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

            I'm happy with my collection of Dexter Russell for the last 30 years....but I plan to purchase the CCK for my son based on previous communications.

            1. re: fourunder

              Dexter makes wonderful Chinese vegetable (medium blade) knives, but CCK will offer you many more choices. I recommend getting the thin blade CCK. >90% of the home kitchen tasks can be the thin blade knife.

              1. re: fourunder

                I've also been extremely pleased with my Dexter knives. Walked into a Boston Chinatown cookware store 20 years ago looking for a cleaver and this is what they recommended and I'm still happily using it. Will look into CCK.

                1. re: emily

                  I'm pretty sure my first Dexter cost me only $9.95...

                  1. re: fourunder

                    If I recall, mine was about $14. What a steal! I had no idea what a great knife it would turn out to be (particularly at that price).

        1. +1 on the cck.
          alternately, check out your local Asian grocery stores. I've found a some very nice ones for little just need to dig.

          1. the hiromoto AS line of knives are always said to be good value. good steel at rockwell 60-62, 2mm thick. i have the 18cm chef knife which is at $114, 150grams, blade heavy balance.


            4 Replies
            1. re: timwaltham

              I've spent a lot of money with them. They are a really great source for Japanese market knives.

              I have a South Korean knife headed to the USA after striking out on the CCK I really wanted. I'll report back when it gets here.

              1. re: Sid Post

                <I have a South Korean knife headed to the USA>


                <after striking out on the CCK I really wanted>

                What does "striking out" really mean here?

                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                  The model I really wanted wasn't available for purchase in the USA without a lot of ordering hassles. Maybe someday when I'm in Canada or a large "china town" somewhere, I'll find the model I really wanted. Locally all my options were cheap Chinese junk. The Japanese options were tempting but, too much for a "test drive" option.

                  The South Korean option was much cheaper and MUCH EASIER to order and pay for. Since it appears to be a similar knife at 1/3 the price and was a much easier ordering experience, I submitted my order and paid my money.

                  1. re: Sid Post

                    I see. You must wanted a fairly specific knife. By the way, which model would you have wanted from CCK? Just curious.


                    Good luck with the South Korean option.

            2. I have been content with German chef knives for decades, but very recently discovered nakiri and slicing cleavers. Bought Wusthof fine edge nakiri. It is okay. Then tried cheap Chinese cleavers. Chow led me to look at CCK carbon, Dexter, and then expensive Japanese models. But my price point was sub hundred dollars. Found and bought Messermeister Asian precision cleaver. Made in Japan. Sold by huge online store everyone knows for 84 bucks. Thin and sharp, western handle. Certainly not for everyone, but nice compromise between cheap and too costly. This is for veggies, not bones! Thanks to all on chow who assisted moi.

              2 Replies
                1. re: brooktroutchaser

                  See Albert Yang you tube how to cut video; he is using this knife.