8" chef knife & meat cleaver
I am looking for two knives.
1. 8-inch chef's knife
2. meat cleaver
* best/easiest apparatus to sharpen them with also *
Price is not a huge problem for me but this is how I would like to approach this. I would like to purchase two knives that are the best possible purchase for the least amount of money spent. An example would be if someone said,
"[i]If you are looking for the best quality knives for the cheapest amount of money then you should spend at least $300 on __ or __ at the very least. Anything under that is not worth it and you should save until you can afford __ or __. Anything over that is good but not necessary for what you posted.[/i]"
Or someone might say that I can get two good knives for much cheaper and then they list the specific knife(s) that they are referring to.
So, price is not particularly an issue but I want to spend the least amount possible while still getting two knives that are worth the money. Thank you!
For meat cleavers, what do you want to do with it? Most people only use one occasionally (like once a month or even longer). In which case, any meat cleaver with a medium to thick blade is good enough, so you are looking at about $10-20. If you want something really heavy duty, then you can look into Dexter-Russell heavy meat cleavers:
I believe Victorinox also has something similar.
For your 8" Chef's knife, the best value Chef's knife (one of the best) are the Victorinox/Forschner stamped chef's knives ($20-40):
If you want something a bit more refine, sharper, hold the edge longer, then I recommend the Tojiro DP Chef's knife:
For knife sharpening, I recommend using a stone if you are willing to learn. I say it takes about a couple of days to a week to learn. If you don't want to learn, there are many options for knife sharpening. cowboyardee did an excellent job of summarizing the options:
I would recommend against electric knife sharpeners, but they are not so horrible. I just think there are better options especially for a couple of knives.
Let's us know if you are looking for something specific, like stainless steel vs carbon steel, medium blade vs thin blade, flatter cutting edge vs curvier edge...etc.
Do you have particular uses in mind for the cleaver? I bought a good meat cleaver 40 years ago and as far as I can remember, I've never used it once. So the best way to save money on that item might be not to buy it until you know you're going to use it.
For the chef's knife and other "normal" knives (not thick like a cleaver, not Japanese), Cook's Illustrated recommends the Chef's Choice Model 130 Professional Sharpening Station (electric), for $150 from amazon.com, and the all-purpose manual AccuSharp Knife and Tool Sharpener, for $10 from Bed Bath and Beyond. Being a cheapskate, I got the AccuSharp, and it keeps my knives sharp enough for me.
Cooks Illustrated also recommends the Victorinox/Forschner chef's knife that Chemicalkinetics speaks of, as not just best value but one of the best, and they use it in their America's Test Kitchen and Cook's Country TV programs.
I've had a Dexter Russel for years. It does not get a lot of use but it does get used. The price was right and luckily I have enough drawer space to house it. Instead of a cleaver, how about a Nikiri?
[quote=Chemicalkinetics]For meat cleavers, what do you want to do with it?[/quote]
[quote=Candy]Do you have particular uses in mind for the cleaver? [/quote]
For the cleaver, my gf plans to use them to chop up the meat that I often buy in bulk. I will buy it in big quantities and then she will chop it up, put it in plastic bags, and then freeze it.
[quote=Candy]For knife sharpening, I recommend using a stone if you are willing to learn.[/quote]
She already knows how to use a stone. Is there a particular one that is the best according to what I posted above?
[quote=Candy]Let's us know if you are looking for something specific, like stainless steel vs carbon steel, medium blade vs thin blade, flatter cutting edge vs curvier edge...etc.[/quote]
Whatever is the ‘best’ all-round is what I would like.
[quote=Candy]Instead of a cleaver, how about a Nikiri? [/quote]
I am not sure, she told me to get a ‘cleaver’...
So, I guess for the cleaver it is:
- Dexter-Russell heavy meat cleaver
For the 8-inch knife, it will be:
- Tojiro DP Chef's knife
Are both of these online companies reliable with good customer service like Amazon?
<For the cleaver, my gf plans to use them to chop up the meat that I often buy in bulk. I will buy it in big quantities and then she will chop it up, put it in plastic bags, and then freeze it. >
For chopping up MEAT, you don't need a meat cleaver. If you need to chop through bones, like chicken bones or pork bones, then you will need a meat cleaver.
<She already knows how to use a stone. Is there a particular one that is the best according to what I posted above?>
For normal knives, an oil stone or a water stone will work. For higher end knives like Tojiro DP or Shun Classical or Hencke; Miyabi, the waterstones are much better.
<Whatever is the ‘best’ all-round is what I would like.>
Typically speaking, stainless steel is easier to handle and to take care, but carbon steel can achieve and maintain a much sharper edge than stainless steel -- given the same price point.
<I am not sure, she told me to get a ‘cleaver’...>
A Nakiri can substitute for a Chinese thin blade cleaver, but not a meat cleaver.
<So, I guess for the cleaver it is:
- Dexter-Russell heavy meat cleaver>
If you really need to chop through bones. Are you sure about that? For just cutting meat (without bones), it is not what you want.
<Are both of these online companies reliable with good customer service like Amazon?>
I have bought from Katom and from Chefknivestogo. Chefknivestogo have excellent customer service, you can even call ahead o ask for advice like you are doing here. For Katom, the price is always good, but there can be back-order -- e.g. you may not get your knives right away. Nonetheless, friendly service.
Back to your original point about cleaver, if all you want is to cut boneless meat, then I would get one classical Chef's knife like a Wusthof or a Henckels, and then a thinner sharper Chef's knife like the Tojiro DP.
"For the cleaver, my gf plans to use them to chop up the meat that I often buy in bulk. I will buy it in big quantities and then she will chop it up, put it in plastic bags, and then freeze it.
Look into boning and breaking knives. A 8-12" cimeter or butcher would work.
I use a 10" cimeter for whole pork loins making pork chops.
Look at all the blades Dexter makes for meat processing. There are many more shapes than cleavers.
FWIW Forschner is the most common meat processing brand.
When cutting large hunks of meat the upturned tips of cimeter, butchers and various boning knives can outshine a chef knife.
You posted this on another board and I said that cleavers aren't used that much. You are better off spending your money on the very useful and versatile 8 inch chefs knife.
Try them out and choose one that fits your hand and feels comfortable.
Then hit a kitchen supply store and buy a cheapo cleaver
Your girlfriend would probably be much better off using the 8 inch chef's knife for her task unless she just wants to hack the crap out of the meat.
I don't know how you could define "best" quality for "least" amount of money. It seems contradictory. What you want is a good value. But there are a huge number of cook's knives available, and the only objective criterion you have given so far is the length. I think it would help to narrow it down a little.
Even so, there is a subjective factor. Since the cook's knife is your primary knife, you want it to feel right — weight, balance, handle.
I like German knives. Of that type, this seems like a good value to me:
[quote=C. Hamster]You posted this on another board and I said that cleavers aren't used that much. You are better off spending your money on the very useful and versatile 8 inch chefs knife.
Your girlfriend would probably be much better off using the 8 inch chef's knife for her task unless she just wants to hack the crap out of the meat. [/quote]
[quote=Chemicalkinetics]For chopping up MEAT, you don't need a meat cleaver. If you need to chop through bones, like chicken bones or pork bones, then you will need a meat cleaver. [/quote]
1. I am just buying her what she wants. Otherwise, it’s off with my head. ^^
[quote=Chemicalkinetics]Miyabi, the waterstones are much better. [/quote]
2. Is this the best waterstone you were referring to?
If so, then I will add that to the list.
[quote=Chemicalkinetics]Typically speaking, stainless steel is easier to handle and to take care, but carbon steel can achieve and maintain a much sharper edge than stainless steel -- given the same price point.[/quote
]3. Hmm, ok carbon steel it is then. But I do not see an option for the carbon steel version of the two knives you posted above that I am about to order right now... ?
<1. I am just buying her what she wants. Otherwise, it’s off with my head. ^^>
What she wants, but not what she needs? :) It really depends what your girlfriend wants to do with a meat cleaver. It is a great tool for something, and a horrible tool for something else. Good luck.
<2. Is this the best waterstone you were referring to?>
That particular waterstone you have in the link is very fine. Very very fine at 10,000 grit. It is for polishing knives which are already very sharp. It is not useful for typical average home sharpening. For home sharpening, I suggest to stay around 800-1200 grit. Something like this (but does not have to this particular one):
If she already has one, then you don't need to get her another one.
<ok carbon steel it is then.>
You sure? Ok, for carbon steel. This is a good carbon steel under $100.
This following one is very good too. It has a very high quality carbon steel core, and surrounded by stainless steel, so it is easier to take care of:
Those look like great recs to me. I've owned that Hiromoto for 4-5 years. It's a real good knife -- takes a wicked edge and keeps it for a long time. The Tojiro looks like a great bargain; I have a couple of stainless Tojiros that are very nice knives, and there's no reason to think they can't make a good carbon steel blade.
[quote= Chemicalkinetics]This is a good carbon steel under $100.
Ok, that is the 8-inch knife that I will get then.
You did not list a carbon steel version of the meat cleaver so I think that that means you were only referring to the 8-inch knife when you listed the other options. If I am wrong please clarify.
Also, it mentioned special care in regards to cleaning the chef’s knife. Correct me if I am wrong but they are just pointing out that with that knife I will need to make sure that immediately after I use it, I will clean it and make sure it is dry. So, it needs to stay in a state of being clean and dry to continue to functional. Correct?
In closing, I will be purchasing these three items:
1. 8-inch chef knife
2. meat cleaver
So, unless I missed something then I am done here. I am sure my gf will be happy with these! Thank you all very much for the guidance, we really appreciate it! :)
<You did not list a carbon steel version of the meat cleaver>
I have a few nice carbon steel meat cleavers, but I don't know any good sources on the internet. Chefknivestogo had one, but it is out of stock:
If you are really using your meat cleaver to chop bone, then you actually do not need a very sharp knife. You need a heavy thick knife. In which case, a stainless is just as good as a carbon.
<Correct me if I am wrong but they are just pointing out that with that knife I will need to make sure that immediately after I use it, I will clean it and make sure it is dry. So, it needs to stay in a state of being clean and dry to continue to functional. Correct? >
Yes. Pretty much that's it. Wipe it clean at the end of the day. Come to think of it, here is another suggestion. The 210 mm gyuto from CarboNext. The CarboNext knife is carbon steel, but it is semi-stainless. In other words, it does not easily stain or rust -- even it is technically not stainless.
Of course, Hiromoto AS is always a good choice, but slightly more expensive.
As for the meat cleaver, katom has 7", 8", 9", so get the size you want.
As for the waterstone, aside from the one I suggested earlier. This one is similar too:
[quote=Chemicalkinetics]I have a few nice carbon steel meat cleavers, but I don't know any good sources on the internet. Chefknivestogo had one, but it is out of stock: [/quote]
I will stay with the recommendations you already gave me for now since I am assuming they are at the same level of the other stuff you listed. BUT if you stumble across a worthy carbon steel meat cleaver please post it here. I know she likes sharp stuff so if I can get a worthy one (even though it is seemingly rare) I know she will be happy.
I will probably order the three items of concern I posted in this thread tomorrow morning.
Carbon steel, nothing fancy, not the heaviest duty either.
You want heavy duty carbon steel you need to find an old one and be prepared for lots of repair work.
I have fixed a few massive old cleavers and they are not simple. I have a 2 3/4 lb beastly old Lamson that has very uneven bevels that will take about an hour to fix that alone not counting other metalwork.
I have a 20 yr old Wusthof classic set and some Tojiro DP's.
Wusthof's are thicker, heavier & a little softer steel than the Tojiro DP's. Great for rocking and cutting through tough stuff and because they are lower on the rockwell scale they are less prone to chipping. They hold an edge well and are easy to sharpen. Loved them the day I bought them and still do.
Tojiro DP's are thinner, lighter & harder than the Wusthof's. The angle is also less and they have a flatter cutting surface. Bottom line, they cut through product with noticeably less effort. True pleasure to use but I am much more careful what I cut through with them than the Wusthofs.
Many knife professionals have commented here and I am NOT one of them, but IMHO, every knife gets dull eventually no matter how much it costs. To me, an easy to use sharpening system that creates a razor sharp edge without removing excess metal is more important than the quality of the knife.
I have had several tungsten wheel sharpeners & tungsten "V" sharpeners like the AccuSharp. All made a crude sharp edge but took off lots of metal. Not good for a bolstered knife. I had a $125.00 Chefs Choice electric sharpener. It did a fair job but never razor sharp. Gave it away.
Bought an Edge Pro Apex (about $225) last year. Without a doubt the best sharpener I have ever used. Wusthof's are sharper than factory & Tojiros are frighteningly sharp to the point my wife won't touch them. If I were starting out, I would buy the Edge Pro first and get the knives I had razor sharp and then upgrade the knives as I could afford it.
@Chemicalkinetics - I found a way to order the CCK bone chopper that you were saying is the best carbon cleaver and any other CCK knife. But you have to be able to read and write Chinese. I thought I would post that here in case any of you all are fluent in Chinese. My KF 1602 is on the way. :)
I know there was a English website which sells CCK bone chopper, but it was selling directly from China which would cost a lot due to the shipping fee.
Yours is probably not the same website as the one I remember because that one was in English if I remember right.
By the way, do you have the address of the your website. Thanks for sharing
Chefknivestogo currently has KF 1602 out of stock, but if you ever need another one. This may not be a bad place to order:
The source I am using does not have a website as far as I know. By reading and writing Chinese, I was referring to you call the guy, he gives you his email if you all work something out, and then everything thereafter proceeds via email in Chinese. So, you would need your Chinese skills to communicate with him via email.
That link you listed is the same link you listed earlier. Did you mean to post a different link?
Also, when you recommended the KF 1602 were you just using the chefknivestogo page as your selections? Since I have access to all of the carbon cleavers that CCK makes, is there a best carbon cleaver that you would recommend?
Or is the KF 1602 that you recommended the best out of the all the cleavers that CCK makes including all the ones listed in the link I posted above?
<Did you mean to post a different link?>
No, no. I do mean to use the same link. What I was trying to say is that Chefknivestogo does sell a limited selection of CCK knives. Due to the ease of use and reasonable price, Chefknivestogo is not a bad place to start.
The other website, which I mentioned about shipping knives from China, I can no longer find it now.
<Also, when you recommended the KF 1602 were you just using the chefknivestogo page as your selections?>
I am sure KF1602 is a good bone chopper, but I don't remember recommending it to you. Can you find the passage/statement where I recommend it to you? I would think I might recommend something closer to KF14XX series, just because I like its design
<is there a best carbon cleaver that you would recommend?>
They all have their usages. It really depends what you want to use it for. KF1602 is a thick bone cleaver -- 8.1 mm thickness at the spine heel.
I went back and re-read what you posted and yeah you didn't recommend the KF 1602, you just said that chefknivestogo carried it.
Well, I'm curious. Which one would you say is the best then for how my gf wants to use it? I already mentioned how she is going to be using the cleaver earlier. I am sure I can switch my order since I just put it in today before I updated this thread. :)
<Which one would you say is the best then for how my gf wants to use it?>
In short, I would recommend the knife based how heavy she can handle the knife. Someone may like a 2 lb cleaver, but it is a moot point if she cannot use a 2 lb knife.
I believe you said that "For the cleaver, my gf plans to use them to chop up the meat that I often buy in bulk."
Well, the CCK KF1602 is better if you want to use it to chop bones. It can be heavy for most people to use. It is a little short of 2 lb. It is a bit overboard for chopping meat, I think.
Since you said that she wants it to chop meat, then I would think either the KF140X (九江刀), the KF 150X (燒腊刀), KF 120X (文武刀) will work better for you/her.
As mentioned, I have KF1402 and it is heavy enough to chop bones, and light and short enough for medium level work. I have not used KF150X knives, but this is the style of knives which many professional Chinese BBQ shops use to chop up their BBQ meats.
Beware that KF150X are not small. The smallest KF1503 is 24cm X 12.5cm or (9.5" X 5"). You may want to cut out a piece of paper just to assess if this is a size which she can handle.
If you want something smaller, then look for KF120X.
KF 1402 it is then. Thank you!
We already have the other knife and waterstone. I read in another thread here about soaking the chef knife that I just received in mustard in a plastic bag overnight to get an instant patina. Then just make sure to wash immediately after every use and keep it dry. I am going to try the mustard trick tonight.
She mentioned something about oiling the handle... Is that obligatory? (for the chef knife and the cleaver)
<KF 1402 it is then. Thank you!>
Of course, there are KF 1411 and KF 1401. KF1402 is the smallest of the three. Again, it has to do with her preference. For home use, I think KF1402 is sufficient, but you can always get the larger ones instead.
< I read in another thread here about soaking the chef knife that I just received in mustard in a plastic bag overnight to get an instant patina.>
I know people who do that, but I don't think it is necessary. I don't do it.
<She mentioned something about oiling the handle... Is that obligatory? >
If you want to oil them, then I would use mineral oil (not cooking oil). I personally use natural tung oil and finish with beeswax. Tung oil is drying oil.