Not to be confused with the butcher’s cleaver well known in European kitchens, this Vegetable Cleaver from Shun’s Classic series is the Asian general purpose equivalent of the western cook’s knife. With the superior edge and Damascus stainless steel of the Classic line, this knife is one of the finest available today.
A slicing knife rather than a chopping blade, the vegetable cleaver shows the rippled low friction surface of Shun’s unique Damascus style layering. Thirty-two thin layers of tough high tensile stainless steel sandwich a central core layer of hard VG-10 steel. This inner core gives the blade the ability to hold a thin edge, in the same way the best of the old Damascus steel samurai swords were made.
This hard edge may chip if used on bones or frozen food, and should only be used on wooden or plastic cutting boards. For slicing work, this is one of the best, deserving of that extra care. The rippled blade breaks up the surface contact with slices of food in the same way that the hollow grind of a santoku does, but makes this knife stronger.
The D-shaped PakkaWood handle is durable and easy to grip, and the knife cleans up with a quick hand wash and dry — it should not be run through the dishwasher. Flat stones rather than sharpening steels are recommended for maintaining the edge.
Find this Shun Classic Vegetable Cleaver: