Customer Review

72 of 73 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very nice Chinese Chef Knife..., July 17, 2004
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This review is from: Shun DM0712 Classic 7-Inch Chinese Vegetable Cleaver (Kitchen)
I've been cooking for over 15 years (I'm not that old), and I grew up in a Chinese family. A Chinese Chef knife is exactly that, it is not a cleaver, despite the resemblance. This is the one knife a Chinese chef will use in the kitchen for just about everything.
Trust me, I've tried cleavers, they are not a replacement for a real Chinese Chef knife. I've also used many of the Chinese Chef knives that you can pick up in many Chinatown shops and Asian specialty shops. (BTW, I'm from the largest Chinese community outside of Asia, so we are not lacking the "goods").
The Shun classic....is amazing. It is perfectly weighted, and the grip is fantastic. I can grip the knife with confidence even when wet or dealing with meats.
The blade is the sharpest I've used of _any_ Chinese Chef knife. The first time I used it, I was mystified why it took so much effort to cut (it was supposed to be sharp, wasn't it?). The reason was, I had already sliced through everything without noticing and was already pressing on the cutting board!
One problem is that it also cuts into my cutting board with relative ease. If I don't remove the blade straight up, I hear a sound which makes me think the thin edge is being knicked. However, so far, no real problem, the edge is still perfect.
I have still been a bit wary to use it to hack at bones, but I think that fear will go away. (When I say Chinese chef's use it for everything, I mean everything).
I don't care about a Damascus steel look, but I can attest that the surface has no problems with releasing food. Slides off easily.
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Comments

Tracked by 1 customer

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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Aug 14, 2011 9:34:35 AM PDT
Alex Arriaga says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on May 24, 2012 8:56:58 AM PDT
S. Damon says:
I don't understand your comment. How is the company's nationality relevant to the type of knife? Shun also makes great Western style chef's knives.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 8, 2012 2:40:02 PM PST
Yao.J says:
Shun is a Chinese word... Also used in Japanese. In fact, Japanese makes better knife than Chinese since about 300 years ago. What a pity... What make a knife a Chinese kitchen knife is not its brand or how it looks like. It is its weight and balance. Make it deeper, it is its temperament. That is why we use one single knife to cut everything.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 30, 2014 12:50:03 PM PDT
R12K says:
Absolutely right. Only people do extensive Chinese cooking will know the requirement of the Chinese cleaver. I've tried a few western make cleavers including one from Zwilling. good quality but don't work in Chinese cooking.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 31, 2014 12:08:28 PM PDT
S. Damon says:
Which is silly because a large heavy flat rectangular knife simply isn't very maneuverable. It doesn't filet fish a cleanly as a flexible fileting knife. It cannot do intricate garnishes. It doesn't debone very well. They've actually done comparisons on Hong Kong's TVB and Western style knives performed better for many tasks -- and did so faster and more safely. As for home cooks, I work in a NYC hospital near Chinatown and have seen my share of cleaver accidents among the elderly. Many older women simply don't have the strength to handle a Chinese cleaver deftly, especially if they're arthritic or have tremors. Worse, most Chinese cooks don't practice good hygiene, i.e. cleaning their hands after handling raw (or even cooked) meat, so their hands are often greasy or wet. It's very easy for the heavy cleaver to slip in such hands because of the non-ergonomic handle. Most handles are just a cylinder of wood, like a stubby broom handle. It's rarely textured or dimpled to increase traction, and I have never seen a rubberized handle. And don't get me started on the incredibly dirty chopping boards (often a tree stump that is never sanitized)...

Yes, I know of what I speak because I've challenged a Chinese homemaker (30+ years experience) and won. She used a classic carbon steel Chinese cleaver while I used a set of cheap Farberware knives and Kyocera ceramic knives. I finished more quickly and my food was cut more uniformly. We cut and diced vegetables, minced shitake mushrooms and meat, cut a roast and carved a chicken.

Chinese chefs also like to claim that mincing ingredients with a cleaver tastes better (i.e. better texture) than using a food processor. We made wontons and a pork/shrimp paste (which was used to stuff eggplant) using both methods, and identical seasonings. We had 8 people taste the results, with 4 of the tasters being Chinese (3 were immigrants). No one could taste a real difference. The secret is to pulse the food processor so that the meat remains chunky.

The bottom line is that the claims of many traditional Chinese chefs simply aren't true or optimal. That's why many homes in Hong Kong and Taiwan have Western style knives in addition to a Chinese cleaver. Many chefs on TVB's popular Pleaure & Leisure show also use a Western chef's knife even when cooking Chinese dishes.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 26, 2015 8:37:14 PM PDT
Bobo says:
Does a classic French chef knife filet as well as a blade made for fileting? There's a knife for every task, but if you just had to have one knife, that's the one called a chef's knife.
If you are cooking Western style dishes most of the time, use a western knife. If you're doing Chinese dishes, use a Chinese knife. You're showing your lack of experience here. It is not often Chinese dishes call for fileting or deboning. I'm sorry you haven't seen the true masters at work crafting delicate garnishes with a big cleaver, they make it look effortless and is quite a sight.
By the way, your little competition means little. My mother in law fits your description there, yet I could out cook her with a Swiss army knife.
Oh, and don't trust most of the TV chefs from TVB, check out their chopstick skills (or lack of), you can't trust a Chinese "chef" who can't hold their chopsticks properly.
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