The Chef-Approved Kitchen Knife That Will Streamline Your Chopping

It even works as a bench scraper.

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Togiharu Chinese-Style Cleaver from Korin
Photo: Korin

Between slinging orders, whipping up course after course, and plating everything to perfection, we can all agree that nobody knows how to multitask quite as effortlessly as chefs do. But what exactly is their secret weapon to multitasking? For Brooklyn-based Chef Calvin Eng, it's the trusty Chinese cleaver.

The former chef de cuisine of Win Son and present owner and chef at new Cantonese-American restaurant Bonnie's, Eng opts for a carbon steel Chinese cleaver since it is sharp and versatile. He's able to switch from chopping vegetables to butchering meats in a pinch, all without needing to pick up another knife.

"I love using cleavers in general because they're all-purpose knives," Eng said. "The large blade allows me to swoop things up fast without having to put the knife down and use a bench scraper."

A Chinese cleaver is a strong multi-use blade that is as handy as a chef's knife. Often made out of carbon steel, which will last for years, its sharp-edge design and flat blade make it perfect for mundane and advanced cooking tasks alike. It can range between 6 and 9 inches long and its super flat edge makes it an excellent bench scraper. Whether you're slicing, dicing, deboning, or transferring your mirepoix from countertop to stove, a Chinese cleaver will help you master your kitchen. However, keep in mind these cleavers are not dishwasher-safe.

Eng specifically swears by the Carbon Steel Chinese Cleaver from Togiharu, Korin's in-house brand that has produced quality Japanese knives for over 60 years. Eng's knife has a sharp carbon steel blade and rosewood handle, providing him an easy chop and strong grip. He said he loves it because "it has a good weight to it which allows me to tackle bones easily."

A top-notch carbon steel Chinese cleaver can cost up to $500, depending on the quality of the steel, craftsmanship, brand, and material of the handle. Eng's Togiharu Carbon Steel Chinese Cleaver retails for $145, and if you're looking for a more budget-friendly pick, we found this 8-inch option from Mercer that is only $24 and has hundreds of perfect ratings on Amazon. Shop your favorite below to add the chef-loved tool to your kitchen.

NYC Chef Favorite Kitchen Tool
Courtesy of Korin

To buy: Togiharu Carbon Steel Chinese Cleaver, $145 at korin.com

knife
Courtesy of Amazon

To buy: Mercer Cutlery 8-Inch Chinese Chef's Knife, $24 at amazon.com

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