Do you want to invest in a more versatile knife for your kitchen? A good-quality Chinese chef knife is an ideal investment.
A Chinese chef knife doesn’t only allow you to prep Chinese meals. Its versatility makes it perfect for all cutting tasks, whether chopping, dicing, slicing, or mincing.
However, the best part about Chinese chef knives is that they are significantly more affordable than European or Japanese knives, while still maintaining great quality and usability.
Can’t decide which Chinese knife model or brand to go for exactly? I have the solution for you. After careful testing, I’ve compiled my recommended list of the best Chinese knives for this year to help you find the best one.
A Quick Summary of the Chinese Chefs Knives
01. Mueller 7-inch Chinese Chef’s Knife
The Mueller 7-inch Cleaver Knife is built with great quality to make it excellent for home and restaurant use. Yet, it is still among the most affordable Chinese chef knife on the market. The knife is built using premium German stainless steel to give it increased sharpness and durability.
The stainless steel blade offers a corrosion and discoloration-free performance, making it easy to clean. Its thick, razor-sharp, and rugged blade also makes the knife perfect for cutting, deboning, and cleaving meat. You can also use it for other food items like tough coconut shells and vegetables.
On the other side, its handle features a premium and luxurious Pakkawood material to give it a classy and attractive look. Unlike regular wood, the dense, multi-layer Pakkawood material on the handle offers a water-resistant and high-grip finish.
02. TUO 7-inch Chinese Cooking Knife
Integrating a curved blade profile, the Tuo 7-inch Chinese Chef’s Knife is great for vegetables. Its sharp tip allows you to cut vegetables easily while the middle part of the blade lets smash garlic. The bottom part of the knife allows you to mince meat.
The 7-inch vegetable Chinese knife can be used to mince, chop, and cut anything you want. The knife integrates superior blade craftsmanship to boost its performance. It is forged with premium high-carbon German stainless steel and undergoes a high-tech vacuum heat to achieve maximum hardness.
Its 18 degrees edge design on each side helps to improve its cutting angle precision. The knife is fitted with a Pakkawood handle for a waterproof and anti-warping finish. However, its huge build, means that the knife works best for people with big hands.
03. Zwilling 7-inch Cleaver Knife
If you are looking for a high-end knife, the Zwilling J.A. Henckels Knife is a perfect option. Yet, you don’t have to break the bank to snatch this great quality knife thanks to its incredible pricing.
Manufactured in Germany, the knife features a special high-carbon formula and uses sigma force forging technology to strengthen the blade.
The Friodur blade also undergoes an ice-hardening process to make it even harder and increase its resilience. The precision-honed blade and its laser-controlled edges give it an ideal cutting angle to boost sharpness and prolong its durability.
Still, the knife remains surprisingly lightweight without compromising its quality or strength. The high-end Chinese chef knife is built with an ergonomic polymer three-rivet handle and bonds to the blade in the full tang for added longevity.
04. Aroma House Chinese 7-inch Cleaver
Featuring a multi-functional design, the Aroma House 7-inch Chef Knife is perfect for cutting meat, the knife is designed for cutting, chopping, slicing, deboning, and cleaving.
Its ultra-strong blade can also handle light bones, coconut shells, and vegetables. This professional Chinese chef knife features a high-quality carbon stainless steel blade that improves its hardness.
It combines a chromium, molybdenum, and vanadium coating to give it great strength, sharpness, and an anti-rust finish.
The blade is designed at 17 degrees on both sides and mirror polished to help you achieve ultra-thin slicing and dicing with minimum effort. Its wide design protects your fingers by keeping them away from the cutting perimeter.
On the other hand, it is fitted with an ergonomic handle built into a full tang with the blade for better control and stability. The full tang design also prevents the blade from easily falling off, giving you a comfortable hold on the knife.
05. Wusthof Gourmet Heavy 8-inch Chinese Cleaver
Built with a gourmet design, the Wusthof Chinese Cleaver is designed for demanding jobs. You can use the knife to cut through thick meats, bones, and tendons.
To make this possible, the knife features a high-quality carbon stainless steel blade for superior performance and durability.
The 8-inch length makes the knife substantially a little bigger for easier handling for tough jobs. Its blade undergoes a hardening process to help maintain a sharper edge while its full tang improves its stability and prevents blade slips.
To help you use the knife longer and with more comfort, it integrates a triple-riveted ABS polymer handle.
The handle material allows it to repel water, withstand high heat, and increase your grip. In turn, you can use the knife on tougher items for longer without feeling any hand fatigue.
06. PAUDIN 8-inch Chinese Professional Chef’s Knife
The Paudin 8-inch Chinese Professional Chef Knife features a stylish and sleek design. The knife integrates a single-piece design with a mirror-polished blade on one side and a black ABS handle on the other. It even comes in a classy black case for proper storage. Nonetheless, it maintains incredible quality.
The knife’s blade is made of high-quality steel combined with an ultra-thick blade for improved sharpness and durability.
Furthermore, the carbon steel blade features a hammered finish to boost its durability, strength, and ship edge retention.
So, using the knife, you don’t require constant sharpening. Additionally, the hammered pattern reduces food sticking to the blade when cutting.
Around the handle part, the knife replaces a wooden handle with ABS plastic. This gives the knife an anti-slip finish with zero chances of deformation.
07. Mercer Culinary Chinese Chef Knife
Whether you are chopping herbs or dicing vegetables, the Mercer Culinary Asian Collection Knife is a perfect tool to have on hand. The knife is built with a single-edge blade with the tapered ground and a fine stone finish making it easy to make precision cuts.
You will be impressed with the attractive lettuce chiffonade you produce for your salad or ultra-thin sliced meats to add to your noodles.
The blade is made from a razor-sharp high-carbon German steel material to complement its task. This choice of material also gives the knife rust, corrosion, and discoloration-free finish.
On the other side, the knife features an NSF-certified slip-resistant Santoprene handle for high grip and water resistance. However, to maintain this incredible quality, you want to hand wash the knife, to preserve the blade edge and surface.
08. Winco 8.3-inch Cleaver Knife
The Winco 8.3-inch cleaver knife is a perfect option for those on a strict budget. However, this doesn’t mean the cleaver is of poor quality. Contrasted with brushed stainless steel, the knife features a classy finish with incredible functionality.
In fact, its high quality built makes it a great option for home kitchen and restaurants alike. The knife features a single-piece stainless steel blade and handles design to enhance its stability, durability, and ruggedness. You can even toss it into the dishwasher without worrying about your blade quality depletion.
Thanks to the stainless steel blade, the knife is rust and corrosion-resistant. The stainless steel material makes it easy to sharpen as well.
On the other hand, its deeper blade design allows it to cut through the thickest foods. Its slight curve improves cutting precision and makes it easy to glide through your food for comfortable handling even for longer periods.
09 AUIIKIY 8-inch Chef Knife
If you are looking for a Damascus-style chef knife without breaking the bank, the Auikiy 8-inch Chinese chef knife is what you need. In addition to its sleek and beautiful patterns, the knife is extremely hard and flexible. Yet, it maintains a sharp edge.
Furthermore, the Damascus-style knife’s pattern design allows for a non-stick cutting performance. To add its value, the knife features a 440A carbon stainless steel which makes it harder than other knives.
Featuring a double bevel design, the knife integrates a multi-use design. You can use it for anything from cutting vegetables, slicing meat, and even, cutting light bones.
In fact, the knife is ultra-sharp which makes it easy to use on even the toughest meats and vegetables. Its high-grip wooden handle features a waterproof design, allowing it to stay strong and durable for long.
Chinese Chef Knife vs. Meat Cleaver – Key Differences
When shopping for the best Chinese chef knife, you may notice that some options resemble a cleaver.
Therefore, it is uncommon to find people referring to some Chinese chef knives interchangeably with meat cleavers. However, nothing can be further from the truth. A Chinese chef’s knife is entirely different from a meat cleaver.
For one, a chef’s knife and a meat cleaver have two distinct functions. A chef knife is an essential kitchen knife used for various functions. You can use it to cut meat, dice vegetables, disjoint some cuts, chop nuts, and slice herbs.
On the other hand, a meat cleaver has a specific function. Also known as a butcher knife, a meat cleaver is primarily designed to split up large pieces of soft bones and cut through thick cuts of meat.
Some people may also take advantage of the flat and wide blade, using it for additional functions like crushing garlic during food prep.
In addition to the difference in their functions, they also greatly differ in terms of design. A Chinese chef knife features a thinner and sharper blade. It also features a full tang design with a lighter finish.
A meat cleaver, on the other hand, features a blunt and heavier blade, while its beefier and thicker spine makes it ideal for dealing with bones and thick meat cuts. Due to its bulky design, a meat cleaver tends to be heavier than a Chinese chef’s knife.
Things to Consider for the Best Chinese Kitchen Knives
Even with the list of the best Chinese chef knives on the market, it’s not always easy to choose the ideal option.
After all, you have to know what features to look out for to ensure you make the right selection. I’ve shared some of the key features you want to look out for when picking the right Chinese knife for your needs.
The blade material is an important feature to consider when choosing your knife. After all, it determines whether or not your knife will be sharp, hard, and strong enough to handle your food items.
Typically, Chinese chef knives are curated using carbon stainless steel. However, you can also find options made from stainless steel alone. While stainless steel is a good, durable material, opting for high-carbon stainless steel is much better.
The high carbon content combined with stainless steel gives them incredible corrosion resistance and prevents discoloration. This material also provides a stronger and more robust blade.
The blade length of your knife will range between 7 and 11 inches, although you can also find lower lengths of about 3 to 5 inches.
However, the blade length is a very important feature. After all, the choice of length entirely depends on your preferences.
As a general rule of thumb, go for a shorter length if you have a smaller build and small hands. If you have bigger hands, you can opt for a longer blade as it’s much easier to use. Additionally, the blade size can also be determined based on how you use the knife.
If you intend on using the knife on much tougher and more demanding jobs, you are better off with a longer blade as it handles the load much better than a shorter blade. You shouldn’t expect to use a shorter blade on thick cuts of meat!
Handle Materials & Comfort
The handle material determines how well you can control the knife and for how long. For one, you want to opt for a handle that remains comfortable even after using the knife for a long period.
Traditionally designed Chinese chef knives come with a wooden, cylindrical handle which is easier to control, ergonomic, and comfortable on the hands.
If you want to go for a more modern design, you can opt for hollow stainless steel, ABS plastic, or molded polypropylene handles. These types of handles offer a higher grip and waterproof finish. However, when wet, they may slightly lose their grip.
Generally, you want a lightweight knife that is easier to control and balance. However, you don’t want the knife to be too lightweight that it compromised the quality. Before you go for the knife, make sure it packs enough strength around the spine area to handle the jobs you have in mind for it.
Half Tang or Full Tang
A half-tang knife features a blade that partially extends into the handle. On the other hand, the full tang blade extends up to three-quarters or fully into the handle. Full tang tends to be a better option as it offers edge stability, better balance, and long-lasting durability.
Like any other knife, you have to ensure using your Chinese chef knife is safe, so, you want to look out for features that let you know your knife design is safe. These include better handle grip, food-grade blade material, and proper bolster designs.
The thickness you chose for the knife varies based on the type you go for. A chef’s knife can have a basic thickness for smooth slicing, dicing, mincing, and other cutting techniques. In fact, a good-quality Chinese chef’s knife should have a thin blade with a narrow cross-section.
The sharpness is determined by the blade angle. To achieve a sharper edge opt for a knife honed at an angle of between 15 and 20 degrees.
Undoubtedly, a Chinese chef knife is much cheaper than its Japanese and European counterparts. However, they also have a price range. You should expect to pay about $15 to $30 on the low end and up to $100 for high-end Chinese chef knives.
Ease of Cleaning
Some knives have a dishwasher-friendly sign. However, it is advised to hand wash your knife. Tossing your knife in the dishwasher frequently will ultimately compromise the edge quality of your blade. It also increases the risks of dulling, rusting, and corrosion.
Bottom Line on the Best Chinese Chef Knives
Investing in the best Chinese chef knife doesn’t require you to break the bank thanks to its affordability. Nevertheless, you still enjoy the impressive quality you would get from high-end chef knives.
Using a Chinese chef knife, you can pretty much complete all your kitchen prep needs, whether slicing tenderloin meats or deciding on vegetables. So, take your time to pick your favorite options from the best knife options shared above.
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