Jun 11, 2018

Victorinox Chinese Cleaver (#40090)

Does anyone have experience with the Victorinox Chinese Cleaver (#40090)? Specifically, I’m hoping someone can provide a performance comparison to other similarly-priced Chinese Cleavers and or discuss knife anatomy/features.
I recently purchased this knife as an introduction into the world of cleavers and am awaiting shipment. I purchased it based on brand recognition and an unfamiliarity with Asian cleaver-style knives/brands.
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steve
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Update: I received the cleaver and have been using it for about a week. For the most part, it's the same great build-quality I've come to expect from Victorinox. However, to start w/ my concerns: it isn't quite as sharp as I had expected. Additionally, the blade-tang-handle construction "feels" solid but I've heard some concern online about a single pin holding it all together. As such, I'll have to stay observant for slippage in the months to come.

On to the positive notes, the weight and general construction of this cleaver is very nice. Unsurprisingly, this blade is much heavier than your average chef's knife and it "seeks" the face of the cutting board, punching easily through crisp or starchy vegetables. The blade is beveled on both sides so while it's not as sharp as I would like it will be easy to sharpen and hone using my existing equipment. I'm not sure if this is consistent with traditional cleavers (one beveled edge vs. two) but it fits my needs.

The edge of the blade has a slight bow in the middle that facilitates a slight rocking motion in addition to the "piston" chopping motion expected from a cleaver. This feature is complimented by a comfortable wooden handle that provides a semi-ergonomic grip and encourages your hand to "wrap" rather than "pinch" the handle. I'm still learning proper cleaver-form and trying to un-learn habits from my chef's knife but this tool makes it easy to get started.

If I'm honest, the "look and feel" of this knife was a primary factor in my purchase; it's beautiful. I was searching for the aesthetic of a traditional Chinese cleaver with build-quality from a brand I was familiar with and that is exactly what I got. If I could have afforded a Shun or another up-market Asian brand I would have bought it for the sake of authenticity but this thoroughbred work-horse will do just fine for many, many years to come.
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