Got my first Cai Dao (chinese veg cleaver). I hate it.

5
1
Joined Mar 7, 2018
I got a shibazi 208-1 from amazon for 40 bucks:


The knife's balance point is absurdly far forward, 3 inches in front of the handle.

See pic here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/FQ1pG5Sm5gdxksto6

Who has successfully fallen in love with one of these? Should I pony up the money for a tapered knife like a CCK?

My knife is 2.5mm the entire length of the spine, no taper, and weighs 380 grams.

Because of how front-heavy the knife is, I can't move it up and down while chopping, I can only either swing it in an arc or pull it very far back with each lift.

Great for smashing garlic, though.
 
12
7
Joined Aug 19, 2019
I got a shibazi 208-1 from amazon for 40 bucks:


The knife's balance point is absurdly far forward, 3 inches in front of the handle.

See pic here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/FQ1pG5Sm5gdxksto6

Who has successfully fallen in love with one of these? Should I pony up the money for a tapered knife like a CCK?

My knife is 2.5mm the entire length of the spine, no taper, and weighs 380 grams.

Because of how front-heavy the knife is, I can't move it up and down while chopping, I can only either swing it in an arc or pull it very far back with each lift.

Great for smashing garlic, though.
I got a shibazi 208-1 from amazon for 40 bucks:


The knife's balance point is absurdly far forward, 3 inches in front of the handle.

See pic here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/FQ1pG5Sm5gdxksto6

Who has successfully fallen in love with one of these? Should I pony up the money for a tapered knife like a CCK?

My knife is 2.5mm the entire length of the spine, no taper, and weighs 380 grams.

Because of how front-heavy the knife is, I can't move it up and down while chopping, I can only either swing it in an arc or pull it very far back with each lift.

Great for smashing garlic, though.
 
12
7
Joined Aug 19, 2019
Reason for heavy front-end on these cleavers is to keep tip on board. Back 2/3's of the sharp blade does the majority of the work. Keeping tip on board lessens the possibility of you losing a finger. When the going gets tough during Christmas or grad season, I'll pull one of these babies out of my toolbox. Makes short work out of dicing, slicing, mincing. Pick up a cheap high carbon one from Chinatown. They come in different weights. So be sure to get the right one for your needs.
 
5
1
Joined Mar 7, 2018
ChefNavy, are you saying you rock the knife like a western knife, or that you drag it back? This knife has almost no belly and rocking it is not very rewarding. Did not try dragging yet.

Millions, thanks for that link. Good read. I tried the peace grip that you suggested and this was a huge improvement.



I watched some videos of chinese chefs, and it looks like another component here is that they use a lower table. I moved my board over to a table, which is about 6 inches lower than a counter, and the knife was much more comfortable. I was able to move it up and down easily, using the large muscles of my upper arm and shoulder, instead of struggling with my forearm/wrist at the higher height of the counter. FYI I'm 5 foot 10.
 
5
1
Joined Mar 7, 2018
millions, what do you think of the dimensions of the knife i got? the blade is 9 inches long and only 3.75" tall. Should i be trying something shorter, or taller?
 
12
7
Joined Aug 19, 2019
Heres how to cut... Keep nose on the board with the heel up high enough to clear whar you are cutting. Loosely drag cleaver back until about half the blade is over the vegetable. Then push the blade forward while lowering the heel at the same time, slicing through the veg. Requires no practically no pressure on the cleaver as it is heavy and sharp enough to do the slicing. After you master that move, it is simply a matter of repetition. Good luck.
 
111
17
Joined Nov 18, 2010
With a new knife, I use it at home for every task for a few days to get used to it and explore its possibilities and limitations, and see what technique fits. A lower counter, Chef Navy's suggestions and a loose grip should help.
 

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