I have a Chinese slicer knife which I bought quite a few years ago, but never much used, it is a stainless steel 3 rams number 2.

I am doing more Chinese cooking now, but when reading in my cooking books what to look for in a cleaver struggling to work out what number it refers to (as that's how they are set out in my local Chinese supermarket).

I'm trying to work out if I have the correct sort of knife for the uses in the book, mainly chopping veg, and meat where necessary, but not through bones.

What are the knives of different numbers used for?



1 Answer 1


3 Rams is the brand. Pretty popular Chinese Cleaver manufacture. The number 2 is the weight of the knife. I think the numbers range from a #1(heaviest; bone chopping) down to a #5 (lightest; vegetable knife). If you're looking for a vegetable knife yours is probably on the heavy side. It's more suited to chopping up poultry/fish.

A couple articles/forums, which seem to confirm my guess that lower is heavier: http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1989-01-26/entertainment/8902280958_1_cleaver-chopping-high-carbon https://forums.egullet.org/topic/143953-is-this-chinese-knife-sufficient-for-chopping-poultry/

Edit and Disclaimer: The numbering system is also manufacture dependent; some go from a 1-3, some from a 1-5. I am sure there are others as well. Best place to verify, would be if you could scope out a chinese market/store that sells the knives to compare what you have.

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