For some people, working in the kitchen is their passion and for others, it is just another chore. I enjoy food preparation and in my experience half of the battle is making sure you have the right tool for the job.
The one tool that probably gets used the most in the kitchen is a knife. They come in all shapes and sizes and they are the workhorse of food preparation and mealtime. A dull blade or one that is the wrong style is going to be unsafe and uncomfortable to use. It will also cause you to make more work for yourself, which why you want to make sure you have a good knife.
For the homesteader, this is especially true because you probably grow, raise, preserve, and cook most of your own food. For that reason, I wanted to review a knife that I think is a jack of all trades, the cleaver.
I know, you are probably thinking that a cleaver is some huge knife meant for big swings and chopping impossibly large pieces of meat. And they are good at that but they are good at other tasks as well.
In this article, I will be taking a closer look at the Mini Cleaver, which is part of the Gladiator series offered by DALSTRONG.
Features of the Mini Cleaver
The cleaver is made from high-carbon German ThyssenKrupp stainless steel at 56+ Rockwell with a full tang blade.
The handle is made from black G10 Garolite that is imported from Spain. The handle is also laminated to make it stronger and for sanitation reasons such as being resistant to water and stains.
The cleaver comes with a water and stain-resistant, BPA free DALSTRONG PerfectFit sheath.
Country of Origin
DALSTRONG knives are made in China
I love knives and I have bought more than a few in my life but DALSTRONG has got to have the fanciest packaging I have ever seen for a knife.
The cleaver came in two boxes, an outer cover that slips off and the main has a magnetic lid. After opening the box, I was surprised to see the cleaver resting beautifully in a foam cut-out insert.
As mentioned above in the features section, the cleaver comes with a hard plastic PerfectFit Sheath that does in fact fit perfectly over the blade. I must give DALSTRONG two thumbs up for including a sheath because it not only helps to keep you safe, but it helps to protect the cleaver when it is not in use.
A few other small items were included in the box as well. A catalog, maintenance and care guide, and a small metal pin with the company’s logo.
I think a microfiber cloth was supposed to be included for polishing purposes but there was not one in my box. That is okay, I think will live without it.
While this has nothing to do with the knife, I like it when a company has a sense of humor and shares that with their customers. Below is a picture of the quick maintenance guide. Take a close look at it and you will see what I mean.
Testing it Out
I just received this knife a few days ago so I have not fully put it through its paces yet, but I did get to try it out making a delightful stew.
I had a beef arm roast in my freezer that weighed several pounds and was at least an inch thick. Perfect item to try the mini cleaver out on. Here is a picture of the slab of beef before I tore into it.
I wanted to see how sharp the cleaver was so the first cut I made was a slicing cut. The cut was exceptionally clean, and I couldn’t believe how easily the cleaver slid through over an inch of meat.
I can into a couple of tough spots that were a little denser than the rest of the meat which was a perfect opportunity to raise the cleaver and chop away! I used this method to start cutting the meat into smaller cubes and it worked great.
The Mini Cleaver may be small but I worked my way through that slab of meat in under five minutes. The liquid in my crockpot was warming up so I went ahead and through the meat and spices right in.
The cleaver worked its way through that big slab of meat with no issue, but I wonder how it will hold up processing some celery?
Once quick chop with the cleaver and the base came right off.
Those leafy stems towards the top sliced right off.
After chopping up the meat I took the below picture to show you how the cutting edge is not perfectly straight across like it is in some cleavers.
Why is this important? Because when it comes to cutting food into smaller pieces, I like to use the rocker method of chopping. A slightly curved cutting edge allows me to chop in this manner quickly and efficiently, and this is how I cut the celery into bite-sized pieces for the stew.
After adding the celery and a few other items to the stew, it was time to clean up. According to the quick care guide provided by DALSTRONG it is best to hand wash the Mini Cleaver and dry immediately.
A little bit of soap and warm water cleaned the cleaver right up, but I did run into one little problem. The sponge that I used had a soft side and a side with a scouring pad. I did not think about it when I was washing but I used the scouring pad side a few times on the cleaver and it left a few blemishes.
To avoid this, rinse the cleaver off as soon as you are done with it and you should only need a soft sponge for cleaning.
Mini Cleaver Pros and Cons
- Extremely sharp right out of the box
- Well balanced
- Not too large and not too small
- Aesthetically it is a beautiful knife
- Handles processing meat and vegetables effortlessly
- The only problem I have had with the clever so far is the scratching left behind after washing, but that is on me, not the cleaver
Is the Mini Cleaver dishwasher safe?
It is not recommended to put the cleaver into a dishwasher, do so at your own risk. It is best to hand wash with a soft sponge, soap, and warm water. Dry immediately and never leave the cleaver in standing water.
Is this cleaver only good for large pieces of meat?
Absolutely not. I think this cleaver is the perfect size for the average kitchen as well as processing a variety of foods from large to small.
Before I got the cleaver, I was on the fence about getting this one or the larger model. And honestly, I am surprised that I like this one so much. I think it is just the right size without being too small or too large. It fits well in the hand, it cuts smoothly, and it is not overly heavy to use.
This was my first experience using a mini cleaver and preparing food in the kitchen with this knife made the job easier and more fun!
Thanks for reading and keep chopping!
If you have any questions or comments about this knife, be sure to sound off in the comment section below.