The Chinese cleaver from Shi Ba Zi Zuo is made from complete stainless steel construction. They are using a 40Cr13 core material that has decent edge retention and can be used as a workhorse, you don’t have to worry
about chipping or rusting.
Knife Rockwell Hardness
The Rockwell hardness is around 57 or slightly lower. It is a Chinese all-purpose cleaver, which means that the heel area has been reinforced during the heating process and, therefore, sturdier and can be used to go through small bones or thought food.
Blade aesthetic and food release
The different finish above the edge helps to prevent food from resisting your cut. The logo is debossed which is a nice touch in the aesthetic, The handle and the endcap of the handle, all have a debossed logo.
Shi Ba Zi Zuo P01 Blade profile
The blade profile has a slight belly in the middle. We use the front part for slicing and the heel part for thougher food or to go through smaller bones.
Weight and Spine tapering
The knife weight is quite heavy for the P01 version. With a weight of around 432 grams and the big handle, the knife will strain your arm a lot. Therefore I recommend the P03 or the P04 version over the P01 that has a smaller blade and handle. The Shi Ba Zi Zuo, P01 has no distal taper
which is also not necessary for a cleaver style knife. The spine thickness is 2.1mm from the heel to the front.
Knife balance point
The knife balance point is at the logo area and with the pinch grip at the blade will make this knife front-heavy which is what you would expect from a cleaver style knife. The only recommended gripping style is the
pinch grip at the curved front part of the handle.
Shi Ba Zi Zuo P01 – Knife handle
The handle is very interesting since the blade is seamlessly welded to the handle. The debossed logo on the handle is noticeable every time you grab the knife But after a minute you forget the debossed feeling but I wish that they went for a different handle structure and design to make it more comfortable instead of the debossed letters. What you will immediately notice is how big the oval-shaped handle is for the P01 version and therefore suitable for large hands. If you have medium to small hands then this handle might not be comfortable for you to hold. The P03 and P04 both have smaller handles.
Final Conclusion and my Recommendation
The 40Cr13 core material is a good stainless steel core that can take a beating but with the knife weight and the cheaper stainless
steel. The edge retention is less and the knife will get dull faster, but the knife is easy to maintain and worry-free. The P01 is too big and heavy for everyday use and is probably suitable for restaurant use on a specific task. Therefore I advise the P03 or P04 over the P01 or P02 version. Both the P03 and P04 have smaller handles and blade making the knife ideal for everyday use.
Specifications of the Shi Ba Zi Zuo Chinese Cleaver P01:
Handle: Welded to the blade
Handle length: 115mm
Blade length: 215mm
Blade width: 100mm
Core Material: 40Cr13
Rockwell Hardness: 57/56
🛒 S H O P
Note: The above version is a ”Dual Purpose” or also known as an ”All-Purpose” Chinese cleaver. It means that you can use the heel to go through smaller bones like a chicken bone or duck carcass.
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