Cleavers

Discover how our nakiri knives and cleavers can make your meal prep seamless and satisfying. We offer quality knives with incredibly sharp edges, balanced handles and comfortable grips to give you years of satisfying and memorable cooking experiences in the kitchen.


A nakiri knife is essentially a Japanese vegetable knife that makes slicing through onions, tomatoes and other garden ingredients effortless with an up-and-down motion. Nakiris are shaped like a cleaver, but are smaller and slenderer. The blade is wide enough to use for scooping prepped ingredients into a bowl after you have sliced, diced or minced them. Use your nakiri knife on fresh fruits as well as vegetables.


For heavy-duty chopping of meats and vegetables, the cleaver is your go-to knife. Meat cleavers are designed to cut through bone in one chop as well as slice through firm vegetables while vegetable cleavers, with their finer blade, chop and slice through produce efficiently. They are the work horses of your kitchen cutlery and both have wide blades that easily transfer your cut goods into skillets and bowls. The flat side of a meat cleaver can also be used to tenderize meat, and some meat cleavers have a hole at the corner of the blade, traditionally used for hanging from a hook.


When choosing your nakiri knives and cleavers from Williams-Sonoma, note that those with Damascus or scalloped blade patterns, which are indentations just above the blade edge that allow you to cut through food without it sticking to the blade. These hollow-ground blades quickly release food as you cut, resulting in higher efficiency and more uniform cuts of your meats and vegetables.


Shun nakiri knives and cleavers are crafted with 161-layer technology or with VG-10 super steel surrounded by 69 microthin layers of stainless-steel. The quality of cutting is razor sharp as is true of our Wüsthof knives forged of sturdy high-carbon steel that resists stains and corrosion. The ice-hardening technique employed by knife makers Zwilling J.A. Henckels and Global results in a harder, sharper blade that is corrosion-resistant and highly elastic. KAI’s blades of high-carbon stainless-steel are uniquely color-coded to help prevent cross-contamination. Michel Bras blades are coated in titanium to enhance its anti-oxidation properties.


You really can’t go wrong with any of your choices of nakiri knives and cleavers offered by our fine knife makers, who have decades, and often generations, of experience forging high-quality knives to last a lifetime. Choose blades that are the length you prefer with shorter blades being more compact and suited for finer dicing while longer nakiri knives and cleavers are meant for slicing and dicing through large cuts of meats and larger vegetables and fruits.