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Home > Knife Brands > Daovua Knives > Daovua Leaf Spring Steel Knives > Daovua Leaf Spring Small Cleaver 205mm
Daovua Leaf Spring Small Cleaver 205mm
Daovua Leaf Spring Small Cleaver 205mm Daovua Leaf Spring Small Cleaver 205mmDaovua Leaf Spring Small Cleaver 205mmDaovua Leaf Spring Small Cleaver 205mm
Daovua Leaf Spring Small Cleaver 205mm Daovua Leaf Spring Small Cleaver 205mmDaovua Leaf Spring Small Cleaver 205mmDaovua Leaf Spring Small Cleaver 205mm

Daovua Leaf Spring Small Cleaver 205mm

Item #: Daovua-SmCleaver

Average Customer Rating:
(5 out of 5 based on 17 reviews)

Read Reviews | Write a Review
Our Price: $69.95
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Just watching the video below should be enough to get you intrigued about this knife and its maker. We originally purchased a handful of knives from him to give our forum members a chance to try them. Well, the response was overwhelmingly positive…in the main! So we are having him make more for us using our members’ input to improve the product.

The knives do not possess the highest level of fit and finish. They are not made from exotic materials. And they are as much a curio as a desirable kitchen knife. But what they do possess is a character and an ability to cut that is as good as many knives we sell.

The blades themselves are fashioned from old leaf springs. These auto cast offs are actually a great source of knife steel, usually being made from 5160 steel. In fact many highly regarded US custom knife makers use this steel source for their expensive creations. The edge profile is all belly. There is not a flat spot to be seen! But the blade is super thin and ground really well. With a height of 90mm and an edge length of about 210mm, it resembles a classic Chinese cleaver ratio.

Putting aside the less-than-perfect finish, one thing everyone agrees on is their cutting ability. These blades are sharp and take an incredible edge. For someone looking for a unique version of a cleaver, a fun project knife, or a sharpening practice knife, the Daovua is a perfect and high value choice. Please remember these are made under crude conditions with used steel so you should expect that they're rough and have imperfections that exceed most of our other knives. Expect dents, scratches odd sizes, different handles etc. If you're into great fit and finish or are overly particular run away! If you want to try a cool piece of living history and you're not uptight about a crude but cool cutting tool than you'll love it.

  • Weight: 9.8 ounces
  • Blade Length: 205 mm
  • Total Length: 340 mm
  • Spine Thickness at Base: 2.5 mm
  • Blade Height: 85 mm
  • Handle: (Wood type varies from knife to knife)

  • Customer Reviews

    Product Reviews

    5  Wow, August 26, 2020
    Posted By: Dennis Manuel - verified customer

    Got this knife on a whim, because the story intrigued. Had CKTG sharpen it. Came razor sharp. Love the look. Has great character. I was worried about ti being overly reactive, but it is not. No more than my Agoumi super blue. The edge is developing a nice patina. Makes short work of cutting up a chicken, going through rib bones like nothing. Very pleased with the purchase, and it's a steal at the price. I know some people have mentioned something about it being rough, but for me that's the charm. handle is beautiful.

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    4  Great for the money. 9/10, August 12, 2020
    Posted By: Dan - verified customer

    I like this knife a lot. I had been deliberating over which Chinese-style chef's knife to pick for months, and I'm happy with this one. Comfortable to hold, great for push cutting, and better than I expected for rock chopping. Scoops up chopped veg very easily. Plus, it's attractive!

    My only qualm is that it definitely needs sharpening out of the box. I'm not one of your knife sharpening acolytes--I've only stone-sharpened my own once in five years, with the occasional honing steel. This one definitely needs some sharpening. It requires some effort to chop onions, and hasn't handled tomatoes well at all. That said, it's still sharper than most knives I use at friends' and relatives' houses, so.....your call. But really, 9/10 would buy again.


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    5  Wow, August 11, 2020
    Posted By: Dennis Manuel

    Just got this knife. Had CKTG sharpen it so I would know the potential, because I'm not a brilliant sharpener.
    Arrived Screaming sharp. My son sliced up a pepper with it, looked at me and said "What the Sam Hill?" He's 21. that's an expression. Whatta i know?
    I have no idea what everybody is talking about when they say this knife is "rough." It's beautiful. It has character. tons of it. And it took such an amazing edge, that I'm going back to school to learn how to sharpen properly! I would say it is the perfect tool for those of us wanting to learn how to use a cleaver and care fora high carbon knife properly. It's a steal as far as i'm concerned.


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    5  He loved it!, July 8, 2020
    Posted By: Kerri - verified customer

    My husband has wanted this knife for a long time, and it made the perfect father's day gift! Such an amazing thing to be holding a repurposed material made with such beauty. It is a great knife for our foodie family cooking needs.

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    5  Love it!, April 4, 2020
    Posted By: CR - verified customer

    Great knife at the price point. I intended to buy a cleaver for a long time, and after a trip to NYC got postponed, I decided to buy one online and found this through Serious Eats. No regrets!

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    5  just a good fun knife, January 5, 2020
    Posted By: Nick vasquez - verified customer

    super impulse buy and im not mad about it! Takes an edge real well, i did clean off most of the "patina" with a green scrubbie and some soap on account of it staining food and smelling a little wierd... but after that its been my go to vegetable knife, i love it and would recommend to anyone who is interested in this style of knife.

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    5  Knive as expected but service exceptional, January 3, 2020
    Posted By: Chip Pitfield - verified customer

    This is a functional small cleaver that I quite like. As its price suggests, it's utilitarian and functional but not a work of art. As much as I like the knife, what I really like is the client service. This company and its owners are super-helpful, no-nonsense customer-service people. I ordinarily wouldn't buy a knife I can't pick up and feel but I will do so again because of this attention to client service.

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    5  Daovou Leaf Spring Small Cleaver , November 11, 2019
    Posted By: Dan Blood - verified customer
    1 people found this review helpful

    I absolutely love this knife. I have been watching Dianxi cooking on YouTube. This cleavers primitive utility most closely approximates what she uses. It is sharp out of the box. As for functionality the height of the blade increases safety and allows for efficient removal of product from your cutting board.
    I have purchased at least three other cleavers all the rest of them stainless and this is the one I use. The others are in the drawer with Chefs Knives to Go blade guards on them. It is also easily sharpened because of the high carbon steel. I wash and dry it after use, sharpen by running it over the steel and then wipe it down with a lightly oiled cloth kept in a small jar before hanging it on the knife bar. The extra steps in care is part of the knifes charm to me.
    I just purchased 2 additional cleavers as gifts. Obviously this knife is not for everyone but two special friends lives will soon be enhanced by the gifts they receive.


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    5  Daovua leaf spring small cleaver, October 7, 2019
    Posted By: Marion Reynolds - verified customer
    3 people found this review helpful

    A gift to my grandson who works at a restaurant.

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    5  Decent knife, great servicr, September 26, 2019
    Posted By: Devin Dixon - verified customer

    Bought the Daovua cleaver to practice sharpening and, you know, have a cool Chinese cleaver to play with. Knife is fine: a little awkward for me as I’m unused to so much forward balance. Find myself choking up so far on the spine that I’m almost holding it like a bench scraper. Still—the blade is great, though a bit too thick behind the edge. Would also benefit from some distill taper. Finish is rough as advertised—I recommend some taking some sandpaper to the spine and choil. Probably should’ve went with the tall nakiri, but all in all I’m very satisfied. Used it at work and found it a read murderer of cabbages, carrots, celery, peppers and garlic. Found it excellent for mincing beef for chili—better than a gyuto, even.

    As always, the finish sharpening service is excellent and gave me a real reference for what “sharp” really is.

    Have since ordered the 210 Dao Vua gyuto and will likely grab more when they are in stock. Super fun knives.


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    5  Exactly as described, July 1, 2019
    Posted By: Christopher Morgan - verified customer

    Sharp ootb and very unique and interesting knife. Needs a pass on the stone before tho. Overall a fun knife with good specs.

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    5  New to cleavers, June 30, 2019
    Posted By: some guy who got a cleaver - verified customer

    Never had one of these before - so take with a grain of salt, but big fan. I typically associate them with butchering a cut of meat, but has been most useful for mincing herbs and veggies. Dig it.

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    5  Great knife for a great price!!!, June 28, 2019
    Posted By: Igor Kokozov - verified customer

    Really awesome knife.

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    5  Love this knife!, May 31, 2019
    Posted By: Sho Spaeth

    I love this knife! I bought it to experiment with Chinese-style cleavers, and it's since become my main knife for general kitchen tasks (for reference, I have a Tojiro chef's knife, a couple debas, and a honesuki).

    It did require a couple passes on a whetstone straight out of the package, but it got quite sharp and it holds the edge marvelously. Love its versatility and weight... really can't recommend it enough!


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    5  Love everything about it. , February 21, 2019
    Posted By: Joshua Runyon

    Recently received mine, couldn't be more happy. It was exactly what I was expecting, imperfection and excellence combined to make an intriguing and delightful to use product. I will be picking up the entire Daovua line as they become available. They aren't kidding about this material being superb for knife making. Holds scary sharp edge quite well. It's also great to be just a few hours away in La Crosse WI!


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    4  Since 1288 !, December 30, 2018
    Posted By: Andrew Huang - verified customer
    10 people found this review helpful

    I've been a lifelong user of classic european chefs knives but decided to give a Chinese Caidao cleaver a solid trial. First, unless all you do is slicing, it's a lie that the Caidao is the only knife you ever need. I have a custom shaped parer for peeling onions and scraping ginger, I have a flexible utility for filleting, I have a Santoku that is a necessity for quartering brussel sprouts, all tasks that a Caidao could do, but at a compromise in speed and efficiency.

    The Caidao's advantage is in it's thin, thin, thin blade that minimizes the effort of slicing. The thin blade and its huge width allows for consistent paper-thin slicing, at speed. Of course, the width makes it an excellent spatula for moving things around.

    The story of the Daovua's craft holds exactly the right sentiment for me: prioritizing workmanship and thrift over production and beauty. My son (for whom the knife was originally intended) and I fussed endlessly over the hand hammering and grinding on the blade. The stories we read in the dents were the reason for the knife.

    But after finish sharpening (diamond to 3K, then 6K King waterstone) and a side-by-side comparison with the small CCK, we found differences that made the CCK the knife he was keeping. Sharpness, of course, is rarely the issue - given sufficient time and abrasives, we can get anything sharp. Instead, the deeper rocker of the Daovua meant a very small "sweet spot" for chopping, requiring a longer rocking stroke for a full cut, or if push cutting rather than rocking, rocking is still required to finish the cut. I'll use both rocking and pushing when I'm working and I don't like how the Daovua is so specialized for one stroke.

    The deep rocker has two other effects: first the edge sinks deeper into my cutting board so that the blade sticks when I want to move vegetables away from the cutting area. Secondly, when using the blade as a spatula, the rocker tends to dig in rather than sliding smoothly. Though familiarity will make this less of an issue, the rocker also means that vegetables away from the sweet spot won't get picked up.

    Finally, the metal of the blade causes onions to discolor after a while.

    I will be keeping the Daovua, but spending some quality time with an 180 grit diamond plate to reduce the rocker as well as cleaning up various rough edges. It's good knife.


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    5  decent blade, June 9, 2018
    Posted By: Nick McG
    3 people found this review helpful

    I put this one through the paces all week at work. Easy to keep sharp with a ceramic rod. Not as nimble as the cck 1303, or as powerful as the 1102, but a solid workhorse.

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