MAC Japanese Series 6.5-inch Vegetable Cleaver

As we said in our guide to kitchen knives a while back, a good 8″ chef’s knife is the most essential kitchen tool. Still, there are other knives worth keeping around for more specialized duties.

The Japanese-made 6.5″ vegetable cleaver by MAC Knife is ideal for anything involving fruits and veggies. It’s of the straight-edged, double-beveled nakiri variety — not to be confused with the single-bevel usuba cleaver or the much larger Chinese cleaver. This means it’s lighter, easier to handle, and offers a higher level of cutting finesse than its usuba and Chinese counterparts.

Here are some examples of things it excels at:

  • Creating clean, paper-thin slices of tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes, etc.
  • Julienning onions, carrots, etc.
  • Basic veggie dicing and mincing.
  • Skinning bell peppers using the roll technique.

If you need more than my recommendation, this veggie cleaver is considered the best by America’s Test Kitchen:

Get the cleaver for $85 at Amazon.