Zhen 8-inch cleaver review

This post may contain affiliate links. Read the full disclosure here.

The Zhen is a beautiful addition to any kitchen and is highly competent at many tasks, especially at this price point.

In our initial testing, we found it to not only be extremely sharp, but the sharpness also lasted.

Nevertheless, with that rigidity did come one potential downfall that we will address later on.

However, if you are in the market for a brand new Chinese style cleaver, the Zhen will be able to fill that role comfortably.

Last update on 2021-12-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

In another article, we have reviewed the Enso 7 inch cleaver and found it to be competent and hardwearing.

In our opinion, the Enso’s smaller size is easier to handle, and seeing as they are both the same VG-10 Steel, you should have a similar cutting experience.

It all boils down to your personal preferences.

For example, a 7-inch blade is easier to handle, but if your particular technique of cutting is in broad strokes, you may miss the advantage that the extra inch that this cleaver provides.

You can also check out our full rundown of the Best Chinese Cleavers.

Main Features

As is usual in our reviews, we will list each feature and briefly explain some critical points.

VG-10 Steel

There is nothing inspiring to say about the steel itself apart from the usual adjectives.

That is to say, it is strong, sharp, and retains its edge well. On the other hand, with this extreme hardness comes the payoff we hinted at earlier.

That is to say that the edge is brittle, and some customers have reported that it arrived with its edge chipped.

While this is certainly not a deal-breaker in our opinion (we prefer to keep the edge), it can be off-putting for some.

It is also advisable that you stay away from this blade if you are hacking bones to bits because this is primarily for chopping meat and veg.

Pakkawood Handle

For those uninitiated in the marvel that is Pakkawood, it is a wood and plastic composite structure that is slip-resistant and highly durable.

It was excellent in hand and felt ergonomic enough that you could be cutting things all day without too much fatigue.

It is also a full tang design which gives the entire knife an excellent rigidity, and never once did we feel as though the handle would come to lose.

Beautiful Packaging

Okay, so this is only important if you send it directly to someone as a gift. 

Otherwise, you won’t really care that much.

However, it was a nice touch and certainly worth mentioning.

People Love It

Many of the customers who have purchased the Zhen 8 Inch cleaver seem to be perfectly content with their knife, and only very few have reported anything wrong with it.

Pros and Cons


  • Looks like a fine blade
  • Solid construction
  • Great edge retention
  • So sharp in fact that it feels like you are gliding through your ingredients (be careful with your fingers!)
  • Lightweight for the size and well balanced
  • Full tang
  • Comfortable handle


  • Hardened steel often means it will be more brittle.
  • It cannot use for chopping bones or hard material
  • Must use a wooden or plastic chopping board
  • It is so sharp that it has caught little dips and chips on our chopping board when scooping up the chopped material. Not a deal-breaker but a tad annoying.


The Zhen is a fantastic Chinese clever that is super sharp, maintains its sharpness, and feels great in hand.

It is worth the investment, in our opinion it is.

Last update on 2021-12-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API