Maestro Wu Artillery Steel Chinese Cleavers

Maestro Wu hand forges knives from salvaged artillery shells fired on Taiwan by mainland China since the early 1900s. Artillery steel makes a strong blade not prone to rusting or chipping. These classic Chinese knives and cleavers are renowned across the world by the Taiwanese diaspora for quality and craftsmanship. View our full Maestro Wu collection here.

Our Maestro Wu Chinese Cleavers are the most important items in our kitchen. We offer two styles: a classic Chinese Vegetable Cleaver, for quick and agile work, and a Meat Cleaver, for butchering and cutting through bones. Chinese Cleavers come in many different thicknesses, and while each one is incredibly versatile and can be used in many ways, their thickness dictates what they're best suited for.

The Chinese Vegetable Cleaver or 菜刀 is a relatively thin and light cleaver, best for chopping and slicing vegetables and meats. It's incredibly versatile, and the knife we reach for most often.

Though similar in use case to the Chinese Chef's Knife, this knife has a flatter shape designed for fast chopping (vs rocking), no tip, and lots of surface area for picking up ingredients from the cutting board and transferring them into the wok.

The midweight 1lb Maestro Wu meat cleaver is designed for butchery and heavy kitchen tasks, like chopping through chicken and pork bones, halving that winter melon, or the ultimate garlic and cucumber smash. It is heavier and much less nimble than the Vegetable Cleaver.

Maestro Wu Knives has been operating on Kinmen island since the 1930s. They experienced material shortages during the Second World War and begin to collect spent artillery shells as a source of steel. Their knives are still made from shells; millions were fired on Kinmen island by China during the Second Taiwan Strait Crisis in 1958.

Wanting to give this as a gift? It’s bad luck in Taiwan to gift knives for fear of cleaving the relationship. But don’t let that stop you from getting this perfect knife to your loved one. We suggest asking the recipient for pocket change or a small object as a trade—skip the bad mojo.

About Maestro Wu

Maestro Wu, a cutlery forge on Kinmen island, turns swords into ploughshares. Their selection of chef's knives and Chinese cleavers are handmade from scavenged artillery fired on Taiwan by mainland China. The forge is renowned across the Taiwanese diaspora for quality and craftsmanship.

Products Specifications

D10 Vegetable Cleaver
Material: Stainless steel, hardness RC 58
Blade: 167 x 77 x 1.8 mm / 6.5" x 3" x 0.07"
Handle Length: 110 mm / 4.25"
Overall Length: 290 mm / 11.5"
Weight: 294 g / 10.4 oz.

D5 Meat Cleaver
Material: Stainless steel, hardness RC 58
Blade: 174 x 86 x 3 mm / 6.8" x 3.3" x 0.10"
Handle Length: 110 mm / 4.3"
Overall length: 290 mm / 11.4"
Weight: 1 lb.


After use, hand wash with clean water and a little detergent. Wipe dry with a soft cloth, starting at the back of the knife and moving towards the front.

Do not use steel wool or other hard scrubbing tools to clean the knife to avoid scratching the knife body.

Do not use the knife for purposes other than intended.


Maestro Wu knives are warranted to be free of defects in material and workmanship for 2 years from the date of purchase. The warranty does not cover damages caused by improper use, accidental damage, or normal wear and tear of the product. Scratches to the knives are not considered a manufacturer defect.

For any knives that are damaged, chipped, or dull, knives can be mailed to Maestro Wu’s facility in Taiwan for repairs or replacements, free of charge. Return postage not included.

Maestro Wu
No. 236, Sec. 1, BoYu Rd
Jinning Township, Kinmen County
Taiwan 892
Tel: + 886-82-323-999