Cleaver 200mm/100mm AU Mono Yew & Antler Takedown


Austrian blacksmith Simon Kirchbaum recently forged an exquisite Chinese cleaver as part of a competition with fellow smith Benjamin Kamon. The challenge was to craft the lightest cleaver that still met a set of stringent minimum specifications. The cleavers had to measuring at lease 200mm by 100mm, be forged from Apex Ultra steel, am excellent steel known for its edge retention and toughness, no special grinds were allowed, and the cleavers must feature a takedown handle.

The specifications of Kirchbaum's cleaver highlight his exceptional skill as craftsman. The blade is a traditional Chinese style or vegetable cleaver with an edge length of 200mm. The spine measurements are meticulously tapered, with the heel at 4.45mm, the mid at 1.17mm, and the tip (20mm before) at 0.83mm. The blade height stands at 101.26mm. Despite its robust build, the cleaver weighs a mere 310g, making it remarkably lightweight for its size. The cutting edge, forged from Apex Ultra steel, boasts a hardness rating of 66 HRC, ensuring a razor-sharp edge that can handle rigorous use.

Kirchbaum's attention to detail extends to the cleaver's aesthetic and functional design. The blade features a striking Brute de Forge finish combined with satin polished bevels, enhancing its visual appeal. The convex grind ensures superior cutting performance. The handle construction is equally impressive, utilizing a hidden tang, takedown design for easy maintenance and balance. Crafted from yew and deer antler, the handle not only offers a comfortable grip but also adds a touch of natural beauty. Simon made a custom tool to remove the handle, it’s an elegant design.

A signature aesthetic for Simon, this cleaver exemplifies the fusion of traditional craftsmanship with modern innovation.

Product Specification

Blade Type: Cleaver

Edge Length: 200mm X 100mm

Spine Heel: 4.45mm

Spine Mid: 1.17mm

Spine Tip (20mm before): 0.83mm

Blade Height: 101.26mm

Weight: 310g

Cutting Edge Steel: Apex Ultra

Stainless: No

HRC: 66

Blade Construction: Mono Steel

Blade Finish: Brute de Forge and Satin Polish

Grind: Convex

Handle Construction: Hidden Tang, Take Down

Handle Materials: Yew, Deer Antler

Handedness: Ambidextrous

Saya Included: No

Shipping & Returns


We process orders 5 days a week (Monday - Friday) and ship from our shop in Berlin, Germany. We ship with FedEx, UPS and Deutsche Post.

We are happy to offer free international shipping on a variety of orders depending on location and order value. You can check to see where things sit for you here.


At Modern Cooking we want our customers to be inspired and delighted by the products they purchase through our shop.

However, we understand that you may need to return products occasionally. If you are not entirely happy, you can return your purchase in its original condition within 14 days for a refund. Please email if you wish to return any goods.

In the unlikely event that you receive faulty goods or your order is damaged in transit, please contact us for instructions on how to return the goods as in this case we will meet the cost of return postage, though only if this is arranged through our authorised carriers. Any claim for refund or exchange resulting from faulty goods or goods damaged in transit must be raised within 5 business days.

All Modern Cooking logistics partners provide insurance in case of damage, but the coverage is only valid if we are notified within 5 business days. Please make sure to inspect your order immediately upon receipt to ensure that there is no damage.

Once we have the goods back, we will issue a full refund or send replacements where possible, as you prefer.

Product Care:

Cleaning: Clean by hand with warm water. Avoid wetting the handle when possible. 

Sharpening: We advise using whetstones to sharpen your knives and a honing rod or steel to maintain the burr between sharpening sessions. 

Reactive Steels: Reactive steels like Aogami Super, Apex Ultra or one of the many premium reactive German and Swedish steels are susceptible to rust if not properly cared for. In this case we advise that you keep the knife dry between uses and when storing the knife for longer periods wiping the knife blade with Tsubaki oil or another food safe oil is a wise choice. This will not stop a patina forming on the blade, but it will stop rust. A patina can be a beautiful personal feature on your knife and helps to stop rust forming. So, dry your knife regularly between uses, store in a dry place and apply some Tsubaki oil from time to time when storing for long periods. 

A reference guide to steel types

Handle Care: If you have a knife with a non-stabilised wooden handle, you can apply Tsubaki oil or another food safe oil to your handle from time to time. Food safe wax can be applied to both stabilised and no-stabilised wooden handles. Never apply hot wax or oil as you risk warping or damaging the handle.