Asian cutlery and knives have been the foundational tools for professional Asian chefs for centuries. As opposed to standard Western cutlery, Asian knives are designed for the specific tasks that are unique to Eastern cooking, such as preparation of raw fish and the thin slicing of vegetables and fruits.
When choosing a piece of Asian cutlery you must first consider your knife needs. If you want a versatile knife that can be used for just about anything in the kitchen, look for a Chinese chef's knife or a ping knife. If you want an ergonomic chef's knife a santoku is your new best friend. There are also knives for a variety of specialized cutting tasks including fileting fish, slicing produce into thin slivers and even cutting beef off the bone.
Asian seafood knives like the deba or sashimi knife are designed for thinly slicing raw fish, shrimp or mollusks, or for beheading fish. Most cleavers, on the other hand, are ideal for slicing through fish or chicken bones, although some are designed for slicing produce only, and are not sharp enough to cut through the bone.