Using the right knife to cut your meat is the easiest way to ensure great flavor, quality, and appearance. Using a cleaver built for meat allows you to take advantage of its versatility. You can use the knife to cut, slice, mince, tenderize, and even scale meat in your kitchen.
Moreover, a meat cleaver is particularly excellent for handling large meat cuts still attached to their bones. So, we’ve scoured the internet to find you the market’s best meat cleavers so you can transform your meat cutting experience to a whole new level.
01. WÜSTHOF Classic 6-inch Cleaver Knife
The Wusthof Classic 6-inch Cleaver Knife features a single-piece precision forging to give it great balance and longevity. The 6-inch cleaver is made from high carbon stainless steel for stain and corrosion resistance.
In fact, the carbon stainless steel blade integrates a proprietary Wusthof Precision Edge Technology, giving it a 20% sharper blade and twice the edge retention. The heavy-duty razor-sharp blade on the German-made cleaver makes it easier to cut through bone and large cuts of meat.
Additionally, the blade is finely honed to make it great for chopping and mincing tough vegetables. On the other end of the full tang cleaver is a triple-riveted polypropylene handle.
02. Dalstrong 7-inch Cleaver Knife
The Dalstrong 7-inch Cleaver Knife is an excellent budget-friendly option for those looking for a versatile cutting tool. The cleaver’s medium heavy duty construction combines cutting-edge blade technology, stunning design, and premium materials to enhance its versatility and durability.
You can use the cleaver for anything from cutting onions to hacking the toughest meat cuts. The cleaver is fitted with a hand-polished high carbon German steel blade, precisely tempered for incredible razor sharpness and stain resistance.
The hand-polished blade is also slightly tapered to give it superior flexibility, hardness, and minimal slicing resistance. On the other end of the cleaver is a laminate G10 Garolite ambidextrous handle which offers an ergonomic and comfortable grip.
03. Global 6.5-inch Meat Cleaver
The Global 6.5-inch Meat Cleaver leaves its mark when it comes to sharpness and lightweight performance. The 6.5-inch cleaver is built with a thinner blade, giving it a lightweight profile for better agility and reduced fatigue.
This means you can use the knife for your entire cooking session without feeling any strain on the hands or shoulders. To complement its lightweight performance, the cleaver boasts a weighted hollow handle. The handle design also gives it a perfect handling balance.
Moreover, the handle’s design doesn’t integrate a bolstered design, allowing for full edge use and full blade sharpening. The cleaver’s all stainless steel construction also gives the knife stain-free, rust-resistant, and slip-free handling.
04. Shun Classic 7-inch Cleaver
The Shun Classic 7-inch Cleaver is specially designed to make it easy to slice and chop vegetables. The 7-inch cleaver features a wide, square blade, making it easy to chop vegetables while the flat surface allows for garlic and ginger crushing.
Moreover, the blade is nimble and solid to complement effortless slicing and dicing. Yet, it remains robust enough to handle larger and tough vegetables, like cabbages. The cleaver also integrates a superior blade construction to give it a super steel feel.
It features a proprietary Shun formulated VG-MAX steel cutting core with increased amounts of cobalt, chromium, carbon, and tungsten. It also features a D-shaped Pakkawood handle that offers a water-resistant and comfortable grip.
Recommended Reading: Shun Knives Full Review With Ultimate Guide
05. Henckels 6-inch Stainless Steel Cleaver
The Henckels 6-inch Meat Cleaver is modestly sized to make it great for beginners and users with small hands. The meat cleaver’s short height allows for easy and safe handling. Nonetheless, the cleaver still delivers incredible performance.
In fact, when it comes to chopping through bones and joints, the cleaver’s high-quality German stainless steel construction never disappoints. The knife also goes through a hot forging process to make the blade robust and high tensile.
Moreover, its professional satin finishing paired with its finely honed finish deliver precision cutting functionality and longer-lasting edge retention. To make the knife easier to handle, it features a dishwasher-friendly design.
06. Zelite Infinity 7-inch Meat Cleaver
If you are on a tight budget, the Zelite Infinity 7-inch cleaver knife is a perfect match. In addition to its affordability, the cleaver gives you great value, thanks to its versatility and quality. The cleaver is fitted with a razor-sharp and visually stunning blade with multiple functions.
You can use the cleaver for cutting, chopping, slicing, or deboning. You can use it to prepare most meals from scratch, whether a hearty chicken stew or vegetable salad. However, the cleaver’s ThyssenKrupp high carbon stainless steel blade is heavy-duty and solid enough to boost its cutting power.
Thanks to the design, the cleaver can handle food items as tough as coconuts. Furthermore, the cleaver’s carbon stainless steel blade paired with the optimum 56 Rockwell hardness boasts a rust-free, dent free, hard, and robust finish with superior edge retention.
07. Aroma House 7-inch Cleaver Knife
The Aroma house 7-inch cleaver comes with a low price tag to make it readily available to any home cook. Nonetheless, it still brings excellent functionality to your kitchen. In fact, you can even give out the cleaver as a gift, encased in its beautiful black and red box with magnetic closure.
The cleaver features a high-quality carbon stainless steel that combines chromium, molybdenum, and vanadium for optimal strength, hardness, and sharpness. The blend of elements also gives them a rust-resistant finish.
The blade’s design helps elevate the cleaver’s cutting performance, making it great for cutting, chopping, slicing, and deboning your meat. To complement its cutting performance and minimal slicing resistance, the cleaver integrates a balanced full tang construction.
08. TUO 7-inch Meat Cleaver
The TUO 7-inch Meat Cleaver adds both style and functionality to your kitchen. The knife features a polished German steel blade paired with a laminated wooden handle for a distinctive look. The cleaver’s Pakkawood handle integrates an ergonomically shaped line design for optimal grip and comfort.
Its unique combination of tan and black graphics blends well with its overall design. The cleaver’s steel blade also pulls in a great track record when it comes to cutting and handling different food ingredients.
It undergoes a high-tech vacuum heat and nitrogen treatment to enhance its strength and edge retention while reducing the susceptibility to corrosion.
For even better cutting performance and minimal resistance, the knife also incorporates the 3-step Honbazuke method during its fabrication for unparalleled sharpness.
09. Imarku 7-inch Meat Cleaver
The Imarku 7-inch Meat Cleaver features a high quality and detailed focused construction to make it great for both home and professional kitchen use. Nevertheless, the cleaver comes at an affordable price to give you great value for your investment.
The best seller is handcrafted by experienced artisans to ensure durability and superior performance. It is fitted with professionally ground-sharp double-edged blades at an 18-degree angle to make them thin and ultra-sharp for precision cutting.
Yet, the blade remains robust enough for the multipurpose functionality, including chopping, mincing, slicing, crushing, and boning. Additionally, the wide blade design of the knife makes it easy for the chef’s fingers to use it away from the cutting surface.
Benefits of Using a Meat Cleaver
Here are the most common benefits of using a meat cleaver;
01. Cut Through Bone Easily
A meat cleaver is built with a pretty large and sharp blade edge, making it easy to section meat and cut through bones. The knife’s blade makes it easy to separate the flesh from the bone, fat, and even skin. Furthermore, due to the relatively thicker blade design, you don’t have to worry about the cleaver snapping when handling bones.
02. Used to Chop Vegetables and Other Food Items
A cleaver is not exclusively designed for meat alone. You can also use it to cut and slice vegetables and other similar food items. In fact, a cleaver works great with large or tough-skinned vegetables and fruits, such as butternut, cabbage, and pineapples.
03. Crushing Several Ingredients
In addition to chopping and slicing vegetables, you can use a cleaver knife to crush different ingredients. So, when it comes to crushing food items such as garlic or ginger, the wide, flat, and rectangular meat cleaver blade easily crushes them.
04. To Transfer Ingredients
The wide and rectangular flat blade of a cleaver also makes it easy to transfer chopped up ingredients from a chopping board into a pot or pan. All you do is scoop up what you need from the chopping board.
Things to Consider for the Best Meat Cleaver
Here’s what to consider when choosing the best meat cleaver for your kitchen needs;
Type of Steel
Your choice of blade material plays a significant role in the meat cleaver’s performance. In this case, you have to choose the right type of steel for the blade.
High carbon stainless steel or stainless steel cleavers are the most recommended, thanks to the strength they get from a combination of elements such as vanadium and chromium.
In addition to its high tensile build, a stainless steel blade is corrosion-resistant, rusty resistant, edge retaining, and easy to sharpen.
Carbon steel is also a viable option, offering a fine edge even with consistent and tough use. However, it may not offer the best protection from corrosion and rust.
To make it easy for your cleaver to cut into depth, you want a blade width of at least 3 to 3.7 inches. Remember, the cleaver will be cutting into large cuts of meat, large vegetables, and even scooping up chopped ingredients.
Similar to the blade width, the blade height of your meat cleaver should allow it to handle even large cuts of meat and large vegetables such as cabbages. A good meat cleaver will have a blade height of at least 7 to 8 inches.
When using a cleaver, you will be dealing with different meat cuts, vegetables, and other food items. You may find yourself particularly handling tough-skinned vegetables and bone-in meat.
Therefore, you want a thick and tough enough blade to prevent it from snapping. However, you also want the blade to be thin enough to keep its edge sharp. A good cleaver knife should have a blade width of at least 3 to 6mm.
The sharpness of a meat cleaver is essential for maintaining its functionality and performance. However, unlike chef and kitchen knives, a cleaver shouldn’t be sharpened to a steep angle. Ideally, a cleaver should be sharpened at a 16 to 18-degree angle per side.
The balance of a cleaver is dependent on several factors. So, when investing in one, you want to examine the weight and make sure it corresponds to the blade height. The handle and handle construction (tang) also impact its balance. A full tang construction offers better balance than a half tang.
You don’t want your cleaver to be too heavy to make it difficult to handle. However, you also don’t want it to be too light and flimsy, making it difficult to handle some meat cuts. There needs to be a balance between the two.
Additionally, the cleaver’s weight should correspond with its blade height. As a general rule of thumb, the higher the height, the higher the weight should be! An 8-inch meat cleaver should weigh no more than 2.5 lbs
A meat cleaver should be fitted with stainless steel, molded plastic, or a Pakkawood handle. Both handles offer an adequate and comfortable grip. However, stainless steel and plastic handles can easily slip when wet.
On the other hand, Pakkawood handles can suffer damage when exposed to water for long while low-quality wood can crack and break.
A good quality meat cleaver should come with a warranty to protect you in case of any manufacturer’s defects. While some of the best cleavers come with a lifetime warranty, at least a 5-year warranty should be sufficient.
Ease of Cleaning
Generally, you want to avoid tossing your cleaver into a washer, even if it’s labeled as being dishwasher friendly. This is because, over time, the blade will lose its sharpness and even become susceptible to rust and corrosion.
Instead, you want to hand wash the knife with room temperature water and mild soap. As soon as you finish washing it, wipe it dry and place it in its storage rack. Never leave it out to drain – you want to avoid its contact with water as much as possible.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is a Meat Cleaver Used For?
A cleaver knife is primarily used for cutting and sectioning meat. In addition to separating meat from bones, fats, and skin, you can use it to chop, mince, and even tenderize the meat.
Moreover, a cleaver can be used to cut and slice vegetables, crush garlic and ginger, cut large and tough-skinned vegetables, and scoop up ingredients.
What Is the Best Size for Meat Cleaver?
Ideally, a meat cleaver should have a blade height of about 7 to 8 inches and a handle height of about 5 to 6 inches long. Its blade width should be about 3 to 3.7 inches while the blade thickness should be around 3mm to 6mm.
Why Is There a Hole in a Meat Cleaver?
The hole in a meat cleaver makes it easy to cut through bone, allowing you to hold the upper part with your fingers. The hole also makes cleaning easy as food debris can seep through it. You can also use the hole to hang up the cleaver on wall storage.
Can a Meat Cleaver Cut Through Bone?
A meat knife can be used to cut through bone. In fact, a cleaver is thick, tough, and heavy enough to cut through different types of bones from different types of meat. However, you are better off using a butcher knife if you are handling a large animal carcass.
What’s the Difference Between a Cleaver and a Butcher Knife?
The main difference between a cleaver and a butcher knife is their blade design. A cleaver has a shorter, thinner, and rectangular-shaped blade, ideal for sectioning meat, cutting through bone, and tough vegetables.
A butcher knife tends to have a wide blade that curves towards the tip. It is particularly great for skinning, trimming, slicing, and portioning meat. Its blade design is also why it is ideal for handling large cuts of meats or animal carcasses. Moreover, you can use it as a utility knife for camping and hunting.
Is a Meat Cleaver and a Chinese Cleaver the Same?
The main difference between a cleaver and a Chinese cleaver is their blade size and functionality. A cleaver features a relatively smaller blade although it can be used to cut through bones, meat, and vegetables.
On the other hand, fitted with a larger blade, a Chinese cleaver executes basic functions, such as chopping, dicing, and slicing. Additionally, unlike a regular cleaver, a Chinese cleaver does not have a hole.
The best meat cleaver brings versatility to your kitchen. You can prepare a whole complete meal without having to complement it with another type of knife. A cleaver chops, slices, minces, tenderizes, and scoops.
The best part is it works on meat, bones, and vegetables. With any of our top-rated meat cleaver options, you can change your food prep game for the better.
I’m a writer, food lover, and certified culinary expert. I cook for my family and I enjoy it so much. My favorite tools are modern kitchen appliances that make cooking a simple task. I’m a passionate writer and I share only cooking tips, recipes, and what cooking appliances would best for beginners, enthusiasts, and home chefs. I learned a lot from my family and also in my university days. My biggest strength has always been my insatiable appetite to discover new food recipes and try to share them with others.