How to Choose a Best Meat Cleaver for your Kitchen – Buying Guide

In any competent kitchen, you’ll find a variety of resources to assist chefs in creating delectable dishes for eager diners. A fillet knife, a paring knife, a chef’s knife, and a meat cleaver are usually included.

Chefs use their knives deftly to slice, dice, and scrape out unwanted innards in preparation for the cooking process. The finesse with which they use their knives is in stark contrast to the common kitchen cleaver.

The chef’s tool of choice when cutting through a meaty chunk of goodness is the basic cleaver. You don’t want to use delicate tools to cut through animal flesh and bone because they could get damaged or kill the cook.

A cleaver is a simple tool for dividing a carcass into manageable parts before moving on to the more delicate work. These are easy, no-nonsense tools with a particular use in mind.

What you need to know

PROS:
  • Quickly cut through bone, cartilage, and entire chickens.
  • Portion out the poultry and meat for later careful preparation.
  • Dense bones that a chef’s knife can’t cut through are no match for hefty blades with solid handles.
  • The best blades are stain-resistant carbon-based blades manufactured in Germany or Japan.
  • Die-cut blades made from single pieces of the steel ensure strength and long-term longevity.
  • Cleavers are available in many sizes and weights to suit different arm strengths

CONS:
  • Blades that are too cheap will not last long.
  • Meat cleavers with thin blades don’t work as well.
  • Blades from low-cost imports are made of substandard steel.
  • Handles that are too weak to hold together quickly fall apart.
  • Cleavers with poor balance are ineffective.
  • In general, it’s not a good idea to use it for cutting jobs in the kitchen.

Best Rated Meat Cleavers of 2021

The Dexter-Russell 8-inch cleaver is the winner. This cleaver is a clear choice thanks to its high-carbon stainless-steel handle, which is kept together by brass rivets, and its pure cutting force. The hallmarks of this product are excellent balance, ample heft in the side, and brutal quality.


Dexter-Russell 8″ Stainless Heavy Duty Cleaver

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The Dexter-Russell is an 8-inch kitchen cleaver that’s made for slicing through the hardest of bones. There’s very little that this blade can’t cut through.

The 2.5-pound heavy-duty cleaver is incredibly heavy in the side, but it packs a punch when cutting through bone because of it.

Over the years, the company has been known for its well-designed knives and high quality. It says it’s manufactured in the United States, but it’s really made in China.

Features:

  • The handle is made of rosewood and measures 6.5 inches long. The blade is made of high-carbon steel and is stain-resistant.
  • The total length of the blade is 8 inches.
  • The blade is 4.5 inches tall.
  • The blade is a quarter-inch thick.
PROS:
  • Bone is quickly defeated with a large cleaver.
  • Steel that is meant to last
  • Three brass rivets adorn the lovely rosewood handles.
  • For crushing garlic cloves, use the smooth side.
  • The tip of the blade is smooth.

CONS:
  • The form of the handle would not appeal to everyone.
  • Chefs with smaller hands or people with arthritis will find them too big and unwieldy.


HENCKELS Meat Cleaver, 6″, Black/Stainless Steel

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The Henckels Classic 6-inch Cleaver is a full-tang meat cutting tool that can be washed in the dishwasher. For added strength, the high-carbon stainless steel from Germany has forged hot blades. The triple rivets on the curved end of the handle keep the handle rigid. The item is manufactured in Spain.

When not in use, the cleaver can be hung from a hole in the blade. Henckels knives are recognized for their dependability and are backed by a lifetime warranty.

Features:

  • It weighs 11.85 ounces (0.740 pounds)
  • 2 5/8-inches long at the handle, 2 7/8-inches long at the end
  • Germany-forged high-carbon stainless steel
  • Handle with three rivets
PROS:
  • Meat cleaver with a razor-sharp edge
  • Carbon stainless steel is a tough material.
  • A hole in the blade allows you to hang it up.
  • Excellent symmetry

CONS:
  • There isn’t always enough heft to cut through the thickest bones.
  • The handle isn’t perfectly smooth.
  • Surprisingly thin, and not suitable for those who have large hands.


Messermeister Four Seasons Cleaver, 6-Inch

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The stamped steel blade of the Messermeister Four Seasons 6-inch cleaver (also available in a 7-inch version) makes quick work of poultry and beef bones. The blade is made from a single piece of steel alloy and has a razor-like edge for fast slicing.

Instead of using a specialized tool, this blade’s 3 14-inch width is suitable for easily crushing garlic cloves and other ingredients.

Features:

  • Die-cut blade made of German 1.4116 stainless carbon alloy steel.
  • The blade is 6-inches long (a 7-inch variant is also available).
  • 3 14-inch blade thickness Polypropylene molded handle for improved hygiene
PROS:
  • You can depend on stainless steel from Germany.
  • The Rockwell ranking of Blade is 56-57.
  • At the end is a curved angular blade with a hole to hang the cleaver.

CONS:
  • It was put together in Spain, not Germany.
  • People who choose wooden handles for their knives would not like the polypropylene handle.


Wüsthof Classic Cleaver – 6″

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The Wüsthof Classic cleaver is a 6-inch model made of German stainless steel (there are also 8-inch, 9-inch, and 16-inch versions). Wüsthof’s Precision edge technology produces a cutting edge that is up to 20% sharper and has 200 percent better sharpness retention.

This full-tang cleaver is a heavy-duty tool that can handle almost any bone-cutting job. The 14-degree cutting angle on both sides of the blade allows for fine cutting as well as brute force cleaver use.

The blade is buffed up and given a finishing polish by the craftsman in Germany before being boxed up.

Features:

  • The blade is 6-inches long.
  • The blade handle measures 5 14 inches in length.
  • The blade was made from a single piece of steel.
  • The handle is made of polypropylene and is molded.
  • It is 1 pound and 4 ounces in weight.
PROS:
  • High-carbon materials are used to make a German stainless-steel blade.
  • Edge sharpness is 20 percent smoother, and edge maintenance is 200 percent better.
  • Because of Cleaver’s size, he can cut through thick bones.
  • Crafted in Germany

CONS:
  • Chefs who prefer wooden handles would not like the polypropylene molded handle.


Global Meat Cleaver, 6 1/2″, 16cm, Silver

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The Global G12 is a 6.5-inch stainless-steel kitchen cleaver that looks and sounds different from others. Despite the shorter blade length than many competitors’ cleavers, it has a distinctly square appearance.

With a shorter blade and a lighter weight, the danger is that this knife will struggle to cut through thicker or denser bones. The knife is light in weight but has sharper edges for better cutting results.

Features:

  • The blade is 6.5 inches long.
  • Stainless steel is used exclusively.
  • It just weighs 1.3 pounds.
PROS:
  • The blade is square in shape.
  • There are no different pieces to come apart in this design since there are no bolsters.
  • At a 15-degree angle, the blade edge is sharpened.
  • A well-balanced hollow handle with grips to prevent slipping.
  • A hole in which to hang the cleaver

CONS:
  • Compared to other cleavers, this one has a shorter tip.
  • It Will not cut through thicker bones as well.


ZHEN Japanese VG-10 67-Layer Damascus Steel 8-Inch Slicer Chopping Chef Butcher Knife/Cleaver

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The Zhen VG-10 cleaver isn’t like the other meat cleavers we’ve looked at. Damascus steel has 67 layers (33 on each side) and a hardness rating of 60 to 62. The design on the blade increases stain resistance and prevents food from sticking as easily.

The cleaver isn’t made for chopping over meat bones. It’s more of a sharp cutting tool for various kinds of produce. The Pakkawood handle widens at the top, giving it a unique feel compared to other cleavers. This knife can be used for slicing, cutting, and as a butcher’s knife.

Features:

  • Bones are difficult to cut through.
  • A Cleaver is more like a slicing and cutting knife.
PROS:
  • The blade is made of high-quality Japanese stainless steel.
  • Pakkawood handle is bacteria-resistant and waterproof.
  • The blade is resistant to rust and stains.

CONS:
  • Bones are difficult to cut through.
  • A Cleaver is more like a slicing and cutting knife.

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What is a meat cleaver?

A meat cleaver is a tool that is often found in a kitchen knife set but is seldom used. It is, however, an important tool for any chef or cook.

In every kitchen, there are only a few knives that are necessary. The chef’s knife, a paring knife, a fillet knife, a utility knife, and a serrated bread knife are the knives in this collection. There are specialized knives for skilled sushi chefs to use when cooking this form of meal. Outside of sushi, the kitchen cleaver serves six, but this cutting tool isn’t used in every kitchen.

The cleaver knife is a thick, wide tool with either hard wooden or plastic handles that can withstand heavy downward strikes to cut the bone and other tough pieces. The blade is often blunt, unlike most knives, and the cutting force is provided by the downward force of the chef’s swing. Some Cleavers have a sharp tip, depending on the method taken by the maker.

The way a good chef wields the mighty meat cleaver to cut through carcasses, tough beef bones, and paper-thin chicken thighs has basic aggression to it. Chefs slicing through duck and other birds with a kind of spare savagery that is shocking the first time you see it can be seen walking past the window of a Chinese restaurant.

A cleaver is primarily used to cut meat and poultry into manageable parts so that they can be prepared before cooking. A meat cleaver is rarely used by vegetarian, vegan, or fruitarian chefs; tofu is simple to slice or cube!


Things to consider

When it comes to choosing the right meat cleaver for your kitchen, there are a few things to consider:

Blade Width

The most popular blade width in the kitchen cleaver industry is six or eight inches. However, some manufacturers, such as Wüsthof, make their Classic Cleaver in a variety of sizes ranging from 6-inches to 16-inches in their largest version.

Because of the wider width, you can slice through a broad slab of meat with only one downward stroke rather than several chopping movements. Larger sizes with larger handles can also be preferred by people with substantially larger hands.

A wider blade width allows you to use the edge of the blade to crush garlic cloves or squash herbs and vegetables by pushing down on them with the edge of the blade.

Blade Height

The length of the blade is more important than its height. When it comes to height, available cleavers appear to be inconsistent in design. Because of their height, some blades are rectangular almost to the point of being circular. The blades on the other hand are longer and slimmer.

The size of the meat or poultry being cut through is where the blade’s height becomes essential. With a taller blade, for example, cutting in a straight line is easy.

Blade Thickness

It’s easier to have the kind of blunt force needed to cut through dense bone with thicker blades. When cutting through bone, thinner blades can warp or waiver. With a meat cleaver, look for a thicker blade.

Balance

The feel of a meat cleaver in the hand is subjective, but it is essential to every frequent consumer. The balance between the length and weight of the handle and the weight of the blade either feels right in the hand or doesn’t.

The balance of the cleaver, regardless of its size, should feel properly weighted to allow a smooth arching cutting motion to reach the right spot with every choppin.

Weight

The feel of a meat cleaver in the hand is subjective, but it is essential to every frequent consumer. The balance between the length and weight of the handle and the weight of the blade either feels right in the hand or doesn’t.

The balance of the cleaver, regardless of its size, should feel properly weighted to allow a smooth arching cutting motion to reach the right spot with every choppin.

Also, See Top 10 Best Meat Slicer Reviewed – To Consider in 2021


Type of Steel

German or Japanese steel is the strongest. The best kind is a matter of debate. Both are trustworthy.

The blades of certain cleavers are made of stainless steel with high carbon content. Just a few people use the harder initial lot 1.4116 steel alloy. To make blades stronger, they are often heat-treated and then cooled. Better blades are made from a single billet of stainless steel alloy that is die-cut.

The blade is made of stainless steel, which resists corrosion and stains. To avoid excessive corrosion caused by water, it is still important to clean and dry the blade after each use.

A blade’s Rockwell level is often used to score it. One of the hardest blades on the planet, with a Rockwell ranking of 58, can easily cut through large bones.

Handle

A cleaver’s handle is normally made of three rivets in a wooden handle (rosewood or another species). A cleaver with a wooden handle is more popular and less likely to slip in the side.

Some manufacturers tend to use hygienic polypropylene handles that are consistently molded to the same shape. In a crowded kitchen, a polypropylene version is more likely to slip in hot hands.

Blade Edge

The manufacturer determines whether the blade will be blunt or sharp.

Some blunt-bladed cleavers are easier to handle because they never need to be sharpened and never lose their effectiveness.

They can use lasers to verify that the edge of a sharp blade is equally sharp all the way along the blade. To return to its out-of-the-box state, carbon steel with sharp edges must be re-sharpened often. The blade of the cleaver may become dull at the worst possible time, depending on how much it is used.

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FAQ: Meat Cleavers

1. What is the Circular Hole Stamped Into the Blade’s Top Corner?

The hole is for hanging the cleaver when it isn’t in use or for hanging it on the butcher’s belt. When it comes to the butcher, there’s a deep conviction that laying the blade flat would dull it.

2. What’s the Difference Between a Meat and a Chinese Cleaver?

A meat cleaver is much thicker than a Chinese cleaver. As a result, it’s not only used to chop through bone, but also to hack through softer foods.

A meat cleaver is more effective at slicing through medium-sized bones with relative ease. When dealing with large-boned carcasses, a butcher shop may usually use a bandsaw or an ax to cut the animal down to a size that can be handled with a cleaver.

The thickness of Chinese cleavers is rated from 1 to 4. For a Chinese cleaver, a meat cleaver is very similar to a thickness amount of 1.

These are Japanese cleavers with a different numbering scheme, but anything with a level higher than 4 is too small to cut through bone.


Final Thoughts

If you don’t already own a meat cleaver, we’ve listed our top picks for the best model. These are a few of the best meat cleavers available. There’s a cleaver on the list above for every kind of cook, and they’re all affordable.

Also, See The Best 10 Roasting Pans To Buy in 2021 – ( Buying Guide )