Best meat cleaver knife | Buyer’s Guide

Is it time to buy the best meat cleaver because you can no longer chop the meat with your current chopper? Then, it is time to pick up a new model of cleaver for your kitchen, to choose from a reliable and affordable range of cleavers. Is it only used as a tool to chop large melons, tough skinned vegetables, and hew through bones? Or is it used to scare the horror movie fans as well?  Also known as the bone chopper, the meat cleaver is the largest and the heaviest kitchen knife. 

The meat cleaver knife is a tool which may not have been seen too frequently, however, it is very vital to every chef out there. It is a large, broad knife, made from toughened steel, having a wooden or plastic handle. It is used in downwards strikes to chop off the bones and other tough parts of the meat which can otherwise not be cut with the help of an ordinary chopping knife. A cleaver is mostly used as a tool to chop up meat and poultry items into manageable sections, before it is prepared for cooking. Vegetarian, vegan and fruitarian chefs will often have little or no use for a meat cleaver and tofu isn’t tough to be sliced or cut into cubes.

The chef’s knife, a paring knife, a fillet knife, a utility knife, and a serrated bread knife are some of the other kinds of knives found in the kitchen. Unlike with other knives, the blade is sometimes blunt with the downward force of the chef’s swing to provide the cutting force. There are many different kinds of knives found in the collection of knives in the kitchen, but not every knife is important. 

Meat cleavers are designed for cutting through massive chunks of meat, with versatile blades that make them ideal for slicing and sectioning bones and other such routine kitchen practices. Chefs use cleavers to slice hard vegetables like butternut and squash in restaurants. Some people also use cleavers to crack open coconuts. This practice is mostly seen in Asia. It is also used for smashing food items like garlic, lemongrass, tenderizing cutlets, chop through carcasses, tough beef bones, and chicken thighs.  

Dexter-Russell 8″ Stainless Heavy Duty Cleaver, S5288

Manufactured by Food Service Warehouse, this is a large knife, which is used to cut beef, lamb, pork and other meat ites along with their bones. It is meant to be swung like a hammer and the toughbest meat cleaver edge of the blade can withstand repeated blows. Use the broader side for crushing garlic and ginger and chop the meat and vegetables without breaking the knives. An important thing to be kept in mind before using this heavy duty cleaver is to have the right cutting board to avoid cutting through it. The Dexter Traditional product line features a proprietary DEXSTEEL stain-free, high-carbon steel blade that is precision ground for durability.


    • Sold by Dexter-Russell
    • Silver in colour, with a wooden handle
    • The dimensions are 14 x 5 x 1.5 inches with size as 8 inches. 
    • Superior blade shape for easier slicing
    • Unique edge geometry for long lasting, easily restored performance
    • Hand honed to the ultimate edge
    • Formed handle for comfort and functionality
    • Polished Rosewood handles
    • Large brass compression rivet

Henckels Meat Cleaver 6″ Black/Stainless Steel

The Henckels International Classic 6 “Meat Slicer uses fine precision blades that have been sharpened for long-lasting sharpness. It is ideal for cutting large chunks of meat, the wide rectangularHenckels Meat Cleaver blade can also cut bones, so you can mince chicken without effort. It provides a seamless transition from blade to handle and the fully forged structure of the knife provides balance. The traditional three-rivet handle encourages tireless cutting. Henkel International provides the essentials for every home chef’s needs. Quickly reduce cooked chicken or duck and use this instrument to slice it into pieces or to slaughter any type of meat or poultry. It is as heavy as a butcher knife. There is a hole in the upper corner of the blade, which can be hung from a hook or a nail. The handle is narrower and shallower, and people with smaller hands may like this feature. Although this cutter is dishwasher safe, hand washing is still recommended.


    • Made in Spain, comes with a lifetime warranty
    • Fabricated from high quality German stainless steel
    • Professional, satin finished blade boasts precision cutting and is finely honed for long lasting sharpness
    • Heavy 6 inch cleaver for chopping through joints and bones, the dimensions are 8.8 x 5.2 x 15.2 inches, weighing 0.16 ounces
    • Made of stain-resistant carbon steel, dishwasher safe

Messer meister Four Seasons Cleaver

Manufactured by Messermeister, the Four Seasons knife is a die-cut from a single billet of fine German stainless stamping steel alloy. It comes with colourful, over-sized, molded hygienicbest meat cleaver knife polypropylene handles. These knives prevent oxidation even after repeated exposure to moisture and can be sharpened easily. Messermeister offers an extensive selection of blades for every food service task. It is assembled by competent craftsmen in Santa Catarina, Portugal. With this knife, you can chop your way through large pieces of meat and whole poultry with ease. This is manufactured from one solid piece of steel alloy and given a razor sharp edge and meant to cut through bone. 


  • Handle allows ergonomic grip, to break down proteins
  • You can use the side of the 3 ¼” blade to smash garlic or lemongrass or scoop and transfer to a prep bowl.
  • The dimensions are 12 x 3.5 x 1 inches, weighing 1.05 pounds
  • Stainless alloy blade resists stains and corrosion, exhibits toughness and durability, holds its edge retention
  • Easy to re-sharpen to a razor-like edge
  • The Knife for Life guarantee provides a lifetime warranty against material and manufacturing defects

Wusthof Classic meat cleaver knife

This Wusthof Classic cleaver cuts through large, thick cuts of meat without any hassle. It is constructed of high-carbon stainless steel. The blade of this cleaver is 30% sharper than average knives,Wusthof Classic meat cleaver knife making it easy to cut through tough cuts of meat and bones. The full tang, triple riveted polypropylene, evenly balanced handle is comfortable to use. The blade also features an “eye” for easy storage, i.e. the hole at the top to hang the knife. This cleaver comes with a lifetime warranty by the manufacturer. The blade is 6 inches long, with a 5 ¼ inches long handle. Its large and heavy blade is used to split bones and is made from one solid piece of steel (Chromium-Molybdenum-Vanadium).


  • Made in Germany
  • Polypropylene handle is contoured for a comfortable grip. 1 lb. 4 oz.
  • The dimensions are 11 x 4 x 1 inches, 6 inches in size
  • Wüsthof’s Precision Edge Technology (PEtec) ensures a 20% sharper blade with twice the edge retention

Global Meat Cleaver, Silver

Manufactured by Browne Canada Retail, the Global has a sharp, straight edge, hand-polished at an angle of 15%. Its blade is thinner and lighter, allowing you to be more flexible, reduce fatigue, andGlobal Meat Cleaver use a hollow weighted handle to achieve perfect balance. It allows the full use of edges and a sufficiently sharpened head because of the bolsterless design. The stainless steel structure with a non-slip handle helps to grip better.


  • Silver, stainless steel, plain blade edge
  • The dimensions are 12 x 3 x 1 inches, weighing 1 pound
  • Lightweight for agility
  • Blade measures 6-1/2 inches, 
  • Hand washing preferred

Zhen Japanese VG-10 67-Layer Damascus Steel Chef Cleaver Knife

Designed for cutting meat and fruits, chopping vegetables, the blade of Zhen Damascus steel knife is made of Japanese 67 layer Damascus steel. Its hardness makes it durable, exceptionally strongZhen Japanese VG-10 67-Layer Damascus Steel Chef Cleaver Knife and stain resistant. The full tang handle comes in brown color Pakkawood that is non-slip, bacteria resistant, easy to clean, and waterproof. It is mirror polished with steel bolstering design. This zhen knife also comes with a handcrafted box for storage, perfect for display or for gifting purpose. It is recommended that the Zhen knives should be sharpened on a whetstone at an angle of 15 degree. The knives are made from imported Japanese steel and expertly crafted in our ISO 9001 certified Taiwan factory.


  • The dimensions are 8 x 4 x 0.07 inches, weighing 12 ounces
  • Made with top grade Japanese 67-layer Damascus
  • Full tang design with sealed-tight, waterproof, and durable brown color Pakkawood handle for a non-slip and comfortable grip
  • DO NOT chop bones or use them on glass, tile, or granite cutting boards 
  • Hand wash with gentle dish soap, rinse, and towel dry immediately
  • Glide through meat, fish, fruits and veg with minimal effort.
  • Limited lifetime warranty against defects, 100% satisfaction guaranteed

Difference between a butcher knife and a meat cleaver knife :

Even if a cleaver knife and butcher knife are used for almost the same task, there are obvious differences. First, the butcher knife is similar in size to a standard chef’s knife. Cleaver knives, on the other hand, are huge, heavier and larger knives than butcher knives.

Furthermore, the butcher knife is a general purpose blade used for peeling, splitting and cutting meat. Butchers use large meat cleavers to handle large amounts of meat, such as a whole cow and for crushing bones. The butcher knife has a thin blade for a precise cut. The blade of the butcher knife is large and wide, with small-sized handles to have an easy to grip in the hands whereas the handle in cleavers is larger and heavier in size. 


The entire length of a cleaver is used for chopping purposes. The blunt top edge is used for pounding meat, while the sharp edge is used for chipping meat. It is used to transfer the chopped food item from the chopping board to the dish that is being cooked. There are a few things to think about when it comes to selecting the right meat cleaver for your kitchen:

  • Blade Width- The most common blade width of the kitchen cleaver in the market is 6 to 8 inches. However, some manufacturers produce their cleaver models in sizes varying from 6 inches to 16 inches, the largest size available. Longer the width, larger is the portion chopped, requiring a single downward stroke and not many stroking actions. Some people prefer bigger sizes with larger handles, who have larger hands. The blade width being longer is beneficial as the edge of the blade is used to push down on cloves of garlic, to crush and squash down vegetables. 
  • Blade Height- The length of the blade matters more than the height of the blade. Considering the height of the cleavers available today, their design tends to be inconsistent. Some rectangular blades appear to be almost square since their height seems to be significant. Some blades are longer and slimmer too. When the meat or poultry is to be cut through, then the height of the blade becomes an important factor to be considered. Taller the blade, easier to cut roughly in a straight line. 
  • Blade Thickness- When we need to chop through dense bone, we need thicker blades as blunt force is to be provided because the thinner blades may warp or waiver when we are cutting through the bone. It is better to look for a thicker blade with a meat cleaver in this case. 
  • Blade Material- High carbon stainless steel blades are considered the best meat cleaver knives. It should also be rust resistant as it would be used on moist surfaces or bodies of the meat or poultry. The blade still must be cared for and cleaned dry after being used in order to avoid unnecessary damage with water. The presence of carbon to stainless steel will add on to making the knife tougher. The cleavers should be rust free because only then they can become durable and not wear out at a faster pace. It would be even worse as the rust on the meat cleaver can destroy the taste of the meat or any other food items that are used to cut or chop them. German or Japanese steel is considered the best and very dependable steel. Sometimes blades are heat-treated and then cooled to make them stronger. Better blades are die-cut from one billet of stainless steel alloy. 
  • Balance- Balancing the blade in your hand is a personal matter, but it is important for any average user. By comparing the length and weight of the handle with the weight of the blade, you either create a balance in your hand or you do not. Regardless of the size of the cleaver, the balance should feel properly weighted to allow the smooth arched cutting action to reach the correct position for each cutting motion.
  • Weight- To keep precision and speed in mind, the lightweight blade is the best option to go for in a meat cleaver knife. However, more importantly, you should opt for a blade which is right for your hands and also depends on what food items are to be chopped with it for cooking. While, a heavy knife is an ideal choice if you want to chop and crush hard food items; whereas, a lightweight knife is better for cutting soft food items and meat. 
  • Handle- The most important thing to look for in the meat cleaver is its handle, which should be a firm one for better efficiency. Strong rubber applied with special treatments is used to make handles because it is soft to hold in the hands as well as its heat-resistant quality. Some knives come with wooden handles that are not so good for hands because they can create blisters as well as are not completely heat resistant. The handle of the blade is usually riveted to a wooden handle (mahogany or other tree species). Wooden handles are more common with blades and are less likely to slip in your hands. For some manufacturers, they prefer to use polypropylene handles that are hygienic and always shaped into the same shape. In a small kitchen, the polypropylene version is easier to slip on hot hands.
  • Cutting Edge- Smoothness and thickness are the two key aspects in the blade of the meat cleaver. The blade should be smooth and shiny, and easy to sharpen again when it gets blunt or worn out after being used. The edge of the blade must run through the entire length of the knife. This provides users with a long cutting surface, which is very useful when cutting meat and chopping other foods or dicing carrots. Whether the blade is dull or sharp is up to the manufacturer. Some knives with dull blades are easier to handle because they don’t need to be sharpened and will never lose their effectiveness. For sharp blades, they can use lasers to check that the edges of the blades are always sharp. Sharp-edged carbon steel must be sharpened frequently to restore it to its ready-to-use condition. Depending on how often the cutting blade is deployed, the blade may become dull at the wrong time.
  • Quality-  Both kinds of cleavers, high quality and substandard quality cleavers are available in the market. If you are looking for reliability, durability along with efficiency, then opt for high-quality choppers because they last longer, whereas, the low-quality choppers get worn out faster or turn blunt. It is also possible that low-quality cleavers might break when smashing hard food items. Thus,it is always better to buy the best quality model available even if you have to spend a few bucks extra for it. For a better life, it is always recommended to keep the cleaver clean and sharp by washing thoroughly with plenty of water and frequent rinsing. This ensures that the blade is able to retain its sharpness for a long time. To avoid any injury to be caused to anyone around, especially children, always keep the knife at a safe place, away from their reach. 


  • Why do we see a hole in the meat cleaver?

This hole can be used to hang the cleaver or to hang it on the butcher’s belt when it is not needed. For the butchers firmly believe that the blade will become blunt if it is laid flat. The meat cleavers are large and heavy, so they cannot fit in a normal kitchen drawer, unlike the usual knives and blades which are easily stored in a drawer or knife holder, or hooked where the blade does not take up much space. Therefore, you should keep it in a safe place to prevent it from sticking to your body and causing cuts and other injuries.

  • How big should a meat cleaver be?

There are multiple cleavers available in the market that are designed by different brands. The blades have an average length of 7.5”-10.5” and a blade length of approximately 6 inches.The length and height of these blades are crucial factors since they affect the overall efficiency of the blade. Length plays a pivotal role in cleaving large items while height helps in keeping the blade on a straight cutting plane and also for sufficient knuckle clearance. The blade height in cleavers is about 3 inches.

  • How should a meat cleaver be sharpened?

Sharpening success depends on the style of the knife. These blades are very different, so the sharpening techniques are different too. It is recommended to use a 300 grit (Japanese) whetstone, because the blade does not require much sharpening. Hold the blade at an angle and sharpen the blade from heel to toe. Repeat this action on the other side of the blade to obtain an even sharpening. The ideal sharpening angle is 25-35 degrees on each side. The preferred angle depends on the bluntness of the blade. After sharpening, be sure to clean the blade and rinse to remove any metal particles on the edges. You can also use an electric whetstone because it can make the sharpening process greatly efficient.

  • What is the correct way to hold a cleaver?

Understanding how the cutter is used is the first step in determining how efficiently you use the blade. When using a butcher knife, there are two ways to hold the handle. The first grip involves holding the handle closest to the blade, while making sure to place your thumb where the handle is in contact with the blade, and then bending the remaining fingers on the other side of the knife handle. In the other grip, your attention should be on the blade.

Also Check: More question asked for Meat Clever Knife

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