Meat cleavers are handy kitchen equipment that can cut through any piece of meat with ease. Do you love cooking? If yes, it is important to make your experience as hassle free as possible, and one item that you must have by your side for this, is a high quality meat cleaver.
If you are getting this product for the first time, reading this piece will help you choose the best meat cleaver to suit your particular cutting and chopping needs.
What is a Meat Cleaver?
People mostly use meat cleavers to cut through pieces of meat, especially thicker chunks. You can also use this product to split soft bones, ribs, and a variety of dense bones.
Contrary to popular belief, meat cleavers are vastly different from regular kitchen knives. Their shape resembles rectangular hatchets, but with a tougher, sharper edge for cutting through cartilage, meat, and dense bones.
When to Use a Meat Cleaver?
People buying a meat cleaver for the first time often get confused about the right time to use them. Well, there is no hard and fast rule about the right time for using meat cleavers.
Nevertheless, it would be best to take advantage of your cleaver when cutting meat, slicing through hard vegetables like butternut, squash etc. Some communities even use this product for cracking coconuts.
It is also worth noting that the method to use meat cleavers is quite different from how you would use a regular knife. If handled the right way, you can utilize your meat cleaver for cutting almost any ingredient you want.
The 10 Best Meat Cleavers on the Market
There is no doubt that there is an incredible variety of meat cleavers in online and offline stores, which is why some people find it hard to choose the right product. Luckily, this table mentions ten of the best meat cleavers, making sure you don’t have to spend hours upon hours choosing a suitable knife.
|IMAGE||PRODUTION||Size / Material||LINK|
|1. Dalstrong Gladiator Meat Cleaver - Heavy Duty||9" / Alloy Steel|
|2. Utopia Kitchen Cleaver for Restaurant Home and Kitchen||7" / Stainless Steel|
|3. Zelite Infinity Cleaver – German High Carbon Stainless Steel||7" / Stainless Steel|
|4. Wusthof Gourmet Cleaver||7" / Carbon|
|5. Zhen Japanese – Cleaver||6.5" - 7" or 8" / Stainless Steel|
|6. Meat Cleaver with Solid Wood Handle||8" / Stainless Steel|
|7. Tuo Cleaver with Pakkawood Handle - Gift Box Included||6" or 7" / High Carbon Stainless Steel|
|8. Konoll Meat Cleaver for Kitchen, Home & Restaurant||7" / High Carbon Stainless Steel|
|9. Meat Cleavers High Carbon Stainless Steel for Home to Cut Bones, Professional Butcher's Knife Heavy Duty Blade||7" / High Carbon Stainless Steel|
|10. Meat Cleaver with Ergonomic Handle||7" / High Carbon Steel|
Best Meat Cleaver Reviews
Here are reviews about ten of the best meat cleavers you can choose for your kitchen.
1. Dalstrong Gladiator Meat Cleaver – Heavy Duty
Dalstrong is a well-recognized name in the cutlery world. The brand has been making some of the best kitchen knives in the market and its Gladiator Meat cleaver proves it. This product is unlike any meat cleaver you will come across because of the premium materials used to manufacture it. Its design elements are beyond stunning and its grip is incredible as well.
The razor sharp edge on this cleaver makes it a must have for anyone who loves cooking meats and vegetables. What’s more, the Dalstrong Meat cleaver’s weight distribution is excellent, making sure you don’t have any issues chopping and slicing for long periods. In addition, this product requires minimal maintenance and can last for years if you store it properly.
2. Utopia Kitchen Cleaver for Restaurant Home and Kitchen
If you are looking for a heavy duty meat cleaver for your kitchen, very few products will be as good as this product from Utopia Kitchen. For those who don’t know, Utopia Kitchen is a renowned brand and its cleavers are some of the best in the market. The company used premium grade stainless steel for making this product and merely touching it will give you an idea of its superior quality.
This seven inch clever can cut through massive pieces of vegetables, bones, and meats. Plus, its dimensions are perfect for pros as well as beginners. The company especially built and designed this product for day to day use, making sure it doesn’t wear and tear in a short period.
3. Zelite Infinity Cleaver – German Stainless Steel
This razor sharp cleaver by Zelite is a wonderful product to have in your kitchen, and for good reason. Its robust build made of stainless steel is incredibly durable and can easily cut any time without much effort. Zelite used premium grade German steel to make this product, giving it an edge over thousands of other stainless steel meat cleavers.
As far as dimensions and handling goes, this product will exceed your expectations. If you are new to meat cleavers, you will not need much time getting used to it. All you need to do is follow the instructions discussed in the latter part of this piece and you will be able to use this cleaver without any troubles.
4. Wusthof Gourmet Cleaver
Are you looking for a high quality meat cleaver made out of premium grade German Steel? If yes, give this gourmet cleaver by Wusthof a try. While this product may look similar to most cleaves available in offline and online stores, it is miles better. It is thick and blunt to the cut, making sure you don’t have to put in too much effort while chopping meats or bones.
Like most high quality meat cleavers, this one has a solid handle and users can grip it for hours. The material used for the Wusthof Gourmet cleaver is rust free and does not need much maintenance. In addition, this product is also dishwasher friendly, making it a great option for beginners as well as high level chefs.
5. Zhen Japanese – Cleaver
The Zhen Japanese is a highly durable meat cleaver. Its cutting core is made from Damascus steel and cut through the roughest and harshest pieces of meat. What’s most impressive about this product is that it does not lose its edge or sharpness with one or two weeks of use. Instead, it lasts long, making sure you don’t have to worry about sharpening it on your whetstone.
This cleaver’s dimensions are fantastic and suitable for all hand sizes. What’s more, this products weight distribution is also great, ensuring it does not fall forward while you are chopping. With regular maintenance, this cleaver can last for years, which means you don’t have to worry about buying another one within months.
6. Meat Cleaver with Solid Wood Handle
Sometimes, old school is the best way to go and it is especially true with this meat cleaver. This product has a solid yet ergonomic wood handle that will not slip off while you are chopping meat and bones. What’s most impressive about this meat cleaver is that its blade is incredibly sharp. All you need is one whack and it will slice open the piece of meat you are cutting.
Storing this cleaver is quite convenient because of the hole present on its blade. You can hook it wherever you want and take it off easily. In addition, this meat cleaver is dishwasher friendly – you don’t have to worry about cleaning it all over again after taking it out from the dishwasher.
7. Tuo Cleaver with Pakkawood Handle – Gift Box Included
Asian meat cleavers are incredibly popular among chefs, and there is a good reason for it. Their quality is incredible and they can retain their sharpness for longer periods compared to other meat cleavers. This is exactly why the Tuo meat cleaver is quickly becoming a go-to option for thousands of people. Its excellent design not only makes it easy to handle but also looks great.
Unlike many meat cleavers, maneuvering this one will be quite easy and will not result in wrist pains. Tuo used high carbon stainless steel for manufacturing this cleaver, which means that it will last longer than regular knives. In addition, this product comes with a handy luxury case, which is a great option if you want to gift this knife to a friend or family member.
8. Konoll Meat Cleaver for Kitchen, Home & Restaurant
While there are plenty of meat cleavers to choose from these days, very few offer you the professional level experience you want. Fortunately, the Konoll meat cleaver gets rid of this problem. This product is excellent for home, kitchen, and restaurant use, proving that it is highly versatile and durable. What makes this meat cleaver stand out from others is its blade design. It provides users with a great blend of sharpness and balance, allowing them to cut and chop with ease.
The Knoll meat cleaver has a thick, well-designed handle. Unlike the handles on most meat cleavers, this one will not slip not matter how sweaty your palms get.
9. Meat Cleavers High Carbon Stainless Steel for Home to Cut Bones, Professional Butcher’s Knife Heavy Duty Blade
It is true that most cleavers can help you cut a variety of meats and vegetables. However, you need to put in a lot of effort in most cases. Are you looking for a versatile meat cleaver that does not require too much effort and can slice through any ingredient within seconds? If yes, try this meat cleaver made from high carbon stainless steel. This cleaver’s easy to handle design and dimensions make it a great option for people who are new to chopping meat.
That said, you can also use this meat cleaver if you are a seasoned pro in the kitchen. Its thick blade doesn’t get rusty and can do without daily maintenance, two things that everyone wants in their meat cleavers.
10. Meat Cleaver with Ergonomic Handle
Authentic Chinese meat cleavers are hard to find these days, but this product is as real as they come. Its thick yet sharp blade will help you with complicated cuts and a variety of fruits and vegetables. This cleaver is especially perfect for mincing and dicing, something that is not possible with regular meat cleavers.
The blade’s premium material can withstand day to day use without compromising on looks on performance. Just sharpen your knife every once in a while, and it will remain in great shape for many years. What’s more, this cleaver’s extra sharp edge can even slice through bones with very little effort.
Unfortunately, this meat cleaver does not have a hole, which some people may find inconvenient. However, you can easily store it in your kitchen cupboard or drawer without worrying about rusting and other problems.
How to Choose a Meat Cleaver
Merely selecting any meat cleaver you come across wouldn’t be a wise idea. Instead, choosing them based on some important considerations would be a better option.
Size is arguably the most important thing to consider when getting a meat cleaver. Choosing one that is too big or too small would result in uneven cuts. Therefore, select a cleaver that fits well in your hand, and is big enough to slice through the items you usually cut.
Like most items, choosing the right material can be a game changer when it comes to meat cleavers. In most cases, people tend to choose cleavers made out of stainless steel because of their durability, longevity, and effectiveness. You should also ensure the product’s grip is suitable. Getting a cleaver with a slippery grip can be quite dangerous, and one mistake is all it takes to injure yourself.
Plastic and rubber grips tend to be the best option when it comes to the grip’s material. They fit right into your hand and do not slip like other materials.
In most cases, meat cleavers tend to be quite blade heavy, meaning that most of the weight is present in the blade area. This causes the cleaver to fall forward, and it could be difficult for some users. Extra weight could result in subpar control and poor swing, resulting in lack of power when cutting through meat or vegetables. Consider choosing a knife with equal weight distribution for hassle free chopping.
- Easy to Hold
Once again, holding your meat cleaver the right way is crucial. Make sure the product you choose has an ergonomic design, allowing you to hold the knife properly. This will also help you to steer clear from accidents and other mishaps in the kitchen.
How to Use a Meat Cleaver
Using a meat cleaver is relatively straightforward. All you need to do is follow a few basic steps, and you will be good to go in no time.
Follow these Steps
- First off, hold the cleaver close to its blade. You can do this by placing your thumb where it is close to the blade. Then curl the rest of your fingers on the opposite side.
- When it comes to using your cleaver, make sure you have a strong cutting board. Place the board on a stable area, ensuring it does not slip when you are chopping meats or vegetables. Keeping a wet cloth or gripper mat beneath your cutting board would be a great option.
- Before you start cutting, choose how you plan to use your cleaver. This will mostly depend on the type of food you plan to chop.
- If you plan to chop meat or poultry, choose the power grip. Start by stabilizing the item you want to chop with your opposite hand, placing it at a safe distance
- Once everything is in order, you can start chopping away. It would be best if you used your wrist when cutting food. All you need to do is slightly raise your arm and bring it down to chop effectively. The reason why professional chefs recommend using the wrist is because it gives proper direction and applies force
- In some cases, you may need to cut through the piece of vegetable or meat twice or thrice. Make sure you do not apply extra force when this happens, as it could result in an uneven cut
- Also, if your knife gets stuck inside a bone or meat, simply apply pressure with your non dominant hand the knife will come out with ease
How to Sharpen a Meat Cleaver
There are plenty of ways to sharpen a meat cleaver. The steps mentioned below however, are arguably the best method used by thousands of experienced chefs.
You Will Need
- Piece of cloth or gripper mat
- Cutting board
Follow These Steps
The best thing about sharpening a meat cleaver is that almost anyone can do it. The steps mentioned below will make your cleaver sharp, allowing you to chop through any piece of meat or vegetable with ease
- Start by placing your cutting board at a stable area, preferably your cooking table or kitchen counter
- Keep a cloth or gripper mat below the board, making sure it does not slip while you are sharpening the cleaver
- Place the whetstone at the center of the board
- Rub your meat cleaver’s cutting/slicing area against the whetstone for a few minutes. It could be more depending on how blunt your cleaver is
- Check your cleaver’s sharpness after every twenty to thirty seconds and rub it more if it is not enough
- Once you complete, clean your cleaver and whetstone with a piece of cloth
- You can also wash your knife with water to ensure it is free from dirt
That’s it! Follow these steps and your meat cleaver will be as sharp as ever.
Meat Cleaver FAQs
Here are some answers to common questions people ask about meat cleavers
Why is there a hole in a meat cleaver?
Many people wonder why there is a hole in most meat cleavers. Well, the answer is simple. The main reason for the hole is to hang the cleaver with ease, making sure that users can access it easily. However, there is another reason too. The hole in your meat cleaver also comes in handy for placing your finger while slicing or chopping. That said, very few people use this technique.
Why do Chinese chefs use cleavers?
Chinese chefs are famous because of their excessive use of cleavers. They take advantage of this tool’s durability and strong blade, which allows them to cut through any piece of meat with ease.
Should a meat cleaver be sharp?
If you want to ensure you can chop through any ingredient without wasting too much time, make sure your meat cleaver is sharp. The steps discussed earlier are excellent for sharpening any type of meat cleaver.
What angle do you sharpen Cleaver?
In most cases, people tend to sharpen their meat cleaver according to their personal preference, but it would be best to sharpen your cleaver at a fifty or twenty five degree angle.
Meat cleavers are a must have for anyone who cooks on a day to day basis. Luckily, choosing one wouldn’t be hard for you with the considerations discussed in this piece. All you need to do is make sure you choose the right material, size, and grip and you will be able to select the best meat cleaver in no time.
Our top recommendation, the Dalstrong Meat Cleaver stands out from other products because of its excellent weight distribution, easy to handle design and solid grip. However, the Utopia Kitchen Cleaver wouldn’t be a bad choice either, and will help you cut through the toughest pieces of meat without taking much time.