A good knife is one of a good cook’s most essential tools. If you are a carnivore who enjoys cooking, investing in a high quality meat cleaver is important. Meat cleavers make quick and effortless work of chopping through large cuts of meat, joints and even bones, making your food preparation a breeze. Meat cleavers are known for their large, sharp chopping blade and often have some heft and weight that aids in heavy duty cutting. Many meat cleavers are versatile enough for gentle slicing, dicing and mincing of fruits and vegetables as well. When shopping for a meat cleaver, it can be hard to know which one to get. Meat cleavers can be made from different materials using different processes which affect their weight, use, cleaning and storage. You could spend hours sorting through all of the descriptions and details of the wide variety of meat cleavers on the market, or you can just read through this article! Our experts have done the research and compiled a list of our top picks of the best meat cleavers on the market today. Read on to gain insight on six top-of-the-line meat cleavers. Continue reading to get the information you need to make a smart meat cleaver purchase that will help you with all of your chopping, cutting, slicing and dicing tasks in your kitchen.
Best Overall – TUO Meat Cleaver
The TUO Black Hawk heavy duty 6 inch meat cleaver is the perfect kitchen tool to break down a large piece of meat into smaller pieces as well as chopping, dicing and mincing dense fruits and vegetables. The wide blade can be used for food transfer as well. Made with German stainless steel using a precise heat treatment and nitrogen cryogenic tempering, this meat cleaver delivers hardness, flexibility and lasting performance. Every angle of the riveted black pakkawood handle is ergonomically designed for comfort and ease of use for both right and left handed individuals. This meat cleaver is packaged in a custom fitted gift box that can be used for safe storage.
- Suitable for a variety of culinary tasks
- Fitted gift box can be used for storage
- Great value
- Does not come with a sheath
- Rivets on handle are not flush with wood
Best Heavy Duty – DALSTRONG Gladiator Series R – Obliterator Meat Cleaver
This high carbon alloy steel meat cleaver features outstanding craftsmanship and stunning design elements for outstanding superb cutting performance. The 9’’ blade weighs a solid 2.9 lbs and is 6 mm thick. The shape, inspired by medieval weaponry, powers through anything that it is put up against. This meat cleaver will be your kitchen workhorse, perfectly weighted for both thicker, heavy duty cuts and more delicate, detailed work like ultra-thin slicing and dicing. The wide blade works great for scooping and transferring food during your meal preparation and clean up as well. The knife handle has a sturdy, military grade handle with a comfortable grip. This package also includes a saya (sheath) with a pin and string for safe storage and a handcrafted wooden storage stand. DALSTRONG backs your purchase with a risk free 100% money back satisfaction guarantee and the DALSTRONG Gladiator Series R – Obliterator Meat Cleaver has a lifetime warranty against any defects.
- Made from premium quality materials
- Comfortable grip handle
- Includes sheath and stand
- Satisfaction guarantee
- Large blade can be hard to maneuver
Best for Travel – IMARKU Butcher Knife
The IMARKU 7 inch meat cleaver is constructed from manganese steel for great performance, strength and durability. It has an ergonomic wooden handle that provides a comfortable, non-slip grip. This meat cleaver comes with a unique leather knife sheath that can be attached to your belt. This sheath is not only aesthetically appealing, but also protects the knife blade and aids in safety when transporting, which is a great feature. The IMARKU 7 inch meat cleaver is sharp, durable and easy to transport and store.
- Great quality
- Razor sharp out of the box
- Easy to handle/Reasonable Weight (1.24 lbs)
- Comfortable grip
- Good for cutting both meat and vegetables
- Sheath does not have a fastener
- Knife needs to be maintained to prevent rust
Best Hand Forged – DRAGON RIOT Hand Forged Cleaver
If you are seeking out a high quality hand forged meat cleaver, be sure to consider the DRAGON RIOT Hand Forged Cleaver Knife. This knife is constructed manually from premium high carbon steel with a vacuum heated and cooling treatment, which contributes to its strength and durability. The knife has a balanced design and weight and a comfortable, non-slip ergonomic handle which works well for both left and right handed individuals. This knife is of professional quality and easily handles the tasks of slicing, dicing, mincing and cutting of meats, vegetables and fruits with ease.
- High quality and value
- Honed edge adds to the aesthetic appeal
- Extremely hard and durable
- Easy grip, hefty and sharp
- Thick blade is hard to maneuver for some
- The knife must be maintained to prevent rust.
Best for Bone Cutting – MIXILIN Bone Cleaver Knife
If you are looking for a versatile knife that makes cutting thick cuts of meat and slicing through joints and bone, do check out the MIXILIN Bone Cleaver Knife. This meat cleaver is ideal for slicing, cutting, chopping and shredding meat and also works great for herbs and vegetables like garlic, ginger and tomatoes. This meat cleaver is designed for heavy duty bone chopping with a special axe shape. It is manufactured with the traditional hot-forging process combined with the latest heat treatment technology to produce a top-of-the-line meat cleaver that is marked by its sharpness, durability and toughness. The wooden handle has superior quality and comfort with a good grip, made from Shabi pear wood. Your purchase is backed with excellent customer service and has a one year replacement guarantee.
- Chops bones with ease
- Wear resistant
- Sharp and strong
- Ergonomic handle
- Heavy (2.1 pounds)
- Does not come with a sheath
Best Stainless Steel – MIXILIN Bone Cleaver Knife
The Mueller Super Sharp Meat Cleaver Knife is made from high-quality stainless steel that resists rust, corrosion and discoloration. It is easy to resharpen, clean and maintain. This meat cleaver is of professional grade and will effortlessly chop, mince, slice and dice meats, vegetables, fruits and herbs. The knife’s handle is stylish, functional and ergonomic, with a wand of stainless steel layered with a secure grip coating.
- Easier to maintain than carbon based meat cleavers
- Made from high quality materials
- Reasonably priced
- Does not come with a sheath
- Stainless steel, but not dishwasher safe
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I use a meat cleaver?
Meat cleavers are large and sharp, which can be intimidating if you have not used one before. But, they are not that difficult to use safely if you go into the experience with some thought and planning. Before you start cutting, make sure you have your space ready, lined with a cutting board or butcher block. When using your meat cleaver it is also important that you have a secure grip on the handle. With care, you can stabilize the food you are cutting with your other hand while you are chopping or slicing, or you can keep your other hand out of the way (some people even keep their other hand behind their back).
How do I clean a meat cleaver?
The short answer is: very carefully. Meat cleavers are extremely sharp, so much care needs to be taken when cleaning them. It is also important to know that meat cleavers cannot just be put in the dishwasher. Meat cleavers are typically constructed from high-carbon steel or stainless steel. High carbon steel is prone to rust. It is recommended that you wipe down your meat cleaver with a damp dish towel as you use it, especially if you are working with highly acidic foods like tomatoes or lemons. You can clean your meat cleaver carefully in a sink of warm soapy water with a soft rag. After you wash, immediately dry it with a clean dish towel. Rubbing your meat cleaver with a small amount of mineral oil before storing it will help prevent rust and maintain the quality of your meat cleaver.
What do I need to do to keep my meat cleaver sharp?
Honing and sharpening are two things you can do to keep your meat cleaver sharp. When you hone a knife you rub the knife’s edge with a honing rod, which essentially polishes the rough surface of the knife, which helps the knife cut better. Honing, which can be done every time you use your knife, helps keep the blade balanced, which makes cutting easier. Meat cleavers need to be sharpened much less frequently than honing, and can be done so using a stone sharpening tool. Your meat cleaver should only need to be sharpened every few months depending on how often it is used. You can also get your meat cleaver professional sharpened.
What to look for when purchasing a meat cleaver:
Meat cleavers are typically made from carbon steel, stainless steel or some combination of those materials. Carbon steel is a blend of carbon and iron, with a high carbon content that, when exposed to moisture, can corrode and rust quickly. But, carbon steel it is stronger and more durable than stainless steel. Carbon steel meat cleavers are also easier to sharpen. Stainless steel is made from iron, carbon and chromium. Stainless steel has a smoother and shinier appearance, it is less prone to rust, but it is a softer form of metal and will not stay sharp as long as carbon steel. Because both types of material combinations have benefits, your choice of knife steel will be determined by your personal preference and what you will be using it for. In short, carbon steel is easier to sharpen and is generally stronger, whereas stainless steel is longer-lasting and more resistant to corrosion and chipping. Carbon steel meat cleavers take more care in cleaning, while stainless steel will require more frequent sharpening.
A comfortable, ergonomic grip is a feature you want to consider when choosing which meat cleaver will work best for you. If you are in the kitchen using your meat cleaver for long periods of time, a comfortable and ergonomic grip can make a big difference in regards to arm and hand fatigue. The handle grip is important for safety as well. Some meat cleavers offer a more secure grip based on the design and materials used. One more thing to consider, especially if you are left handed, is the handedness of the grip. Some meat cleavers are designed specifically to work for right and left handed individuals.