The Art of Meat Cleavers: From Blades to Balance, Choosing the Perfect Tool for Your Kitchen

The Art of Meat Cleavers: From Blades to Balance, Choosing the Perfect Tool for Your Kitchen

Delve into the evolution of this timeless kitchen tool, from its historical origins to its modern reinterpretations. Discover the perfect harmony between blade, balance, and technique as you navigate the world of cleavers, guided by insights from experienced chefs and craftsmen. Uncover the artistry behind choosing the ideal cleaver for your kitchen and unleash a new level of culinary finesse in every slice.

What Is A Meat Cleaver, And What's It Used For?

Seen in a variety of places ranging from butcher shops to professional kitchens, a meat cleaver is a heavy and sturdy knife that is commonly known for having a distinctive thick, rectangular blade.

These blades vary in weight to have a forceful blow and precise cutting action. This feature is designed on purpose for the cleaver to perform its primary function of splitting thick cuts of meat, thin or soft bones, and sinew.

Comparison Of Cleaver Knives In Different Countries

There are a variety of cutlery and cookware across the country that may be easily mistaken for a meat cleaver or vegetable cleaver. While they may share a common purpose across varying countries. Despite sharing some specific features and similarities, not all of these “cleaver” knives show the same function.

A Chinese chef’s knife are heavily referred to as choppers or chinese cleavers by the majority of people, which is due to having a similar rectangular-shaped blade.

However, the Chinese chef’s knives are much thinner and are more used as general-purpose knives that are mostly used for slicing boneless meat and vegetables.

In contrast to the Chinese chef’s knife. The Japanese cleaver, locally known as a Deba bōchō, is similar in terms of cross-section thickness. However, these knives are more similar to boning knives commonly used in decapitating fish heads and deboning fishes.

Testing Meat Cleavers

To show their performance quality and results, meat cleavers have undergone several quality assessments.

This test’s objective is to replicate the demanding use within environments such as butcher shops and professional kitchens in assessing their performance, durability, and suitability for various cutting and chopping tasks.

These multitudes of tests also test the cleaver’s weight distribution and comfort in the chef’s hands and whether these cleavers are safe to use single-handedly or not.

The Tests

After putting our knife sets to the test, we have assessed that our cutlery that is forged using traditional methods, such as the likes of the popular Japanese blade-making approach, and made using special materials such as unique stainless steel resulted in more streamlined uses.

The Best Overall Meat Cleaver - Dynasty Cleaver

Described as a kitchen knife that integrates strength, balance, and elegance, this cleaver is crafted from softer stainless steel that undergoes hardening till it reaches the perfect quality. This cleaver showcases a blade that is sharp and resistant to rust, ensuring its longevity.

The cleaver’s fortified shape renders it suitable for effortlessly tackling even the toughest cuts. Its sophisticated rosewood handle, along with custom TCG pins provides an additional touch of style to this high-renowned kitchen utensil.

Key Specs

The Dynasty Cleaver comes with numerous key specifications:

  • Crafted using traditional Japanese blade-making techniques for its high-quality result
  • Additional San Mai technique offers extra protection against corrosion.
  • Extremely sharp and rust-resistant.
  • Blades are designed to last a lifetime.
  • Perfectly balanced and effortlessly slices through challenging cuts.
  • The sleek rosewood handle and TCG pins contribute style to the final product.

You can also get a block set of our Dynasty Series with the Dynasty Emperor Set

Another Fantastic Cleaver - Nomad Cleaver

This special cleaver features a breathtaking blade that is crafted to possess mountain range designs that are complimented by a burl wood fusion handle. The aesthetic details have made the Nomad Cleaver earn its name. It stands as a masterpiece that is perfect for nature lovers.

The cleaver’s blade is sculpted using German 1.4416 stainless steel blades to showcase its remarkable resistance to rust and corrosion, ensuring it remains extremely sharp and capable of tackling even the most resilient roots and vegetation.

Key Specs

The Nomad Cleaver comes with numerous key specifications:

  • A beautiful mountain range pattern over the blade with a mountain burl wood handle for visual appeal.
  • Specially crafted using German 1.4116 stainless steel for corrosion and rust resistance.
  • Razor-sharp and sturdy in handling resilient root vegetables with ease.
  • Full tang and perfectly balanced in weight offering ease in chopping.
  • Perfectly crafted for mincing, dicing, and slicing a variety of meat and vegetables.

You can also get a block set of our Nomad Series with the Nomad Everest Bundle.

A Great, Precise Cleaver - Bushcraft Cleaver

The remarkable hand-crafted Bushcraft Cleaver easily stands out as an exceptional creation in the realm of culinary tools. This cleaver is carefully crafted with the perfect balance of hardness, flexibility, and resilience, making it stand out as the ultimate tool for anyone who loves to cook.

This cleaver’s unparalleled excellence and elevating design will successfully enhance your cooking experience and make meal preparation a true pleasure to experience.

Key Specs

The Bushcraft Cleaver comes with numerous key specifications:

  • Hand-forged construction in ensuring the cleaver’s high quality and durability.
  • The blade is balanced in flexibility, hardness, and resilience for optimal performance.
  • Ideal for a variety of cutting tasks within the kitchen with a razor sharp blade
  • Designed for durability and sharpness longevity with a full tang blade

The Best Heavy-duty Cleaver - ONYX Cleaver

The ONYX Cleaver is the result of a year-long journey to achieving the perfect balance between sharpness and aesthetics. Crafted using high-carbon Damascus steel and a polished Ebony wood handle with a detailed Mosaic pin, these cleavers are our proudest cleaver work to date.

These knives represent the pinnacle of our achievements thus far. This cleaver also comes with an exclusive ONYX branded sheath and meticulously crafted premium custom packaging, elevating its status as an impeccable addition to any culinary space.

 Key Specs

 The ONYX Cleaver comes with numerous key specifications:

  • High carbon Damascus steel blade for exceptional sharpness and resilience meaning it stays razor-sharp for years to come. 
  • A Full tang-constructed handle ensures the cleaver's strength and stability.
  • Detailed Mosaic pin and Ebony wood handle offer comfort and aesthetics.
  • Cleaver comes with an exclusive ONYX branded sheath for a luxury-feel presentation.

What We Learned

 Upon undercovering our specially-crafted cleavers, and their many innovative features and methods, we have a clear understanding of what a high-quality cleaver can provide in your culinary field and what it can bring to the cooking table.

Here is what we have learned when it comes to developing innovative cleavers.

Sharper Blades Cleaved Cleanly

Cleavers with sharper blades have proven to have a higher favorability when it comes to cleaving performances.

Cleavers with exceptional sharpness have been shown to effortlessly cut through meat and other culinary items with ease. This characteristic also provides less effort for the handler to put in ensuring better precision and minimizing damage to the blade, the food, and the wielder.

Size Isn't Everything: Bigger Wasn't Necessarily Better

Contrary to the common idea that bigger means better improvement and performance, our clever creations completely prove that bigger doesn’t always mean better.

Smaller, well-designed tools provide ease in handling and optimize functionality speed, making it outperform larger and heavier counterparts through efficiency and maneuverability.

The Advantages of a Subtle Blade Curve

A subtle blade curve comes with several distinct advantages. These include providing enhanced control during cutting or slicing motion, improving accuracy, and minimizing strain on the wielder.

The curve also provides better contact with the material, further improving the cutting/slicing process.

A Solid Handle Made A Difference

A strong and solid handle makes a huge difference in cleaver usability. It provides a comfortable grip, which minimizes discomfort and fatigue, enhances control and precision, and contributes to better outcomes while preparation.

What's The Trick To Picking A Cleaver Knife?

Cleaver options usually depend on personal preferences. This usually ranges from the cleaver’s functionality, budget, cleaver’s features, or other factors such as appearance and aesthetics.

For those who are more into the “deeper” content of the cleavers, here are some tricks for picking the right cleaver for you.

Material For A Cleaver

When it comes to selecting the best materials for a cleaver, a harmonious blend of durability and sharpness is essential. High-carbon stainless steel takes the spotlight, combining corrosion resistance with a keen edge, ensuring prolonged cutting prowess. Look for blades with proper heat treatment for added strength. A sturdy, ergonomic handle crafted from materials like hardwood or composite resins offers optimal grip and control. The synergy between top-notch steel and thoughtfully designed handles ensures your cleaver becomes a seamless extension of your culinary artistry, enabling you to master the delicate balance between power and precision.

Blade Length

A cleaver’s blade usually ranges around 7 to 8 inches (178mm to 200mm) in length, the length serves the purpose of cutting through thick meat and covering a wider area of the cut. There are also some cleavers that range around 9 to 10 inches long.

Blade Thickness

One of the major features of a cleaver is the blade’s thickness. This feature serves the purpose of delivering a successful cut, slice, or chop over a wide range of meat and bones.

Blade Weight

The main specifications that give the cleaver its bite, cleavers are designed to have a balanced weight for comfort and maneuverability, but cleavers generally weigh around 300g to 900g, which are suitable for mincing meat and breaking down chickens and bone.

Comfortable Handle

Cleavers are designed to have a comfortable handle for prolonged use. It is important to checkout each cleaver’s handle features and specifications to find the right handle. Cleaver handles are made of sturdy materials usually from quality wood.

How Chefs Uses Our Cleaver

Our quality cleavers are designed to fit all sorts of chefs who are seeking professionally-crafted materials for their cooking endeavors. Here is how chefs use our cleavers in their cooking.

Slicing Through Boneless Meats

Our cleavers are designed to have ruthlessly sharp blades, which are more than capable of slicing through boneless meat with ease. These cleavers can also cut through meat in more ways than one, including chopping, slicing, cleaving, and fileting. If you’re looking for the perfect knife to cut up your steaks however, look no further than our steak knives. 

Splitting Open Tough Vegetables

Cleavers are not just for tough meat only, the strength and sharpness our cleavers provide are also excellent in tackling tough vegetables, cracking them open with ease. Our Nomad Cleaver is specifically designed to remain sharp while it cuts through tough roots vegetables with ease.

Crushing Garlic

Cleavers can be used to crush certain spices and flavorings, it is common for many chefs to use the flat phase of the cleaver to crush through garlic. Our cleavers' balanced weight and resilience provide minimal ease in crushing garlic.

The Rocking Method

Our cleavers are designed to adapt to modern cooking methods while providing ease and minimization of effort put through usage. This would include cutting methods such as the rocking cutting method.

Transferring From Your Cutting Board

Cleavers have a thick, strong, and smooth surface where it can effortlessly move the minced ingredients from one pot to another without making drag or damaging the chopping board.

Good To Know

Did you know? The Hardness Rockwell scale is a measuring method that is used to measure the hardness of certain materials in simpler approaches.

This is usually done by pressing the center of a surface with a specific material and pressing it against the material while assessing how far the indenter has penetrated.

Our knife sets have undergone these tests to test their metal and assess their strength and hardness in penetrating specific surfaces, showing they are highly crafted to perform beyond expectations.

Ready To Shop?

Ready to order one of our quality cleavers to enhance your cooking performance in the kitchen? Look no further, the Cooking Guild offers a wide range of high-quality crafted cleavers to perfectly suit your taste and preferences.

Visit our official website and checkout our knife options today from cleavers, chef knives, petty knives, fillet knives, steak knives and more! Or check out our best sellers! 


Why Are There Holes In Some Cleaver?

The holes in certain cleavers are known as “dimples” or “granton edges”, these create air pockets between the blade and the meat to reduce friction, as well as prevent food from sticking to the blade.

Do You Need A Meat Cleaver?

Meat cleavers are necessary for cooking tasks that require breaking down large cuts of meat or bone. These knives are needed only for those specific tasks. You can also get task-specific knives like bonining knives and fillet knives

Is a Butcher Knife A Cleaver?

Despite both knife sets being compared to one another and used under butchering tasks, a butcher’s knife is versatile, used for trimming and slicing meat to specific proportions while the cleaver is for heavy-duty chopping and tougher cuts.

How Do You Sharpen A Meat Cleaver?

There are numerous tools and techniques that are specifically designed to sharpen meat cleavers and other cutlery. Tools, such as whetstones and honing rods are used in maintaining the blade’s sharpness and effectiveness throughout its lifetime. Checkout our sharpening tools here 

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