Every cutting task requires using the right type of knife to achieve the kind of result you want. It is erroneous to use your regular kitchen knife to cleave your meat. This takes a lot of time and requires much effort compared to using the right kitchen knife for the task.
A meat cleaver is not only meant for butchers, hunters, and commercial kitchens like most people thought. It is an essential knife for every kitchen. We know it is easier to buy and cook already chopped meat from your butcher than struggling to cut the meat at home. But with your meat cleaver, you can always debone your meat even without the help of a butcher.
Buying your meat in large quantities with the bones is more economical than buying a prepackaged one. Let’s look at the top 5 best meat cleaver for cutting bones.
America’s Test Kitchen Best Meat Cleaver 2021
1. XYJ Full Tang Butcher Cleaver with Leather Knife Sheath
Our top pick starts with this heavy-duty knife fabricated from high carbon steel and cladded with manganese for durability. This is not just a meat cleaver; it is an all-purpose knife that can also be used to dice, cut, slice, and mince. The extra-wide blade is also suitable for cutting large vegetables.
The 7-inch blade of this cleaver knife is inclined to 12 degrees for optimum sharpness. It holds a razor-sharp edge longer. This product arrives with a sheath made of leather, which can be fastened to your belt when going outdoor for easy carriage. The leather sheath prevents the knife blade from accidentally cutting someone and offers maximum safety.
The blade and wooden handle are matched together without soldering. It is fixed to the blade with three rivets for stability. This makes it well-balanced, offering you incredible control and minimal wrist fatigue when used for longer periods. It is constructed with adequate weight for smashing meat and bones effortlessly.
The textured handle offers a comfortable hold and is resistant to slip. This meat cleaver will require extra maintenance and frequent oiling to prevent rust and corrosion.
Fully tang construction
Triple brass rivets
Super sharp blade
Offers a slip-resistant grip
Require extra care and maintenance
2. Wüsthof Classic Full tang Cleaver
This product is part of the Wusthof classic collection. It is precision-forged from a single piece of food-grade high-carbon stainless steel that is corrosion and wear-resistant. The steel is alloyed with vanadium, molybdenum, and chromium for strength.
It is durable and will last for years if taken care of properly. This high priced meat cleaver has a synthetic handle that offers you exceptional control and a comfortable grip. It is triple riveted to the blade for maximum stability with a half bolster for a well-balanced heft.
This German-made meat cleaver is sturdy and hefty. It was built to handle tough cutting tasks with ease. Although this product does not come with a knife sheath, it features a small hole at the top corner of the blade that can be hanged when not in use.
This high carbon stainless steel blade is engineered to a 14-degree cutting edge that holds its sharp edge for extended periods. It is designed to offer precision cutting. The large blade measures 6 inches long and is wide enough to handle a couple of other kitchen tasks; it is well suited for deboning, chopping tough vegetables, and cutting meats.
Easy to store
Precision-forged from a single piece of steel
No sheath included
3. DALSTRONG Gladiator Series R – Obliterator Meat Cleaver
Are you searching for a meat cleaver that is easy to store during your indoor food prep and your outdoor gaming activities? Look no further because Dalstrong Gladiator Series R Obliterator meat cleaver got you covered.
This option does not come with only a sheath, but it includes a wooden knife stand as well. You can choose to tuck it away in your drawer or put it in the stand on your counter, leaving you with dual storage options. The interior of the sheath is well padded to prevent the blade from getting scratched. Because of this knife’s weight, it is not the best meat cleaver for cooks with weak arms.
Dialstrong is renowned for its unique cutting edge technology, exceptional craftsmanship, and quality materials. This meat cleaver is not an exception. It is built with high-quality carbon steel alloyed with other elements such as chromium and is heat-treated to 60 degrees Rockwell.
Features a G-10 handle forged from a military-grade material, which ensures impressive durability. The end bolster offers extra stability, and the finger bolster prevents your hand from sliding to the blade.
Hand polished and heat-treated
Include a stand and sheath
Gets blunt easily
4. Ontario Knife Company 76 Cleaver
If you are looking for an affordable meat cleaver, check this model from Ontario. This product is the cheapest on our list with an affordable price tag. It measures about 7-inch and is fabricated from durable carbon stainless steel. The blade is engineered to a Rockwell that ranges from 53-58 degrees. It is ultra-sharp and stays sharp even after several uses.
Although this option Is razor-sharp and honed to perfection, it can only handle light kitchen tasks like slicing fish, cutting vegetables, chopping chickens, and splitting pork ribs. Ontario meat cleaver is not well suited for heavy kitchen tasks because of the blade weight.
The blade length gives sufficient knuckle clearance to help with chopping and food prep. The handle is designed with natural brown hardwood that does not harbor bacteria. It is fully tanged to the blade and is secured with dual brass compression rivets to ensure maximum safety.
The handle is ergonomic design to offer superior control and a comfortable grip. Also, there is a hole at the top end of the blade for hanging the knife until when needed. This lightweight cleaver is made in the USA and has a well-polished finish, which fits into any kitchen style.
Dual brass rivet
Durable hardwood handle
Not suited for tough kitchen jobs
5. YOUSUNLONG Meat Cleaver
Our last pick on this last is a premium quality kitchen knife that is beautifully designed to provide you with exceptional performance. You would be amazed at how this product works. Everything about this cleaver speaks of quality, starting from the appearance to its abilities. This heavyweight option is a high end priced cleaver that is worth the price. It comes in a conveniently nice pack—a perfect gift for all occasions.
Features a natural ebony handle that is completely tanged to the blade. It is comfortable to hold for hours without causing fatigue. The handle is designed and shaped for ambidextrous use.
It provides the users with superior control of the knife and is highly impervious to moisture, bacteria, cold, and heat. Plus, it has an engraved end-cap bolster for added heft and durability.
The blade is hand-hammered from Damascus steel and doesn’t stick to the ingredients. It undergoes heat treatment to enhance hardness, flexibility, and strength. The hammered finish creates a nonstick surface on the blade and enhances its resistance to chipping. This heavy-duty cleaver was built to withstand tough kitchen jobs and daily use. This product is well suited for commercial kitchens and butchers.
Suitable for both left-handed and right-handed users
Perfect gift item
Factors To Consider When Buying A Meat Cleaver
When scouring for a meat cleaver, certain factors are considered before concluding on the option to pick. I hope this will help you make the right choice for your kitchen. Here are the factors to consider. They include:
The handle of your knife should be non-slip, comfortable to hold, and durable. It should be designed so that even with wet hands, it does not slip off your hand to prevent an accident. The commonly used materials for making a meat cleaver handle are steel, natural wood, or plastic.
The best material for your blade is either high carbon steel or stainless steel alloyed with other harmless chemicals. This is to enhance the toughness of the blade and extend its durability.
Ensure the blade is constructed with materials resistant to chipping, wear, corrosion, and rust. Because your cleaver will always come in contact with a damp surface, you need to ensure it does not harbor bacteria to avoid contaminating your food.
You must also put the blade’s size into consideration—most of the blade length range from 6-inch to 8-inch. One interesting thing about a meat cleaver is that the whole length is useful during food prep.
The wide blade surface can be used to transfer the chopped meat into the pot. The sharp edge helps you cut the meat precisely, and the tip is best for tenderizing the meat. Ensure to pick the size you are comfortable with when buying.
The entire weight of the cleaver must be considered when selecting. The weight of a meat cleaver must not be too light or too heavy. The type of meat you cook often will determine the perfect weight for your meat cleaver.
A lightweight option will offer you speed and precision but is not suitable for handling tough kitchen tasks. A heavyweight blade will handle tough chopping tasks but will require more pressure when handling. It will cause wrist strain and finger fatigue to the user. A well-balanced weight is what is required for cleaving bones.
Some meat cleavers will require extra care to retain their sharpness and look. The material used in constructing the blade will determine how often it needs to be honed. Although you will always find dishwasher safe models, it is advisable to always hand wash, wipe dry, and store. However, you will need to always oil the blade every once in a while to prevent rust.
Frequently Asked Questions About Meat Cleaver
We will be answering some of the questions that are often asked.
What is the difference between a meat cleaver and a vegetable cleaver?
The major difference between these two cleavers is the design of the blade and its functions. The blade of a vegetable cleaver is lighter, shorter, and thinner than a meat cleaver. A meat cleaver has a wide blade with a longer length.
A meat cleaver is for chopping and cutting of hard bones and larger cuts of meat. Although a vegetable cleaver is also a multi-purpose knife, a meat cleaver is a more versatile option.
It can perform other kitchen tasks such as splitting pork and chickens, cutting fish, deboning meats, slicing hard nuts, and more. A vegetable cleaver is for slicing and chopping all kinds of green vegetables and fruits.
Why do meat cleavers have holes?
The size of a cleaver makes it difficult to store in a regular stand or drawer. Most meat cleavers are often designed with holes to be hung after use on a wall or kept on any vertical surface with a hook in the kitchen. But there are options with sheaths instead of holes available in the market too.
If you love to cook meat a lot, then a meat cleaver is a must-have kitchen knife you should invest in. No matter what your budget is, you will find a meat cleaver that is perfect for you from our top 5 picks.