Best Meat Cleaver For The Toughest Jobs (Butcher Favorites 2018!)

If you're a meat eater, I’m sure you’ve used the heavy looking meat cleaver while preparing your favorite meat dish. When it comes to the best knife for cutting meat, the meat cleaver is going to be at the top of the list. When you think of a meat cleaver the first image that springs to mind is probably a large bearded butcher with a bloodied apron swinging frantically at a large piece of meat. While that may be true, the best meat cleaver is now finding its way into more and more home kitchens, and for a good reason.

Meat cleavers make light work of large meat cuts; wielded like a hammer you simply use a swinging motion to chop and dice meat with little to no effort. The best cleavers are razor sharp and made to withstand repeated blows to tough cartilage and bones plus the large flat blade is perfect for crushing food such as cloves of garlic.

For preparing large cuts of meat, the meat cleaver is going to be the best choice. Meat cleavers are the workhorse of the kitchen especially if you're a meat eater (sorry vegetarians). However, if you want to work on smaller cuts of meat a knife such as a boning knife or a butcher knife is going to a better option to remove sinew, small bones, and fat.

Meat Cleaver vs. Butcher Knife

If we want to get into specifics, a meat cleaver isn’t really classed as a knife at all, and it resembles a thin, wide hatchet.

When it comes to a meat cleaver versus a butcher knife, both knives have different roles in the kitchen. The meat cleaver is going to be your go-to kitchen knife when it comes to preparing large blocks of meat. Because of its weight and hefty size, it can cut through bone, cartilage, and sinew with ease.

The butcher knife on the overhand is usually narrower and is used for general meat preparation and cutting. Because of its size, the butcher knife is best suited for cutting, slicing and trimming meat and is a favorite with butchers for cutting large pieces of meat into retail cuts such as beef cubes and steaks.

Best Meat Cleavers (Recommended Buys For 2018)

If you're looking for the best meat cleaver knife and you're unsure which cleaver to choose I've done the hard work for you, and I've picked out some of the best I could get my hands on; honestly, any of these deserve a prime place in your kitchen.

J.A. Henckels International Classic 6-inch Cleaver

J.A. Henckels International Classic 6-inch Cleaver

If you want to invest in a cleaver that will last for years to come you have to check out the J.A. Henckels International classic 6-inch meat cleaver. This 6-inch cleaver blade has been crafted from stain-resistant carbon steel, and for extra durability, it's been hand-dropped forged.

The full tang houses a triple riveted classic style handle that offers excellent grip which is much needed when you are swinging this hefty cleaver. The hole on the blade is perfect for hanging when not in use.

Global G-12 – 6 1/2 inch Meat Cleaver

Global G-12 – 6 12 inch Meat Cleaver

Global is known for manufacturing some of the best kitchen knives for the money, and this cleaver doesn't disappoint.

The razor sharp blade is a whopping 1/8 inch thick which is actually quite substantial when compared to other blades and is hand sharpened at a 15% angle. The global cleaver has excellent balance, that's mainly due to the weighted hollow handle.

The trademark-dimpled handle is bolster-free allowing for full use of the blade and easy blade sharpening.

WINCO Chinese Cleaver with Stainless Steel Handle

WINCO Chinese Cleaver with Stainless Steel Handle

For those of you looking for a budget cleaver, this might just be a perfect option. Costing less than ten dollars you really can’t go wrong. Even though it doesn’t look as elegant as the above cleavers, it still performs well for everyday meat preparation.

Unlike the other meat cleavers, this has been stamped rather than hand forged; there's nothing wrong with a stamped knife it just means it's been mass produced and cost less to manufacture.

The stainless steel blade is impressively sharp for such a budget cleaver, and the notched handle offers a comfortable and secure grip.

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