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The Best Meat Cleaver

Last updated on December 16, 2019

We looked at the top 10 Meat Cleavers and dug through the reviews from 101 of the most popular review sites including No Place Called Home, Paramatan, A Guide Product, Home KuKu, Fishing Picks, Cooking Chew and more. The result is a ranking of the best Meat Cleavers.

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Our Picks For The Top Meat Cleavers

Show Contents
Our Take
Experts Included
Pros
Cons
  The Best Overall

DALSTRONG Cleaver

DALSTRONG

Cleaver

Overall Take

Built for ControlWhether you're chopping for a few minutes or a half an hour, the handle on the DALSTRONG Cleaver will help keep you comfortable and in control.

Experts Included
DWYM Kitchen Experts plus Decent Home Review, Kitchen Emporium, Reviews Coach, Wiki EZ Vid, Parts & Labor Butchery, BTTPE. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" As for the comfort factor, the triple-riveted cleaver has a full tang and G-10 handle which gives you great control and fluidity."
Cons
"Cannot cut meat with bones"

Imarku Cleaver Knife

Imarku

Cleaver Knife

Overall Take

Great GiftThe Imarku Cleaver Knife comes with an attractive gift box, making it perfect for giving as a gift.

Experts Included
DWYM Kitchen Experts plus Home KuKu, Food Shark Marfa, Morning Chores, Alterestimate, Kitchen Byte, Top Best 10 Reviews and 14 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" Additionally, the knife makes a perfect gift to chef students, with its beautiful gift box."
Cons
"It cannot be used to cut frozen food"
  The Best Value

TUO Cleaver

TUO

Cleaver

Overall Take

Comfortable HandleThe handle on the TUO Cleaver is designed to keep you comfortable while you prepare your meals.

Experts Included
DWYM Kitchen Experts plus The Studio Online, OutdoorGearToday, Warm Chef, My Cookware Hub. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" The handle is made with superior quality PakkaWood, sourced from Africa. It is a full tang handle with a slight curve that gives extremely comfortable holding and does not tire the hand as you hold the knife for long time."
Cons
"The handle requires a lot of effort to maintain"

DALSTRONG Hybrid Chef’s Knife

DALSTRONG

Hybrid Chef's Knife

Overall Take

Attractive DesignThe subtle design imprinted on the DALSTRONG Hybrid Chef's Knife make it stand out from competitors.

Experts Included
DWYM Kitchen Experts plus The Disney Experience. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" Nitrogen cooled for enhanced harness and flexibility"
Don't just take for granted what one reviewer says. Along with our own experts, DWYM analyzes the top expert reviews of the leading products and generates a score you can actually trust.
17

Products Considered

We identified the majority of the meat cleavers available to purchase.
10

Products Analyzed

We then selected the leading and most popular products for our team to review.

View All Product Rankings

101

Expert Reviews Included

In addition to our expert reviews, we also incorporate feedback and analysis of some of the most respected sources including: No Place Called Home, Paramatan, A Guide Product, Home KuKu, Fishing Picks.

15,107

User Opinions Analyzed

We also incorporate user reviews from the leading retailers including Amazon, Walmart and 5 others.

Our experts reviewed the top 10 Meat Cleavers and also dug through the reviews from 101 of the most popular review sites including No Place Called Home, Paramatan, A Guide Product, Home KuKu, Fishing Picks, Cooking Chew and more. The result is a ranking of the best of the best Meat Cleavers.

DWYM is your trusted roduct review source. Our team reviews thousands of product reviews from the trusted top experts and combines them into one easy-to-understand score. Learn more.

Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in their category.

The Best Overall

DALSTRONG Cleaver

Our Expert Score
9.0
6 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
9.4
132 user reviews
Our Take

An ergonomically-designed handle and full tang design put you in control while you're using the DALSTRONG Cleaver. The blade is nitrogen chilled for extra durability and the edge is designed like a scalpel for extra slicing power. You can cut meats, fruits and vegetables using this cleaver.

What other experts liked
As for the comfort factor, the triple-riveted cleaver has a full tang and G-10 handle which gives you great control and fluidity.
- Decent Home Review
Nitrogen chilled for enhanced hardness, flaccidity and corrosion protection. Full tang for excellent robustness and triple riveted for even extra resilience.Ideal for vegetables, fruits, and boneless meats.
- Kitchen Emporium
November 2, 0201 | Full review
It boasts a thin, sharp, scalpel-like edge that's ideal for scoring meat or fish.
- Wiki EZ Vid
The blade features 67 layers of steel for extra firmness, endurance, and stain resistance. Even more, it’s Nitrogen cooled for corrosion resistance and versatility.
- Parts & Labor Butchery
August 28, 2019 | Full review
This cleaver makes prepping for dinner much faster and more efficient. The Cleaver is top quality. Besides being very beautiful the cleaver works very, very well..I would highly recommend this Cleaver it is the best I have ever had.
- BTTPE
July 28, 2018 | Full review
What other experts didn't like
Need to be sharped after regular intervals
- Decent Home Review
Cannot cut meat with bones
- Parts & Labor Butchery
August 28, 2019 | Full review

The Best Bang For Your Buck

TUO Cleaver

Our Expert Score
9.3
4 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
9.4
735 user reviews
Our Take

The handle on the TUO Cleaver is sourced from Africa and made from pakkawood, a composite that looks like wood but holds up even when exposed to water and food. The curved blade gives this cleaver a unique look, adding to the classic attractiveness of the handle. The blade is also built to last, with high-carbon German steel.

What other experts liked
The handle is made with superior quality PakkaWood, sourced from Africa. It is a full tang handle with a slight curve that gives extremely comfortable holding and does not tire the hand as you hold the knife for long time.
- OutdoorGearToday
It comes with a semi-rectangular-shaped blade that is curved at the end and its blade is paired with a very attractive wooden handle that’s supposed to make it look rustic, but only made it look more luxurious if you ask me.
- Warm Chef
Made of high-carbon German steel, you are assured of its durability and quality. Add to that, it is designed to last a long time without the need for constant sharpening and alignment.
- My Cookware Hub
What other experts didn't like
Small blade size
- OutdoorGearToday
The handle requires a lot of effort to maintain
- Warm Chef
Be ready to manually do aftercare as this is not dishwasher safe. It also requires proper storage especially that its handle is made of wood which may be prone to chipping, rotting as well as getting dents or scratches.
- My Cookware Hub

Overall Product Rankings

DALSTRONG Cleaver

1. DALSTRONG Cleaver

Overall Score: 9.6
Reviews Included: 8

Imarku Cleaver Knife

2. Imarku Cleaver Knife

Overall Score: 9.4
Reviews Included: 21

TUO Cleaver

3. TUO Cleaver

Overall Score: 9.3
Reviews Included: 5

DALSTRONG Hybrid Chef’s Knife

4. DALSTRONG Hybrid Chef’s Knife

Overall Score: 9.2
Reviews Included: 3

Zelite Infinity Cleaver Knife

5. Zelite Infinity Cleaver Knife

Overall Score: 9.1
Reviews Included: 17

Orblue Stainless Steel Cleaver

6. Orblue Stainless Steel Cleaver

Overall Score: 9.1
Reviews Included: 3

Utopia Kitchen Cleaver

7. Utopia Kitchen Cleaver

Overall Score: 9.0
Reviews Included: 28

Farberware Cleaver Knife

8. Farberware Cleaver Knife

Overall Score: 8.8
Reviews Included: 4

EPICA Stainless Steel Cleaver

9. EPICA Stainless Steel Cleaver

Overall Score: 8.8
Reviews Included: 11

Winco Chinese Cleaver

10. Winco Chinese Cleaver

Overall Score: 8.4
Reviews Included: 23

Our Meat Cleaver Findings

DALSTRONG Cleaver

What We Liked: An ergonomically-designed handle and full tang design put you in control while you’re using the DALSTRONG Cleaver. The blade is nitrogen chilled for extra durability and the edge is designed like a scalpel for extra slicing power. You can cut meats, fruits and vegetables using this cleaver.

Simplemost Media

TUO Cleaver

What We Liked: The handle on the TUO Cleaver is sourced from Africa and made from pakkawood, a composite that looks like wood but holds up even when exposed to water and food. The curved blade gives this cleaver a unique look, adding to the classic attractiveness of the handle. The blade is also built to last, with high-carbon German steel.

Simplemost Media

Imarku Cleaver Knife

What We Liked: The Imarku Cleaver Knife has it all, including a blade built using a special type of steel called 7Cr17mov. The ergonomic handle has antibacterial properties to help keep you and your family safe. Great edge retention means you’ll rarely have to sharpen this cleaver.

Simplemost Media

Imarku Cleaver Knife

What We Liked: The Imarku Cleaver Knife has it all, including a blade built using a special type of steel called 7Cr17mov. The ergonomic handle has antibacterial properties to help keep you and your family safe. Great edge retention means you’ll rarely have to sharpen this cleaver.

Simplemost Media

Orblue Stainless Steel Cleaver

What We Liked: A 7-inch blade gives the Orblue Stainless Steel Cleaver plenty of power, along with a sturdy, sharp blade. The heavy build makes it easy to slice through thick cuts of meat. Stainless steel construction helps it hold up through many uses and washings.

Simplemost Media

Our Expert Consultant

Julie Chernoff
Culinary Expert

Julie Chernoff is a long-time member of Les Dames d’Escoffier (past president of the Chicago Chapter, and current co-chair of the LDEI Legacy Awards Committee), the Association of Food Journalists (AFJ) and the International Association of Culinary Professionals.

Chernoff is the dining editor of Better, a lifestyle website and print magazine. Her journalism started in the test kitchens of Weight Watchers Magazine. She holds a BA in English from Yale University and is a graduate of the California Culinary Academy. She has spent the last few decades styling, photographing, teaching, developing recipes, editing, thinking and writing about food.

Our Meat Cleaver Buying Guide

Cutting meat requires a special tool, especially if you’re dealing with thicker meats. Sure, you could use your chef’s knife, but you’ll find you put in much more work while also risking damage to the meat itself.

They’re incredibly handy if you like to break down your own meats, rather than asking your butcher to do it for you, says our resident culinary expert Julie Chernoff.

“Meat cleavers get the most use in butcher shops, where they are constantly used to cut through large slabs of protein or to cut through bone,” she says. “You are looking for a large, broad, sturdy blade that can withstand considerable force. This must be a full-tang knife, and should weigh at least a pound at minimum; the one I have at home weighs nearly 2 pounds and it means business.”

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There are a few features to consider when you’re in the market for a meat cleaver. The first is the blade itself. Top meat cleavers prioritize something called edge retention, which means the blade is not only sharp, but you also won’t find yourself sharpening it every time you use it. This lets you enjoy consistency every time you start meal prep.

Retaining that sharpness does require a little extra work, though. You won’t be able to just toss your knife in the dishwasher after dinner. Instead, you’ll probably need to hand wash it to ensure it retains its effectiveness.

It’s important to note that meat cleavers do have their limitations. If you have heavier, thicker cuts of meat, especially with bones, you’ll need a cleaver that’s designed to tackle those big jobs. You’ll also need a special type of cleaver if you’re trying to slice and dice frozen items.

Simplemost Media

The handle directly drives how your knife performs. Look for a cleaver with a sturdy, ergonomic handle design that will maximize your comfort during those longer meal-prepping sessions. Some handles also offer features like slip-resistance, while others may advertise that they’re designed to keep bacteria at a minimum. Those can be nice “extras” to have in a knife.

“A non-slip grip surface is a serious plus, because the last thing you want is for this instrument to go flying out of your hand; breaking down meat is a messy job,” says Chernoff.

The accessories can make a big difference, as well. A sheath will come in handy for safely storing your cleaver when you aren’t using it. Since it can be tough to find a sheath that fits your blade perfectly, having one included with your purchase is a nice bonus. If you’re giving a meat cleaver as a gift, some come with gift packaging to save you time. Also look for a warranty or guarantee, since you want your meat cleaver to last.

“Some manufacturers offer a lifetime warranty, and that is something I would look for in high-quality knives in general,” says Chernoff.

DWYM Fun Fact

Meat cleavers earned an early reputation as a medieval sort of tool designed to blast through any cut of meat. In the early days, butchers would use it to slice right through bone-filled meats effortlessly. But today’s butchers don’t use meat cleavers for the most intense work. In fact, they prefer either handsaws or bandsaws for slicing through dense objects like bones and ribs. For home use, though, cleavers can be the best way to quickly cut boneless meats. Although a chef’s knife will do for most meal prep, using it on whole chickens or large vegetables can wear out the blade, making a cleaver a great way to preserve your knife collection.

The Meat Cleaver Tips and Advice

  • As with many knives, a cleaver’s handle can enhance both safety and comfort. Often this is all in the way the knife curves. Many of today’s cleavers are built with ergonomic handles to ensure you remain comfortable even when cutting for long periods of time.
  • Grip is especially important. A nonslip handle will help prevent accidents.
  • The weight of the knife also determines how comfortable it is to hold. A lightweight build will help reduce fatigue when you have a big job to do.
  • Cleavers can handle boneless cuts of meats, as well as vegetables. However, if you’re trying to tackle frozen items, meat with bones or other hard materials, you could find the handle breaks. If you need something to handle those heavy-duty tasks, look for a cleaver that’s built for it.
  • Pakkawood is a popular material for knife handles. Pakkawood is a blend of wood and plastic that is both waterproof and durable. Where wood would typically splinter or warp in food preparation conditions, pakkawood holds its own while still looking like genuine wood.
  • You may see the words “full tang.” This simply means that the back portion of the blade extends all the way through the handle. Full tang knives generally are more durable and offer more control.
  • Some cleavers advertise that they’re dishwasher safe, but it’s best to hand wash knives of any type. Not only does the dishwasher take a toll on the blade, but pakkawood can also suffer when exposed to the extreme heat a dishwasher puts out. When hand washing your knives, mild soaps are safest.
  • As visually appealing as etchings in blades are, keep in mind that at a glance, these designs can come across as smudges or dirt. You may miss the impression you’re trying to make by choosing one of these knives.
  • Storage instructions for cleavers and other knives typically focus on the blade. However, it’s also important to factor in how your handle will hold up while in storage, particularly if you’ve chosen one made of wood. Dents and scratches can take away from the look of your knife.
  • One bonus you’ll find in some knives is that the handles have an antibacterial property. This will help keep germs at bay while you’re preparing your meals.
  • Most of your cleaver shopping will home in on the blade. Many cleavers will promise to have the sharpest, most powerful blades, so look into the materials used to build the blade. Cleavers that were cooled with nitrogen and made from high-carbon steel or multiple layers of stainless steel are good options.
  • In addition to initial sharpness, look for a blade that retains its edge after many uses. If you have to keep sharpening your cleaver, you’ll find it becomes far less convenient.
  • Pay close attention to any warranty offered with your cleaver. If it breaks or you find it less than satisfactory, some manufacturers will let you return it for a full refund.
  • Although consumers turn to cleavers for cutting meat, you’ll get far more use out of it if you choose one that’s fairly versatile. Some cleavers go beyond proteins to help you chop fruits and vegetables.

About The Author

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Stephanie Faris 

Stephanie Faris is a novelist and professional writer. She's also a foodie who loves trying out new cooking techniques and tools. She is addicted to meal preparation kits and regularly shares photos on social media of her creations. Her favorite thing about traveling is trying out new restaurants and tasting different cuisines.