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The Best Meat Cleaver - 2021

Last updated on December 31, 2020

We looked at the top 10 Meat Cleavers and dug through the reviews from 101 of the most popular review sites including and more. The result is a ranking of the best Meat Cleavers.

Best Meat Cleaver

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Our Picks For The Top Meat Cleavers

Show Contents
Our Take
Experts Included
Pros
Cons
  Best All-Around Pick

Utopia Kitchen Meat Cleaver

Don't Waste Your Money Seal of Approval

Utopia Kitchen

Meat Cleaver

Overall Take

For Commercial KitchensAttractive features abound with this meat cleaver, including an ergonomic handle that reduces wrist fatigue and a hole for hanging.

Experts Included
DWYM Kitchen Experts plus A Guide Product, Sharpen Up, Kitchen Byte, EatrBox, Idea Hacks, Morning Chores and 20 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" As you probably know, stainless steel is one of the recommended material to use in the kitchen as it is easy to maintain and doesn’t leach harmful chemicals into food."
Cons
"What I didn’t like very much about this cleaver is its handle. It is also made of stainless steel, but there is an extra plastic part added to it, which is used for gripping."
  Best for Gifting

Imarku Meat Cleaver Knife

Imarku

Meat Cleaver Knife

Overall Take

Great Edge RetentionThis meat cleaver 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"
  Best Low-Maintenance

Farberware Meat Cleaver Knife

Farberware

Meat Cleaver Knife

Overall Take

Superior Quality BladeAll you need is a little warm water and a gentle detergent to get this meat cleaver clean.

Experts Included
DWYM Kitchen Experts plus No Place Called Home. Along with user reviews from Amazon and Walmart.
  Classic Pick

TUO Meat Cleaver

TUO

Meat Cleaver

Overall Take

Comfortable HandleThe handle on this meat 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"
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.

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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

Our experts reviewed the top 10 Meat Cleavers and also dug through the reviews from 101 of the most popular review sites including 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.

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

The Best Overall

Utopia Kitchen Meat Cleaver


Our Expert Score

9.2
26 expert reviews

User Summarized Score

9.0
1,121 user reviews

Our Take

This professional-quality meat cleaver is constructed from 100% stainless steel. That means you won't have to worry about corrosion, rust or stains. It's also highly durable, as well as recyclable, so you know you're money is well spent.

What other experts liked

As you probably know, stainless steel is one of the recommended material to use in the kitchen as it is easy to maintain and doesn’t leach harmful chemicals into food.
- A Guide Product
This butcher knife is however not only made from stainless steel making it just right for your kitchen, but is also sufficiently robust for tackling all those bones, you are sure to encounter while preparing delicious cuts of meat, without...
- Jane's Kitchen
Again, the manufacturers have taken care to get one of the most important parts of the cleaver right; it is a extremely well balanced tool, with a securely fastened handle that feels great in the hand.
- Sharpen Up
What’s more, chopping was effortless. For the woman of my weight, the size of the cleaver was just fine, and it was easy to handle. Also, the weight is well balanced, which made it even more suitable to use.
- Kitchen Byte
This knife offers superior grip, and the three rivets reinforce the handle into a one-piece knife. The handle also provides a natural grip that reduces stress on your wrist. You can use this for a longer period without soreness.
- EatrBox
June 3, 2019 | Full review
This blade was designed with the high paced demands of the standard commercial kitchen in mind. It is extremely durable, very sharp, and will chop its way through anything and everything.
- Idea Hacks
The cleaver is well balanced and has an ergonomic easy-gripping stainless steel and ABS black plastic handle which allows you to maintain a good solid grip on the handle.
- Morning Chores
Lifetime Warranty - This company is confident enough to grant their clients with a lifetime warranty. They will replace your knife if it is deemed that it had failed their quality check.
- Taste Insight
The ergonomic handle is made of ABS + 430 material to give that good grip and easy maneuver. This multipurpose knife can be used to cut through big slabs of meat, fruits, and vegetables.
- Cooking Is Passio
Although it’s made of quality stainless steel, this cleaver is weighted well. Even the ladies will find it comfortable to use and maneuver this kitchen gem.
- Fishing Picks
The handle feels natural to the touch and is comfortable and firm to grip.
- Top Best 10 Reviews
This cleaver offers accuracy in segmenting and trimming larger meat cuts as well as large fruits. It has stainless steel blade that is rust-resistant and easy to use as well.
- Quick Easy Cook
It comes with an ultra sharp edge that allows superior cutting output.
- Yum China
September 6, 2017 | Full review
The best thing about this meat cleaver for budget minded people like me is its price. Its relatively inexpensive but it still gets the job done.
- Cooking Chew
Thanks to the superior quality of the stainless steel blade, you’re provided with a long lasting meat cleaver that has a mind blowing cutting performance.
- Sumo Chef
This cleaver is perfect for users with arthritic hands and those experiencing wrist tension because the handle is ergonomically designed.
- Chew The World
It’s designed exclusively for any challenging every day demands behind the usual commercial kitchen. Cleaning this will just be a breeze. You can actually wash this through your handy dishwasher and it won’t get dull or damaged in the...
- Bestalyze
Its stainless steel blades offer an excellent sharpness and well-balanced weight.
- Cooky Mom
November 21, 2017 | Full review
Ergonomic handle for easy gripping and maneuvering
- Sullivan Steak House
The blades are 100% stainless steel hence they do not rust or corrode and it is easy to clean.
- Kitchen Fact
7" cleaver works well for bone cutting. 100% stainless steel blade is easy to sharpen. Good weight and comfortable to hold. Dishwasher safe.
- BestReviews
The handle is comfortable even after being used for relatively long periods of time, but it can get a little slippery if it gets wet, so it is best to keep your hands and cleaver handle dry.
- Nothing But Knives
Its convenient design includes a steady handle, too, that assures a comfortable and non-slip grip for safe and proper use.
- Parts & Labor Butchery
August 28, 2019 | Full review
A stand-out feature of this butcher’s knife is the ABS 430 handle which offers easy grip and superior ease of motion.
- Italian Barrel
The most affordable option in this roundup, the Utopia Kitchen 7-Inch Butcher Knife is made from 100% stainless steel.
- Kitchen Tipster
The handle is very comfortable and easy to grip as well. This cleaver knife can be put in the dishwasher, but it is recommended that you wash it by hand.
- Mastering the Flame
September 26, 2019 | Full review

What other experts didn't like

Must be washed by hand to preserve blade.
- Jane's Kitchen
What I didn’t like very much about this cleaver is its handle. It is also made of stainless steel, but there is an extra plastic part added to it, which is used for gripping.
- Kitchen Byte
There is a slight thickness towards the edge of the knife.
- EatrBox
June 3, 2019 | Full review
There have been cases of the handle cracking
- Idea Hacks
The handle is quite slippery and cracks easily
- Morning Chores
Slippery Handle - If you are working on greasy kitchen stuff, make sure that you wash or wipe your hands thoroughly. You don’t want to accidentally let go of a knife while separating bones and joints.
- Taste Insight
Doesn’t offer a replacement option for damaged purchases
- Cooking Is Passio
The blade can really be too sharp, so you should be extra careful when using it.
- Fishing Picks
May feel somehow heavy
- Top Best 10 Reviews
Blade might get dull shortly
- Quick Easy Cook
The handle is not very comfortable for extended usage.
- Yum China
September 6, 2017 | Full review
I did notice that it is a bit top heavy, meaning that the top is heavier that the bottom, but this did not cause me any problems.
- Cooking Chew
Blade may get water spots
- Sumo Chef
May be heavy for smaller hands
- Chew The World
It offers low maintenance for the parts.
- Cooky Mom
November 21, 2017 | Full review
Dishwasher safe, but manufacturer recommends washing by hand
- Sullivan Steak House
There are cases of the handle breaking.
- Kitchen Fact
The knife does require some sharpening before first use and the handle can damage over time.
- BestReviews
Possible Quality Assurance Problems. Some Cleavers Ship Sharper Than Others
- Nothing But Knives
Some say the handle could be improved
- Parts & Labor Butchery
August 28, 2019 | Full review
The blade needs to be sharpened out of the box
- Italian Barrel
The stainless-steel blade may require frequent sharpening
- Kitchen Tipster

Overall Product Rankings

Utopia Kitchen Meat Cleaver

1. Utopia Kitchen Meat Cleaver

Overall Score: 9.8
Reviews Included: 28

Imarku Meat Cleaver Knife

2. Imarku Meat Cleaver Knife

Overall Score: 9.4
Reviews Included: 21

Farberware Meat Cleaver Knife

3. Farberware Meat Cleaver Knife

Overall Score: 9.3
Reviews Included: 4

TUO Meat Cleaver

4. TUO Meat Cleaver

Overall Score: 9.2
Reviews Included: 5

Zelite Infinity Cleaver Knife

5. Zelite Infinity Cleaver Knife

Overall Score: 9.0
Reviews Included: 17

DALSTRONG Hybrid Chef’s Knife

6. DALSTRONG Hybrid Chef’s Knife

Overall Score: 8.9
Reviews Included: 3

DALSTRONG Meat Cleaver

7. DALSTRONG Meat Cleaver

Overall Score: 8.9
Reviews Included: 8

EPICA Stainless Steel Cleaver

8. EPICA Stainless Steel Cleaver

Overall Score: 8.8
Reviews Included: 11

Winco Chinese Cleaver

9. Winco Chinese Cleaver

Overall Score: 8.4
Reviews Included: 23

Orblue Stainless Steel Cleaver

10. Orblue Stainless Steel Cleaver

Overall Score: 7.9
Reviews Included: 3

Our Meat Cleaver Findings


Utopia Kitchen Meat Cleaver

What We Liked: This professional-quality meat cleaver is constructed from 100% stainless steel. That means you won’t have to worry about corrosion, rust or stains. It’s also highly durable, as well as recyclable, so you know you’re money is well spent.


Imarku Meat Cleaver Knife

What We Liked: This meat cleaver 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.


Farberware Meat Cleaver Knife

What We Liked: Not only does this meat cleaver have a protective sheath, but the sheath also features a built-in mechanism that hones the blade each time you use it. Home chefs will love the ergonomically designed handle, which also has a comfortable grip. Of course, the superior quality blade makes quick work of cutting through even the thickest chunks of meat.


TUO Meat Cleaver

What We Liked: The handle on this meat 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.


DALSTRONG Meat Cleaver

What We Liked: An ergonomically-designed handle and full tang design put you in control while you’re using this meat 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.


Orblue Stainless Steel Cleaver

What We Liked: A 7-inch blade gives this meat 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.

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.”

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.

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.

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 antibacterial properties. 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.
  • 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

Avatar
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.