Last updated date: January 22, 2020
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We looked at the top Meat Cleavers and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Meat Cleaver you should buy.
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. In our analysis of 107 expert reviews, the DALSTRONG DALSTRONG Cleaver placed 1st when we looked at the top 10 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.
Editor's Note December 16, 2019:
Checkout The Best Meat Cleaver for a detailed review of all the top meat cleavers.
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From The Manufacturer
Maximum Performance. Zero Compromises. At The Cutting Edge of Beauty and Performance The Shogun Series X 7” Chinese cleaver (chukabocho in Japanese) is perfect for breaking down smaller cuts of boneless meats and poultry as well as slicing, dicing, mincing and chopping tough vegetables (including large heads of cabbage and lettuce) and fruits of all kinds. In Asian kitchens this blade style operates as the ‘chef’s knife’ of vegetables, offering surprising versatility, nimbleness and a screamingly sharp edge. The spine of the blade can be used to mince ginger or garlic while the sharp, flat edge provides more contact with the cutting board and exceptional precision. The extra wide blades allows for excellent knuckle clearance and ensures food can be easily scooped up for simple transfer from cutting board to pot or pan. The exquisite hammered tsuchime finish on this blade is not only a beautiful statement in craftsmanship, it also serves the purpose of reducing drag and minimizing stuck on food. A scalpel like edge is hand finished to a staggering 8-12°degree angle per side using the traditional 3-step Honbazuke method - No ordinary santoku knife. Nitrogen cooled for enhanced harness, flexibility and corrosion resistance. Full tang for superb robustness and triple riveted for even more resilience.Perfect for vegetables, fruits, and boneless meats. Painstakingly crafted over 60 days using the highest quality materials, the Shogun Series paring knife is both a razor-sharp kitchen powerhouse and artistic statement in premium design and workmanship. Combining ancient Japanese sword making methods with the latest in breakthrough technologies, the Shogun Series is simply unrivaled in performance, beauty and value. Included 7” Shogun Series Cleaver PerfectFit Dalstrong Sheath Neatly Packed with Dalstrong’s Renowned Packaging The Art of Steel. FEATURES AND BENEFITS The Shogun Series Cleaver Blade ✓Scalpel like sharpness at a staggering 8-12°degree angle per side. Sail through culinary challenges. ✓Incredible Edge Retention at 62+ Rockwell. Cut longer, go further. ✓AUS-10V Japanese super steel core. The ultimate steel for the ultimate performance. ✓67-Layered Damascus sharpened under the ancient 3-step Honbazuke method and married to bleeding edge technology. ✓Tapered bolster provides a perfect ‘zero-balance’ balance, finger protection and gently encourages a natural and comfortable pinch grip ✓Rust/Corrosion resistant cladding means your knife will stay cleaner and last longer ✓Hand-polished spine enhances comfort across very grips ✓Featuring Dalstrong’s exquisite Shogun Series Tsunami Rose blade pattern, for striking, stand out beauty. ✓Full tang - maximum robustness. This knife is built to last a lifetime. ✓Triple riveted - even further resilience. ✓Beautifully engraved. Performance and looks. ✓Tapered blade for minimal slicing resistance and non-stick properties ✓Cleans easily ✓Precise cryogenic tempering increases the steel’s crystalline structure, enhancing, strength, flexibility and hardness. The Shogun Series Cleaver Handle ✓Military grade G10 handle for life-long durability ✓Highly impervious to heat, cold and moisture ✓Ergonomic handle for superior hand control, agility and comfort ✓Non-slip grip ✓Engraved end cap for further distinction ✓Intricate copper mosaic enhances beauty The Shogun Series Cleaver Sheath Included with every Shogun Series blade is a matching Shogun Series saya (sheath) with traditional pin and string locking mechanism. Ensuring your investment and your fingers are protected. Knives To Build A Career On. A Community Of Chefs To Belong To. Over Seventy-Five Thousand Chefs Have Switched to Dalstrong From executive chefs to home chefs and everyone in between, Dalstrong Chefs are treated like family. Over seventy-five thousand chefs have switched to Dalstrong for our superior quality, unconditional support, and loyal community. It may be cliche, but we truly care about you and the blades and products we painstakingly design and develop. From the tinest packaging detail, to hundreds of hours of design and testing, each knife is a work of love, dedication and expert craftsmanship. Dalstrong supports you, our chefs, everyday and in every way we can. Your Dalstrong knives work alongside you, day in and day out, making you more effective, creative, and precise in the kitchen; delivering plates you can feel proud to present. These are knives to build a career on, and tens of thousands of professional chefs have done just that. From cooking competitions (Dalstrong supports chefs across the country building their reputation), to charitable events (we donate knives to those in need with culinary aspirations), Dalstrong loves the community, loves chefs, and the men and women who prepare food for us all each and everyday. From the heat of the professional kitchen to a simple meal for one, Dalstrong stands beside you every step of the way. #dalstrong The Dalstrong Difference. Dalstrong Is Out To Turn An Old Industry On Its Head We love cooking. We love design and craftsmanship. Most of all though, we love bringing a feeling of pure satisfaction to chefs around the world who use our tools day in and day out. Whether you’re a hobbyist or pro, our aim is to enhance the experience of your culinary creation. Dalstrong is the new guy on the block. From a foundation of love and respect for an ancient craft, we layer on modern thinking and methods to create beautiful and innovative knives at far greater value than traditional brands. Don’t just take our word for it; look what others are saying, across the web, social media and in professional kitchens around the country. Our goal is to stir up a stodgy old industry with tools chefs love and trust, with innovative design and improvements. And as a company, we’re out to build life-long relationships with exceptional products and exceptional attention to your individual needs as a chef and customer. Come cook with us. Like you, we strive for greatness every day.
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An Overview On Meat Cleavers
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. 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 Buying Guide
- 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.