kniveSource Logo
The Online Source of Knives

How to Choose the Right Cleaver Knife

July 6, 2023173 ViewskniveSource

A high-quality collection of knives are the most important tools in your kitchen. Good blades make food preparation much easier and safer. It is not common for a kitchen to have several different knives for different types of cutting. One of these knives is the cleaver, which can be extremely dangerous in an inexperienced hand. A few key factors that determine whether a knife is safe are the shape, weight, and sharpness of the blade. When it comes time to purchase a new cleaver knife for cutting meat, fish, vegetables, and more, learn everything you can about choosing and using the best cleaver knife first.


What Is a Cleaver Knife?

A cleaver knife is a kitchen tool used to chop or slice food. The knives are traditionally used in commercial kitchens and butcher shops, but they are also common in many homes. These knives typically have a heavy blade with an offset handle. They vary in size, but most will average ten to twelve inches long. A cleaver knife is the best choice to use when you need to slice through tough foods like large cuts of meat or hard vegetables like squash. They are also quite adept at handling softer foods for your favorite recipes.

The Benefits of a Good Cleaver

As one of the largest blades in your collection, a cleaver has a big job to do for a wide variety of dishes. They can handle butchering meat, cutting tough vegetables, and even more delicate jobs like mincing garlic. They offer some versatility but more specific advantages over other styles of knife.

Why Do You Need a Cleaver in Your Kitchen?

Have you ever watched one of the popular TV cooking competitions and wondered why the contestants use a cleaver? Many people do not know that a cleaver is an essential kitchen tool. It can be used for cutting meat, vegetables, fruits, and more. Smaller knives cannot always cut through these items like a cleaver can.

Consequences of Using a Bad Cleaver Knife

Anytime you use a bad knife of any variety in the kitchen, your work becomes harder and you increase the chance of accidents and injury. A lightweight cleaver will not cut easily through meat or tough vegetables and necessitate greater force on your part. A dull cleaver may skip or slide across the food and cut your hand instead. It is always important to use the right knife for the right job.

Types of Cleaver Knives

Choosing the right cleaver knife is important to ensure the best quality of cut. There are different types of cleavers that are available for purchase, each being used in different ways. More durable cleavers are best for meatier cuts but require more work, while delicate knives are better for things like fish and veggies. The size of the blade will also come into play when choosing which knife to buy.

How to Pick the Best Cleaver Knife

Picking the best cleaver knife can be tough, especially if you do not know what to look for. While every kitchen goods store has an option, it is important to look at specific characteristics in order to choose one that works best for you.


Too thin or too thick and your cleaver knife will not perform properly. The hefty structure of this type of blade requires some weight behind it in order to chop through hard vegetables or butcher meat effectively. Choose one with a well-honed edge that gradually tapers to a medium-weight blade. Remember that a duller blade is more difficult to use and raises risk of injury in the kitchen.


The most common materials for cleavers include high-carbon steel and stainless steel. The former offers long-term sharpness so you do not have to maintain the knife as frequently. Stainless will generally last longer as it will never rust and will not affect the taste or chemistry of the food you use it on.

Cleaver Knife Design

Although all cleaner knives are generally rectangular with a broad, heavy blade, and an offset handle, there are subtle differences that can make your kitchen experience better.

How to Use a Cleaver

A cleaver is a versatile kitchen tool that can be used for cutting, slicing, and chopping. It is the perfect tool to have in your kitchen to cut through tough meats, vegetables, and fruits. No matter what type you choose to purchase, the most important thing is to learn how to use it effectively.

What is the difference between a meat cleaver and a Chinese cleaver?

Classic meat cleavers are much heavier and are used primarily for tough meat, bones, and joints. Chinese cleavers are lighter in weight with thinner blades. These offer great versatility for boneless meat, vegetables, fruit, and other applications in the kitchen.

What is the difference between a butcher knife and a cleaver?

Although many sources call a cleaver a butcher knife, and they are commonly used for butchering pieces of meat, they do have some differences. A traditional butcher’s knife has a much longer and narrower blade with a curve at the end. It is truly only suitable for cutting up large uses of meat.

Shop for cleaver knife at kniveSource

KniveSource offers a selection of high-quality kitchen cleaver knife. These powerhouse blades can handle your meats and vegetables with ease. The three options all offer comfortable handles, and appropriately heavy weight but the thick spine for mashing garlic, and an ultra-sharp German stainless steel blade. They are balanced to exacting standards so every at-home chef can prepare favorite recipes like a pro.

Browse Cleaver Knives