The Best Meat Cleavers for the Kitchen

These versatile, accessible tools will make your meat cutting easier and safer.

By Sarah Littleton | Updated Jun 22, 2020 7:45 PM

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The Best Meat Cleaver Options

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Choosing any knife can be a daunting task, meat cleavers in particular. Even experienced cooks are thrown by the heft and power of meat cleavers. These thick, heavy knives have wide blades and sharp beveled edges. Meat cleavers make working with heavy meats easier and less dangerous. As the name suggests, they’re typically used for meat preparation: separating meat from bones, chopping bones for stock, and breaking down large cuts of meat into reasonable serving sizes—but they can also be put to a host of other uses, like chopping dense vegetables. We’ve hunted down options for the best meat cleaver to help you find one suited to your cooking needs.

Our Top Picks

Meat cleavers feature a wide, sharp blade, but different sizes, weights, and shapes can make a difference in ease of use and function—we kept these considerations in mind to assemble our list of recommendations.

The Best Meat Cleaver Option: Zelite Infinity Cleaver

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BEST OVERALL: Zelite Infinity Cleaver

The Zelite Infinity is a sleek and practical meat cleaver. Combining a razor sharp edge with satisfying heft, this cleaver is perfect for a wide variety of tasks. Heavy enough for a satisfying chop but light enough for manoeuvrability, the cleaver is comfortable to use during long cooking sessions. The stainless steel blade will not rust, dent, or wear out quickly. Stainless steel is also recognized for edge retention, so sharpening is rarely necessary. A full tang in the ergonomic handle provides excellent grip and control. With the Zelite Infinity, users can cut, chop, de-bone, or cleave meat. It’s great for vegetables, too, making short work of tougher produce like yam or sweet potato. This sharp, durable, and attractive cleaver will function well in both  professional and home kitchens.

The Best Meat Cleaver Option: Utopia Kitchen Cleaver

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BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Utopia Kitchen Cleaver

With a 7-inch razor-sharp edge, the Utopia Kitchen Cleaver can make its way through bone or vegetables with little effort. A sturdy one-piece design made from 100 percent stainless steel, the cleaver is resistant to rust and corrosion, so much so that it’s dishwasher safe. The Utopia’s handle is thoughtfully molded to allow a comfortable grip and easy maneuverability. The edge retention of stainless steel means that it will rarely need sharpening. Designed and built with professionals in mind, this blade is up to the task of domestic and commercial use. The Utopia will get the job done and is a suitable choice for cooks on a budget.

The Best Meat Cleaver Option: TUO Cutlery Cleaver

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CHINESE-STYLE PICK: TUO Cutlery Cleaver

The TUO Cutlery Cleaver is a Chinese-style cleaver, which is a variation of the standard meat cleaver: Its enhanced precision and dexterity comes from a slightly finer and more lightweight blade. Constructed from Japanese Damascus steel, the hammered finish offers a beautiful and unique appearance to the blade. This cleaver is extremely hard and durable, making for impressive edge retention, corrosion resistance, and maximum sharpness. All this adds up to a cleaver that can cut through ingredients ranging from heavy meat and bones to small vegetables. An ergonomic handle allows for a comfortable grip, making the cleaver easy to use even for extended periods. The TUO’s handle is carved from polished pakkawood, known for its exceptional durability and striking appearance. The cleaver includes an attractive presentation box, making it a perfect gift for the culinary enthusiast.

The Best Meat Cleaver Option: Dexter-Russell Heavy Duty Cleaver

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HEAVY-DUTY PICK: Dexter-Russell Heavy Duty Cleaver

Weighing in at over two pounds, the Dexter-Russell Heavy Duty Cleaver is the perfect option for cooks who need extra weight behind their chopping. Although it’s heavy, the cleaver is carefully designed for balanced use, making it surprisingly comfortable to handle. Made from high-quality steel, the blade is strong, durable, and offers edge retention. An attractive handle is carved from rosewood, known for its resistance to decay and regular grain. The wood is securely connected to the blade tang with a series of brass rivets for maximum stability. The Dexter-Russell is slightly longer than many cleavers on the market: with a blade length of eight inches, it can smash or slice through bone quickly and efficiently.

The Best Meat Cleaver Option: Dalstrong Ravenger Cleaver

Photo: amazon.com

MULTITASKING PICK: Dalstrong Ravenger Cleaver

The Dalstrong Ravenger Cleaver is a heavy-duty tool that combines heft with unusual dexterity, rendering it appropriate for the heaviest meat and bone cutting and fine work as well. The Ravenger weighs an impressive 2.65 pounds and features a razor sharp high carbon German steel blade, hand polished for a long-lasting edge. Most cleaver blades are rectangular, but the Ravenger has a curved end, allowing it to rock while chopping vegetables. The extra-thick full tang pakkawood handle is ergonomically shaped for improved maneuverability and triple-riveted for a lasting finish. The blade is laminated and polished, making it incredibly easy to keep clean. For a heavy, powerful meat cleaver that can zip through ingredients with ease, the Dalstrong Ravenger is a great option.