Best Meat Cleavers of 2021: Complete Reviews With Comparisons

This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

Regardless if you’re a home cook or an aspiring professional chef, having a complete set of knives in your kitchen is a must.

You most likely have a chef’s knife (for general cutting tasks) and a paring knife (for fruits and vegetables) already.

However, if you want to level up your food prep skills, getting the best meat cleaver is definitely an excellent way to start.

Like other kitchen knives, you’ll find a broad selection of meat cleavers in the market, so we’ve decided to help narrow down your options for you.

Comparison Chart

Freelander 6.3-Inch Hand-Forged Meat Cleaver
Purple Dragon Hand Forged Chef Knife
41u4Wk1nW5L. SL500
Mueller 7-inch Meat Cleaver Knife
Juvale Heavy Duty Butcher Meat Cleaver
41zzg7RPcaL. SL500
SHI BA ZI ZUO Knife 6.7-inch Stainless Steel Cleaver

Best Meat Cleaver Reviews

1. Freelander 6.3-Inch Hand-Forged Meat Cleaver

If you’re not a fan of extremely large knives, the Freelander 6.3-Inch Hand-Forged Meat Cleaver is a good alternative.

It is a bit small for chopping big chunks of meat, but the size is just right for home cooks.

Product Highlights

Wondering how this Freelander meat cleaver can be a good addition to your kitchen knives? Here’s why:

  • Multi-Purpose Knife

Because of its size, this meat cleaver can pass as a multi-purpose knife.

You can use it not only for chopping meat in the kitchen but also when fishing, hunting, camping, or during BBQs.

It’s also a great alternative to a chef’s knife, as it can perform a wide range of kitchen tasks, like slicing, mincing, and chopping vegetables.

  • Premium Steel

The Freelander 6.30-inch meat cleaver is made from top-quality 5Cr15Mov high-carbon steel with a hardness of 58 HRC.

Capable of maintaining its sharp edges for a long time, it is the perfect choice for both professional chefs and home cooks.

However, because of its high carbon content, you will want to wash the knife and dry it immediately after to avoid corrosion.

  • Super Sharp Blade

Aside from maintaining its sharpness, the blade is razor-sharp.

It features a hand-polished 16-degree edge on each side, allowing you to easily cut different food items.

The blade also passed multi-channel processes to provide more durability and fine grinding.

  • Seamless Full Tang Design

In terms of toughness and durability, the Freelander 6.3-Inch Hand-Forged Meat Cleaver is one of the best because of its full-tang design.

This construction prevents the knife from sliding off your hand, even if you’re cutting or chopping hard ingredients.

  • Sandalwood Handle

Aside from its full-tang construction, you’ll like the elegant and sophisticated red sandalwood handle, providing a unique style to this meat cleaver.

What’s more, it boasts exceptional slip resistance for extra protection and a curved design to ensure better grip.

  • Leather Sheath

The package includes a handy leather sheath to protect the blade from damage.

If you don’t have a knife holder in your kitchen, the sheath will keep the blade sharp and prevent rust.

Since you can attach it to your belt, carrying this knife will be a lot easier, especially if you enjoy camping or hosting barbecues.

Plus, it comes with an elegant box, making it the perfect gift for friends or relatives who love to cook.

What We Like

The best thing about the Freelander 6.3-Inch Hand-Forged Meat Cleaver is its compact size.

Compared to other meat cleavers, it is smaller and easier to carry.

What We Don’t Like

Unfortunately, its smaller size can also be a disadvantage, especially for those looking for a “real” meat cleaver.

They are usually bigger in size to chop large chunks of meat.

Although the blade has a thickness of 5.0mm, it might not be strong enough to cut through large bones like a real meat cleaver.

Pros:

  • Easy to carry
  • Smaller in size
  • Effortless to clean
  • Retains its sharpness

Con:

  • Not for cutting large chunks of meat

2. Purple Dragon Hand-Forged Cleaver Knife

One of the most stylish meat cleavers on this list is the Purple Dragon Hand-Forged Cleaver Knife.

The upper part is unique enough in its style that it can easily be the top choice for home chefs.

Product Highlights

Curious to know how it compares to the other meat cleavers on the list? Here are its best selling features:

  • Multi-Functional Knife

This Purple Dragon knife is both a cleaver and a boning knife.

You can use it for a variety of kitchen tasks, such as slicing, chopping, mincing, and dicing fruits and vegetables.

The blade is approximately 5.12 inches long.

Although it’s fairly short for a regular meat cleaver, it is sturdy enough to cut small to medium-sized meats.

You can use it for fish, pork, and beef, making it the perfect kitchen assistant for indoor and outdoor cooking.

  • Top Quality Steel

This meat cleaver is hand-forged from high manganese and high carbon steel.

It’s perfect if you cook regularly, but you’ll need to clean and dry it after every use to prevent rusting.

Because of its high carbon content, it can maintain its sharp edge better than stainless steel knives.

It boasts an HRC rating of 60 to 62, making it one of the sturdiest cleavers on this list.

  • Ergonomic Design

To lower the risks of accidents, this cleaver has an anti-slip, full-tang design and a large finger hole on the blade.

Getting a secure yet comfortable grip on the handle is almost effortless, too, thanks to its natural wood construction.

  • Sharp Blade

The blade is hand-polished with a 16-degree edge on each side to make it extremely sharp.

As an added feature, it has a built-in bottle opener you can take advantage of during BBQs.

  • Soft Leather Sheath

The knife comes in a soft leather sheath to prevent the blade from getting dull quickly.

You can also use it to carry the knife when fishing, hunting, or camping.

What We Like

Its very stylish appearance is undoubtedly one of this cleaver’s best features.

In fact, anyone who loves collecting knives for indoor and outdoor use might want to add this to their arsenal.

What We Don’t Like

Technically speaking, this knife does not count as a cleaver because of its shorter blade.

Still, it can pass as one because of the width and thickness of the blade.

If you’re cutting large chunks of meat, it might be best to look for a cleaver with a blade that measures around six to eight inches.

Pros:

  • Great design
  • Very sharp edge
  • Comes with a leather sheath
  • For indoor and outdoor use

Con:

  • Not for cutting large chunks of meat

3. Mueller 7-inch Meat Cleaver Knife

41u4Wk1nW5L. SL500

Mueller Austria is a popular brand when it comes to kitchen appliances.

Although they are not focused on knives, there’s no doubt they know how to make one.

Case in point: the Mueller 7-inch Meat Cleaver Knife.

Product Highlights

As one of the best cleavers on the market, how does this Mueller knife compare to others?

  • Premium Quality Materials

The Mueller 7-inch Meat Cleaver Knife is known for its high-quality stainless-steel blade that doesn’t easily discolor and corrode.

The blade is very easy to re-sharpen, and you won’t spend a lot of time cleaning and maintaining it.

  • Multi-Purpose Knife

Even with its 7-inch blade, this meat cleaver is very easy to use, especially for simple cutting tasks in the kitchen.

It’s big enough to cut large chunks of meat effortlessly, making it suitable for home and restaurant use.

Aside from meats, its razor-sharp blade can cut, chop, mince, and dice vegetables and fruits with ease.

  • Sharp Edge

Sharpness is one of the main reasons this meat cleaver is a top choice in the market, and you can easily see why.

You will also like that it can maintain its sharpness, even when you use it regularly.

  • Ergonomic Handle

The ergonomic handle on this knife helps minimize hand fatigue, finger numbness, and other aches.

Even when you use it to cut, chop, and slice for hours, you won’t get tired easily.

Plus, the handle provides a secure and comfortable grip, so you can be sure it won’t slip easily from your hands.

What We Like

Among the best reasons to buy the Mueller 7-inch Meat Cleaver Knife are the size and toughness of its blade.

At seven inches long, the stainless-steel blade lets you chop large chunks of meat with ease.

The material of the blade also means it does not require too much maintenance, as it is resistant to rust and corrosion.

What We Don’t Like

Compared with other blades with high-carbon content, this Mueller meat cleaver requires regular sharpening.

It can maintain its sharpness for a long time, but it is not as good as the cleavers with high-carbon blades.

Pros:

  • Sturdy blade
  • Very sharp edge
  • Easy to chop meat with
  • For home and restaurant use

Con:

  • Needs regular re-sharpening

4. Juvale 8-Inch Meat Cleaver

Juvale is yet another well-known brand that offers a wide range of houseware.

Whether you need something for your living room or kitchen, they will have something to offer.

A good example of this is the Juvale 8-Inch Meat Cleaver.

Product Highlights

The Juvale Meat Cleaver showcases the traditional meat cleaver that most chefs love having in their kitchen.

Here’s why it might be the best cleaver that will complete your knife collection:

  • Sturdy and Sharp Blade

The main reason this Juvale meat cleaver is a great choice is its sturdy and sharp blade.

While its blade is eight inches long, it only weighs 2.1 pounds, so it’s relatively effortless to cut with.

You won’t find any issues cutting through big cuts of meat, and you can even chop through bones without breaking a sweat.

The high-carbon stainless-steel blade is sharpened by hand to achieve a honed edge, providing a sharpness that is hard to match.

It’s also impressive that it can retain its sharpness for a long time, thanks to the blade’s carbon content.

  • Ergonomic Handle

For your comfort, this knife has a triple-riveted ergonomic wood handle that allows you to use it for long periods.

Moreover, it keeps the large and heavy blade stable so that you can fully control the knife as you chop.

  • Easy Storage

Unlike the other meat cleavers here, it doesn’t come with any type of sheath to protect the blade.

Instead, you will find a hole at the top corner of the blade that lets you hang the knife on a hook or peg.

  • Perfectly Safe on the Dishwasher

Note that this is a stainless-steel blade, so you won’t have to worry about corrosion or discoloration.

Another benefit of this is that you won’t need to wash it manually. You can simply toss it in the dishwasher for easy cleaning.

What We Like

What we like the most about the Juvale 8-Inch Meat Cleaver is the blade’s weight and length.

If you come to think of it, a shorter meat cleaver won’t do you any good in the kitchen.

After all, you have a chef’s knife to rely on for slicing through small and medium-sized meats.

The Juvale meat cleaver makes it easy to cut meats and bones, making it an excellent choice for those looking for a traditional cleaver.

What We Don’t Like

The blade itself is very tough; you can rely on it to get you through different kinds of kitchen tasks.

However, you might have a problem with the wooden handle.

It’s not too sturdy, and there’s a good chance it will break open if you accidentally drop the knife to the floor.

Pros:

  • Perfect for chopping large meat and bones
  • Effortless to use
  • Resistance to rust and corrosion
  • Very affordable

Con:

  • The wooden handle is a bit fragile

5. SHI BA ZI ZUO 6.7-inch Meat Knife

41zzg7RPcaL. SL500

SHI BA ZI ZUO is currently one of the top manufacturers of kitchen knives in China.

They have been developing a wide range of kitchen tools for many years and offering them for a very affordable price.

Among their best creations is the SHI BA ZI ZUO 6.7-Inch Meat Knife

Product Highlights

This SHI BA ZI ZUO knife is one of those kitchen tools you can bring anywhere.

Besides being portable, it offers a lot more features you’ll love to take advantage of, including:

  • Strong and Thick Blade

To ensure superb strength and unmatched sturdiness, this meat cleaver is made with a 2.0- to 2.5-millimeter-thick blade.

The edge is then honed to less than 30 degrees to guarantee sharpness.

  • Protective Finger Guard

The blade is very sharp, so you will find the finger guard extra beneficial for your safety.

It prevents your finger from reaching the blade’s edge, lowering the risks of accidental cuts.

  • Full-Tang Design

For safety reasons, it’s very important for any type of kitchen knife to be balanced.

Fortunately, this SHI BA ZI ZUO knife sports a full-tang design that keeps it stable.

As an added benefit, it adds extra weight to the knife to ensure you have enough power to cut through different food items.

The well-polished handle is then secured using metal rivets, ensuring a safe and comfortable grip.

  • Multi-Functional Blade

Despite being a meat cleaver, you can use this knife for a wide variety of cutting tasks.

Aside from meats, you’ll find it easy to chop and mince fruits and vegetables, even with the knife’s extra weight.

What We Like

What you’ll appreciate the most about this SHI BA ZI ZUO knife is its thick blade.

Unlike its counterparts, it’s more than sturdy enough that you can use to cut thick cuts of meat without hesitation.

What We Don’t Like

Though it can cut big meat chunks, you might not be able to use it to chop bones.

The blade is thick, but it might break if you use it for chopping bones.

Pros:

  • Very affordable
  • Thicker blade than others
  • Very sharp edge
  • Suitable to use out of the box
  • Reliable multi-purpose knife

Con:

  • Not for chopping meat with bones

Buyer’s Guide

You will find many brands that offer meat cleavers, making it pretty challenging to distinguish the good from the bad.

As such, you will want to know what makes a good meat cleaver first before shopping for one.

Doing so will help you wade through the hundreds of choices available so that you can find the best meat cleaver.

Here are the most critical factors you should look into:

1. Blade Size

As mentioned, meat cleavers are typically six to eight inches long.

More than anything, this is so that it can effortlessly cut through large chunks of meat.

You can go shorter to 5.5 inches, but anything beyond that might be too short to cut meats.

In the same vein, you wouldn’t want to go beyond eight inches, too, because a longer blade will affect the knife’s accuracy.

Meat cleavers shorter than the recommended length are more so for convenience rather than for chopping large meat chunks.

Therefore, consider what you wish to use the cleaver for and whether or not you’re okay with a shorter blade.

2. Blade Material

In addition to size, you also want to check the blade’s material.

What the blade is made of determines the knife’s ability to withstand repeated impacts to the chopping board.

Hence, you might want to pick a cleaver with a high-carbon stainless-steel blade. This material is strong enough to chop meat and bones.

For such kitchen tasks, you should stay away from ceramic knives.

They are sharp and able to retain their sharpness better than stainless steel, but they can be very brittle.

Using ceramic knives for chopping meat and bones might easily chip the blade.

On the other hand, high-carbon steel needs extra care because it can’t resist rust that well.

High-carbon steel knives are reliable kitchen tools, but you’ll need to wash and dry them by hand after every use.

3. Handle

Between a full-tang and a partial-tang design, always go with the former.

A partial-tang knife may not be durable enough for chopping meat, and the handle could break just after several uses.

Aside from the handle’s durability, you should also check for comfort.

Hold the knife and try it out for a few minutes to make sure it is ergonomic and your hands won’t hurt after long hours of using it.

4. Weight

Meat cleavers weighing 2.0 to 2.5 pounds are the best picks, as they are not too heavy nor too light for chopping.

Besides, a lightweight knife might not be powerful enough to cut through meat and bones.

Don’t get one that is too heavy, though; it would put a lot of pressure on your hands and tire you out quickly.

5. Warranty

Similar to any item you’re buying, check for the knife’s warranty coverage.

There’s a possibility that it doesn’t perform as it should due to manufacturing issues, and a warranty will allow you to send it back for replacement.

Meat Cleaver FAQs

1. Do you really need a meat cleaver?

If you normally buy pre-cut meats from the store, then a meat cleaver might not be something you’ll need in your kitchen.

However, if you’d rather buy meat in large cuts and then chop them yourself at home, then you definitely need a meat cleaver.

Of course, those running a restaurant or any other business that serves food are a whole different story.

Not only will your chefs need a meat cleaver, but you also have to buy a whole set of kitchen knives.

2. What is a good size cleaver?

As mentioned, the best cleaver for chopping meat should be around seven to eight inches.

You can go for smaller ones, but don’t expect that you can use the knife for chopping poultry bones.

3. What is the hole in a meat cleaver for?

The primary purpose of the hole in a meat cleaver is for easy storage, allowing you to hang the knife to dry after washing.

After all, they don’t usually come with sheaths, especially the bigger versions.

You can also use the hole to pull the knife out when it gets stuck on a bone.

4. Are meat cleavers sharp?

Meat cleaves are sharp but not as sharp as the smaller kitchen knives.

Because you use it primarily for chopping meat and bones, it doesn’t have to be extremely sharp.

5. Can a meat cleaver cut through bone?

A good meat cleaver should be strong enough to cut through bones—poultry bones, at the very least.

If that’s your goal, make sure the cleaver you’re buying is built to do that.

Which Meat Cleaver Is the Best?

Any of these five knives can be a good enough meat cleaver for any home cook. However, the Juvale 8-Inch Meat Cleaver clearly outshines the others.

It’s sharp, durable, and balanced, so you can rely on it to chop through meat and bones with little to no effort.

Leave a Comment