When I’m cooking, I incorporate meat into pretty much all of my dishes. Not only does it add a vital source of protein and nutrients, but it also automatically makes dinner special for my entire family.
If you’re like me, you like to minimize your time in the kitchen as much as possible so that you can spend more time with those you love. I find that one of the best ways to do this is investing in high-quality tools, like a reliable vegetable and meat cleaver knife.
These knives are crafted ultra-sharp and hefty to cut through meat with ease. By doing the proper research beforehand, I’ve been able to maintain the same trusty knife set year after year. As you’ll find, some cleavers are specially designed to cut through vegetables as well, making them much more versatile than you may expect.
Luckily, I’ve done the homework for you— Here are my top picks for best cleaver knives guaranteed to last you and your family for years to come.
Best Vegetable and Meat Cleaver Knives
Here are my top picks for best cleaver knives on the market today.
This cleaver means serious business. The knife is crafted from premium carbon-infused steel and runs 9” long with a thickness of 6mm. It’s definitely not for the faint of heart, weighing in at just under 3lbs, but it’s guaranteed to cut through bones and meat with ease.
Notably, this set comes with a rustic wood stand for easy storage. DALSTRONG also offers an impressive lifetime warranty against any defects, so you’ll be sure to fall in love with this knife.
- Award-winning super sharp blade
- Included storage sheath and stand
- Lifetime warranty
- Grooved top blade
- Heavy-duty build
- Crafted with carbon-infused steel
- Super heavy build may be intimidating for beginners
- Like any knife, requires regular sharpening
Not all cleavers are only for meat. This cleaver is ideal for soft meats and thick vegetables, like tough squash, bok choy, and other root veggies. If you’re a big stir fry fan, this is the perfect knife to get the job done. Crafted out of stainless steel, this German knife is built to last.
It’s 15 inches long, which makes larger chopping jobs much more efficient. The cleaver also weighs less than 1lb, so you’ll have no trouble at all handling it with eases. I love the flexible, super-sharp design of this cleaver’s blade.
- Can cut vegetables with ease as well as softer meats
- The lightweight feel makes it easy to maneuver
- Special 3 rivet design
- Ergonomic handle for an easy grip
- Carbon-infused steel for maximum strength
- Smooth top blade edge limits cutting possibilities
- Not suitable for cutting thick cuts of meat or bones
Aroma House makes a meat cleaver as good as it looks. Its classy wooden design is paired with the sheer power of the German carbon steel blade. The 7inch cleaver is designed to cut through meat without a hassle and weighs in at just over 1 lb.
Its lightweight design makes it suitable for cutting through vegetables as well. It also comes with a 100% money-back guarantee should you be dissatisfied in any way.
- Classy wooden handle suitable for a variety of kitchen designs
- Lightweight feel
- High-quality German Steel
- Super Sharp
- 100% Money-Back guarantee
- Built to be rust-resistant
- Can cut through vegetables and soft meats
- Straight edge blade may be limiting for some cuts of meat
- May be difficult slicing through thicker bones or meat cuts
This vegetable cleaver has a beautiful blade crafted out of Japanese Damascus steel. The ultra-sharp knife comes with an included sheath for easy storage. It’s 14 inches long, making it perfect for cutting through longer veggies like zucchini and squash.
The blade also weighs under 1 lb, making it incredibly easy to handle. You can see the 67 layers of handcrafted steel through the elegant blade. The soft handle and safety edge make using this blade simple and straightforward.
- Ultra-lightweight feel
- Cuts through vegetables with ease
- Included storage sheath
- Angled handle for added safety
- Included lifetime warranty for free replacement with any defects
- Requires regular sharpening
- Not suitable for most meats
If you’re looking for DALSTRONG strength but want a more all-purpose knife to cut through vegetables and fruits as well, look no further. This blade is 9” long and crafted out of heavy-duty steel. Notably, this cleaver has a unique curved design making it great for prolonged chopping. DALSTRONG offers a lifetime warranty so you’re sure to get a product you’ll use for years to come.
It’s pretty hefty weighing in at 2.6 lbs, but that gives the cleaver its impressive power. If you’re looking for an all-purpose knife to solve all qualms of your kitchen, I couldn’t recommend this cleaver more.
- Curved blade design makes it suitable for a number of chopping tasks
- Suitable for meat and vegetables
- Intense chopping power
- Included sheath for easy storage
- Impressive included lifetime warranty
- The heavy blade may take some getting used to
- Requires regular sharpening to maintain its power
Don’t be fooled by the modest price point of this knife. Though it is extremely affordable, it still cuts through meat like a champ. The blade measures 11” long and is crafted out of sleek stainless steel.
Notably, this meat cleaver is pretty light, weighing in at just over 1 lb. I love the sharp blade of this knife and was impressed by the high quality of customer service from Orblue.
- High-quality meat cutting at a modest price point
- Rigged top blade design
- Super sharp stainless steel
- Lightweight feel
- Great customer service
- Ergonomic grip handle
- No included warranty, so this knife may not last you as long as some of its competitors
- May not be as efficient for cutting through thicker cuts of meat due to its lightweight construction
This modest knife is crafted out of high-quality German steel and has a beautiful ergonomic wooden handle. The knife is pretty compact, with a blade size of 7” long, making for easy storage. I was impressed that this cleaver has a Rockwell hardness scale value of 60.
It weighs under 1 lb making it suitable for cutting fruits and veggies as well. There’s also an included 100% money-back guarantee should you be dissatisfied in any way, which I can definitely appreciate as a choosy buyer.
- Modest price point
- Flexible blade design
- Included 100% money-back guarantee
- Nice and light, making the blade easy to maneuver
- Great for beginners
- May take some extra elbow grease to cut through thick meat cuts with this knife
- Needs to be washed and dried carefully to prevent rusting
MAD SHARK knives are super strong and will cut through thick cuts of meat. The waved top ridge blade design makes this cleaver great for cutting through bones. I love the high-quality carbon steel construction of this blade, and the comfy grip handle makes it super easy to use.
These knives also come in a beautiful decorative box making them a great gift idea. The blade is about 7” long and is FDA tested and approved. The knife has a nice middle ground weight of just under 2 lbs.
- Rigged top blade
- German carbon steel
- Ergonomically sound grip handle
- Thick construction
- Weighted cutting
- Cuts through thick meats and bones
- Included decorative wrapping
- Semi-heavy weight may take some getting used to
- Does not come with a sheath so you may have to invest some extra time creating proper storage for this knife
This Winco knife has a charming rustic appearance. Though it’s extremely affordable, this knife does an impressive job at cutting through fruits and vegetables with ease.
While I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this knife for deeper cuts of meat, it works perfectly as an ultra-sharp all-purpose knife. Though you should always shoot to handwash your knives, this blade is dishwasher safe if you’re in a pinch.
- Highly flexible blade for a variety of uses
- Ultra-sharp design to cut through fruits and vegetables with ease
- Dishwasher safe
- Rustic wooden handle
- 1 lb weight makes it easy to handle
- 8” blade makes it the perfect size for most chopping tasks
- Not built to slice through thick cuts of meat
- Not backed by a warranty
I was certainly drawn to this knife for its sleek, classy appearance. I was pleasantly surprised to find that this blade has the sheer cutting power to match its good looks! With a sharp 7” blade, this knife makes a perfect vegetable cleaver for efficient all-purpose food prep.
The knife is infused with high-standard German steel and has a wooden curved grip handle for added comfort. Notably, this knife weighs less than half a pound making it extremely easy to maneuver.
- Great all-purpose knife
- Moderately priced
- Infused German steel
- Beautiful, sleek appearance
- Super light, easy to use for a variety of tasks
- Will likely need regular sharpening due to this knife’s versatility
- Not suitable for chopping through thicker cuts of meat
If you’ve never owned a meat cleaver before, this is an excellent entry-level knife to start with. I love that it’s made 100% stainless steel which is pretty impressive for such a modest price point.
This knife is great for cutting through fruits and veggies and will quite literally cut your prep time in half. The grip handle is pretty well balanced and the 10” blade is rust-resistant and dishwasher safe, though handwashing is always recommended.
- Affordable price point
- Great entry-level knife
- Light enough for beginners weighing only 1 lb
- Super sharp
- Heavy-duty stainless steel construction
- Great for prepping fruits and veggies
- Not suitable for thick meats
- Doesn’t come with a sheath, may have to seek out ulterior storage options
This stunning knife comes in a lovely decorative golden box, making it a perfect gift for cooking enthusiasts. The cleaver blade is 7” long, allowing this knife to cut through fruits and vegetables with ease.
Notably, the German-crafted steel is super sharp making this knife super-efficient. The blade has a slight curve to it making it great for a variety of chopping styles. There’s also a 100% money-back guarantee should you have any issues with the knife, though I haven’t had any trouble with it at all.
- Great all-purpose knife
- Razor-sharp German steel
- Rustic wooden handle
- Included warranty
- Decorative box making this knife a great gift
- Affordable price point
- Versatile slightly curved blade
- May not be suited to cut through heavy-duty meats
What Makes Cleavers Different from Other Knives?
You may be wondering what makes cleavers so special. While vegetable and meat cleavers can make your prep time more efficient, why not just invest in a high-quality all-purpose knife?
Well, for one thing, cleavers are generally heavier and wider than other knives giving them extra cutting power. While you may be able to eventually cut through cuts of meats and thick vegetables with a standard knife, the cut is likely to be less smooth and take a considerably larger amount of valuable time.
Meat cleavers in particular often have a jagged, sawtooth edge on the top of the blade made specifically for cutting through bone.
In exchange, however, you sacrifice a degree of precision that you may get from pairing or slimmer all-purpose knives. In laymen’s terms, cleavers are built for sheer cutting power rather than precise cuts or chops.
Why do Cleavers have a Tiny Hole?
As you’ll see with some cleavers, there’s often a tiny hole towards the top edge of the blade— but why?
As it turns out, this hole is mainly used for storage. Cleavers are naturally more difficult to store than a traditional knife with their thick blade design and bulky appearance. Moreover, the ultra-sharp nature of these blades makes it especially important to keep out of reach from small children or equipment that could potentially be damaged.
The hole originally put in cleavers for storage has become a signature part of the aesthetic of the cleaver. While it doesn’t necessarily add extra function to the knife, it may make it easier to hang from your wall and hence separate it from your more all-purpose knives.
How to Care for your Cleaver
Now that you have a cleaver picked out, it’s important that you know how to care for it properly. Follow these simple tips to ensure that your cleaver stands the test of time.
While some cleavers come dishwasher-safe, it’s important that you prioritize hand washing your cleaver. Most cleavers are crafted out of high-quality steel, making them prone to rust and cracking if not washed properly.
Though some are built rust-resistant, you should still handwash to be 100% safe. I recommend washing your cleaver carefully with cutproof gloves. Use a soft cloth, mild soap and warm water to clean the surface of the blade.
Moreover, ensure that you use hot water to kill off any harmful bacteria that may come from cutting meat. As always, wash your cleaver before switching from cutting meat to vegetables or vice versa. Preventing cross-contamination is vital in the kitchen and is an important safety practice.
2. Sharpening Routine
When you invest in any knife, it’s important to make sure that you have a proper knife sharpener available. Knives naturally dull over time and it’s up to you to maintain the quality of the blade.
In addition, it’s actually more dangerous to prepare food with a dull knife as you are much more likely to cut yourself when using dull tools.
Make sure to take careful note of how your knife cuts out of the packaging so you have a direct reference point for knowing when it’s time to sharpen your knife. Every knife is different, but as soon as you see your knife cutting notably less precisely, you should sharpen it out of good practice.
3. Proper Storage
Proper storage is important for any knife, but especially cleavers due to their clunky and ultra-sharp nature. Though you could opt to utilize the included hole near the top of the blade, it may be more convenient to use a magnetic knife strip or a knife block with a large section for a cleaver.
Be sure to consider the exact dimensions of your cleaver before looking for a knife block: Their wide blade size oftentimes makes them difficult to find suitable storage units for.
If you’re finding the process difficult, try to make included cleaver sheaths or storage units a priority. Not only will custom sheaths protect your other equipment in the long run, but they are catered specifically to the unique blade design of your new knife.
Helpful Features to Consider When Picking Out a Cleaver
Still unsure of which cleaver is right for you? Consider these helpful factors while coming up with a decision.
- Rigged Sawtooth Top Blade: If you’re looking to get a cleaver specifically for heavy-duty meat cuts, you’ll want to make this a priority. The rigged sawtooth blade makes cutting through bones a whole lot easier.
- Intended Use: Some cleavers can only cut through lighter cuts of meat depending on their weight. Also, if you just want a cleaver as a sort of heavy-duty chopping knife, you may not want the added bulk of a meat cleaver.
- Dishwasher Safe: Though using the dishwasher is never recommended, it is a handy feature to have anyway. Cutting meat makes your kitchen susceptible to cross-contamination, so you’re going to want to make sure your knives are cleaned thoroughly.
- Included Sheath/Storage: Again, if you need a deciding factor between two knives, an included sheath is super handy. Cleavers are made to be bulky for extra power, but that also makes them pretty difficult to store properly at times.
- Handle Grip: Sometimes, you won’t know if your knife is right for you until you hold it. Don’t feel bad about a knife that has a grip that doesn’t agree with you. The right knife will have a comfortable grip and feel balanced while chopping.
High-Quality Knives Improve Your Cooking
And there you have it! Twelve of my favorite high-quality cleaver knives to choose from. As you can see, each knife comes with a unique set of specialties and characteristics. That being said, it may take a bit of time to find the perfect cleaver for your kitchen.
Once you do find a knife, make sure to keep up with its regular maintenance. Any knife will not hold up well regardless of the quality if it is not regularly sharpened and cared for.
In addition, you may find yourself needing more than one cleaver. While some cleavers are great for cutting through thick meats, they can often be a bit too heavy for all-purpose use. On the contrary, vegetable cleavers are perfect for efficient all-purpose chopping but may take up unnecessary time when chopping through thicker cuts of meat.
Don’t be afraid to try out more than one— There is no magic number to how many knives you should have in your personal set. You should shoot to acquire a knife collection that is appropriately suited for your regular cooking routine, whatever that may be.
Hopefully, this buying guide has made it a bit easier to find pieces of equipment best suited to your individual needs. With a variety of thickness levels, hardness, and weights, you’re sure to find the perfect knife for you and your needs.