Sometimes called a chopping knife, a cleaver is a strong, heavy knife that's specially designed for hacking through bone. The blade of a cleaver must be incredibly strong, though it doesn't need to be particularly sharp. Since these knives don't need to be made from finely honed steel that will keep a razor sharp edge, cheap cleavers can often get the job done just as well as their expensive counterparts. The five cleavers on this list were chosen because they are strong enough to chop through bone, comfortable to hold, and built to last for many years.
A lightweight, strong knife, the LamsonSharp Silver Forged 5.25-inch Meat Cleaver is our favorite cleaver. This knife can cut through large cuts of meat and delicate poultry bones with ease and without causing the bones to splinter. Since it's relatively light, this cleaver won't cause fatigue the way that heavier knives can. Read Full Review
The LamsonSharp Silver Forged 5.25-inch Meat Cleaver is a a great knife because it's easy to use, even if you've never wielded a cleaver before. The blade is a short 5.25 inches long, and the entire knife is quite lightweight, which makes it ideal for home cooks who are just learning to use cleavers, and for those who lack the upper body strength to safely manage a heavier knife. Though this cleaver is light, it is just as strong as the other knives on this list, and can cut through thick bones with ease. This blade also won't cause delicate chicken bones to splinter the way that some cleavers can.
The stunning design of the Global G-12 Meat Chopper makes this cleaver stand out from the crowd. This knife is razor sharp and can chop through just about anything. It's also fairly lightweight and perfectly balanced which makes it easy to use for a long period of time. Read Full Review
Global has long been known for creating some of the most attractive knives on the market. Not only is the Global G-12 Meat Chopper a stunning addition to the kitchen, it's also a strong, sharp cleaver that can be used to hack through just about anything. This cleaver may be a bit more expensive than the others on this list, but it sports a razor sharp edge that helps it cut through even the toughest cuts of meat with ease. The knife is also perfectly balanced, with an ergonomic handle that is easy to get a good grip on. The large steel blade and matching steel handle may make this cleaver look heavy, but it has actually been designed to be relatively lightweight which helps reduce fatigue in the arm when you have to chop up a lot of meat.
The broad blade of the J.A. Henckles Classic 6-inch Cleaver is strong enough to tackle the most heavy-duty butchering jobs. Though the blade of this knife isn't as sharp as that on some of J.A. Henckles' other knives, this is a heavy, strong knife and is best suited for use with large cuts of beef or other meat. Read Full Review
Made by one of the best names in cutlery, the J.A. Henckles Classic 6-inch Cleaver is one of our Best Picks. This knife has a strong blade made from stain-resistant carbon steel that can be used to cut through thick pieces of meat and bone. It's a relatively heavy knife, which is ideal for cooks who want to let gravity do the hard work of butchering a cut of meat. The relatively straight design of the handle can take some getting used to, though, for many cooks, the minimal ergonomic curves makes this cleaver more comfortable to hold. Though this is a strong, well-made knife, the hefty blade can tend to splinter delicate chicken bones, making this knife better suited to beef, pork, and other large cuts of meat.
A heavy knife that means business, the Wusthof Grand Prix II Cleaver is one of our favorite cleavers. This knife is strong enough to cut through beef or pork bones and sharp enough to chop up a chicken or turkey without splintering the bones. This versatile knife may be a little pricier than some of the others on this list, but it's a great investment because it's made to last a lifetime. Read Full Review
Wusthof has been making some of the world's best knives for nearly two hundred years. The Wusthof Grand Prix II Cleaver is made from the same high carbon steel that makes Wusthof's knives stand out from the competition. The blade of this knife is quite heavy, and the handle has a full tang, which makes it easy to let gravity do the hard work of cutting through meat and bone. The sharp edge of this cleaver also makes it ideal for use with poultry, as it won't cause delicate bones to splinter. This durable knife can also be cleaned in the dishwasher, though it will keep its edge longer if it is hand-washed.
If you're looking for a great cleaver at a bargain price, the Winco Heavy Duty Cleaver with Wood Handle may just be the knife for you. This cleaver is large, heavy, and strong enough to hack through meat and bone. Though it may not be the sharpest knife on the list, it's ideal for heavy-duty butchering jobs and gets the job done nearly as well as its more expensive counterparts. Read Full Review
Since a razor sharp edge isn't necessary on a cleaver, it's possible to find a quality knife at a bargain price and the Winco Heavy Duty Cleaver with Wood Handle fits this bill. This knife sports a long, 8-inch blade that's made from a sturdy stainless steel and it can be used to chop through meat and bones with ease. The wooden handle has ergonomic curves that makes it comfortable to hold, even if you're using it for hours at a time. This knife can also be cleaned in the dishwasher without fear of damaging the blade.