7 Best Meat Cleavers for 2024
If you want to have the best home cooking skills, you need the best meat cleaver. At its best, this essential culinary tool should have a sharp and heavy stainless steel blade that can chop through meat, cartilage, tendons and even bones with ease. But not all meat cleavers are created equal. Thin, cheaply made and poorly balanced meat cleavers simply don’t make the cut; they’ll dull very quickly and can even be a hazard to use.
With those criteria in mind, we’ve created this knife guide to help you find the best meat cleaver for your kitchen. Whether you’re looking for the best Japanese meat cleaver knife, the best German meat cleaver knife or the best meat cleaver for the money, check out our list of the seven best meat cleavers so you can make a sharp decision!
Jump to Section
- Best Overall: Zwilling Four Star 6-inch Meat Cleaver
- Best Design: Cuisine::pro Damashiro Emperor 6.5-Inch Cleaver
- Most Budget-Friendly: Utopia Kitchen 7-Inch Meat Cleaver
- Best for Heavy Work: Dexter-Russell (S5288) 8-Inch Heavy-Duty Cleaver
- Most Versatile: Messermeister Pro Series 6-Inch Meat Cleaver
- Best With a Seamless Handle: Global G12 6.5-Inch Meat Cleaver
- Best Included Accessories: DALSTRONG Obliterator Meat Cleaver
1. Best Overall: Zwilling Four Star 6-Inch Meat Cleaver
Zwilling has been manufacturing high-quality kitchen knives since 1731, and the Zwilling Four Star 6-Inch Meat Cleaver is no exception to their excellence. Crafted in Germany with an ice-hardened stainless steel blade and a small hole for easy hanging, this is one of the best meat cleavers for cutting bone, tough vegetables and any other general kitchen use.
The Zwilling Four Star 6-Inch Meat Cleaver can make quick work of poultry and beef, with a well-balanced blade and seamless bolster that offers both handling comfort and finger safety. Another thing that makes this the best meat cleaver? It’s dishwasher-safe for convenient cleaning.
Why This Product Is Cozymeal-Approved
We chose this meat cleaver as our best overall option because of its outstanding quality and versatility. Zwilling’s nearly three centuries of excellence really shine through in this best meat cleaver that’s sure to be a staple piece in any kitchen.
2. Best Design: Cuisine::pro Damashiro Emperor 6.5-Inch Cleaver
The best Japanese meat cleaver knife is one of the best kitchen utility knives you can invest in. The Cuisine::pro Damashiro Emperor 6.5-Inch Cleaver has a solid but nicely balanced weight, making it perfect for chopping through dense meats, bones and tendons. Featuring a blade crafted with ice-hardened steel and pristinely finished using traditional Japanese leather sharpening techniques, this versatile tool is also great for slicing tough squash, chopping root vegetables and mincing herbs and garlic.
What really makes this knife one of the best meat cleavers, however, is its beautiful design. The polished pakka wood handle and dappled, damask blade are inspired by traditional Japanese samurai swords and meant to evoke the image of flowing water. This meat cleaver should be hand washed to protect its unique details.
Why This Product Is Cozymeal-Approved
In addition to being beautifully designed, the Cuisine::pro Damashiro is one of the best meat cleavers in terms of durability and craftsmanship. With a pristine, sharp blade and versatile shape, you’re sure to agree that this is the best Japanese meat cleaver knife.
3. Most Budget-Friendly: Utopia Kitchen 7-Inch Meat Cleaver
There’s no need to choose between quality and cost with the Utopia Kitchen 7-Inch Meat Cleaver. Retailing around $13 on Amazon, this is hands-down the best meat cleaver for the money. Made with stainless steel and an ABS 430 handle, this meat cleaver is a solid choice for aspiring home chefs, and can easily chop through meats, vegetables and more.
The hole at the corner allows you to easily hang this cleaver on a hook or peg when not in use. While hand washing is recommended, this meat cleaver can be tossed in the dishwasher when you’re short on time. This may not be the best meat cleaver for cutting bones and other super-tough cuts, but it can get the job done for general home kitchen use and is a great first-time buy for people who haven’t worked with a meat cleaver before.
4. Best for Heavy Work: Dexter-Russell (S5288) 8-Inch Heavy-Duty Cleaver
Carnivores rejoice; this is the best meat cleaver for bones, whole poultry, beef quarters and more. In fact, you could practically process a whole cow with the Dexter-Russel (S5288) 8-Inch Heavy-Duty Cleaver. With a hefty 2.5-pound weight, lengthy stainless high-carbon steel blade, and sturdy but elegant rosewood handle, you can easily chop through enough food to feed a village.
This is the best meat cleaver for cutting bone, cartilage, meat and any other dense pieces of tissue, but of course, it can also tackle large produce and root vegetables. The only potential downside of this heavy meat cleaver is that it can be tricky to maneuver for people with small hands. This is a knife thoughtfully designed for big hands, big meats and big appetites.
5. Most Versatile: Messermeister Pro Series 6-Inch Meat Cleaver
Investing in the best meat cleaver knife is a great idea, but what if you’re looking for a knife that can do it all? The Messermeister Pro Series 6-Inch Meat Cleaver can do the job of several types of kitchen knives, saving you time while both prepping food and washing dishes. With a 3.25-inch width, this meat cleaver can manage everything from cutting through bones to slicing squash and crushing garlic cloves or lemongrass.
The Messermeister Pro Series 6-inch Meat Cleaver has a shorter blade length compared to other options, which makes this one of the best meat cleavers for small hands or people with arthritis. The polypropylene handle allows for a firm non-slip grip while maintaining a relatively lightweight, and the short blade is ideal for scooping ingredients from the cutting board without dropping any pieces.
6. Best With a Seamless Handle: Global G12 6.5-Inch Meat Cleaver
If you’re looking for a modern, seamless and hygienic design, look no further than the Global G12 6.5-Inch Meat Cleaver. This knife features a sharp blade and dappled handle forged from one solid piece of stainless steel. Because it doesn’t have any creases or crevices, it’s incredibly easy to clean and sanitize, making this the best meat cleaver knife for busy, frequently used kitchens.
The perfectly balanced, bolsterless design of this 1-pound meat cleaver allows you to use the full edge of the blade, and it’s one of best kitchen knives for people with some solid knife handling experience, as the exposed edge can be dangerous for novice cooks. Although it can survive the dishwasher in a pinch, it’s better to hand wash this meat cleaver to maintain its razor-sharp blade edge.
7. Best Accessories Included: DALSTRONG Obliterator Meat Cleaver
The best knife sets usually come with sharpening tools or storage stands, but it can be hard to find a good meat cleaver with the same thoughtful accessories. Introducing the DALSTRONG Obliterator, one of the best meat cleavers that also comes with its own wooden stand. While it wasn’t our final pick for best design, this meat cleaver does have a noteworthy shape that stands out from the crowd.
With a sleek 9-inch blade that’s nearly 5 inches tall, this hefty meat cleaver weighs in at almost three pounds. Luckily, it comes with a durable sheath, and the handmade acacia wood stand is a perfect way to display this beautiful behemoth and store it out of your way when not in use.
Purchasing the best meat cleaver for bones, meat and more is an investment in your kitchen, your culinary development and your dietary health. It can be difficult to decide with so many amazing options, but once you bring the best meat cleaver into your home, you’re sure to reach for this essential tool time and time again.
For even more ways to elevate your kitchen, check out chef-recommended cutlery in the Cozymeal Shop.