Top 5 Best Meat Cleavers for Cutting Bone (2021 Review)

Looking for the best meat cleaver for cutting bone?

You’ve come to the right place. 

When it comes to cutting through chunks of meaty goodness, delicate tools aren’t the way to go. Not only would it be an endless struggle, but you could also damage a really good knife.

A meat cleaver, also called a butcher knife, is a thick knife with a beveled edge specifically designed to cut meat chunks, and sometimes bone, seamlessly. You are also able to cut hard vegetables, like potatoes, in one slice.  

You should know that not all meat cleavers can cut through bone and finding the perfect cleaver for your pork chops is very important.

 In this guide, you’ll learn:

  • What are the different kinds of meat cleavers suitable for cutting bone?
  • What important features should I look out for when selecting these meat cleavers?  
  • And much more!

Below is a quick list of my favorite meat cleavers for cutting bone. Keep scrolling to learn more of my top tips to choose and use the most suitable knife for your bones.

ImageProduct
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Imarku Cleaver Knife 7 Inch German High Carbon Stainless Steel Chopper
  • Pakkawood Handle
  • Ergonomic Design
  • Chinese style cleaver
  • Pakkawood Handle
  • Ergonomic Design
  • Chinese style cleaver
View on Amazon
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DALSTRONG Cleaver Butcher Knife - 9"
  • Innovative design
  • High Versatility
  • Very durable
  • Innovative design
  • High Versatility
  • Very durable
View on Amazon
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Utopia Kitchen 7 Inches Cleaver Knife
  • Comfort Grip Handle
  • Low Maintenance
  • Affordable
  • Comfort Grip Handle
  • Low Maintenance
  • Affordable
View on Amazon
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SKY LIGHT Cleaver Knife , 7 Inch Butchers Knife
  • Durable Steel Blade
  • Ergonomic Design
  • 58+ Rockwell Hardness
  • Durable Steel Blade
  • Ergonomic Design
  • 58+ Rockwell Hardness
View on Amazon
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Juvale Meat Cleaver, Heavy Duty Knife
  • Long handle
  • Full Tang
  • Traditional Cleaver
  • Long handle
  • Full Tang
  • Traditional Cleaver
View on Amazon

My Overall Top #1 Pick: Imarku 7 Inch German High Carbon Stainless Steel Chopper Knife

Amongst the meat cleavers reviewed, I liked the Imarku 7 Inch German High Carbon Stainless Steel Chopper Knife best for cutting through bones.

Why?

Unlike many cleavers, even ones designed to cut bone, this cleaver is extremely versatile. You won’t need to change knives while you’re cooking as it is suitable for chopping, slicing, dicing, and mincing.

It is designed with a unique steel material, 7Cr17mov, which enables the blade to be sharp enough to slice meat and strong enough to cut bone.

Combined with its 7-inch length and it’s super study blade at 60+ on the Rockwell Hardness Scale (the sturdiest ranking in strength), this knife is fully equipped to go through thick slabs of pork as well as bone.

The handle is made of pakkawood and is infused with antibacterial properties to keep you safe. The sturdy design of the handle enhances a solid grip and easy maneuvering.

Top 5 Best Meat Cleavers for Cutting Bone

In a hurry? Check out our top 5 picks below! Keep reading to learn more about the best meat cleavers for cutting bone.

  1. Imarku 7 Inch German High Carbon Stainless Steel Chopper Knife (My Top Pick)
  2. DALSTRONG Cleaver Butcher Knife (Best High-End)
  3. Utopia 7 Inches Stainless Steel Cleaver Knife Chopper (Best Balance)
  4. Sky Light 7 inches German High Carbon Stainless Steel Meat Chopper (Best For Large Bones)
  5. Juvale Heavy Duty Knife (Best For Heavy Cuts)

What are the Advantages of a High Quality Meat Cleaver for Cutting Bone?

Precision is essential when preparing delicate meats like filet mignon or veal. Due to the delicate nature of fish, it can sometimes be impossible to get a clean cut without botching its meat.

 A high-quality meat cleaver cannot be overemphasized when trying to get an efficient and effective cut from these tough and/or delicate meats. This, in turn, speeds up your cooking time. 

The broadside of the blade can also be used for the crushing of ingredients, like ginger or garlic, during food preparation.

Cleavers designed to handle bone and large cuts of meat are what you need in the prep stage when you’re turning meat into a cookable cut. But, when the meat is finished, you’ll need a different kind of knife, like my top knives for trimming brisket (also great for carving roasts and other large cuts of meat!).

How to Pick the Best Meat Cleaver for Cutting Bone?

 Cleavers are not designed with the same specifications. Their strength variation means that only some can handle bones. With this in mind, it can be difficult to select the right chopper for the job.

When selecting a meat cleaver, it is important to note all these features to ensure its efficiency: strength and durability, design, style, and price.

Strength and Durability: How sturdy do I need my cleaver?

If you’re going to chop up something hard you need to use something harder. When it comes to high-quality metal, the best way to go would be either German or Japanese steel.

On the Rockwell rating scale, a 56-64+ rank would consist of the hardest blades on earth. Rockwell testing is a general way of measuring the hardness of metallic and polymer materials. Its scale is based on the indentation hardness of the material.

Blades that are made of stainless steel have a strong resistance against corrosion and stains, making the cleaver last even longer, after multiple uses.

Design: What Look am I going for?

When considering the design of your meat cleaver, it is important to keep in mind the blade’s length, height, thickness, balance, weight, and handle.

The blade length and height affect how well the workmanship of the cleaver is. A length of 6 to 8 inches is considered adequate for all meat chops although some companies extend the length range of their cleavers for an easy cut of larger slabs of meat. Although the height doesn’t matter as much as the length, a 3.25-inch range would be sufficient.

The blade should be on the thicker side to ensure the kind of blunt force that is needed to cut through thick slabs and dense bones. 

Meat cleavers are usually designed to be blade heavy. This means that the weight is situated more in the blade area, making it fall forward. A blade that gives more control is one that has its weight evenly distributed. An 8-inch cleaver can weigh as much as 2.5 pounds while a 6-inch one might weigh only 10 ounces.

The handles are made of different materials and your final selection should be based on your preference. Suitable cleaver handles should have a full tang to ensure proper grip of the tool. They are usually made of wood or polypropylene. This guide to finding a great kitchen knife is a good tool if you’re looking for top performance.

Style: What style would best qualify for a bone chop?

Another aspect  to consider is the style of your cleaver. There are three basic styles of cleavers: Western, Chinese, and Japanese cleavers. 

The Western cleaver comes with a blade that has a blunt edge. This makes the knife more suitable to chop bones but not suitable for slicing soft vegetables. It also should not be used for fine cutting.  

The Chinese cleaver is popularly termed an ‘all-purpose’ cleaver. With a sharper edge and a slimmer blade, this type of cleaver is perfect for chopping veggies and slicing through meat. The flat side is often used for crushing ingredients such as garlic and the top edge can be used to tenderize meat.

The Japanese cleaver is similar to the western but comes with a thinner blade. It is mainly used during preparation for precision slicing.

Price: Is a high-quality meat cleaver proportional to its price?

When selecting any kitchen apparatus in general, your budget is an important factor to consider.

A meat cleaver could cost anywhere from as low as $12 to as high as $100. Ideally, a top-quality meat cleaver should fall in the mid-range pricing, which typically ranges from $20 to $70.

If you want to know more about choosing a great kitchen knife in general, and especially about which kinds of knives are most important for your cooking, my complete guide to kitchen knives is for you.

How to Use a Meat Cleaver?

If you’ve never used a cleaver before, that’s fine. You can check out the video below for the right way to use one!  

My Reviews of Meat Cleavers for Cutting Bone

1. Imarku 7 Inch German High Carbon Stainless Steel Chopper Knife (My Top Pick)

Product Features:

  • 7 inch blade
  • High carbon stainless steel
  • Ergonomic pakkawood handle
  • 18 degree blade angle
  • Lifetime warranty

The Imarku chopper is everything you are looking for in a cleaver. It is made with 100% German stainless steel. 

It holds edge-retention, guaranteeing its durability and long-lasting sharpness. Its handle is 5-inch in length for a comfortable and firm grip.

An included decorative case makes this option easy to store between uses, great since cleavers aren’t usually needed every day.

A beautiful pakkawood handle completes this design, making it easy to use as well as attractive and durable.

PROS (+)CONS (-)
+ 100% German high carbon stainless steel for superior strength and durability
+ Great edge retention helps prevent damaging the knife when cutting through bone
+Included storage case great for protecting the knife
+ Well balanced and ergonomic design easier to use
+ Pakkawood Handle
– Not dishwasher friendly
-The blade does not handle shocks well, dropping in sinks or sideways percussion can damage the blade

2. DALSTRONG Cleaver Butcher Knife (Best High End)

Product Features:

  • Forged high carbon stainless steel
  • Full tang
  • 14-16 degree angle on the blade
  • Sheath for easy blade maintenance
  • 4.2mm blade thickness for versatile chopping power
  • 9 inch blade

The DALSTRONG heavy-duty “Ravenger” knife is always battle-ready for bones of different sizes.

With its 9-inch blade and 4.2mm thickness, this knife is sure to go through even the largest cuts of meat and is well designed to handle beef, pork, and other sizeable bones.

Although on the heavier side, its full tang pakkawood handle is designed to ensure you have a proper grip on the blade.

It has a 16-degree angle on each side and is tapered for denseness and flexibility. That angle helps protect blade sharpness. It also makes this uniquely curved cleaver design well suited to chopping vegetables and other tasks.

This model is an evolution of Dalstrong’s experimentation with different kinds of knife designs and balance. It’s not a traditional cleaver of any style, but combines some of the best features of all of them. The curved belly and sharp tip also make this cleaver a little more like a chef’s knife than any of the competition. It’s a great option if you’re a 1 meal 1 knife kind of person since this knife can handle a huge variety of produce and cutting/chopping tasks.

The Dalstrong butcher knife is infused with chromium for stain resistance, laminated and polished for easier cleaning.

PROS (+)CONS (-)
+ 56+ Rockwell hardness for better durability and to minimize damage while cutting bone
+ Full tang pakkawood handle
+ Laminated and hand polished for added durability and flexibility
+Added Chromium for stain resistance
+ Curved blade belly adds versatility to the cleaver
– Cannot be sharpened by most sharpening tools without dulling the edge, hand sharpening required.

3. Utopia 7 Inches Stainless Steel Cleaver Knife Chopper (Best Balance)

Product Features:

  • Stainless steel
  • 7 inch blade
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Easy grip handle
  • 14 oz.

The Utopia is specifically designed with its weight evenly distributed making it easier to maneuver. That balance is critical for good bone cutting power in a cleaver, and also makes this model a lot easier to use.

It’s reasonable price range also makes it suitable for people from all walks of life. Its 7-inch blade is long enough to go through slabs of meat in a swing.

Its thickness and weight, 3mm and 14 ounces respectively, give you just the right balance for a proper yield.

It has excellent stainless-steel edge retention, is rust-resistant, and doesn’t need a lot of maintenance.

PROS (+)CONS (-)
+ Lightweight, but not too light to cut through bone
+ Affordable price
+ 100% stainless steel (rust-resistant)
+ Easy to clean and maintain
+Ergonomic handle and blade design works well for cutting through bones, meat, and vegetables
– The blade could be sharper out of the box
– The handle can get a little slippery when wet or greasy

4. Sky Light Butcher’s knife 7 inches German High Carbon Stainless Steel Meat Chopper (Best For Large Bones)

Product Features:

  • High carbon stainless steel
  • 7 inch blade
  • Traditional Western cleaver design
  • Ergonomic handle
  • Full tang
  • 17 degree angle

The Sky Light butcher’s knife is a 7-inch German blade capable of going through any size of a bone. Yes, even larger beef bones. If a knife can go through it, this cleaver is up to the job.

It hits 62+ in Rockwell hardness, meaning that its strength would be like none other. 

Its blade is hand polished at a 17-degree angle on each side, to ensure an ultra-thin slice.

It weighs 19.36 ounces, which might be a bit difficult to maneuver, but this weight is exactly what is needed to get a smooth cut with dense bones.  

Its full tang construction, which is a smooth transition from blade to handle, provides an excellent balance, and its triple-rivet handle ensures a secure grip.

PROS (+)CONS (-)
+ 62+ Rockwell hardness, perfect for large bones
+ High carbon content improves steel strength, flexibility, and hardness
+ Hand-polished blades for better edge retention
+ German stainless steel
+ Protective bolster at the handle edge keeps your hand safer while you work
– The handle can be a little too short for some users
– Balance tilts toward the blade too much, makes controlled chopping harder.

5. Juvale Heavy Duty Knife (Best For Heavy Cuts)

Product Features:

  • 8 inch blade
  • Stainless steel
  • Real wood handle
  • Full tang design
  • 2.1 lbs. total weight
  • Ergonomic handle and balance

The Juvale is a heavy-duty knife specifically designed to have a thick spine to further ensure a deep and heavy cut in one swing.

This alone makes it capable enough to go through any bone.  The longer handle also gives you more leverage for those heavy cuts and a wider range of options for how to use this cleaver.

Its triple-reverted full tang wooden handle is 6 inches long, giving you more hold on the knife.

It weighs 2.1 pounds. Its high-carbon blade is hand sharpened and has a honed edge, improving the cut quality and blade life.  The extra weight adds a lot of durability to this design, especially when you’re working with the toughest bones.

PROS (+)CONS (-)
+ 100% stainless steel for added durability and low maintenance
+ Flat blade tip offers a more traditional design for butchering and cutting through bone
+ Full tang wooden handle for better durability and maneuverability while you’re working

– Grip might be too big for people with small hands.
-Best for experienced users, can be a more dangerous design for beginners because of the added weight and leverage

My Top Pick: Imarku 7 Inch German High Carbon Stainless Steel Chopper Knife

From the thickest chops to the hardest veggies, this cleaver is a keeper. Proving its quality with its specifications, this is perfect for quick bone chop. It is also perfect for cutting through hard fruits like squash.

When it comes to crushing sturdy ingredients, this blade is equally excellent.

Reviews from Amazon further back up its efficiency. With over 3500+ reviews, I don’t need to say much about how good this cleaver is. Its affordable price is the icing on the cake.

Of course, if you’re looking for a little help enjoying the steaks, roasts, and other cuts you’ll part out with your cleaver, you should check out my list of the best steak knives for the money!

Final Thoughts on The Best Meat Cleaver for Cutting Bone

If you are going to get your veal ready for dinner in time you need a cleaver for a quick preparation process. The guide above provides the perfect pointers to exactly what you need to know before getting one good enough for the job.

 A good cleaver needs to have the right weight distribution to ensure enough force with the swing, the right length to make longer cuts, and the right handle for a proper grip. It might seem like a lot but getting the right chopper can get your food in your belly faster and save you a lot of sweat.

At the same time, you don’t want a knife that is quick to rust or corrode, leading to possible food poisoning. The right cooking apparatus is important and this includes meat cleavers.

I recommend you get a cleaver best suited to your preference and budget. Get chopping!

Heather

Heather

My love for food brings me here. Over the last couple years, I've been building out my repertoire of the best kitchen gadgets and appliances to whip up my favorite meals. I'm on a mission to help you do the same, so you can bring out the spice of life in your kitchen and define your unique Kitchen Culture!

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Heather

Heather

My love for food brings me here. Over the last couple years, I've been building out my repertoire of the best kitchen gadgets and appliances to whip up my favorite meals. I'm on a mission to help you do the same, so you can bring out the spice of life in your kitchen and define your unique Kitchen Culture!

About My Kitchen Culture

Here at My Kitchen Culture, I review the best kitchen gadgets and appliances so that you can get everything you need to create your favorite foods in your kitchen. 

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