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Discussion in 'Non-Firearm Weapons' started by Lerk, May 12, 2013.

  1. Lerk

    Lerk Well-Known Member

    So Sam Cade's thread about the rusty cleaver made me remember that I need to get one. Always seem to be preping meat and wishing I had one. Are there are good quality and reasonably priced ones out there I should check out? Or other recommendations as to where I can find some?

    Need a new butcher's block too
  2. fineredmist

    fineredmist Well-Known Member

    I can't help you with where to get them but I can tell you that a good cleaver has a blade that is at least 1/8" thick at the top, has about 8" of cutting length and weighs in around 2 pounds. There are a lot of "kitchen" cleavers around and they are much too light to be of value when trying to cut anything but chicken, heavy is always better. Butcher blocks are expensive and require some maintenance namely scraping the surface to remove fat, blood and meat juices. The only way this can be done is with a stiff wire brush and there is a brush made just for this purpose. The brush is about 6" long by 2 1/2" wide and has "fingers" that are about 2 1/2' long and 1/8" wide; the ends of the fingers are sharpened on one side so the brush will cut in only one direction which permits it to cleanup the block surface.
    I suggest that you look on the net and in flea market type shops to find what you are looking for.
  3. Kingcreek

    Kingcreek Well-Known Member

    Mist is right on. A cleaver should be heavy enough that the weight works for you. I picked one up at a knife show years ago. Hand forged Norwegian with a convex edge. It gets a lot of use during deer season. Chops like a broad axe but sharp enough to slice with also.
  4. Bikewer

    Bikewer Well-Known Member

    I've got a rather seriously big one, total about a foot long... I throw it like an axe.
    Works quite nicely; you have to lob it rather easily or you'll throw your elbow out.
  5. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

  6. Slamfire

    Slamfire Well-Known Member

  7. Deltaboy

    Deltaboy Well-Known Member

    On Cleavers heavy is Better.
  8. zxcvbob

    zxcvbob Well-Known Member

    I have one of those that I bought almost 30 years ago. I use it now for batoning kindling more than anything else. I also bought a cleaver from Harbor Freight for $7. It is nice and heavy, and it looks nicer than the Dexter cleaver, so it's the one in the kitchen. If I ever break it, I'll get the Dexter back out of the garage.
  9. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

    On all kitchen knives, the correct weight is best.

    Heavy cleavers wreck your cutting surfaces, increase the chances of serious injury and are generally the most useless knife in the kitchen.

    Big cleavers are butchery tools and wholly unsuited for kitchen duty.
  10. kBob

    kBob Well-Known Member

    When I was nine my folks went in with Mom's folks on an IGA grocery. Her Dad aka Pa-Pah was the butcher. after the bandsaw and bacon slicer my Mom would get most freaked when Pa-pah would let the nine year old use the cleaver. "Just get it started and guide it and let it do the work for you.....oh, yeah watch where you put your other thumb."

    For kitchen use on say whole chickens and such a buddy used to swear by the one Gerber made, or sold, around thirty years ago. It had a set of weights on could arrange in the handle to get the balance one wanted. He liked it so much he sometimes carried it as a CCW in a shoulder rig. Wierdness if ya ask me, but I would not want to have him after me with it. When a Character in a "Magnum, P.I." TV episode only a year or so after he started this produced one and Ginsu chef-ed a telephone cord, I about feel out of my chair laughing thinking of my buddy.

  11. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member


    I remember having that same conversation!!
  12. zxcvbob

    zxcvbob Well-Known Member

    It probably is the least used knife in my kitchen, but it does get used -- to chop blocks of frozen food.
  13. joecil

    joecil Well-Known Member

    Yes I own a few myself but then one of my things is cooking. I have mostly custom made Chinese style cleaver using Japanese steels and workmanship and mostly slicing cleaver type but a couple of butcher type also. For that The second picture is one that belonged to a great grandmother shown that I had refinished. She got it at the worlds fair in Chicago in the early 1900's. The others are larger but didn't have pictures of at this time.

    Attached Files:

  14. Jaymo

    Jaymo Well-Known Member

    I've been wanting to get a heavy cleaver, but I've been using my Himalayan Imports 18" Bonecutter Khukuri.
    It's a purpose built chopping machine.
    The 18" measurement is straight from the tip of the blade, to the hilt. It does not include the bend in the blade.
    It's a beast, with a 3/8" thick spine.

    I have a cheap POS cleaver somewhere.
    I also have an OLD meat cleaver that was my GGDad's. It's not a heavy one, but is much better made than the cheapie I have.
    Also have a Dexter-Russel Chinese Chef's knife. Very useful knife, especially when chopping/slicing cabbage, lettuce, and large diameter vegetables. Not designed for chopping meat, but works very well for it's intended purpose.

    For most nonfrozen meat cutting, I prefer a good, sharp carbon steel butcher's knife.

    Yep, the Chinese Chef's knives (look like a squared off cleaver) are amazing for slicing heads of green veggies, stacks of greens, squashes, tomatoes, potatoes, etc. They make nice straight cuts.

    Meat cleavers always remind me of the episode of M*A*S*H, with the angry Turk who hated the Chinese.
  15. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

    Joe, that's A LOT of cleavers!
  16. jbkebert

    jbkebert Well-Known Member


    Here is my field clever made by Harvey King whom is also a member here on the THR. I use it for everything from getting light firewood to popping ribs or a pelvis on game animals. Heck I skinned out two hogs last year with it. It has proven to be a very useful tool and worth it weight in my pack.

  17. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member


    The line between cleaver and hand-axe can get pretty blurry.
  18. jbkebert

    jbkebert Well-Known Member

    You are right about that. Harvey's design almost makes the line disappear. I used to carry a Gerber hatchet but this thing fills that need and several others.
  19. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

    On that note:

    Has anyone ever gotten any hands-on with one of Ted Frizzel's cleaverish "hatchets"?

    I've been looking at the things for years but never managed to convince myself I needed one.


    This one confuses me a bit. Objet d'art I suppose.
  20. Deltaboy

    Deltaboy Well-Known Member

    Yes they can if you go swing it like Super Mario. I was taught to let the weight work for me but not to try and kill something that is all ready dead. When you DAD has bought a case of Chickens to put in the freezer and it is your job as a 12 year boy to half them for your Mom you want a Heavy Cleavers.

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