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Old 11-03-2010, 07:07 PM   #1
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Cleaver question?

Ok, I've decided I need a meat cleaver to do some heavy work where I don't want to use my MAC chef's knife. Do I really need to spend as much for a cleaver as I did for my chef knife or will a less expensive alternative be fine? Any suggestions on brands? Thanks for any help.

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Old 11-03-2010, 07:09 PM   #2
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I bought a Henckels Professional S cleaver for $39. They don't have to cost a lot.
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Old 11-04-2010, 12:15 AM   #3
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CCK cleavers are inexpensive yet very high quality. Hard to beat for the money.
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Old 11-05-2010, 02:42 AM   #4
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Greetings all, I've browsed this site a few times and have enjoyed it. I meant to register a while ago, but the topic of my favorite knife the cleaver, finally made me do it. A general rule of thumb I have, is that amount of use the knife will get should determine the price. Unless you are chopping bones on a regular basis, it doesn't make much sense to pay more then $20.00 on a cleaver. I'd suggest the cheapest carbon steel cleaver you can find. I bought one at my local butcher shop for $12.00. The local China town would be another good place to find one. The Wok Shop on the internet has good inexpensive cleavers. Jay
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Old 11-05-2010, 03:38 AM   #5
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I bought my first cleaver in Chinatown. I don't remember how much, but it was cheap. The one I have now is from a flea market and cost $10. It's big and heavy and has a hole in one corner to hang it up.
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Old 11-05-2010, 09:21 AM   #6
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I got the impression from the OP he wants a cleaver for breaking down larger cuts and chopping through bone rather than a Chinese cleaver that is used like as chef's knife.

Please clarify, tlbrooks?
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Old 11-05-2010, 02:46 PM   #7
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I also got the impression that he wanted a cleaver for chopping bones. A heavy carbon cleaver, which is ideal, can be found in the local China town. Here is an example: Heavy Duty Meat Cleaver
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Old 11-10-2010, 10:40 PM   #8
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It depends on what sort of cleaver you want.

Chinese cleavers, which really are rectangular bladed knives, I'd spend about what I'd spend on a knife, taking into account how often you'll use it.

True cleavers then come in a bit of a variety.

You basic cleaver, the one you see in all the cartoons, you want a solid bit of steel and you're not worried about the edge so I wouldn't go too expensive. A Henckels would be perfect.

If you want a heavy duty cleaver, then shop around. You'll need to do some research into just how big you want to go. Quite often they have unusual shapes designed to increase the mass of the blade. Something like this one has three pounds of bone crushing goodness.
Zoom

In my book the apex of cleaverdom is the French sheet cleaver, aka swiss cleaver aka feuille droit. It has a sharp edge and a blade that curves up to a tip so it can do cutting work which is great for removing tendonds and gristle, but it also has the heft of a big cleaver.
Linky to an example:
Zoom
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Old 11-11-2010, 10:23 AM   #9
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Thanks for all the reponses. Actually I'm planning on processing my own game; deer and elk mostly and after watching some of the game processing videos on YouTube I believe that I might be better off with a good meat saw. I'm thinking the 25" one that looks like a big hack saw. I did find a medium weight cleaver at one of the Asian markets here locally and it will work great for chopping thru chicken bones. For 10 bucks I couldn't pass it up.
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Old 11-11-2010, 02:22 PM   #10
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If you're processing whole carcasses, go the sheet cleaver. It's designed to deal with sinews and tendons as well as bones.

A bone saw is another thing you'll need, but cleavers and saws do different jobs and shouldn't be substituted for one another.
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