Meat Cleaver Recommendations

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GreenBake's picture
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Meat Cleaver Recommendations
Looking for recommendations on meat cleavers.. heavy duty work on poultry, etc.
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Years ago I lived in Boston and bought a very nice carbon steel meat clever for very little money in Chinatown.  Considering how often it's used, I have more than gotten my money's worth.  You may also want to look into restaurant supply stores. 
 Before I buy a specialty kitchen item like a knife or waffle iron, I think about the cost per use, so items like saute pans can be an investment, but a meat cleaver.......... not so much.  Just my opinion.
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Take a look at these really affordable carbon steel cleavers, and the heavy-duty meat cleaver:

http://www.wokshop.com/HTML/products/cleavers/index.html
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Great website Brian.  The meat cleaver that I have looks like one on the page called "Thai kiwi " , it looks like one of the knives on the right hand side of the page, but is made of carbon.  The larger flat knife on the opening page is my vege cleaver, purchased at the same time.  I believe that each knife cost about $8.00.  Yes, it was a few years ago.  I bought them when I was seven years old <grin>.  They are still a part of my collection and sharp as ever!

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The Wok Shoppe in San Francisco is famous for supplying both the normal and the unusual in Chinese cooking gear.  I've done business with them over the years, both in person and mail order, and have always been 110% satisfied.

If Chinese cleaver style isn't to your liking for hacking chickens, a more traditional European cleaver might be considered.  All of the major knife brands seem to have one.  I use a Henkels 4-star cleaver.  It is smaller than the Chinese cleaver but heavier.  Works quite well too.  The only thing to watch out for is the handle -- when looking at a cleaver imagine how the handle will be when your hands are wet and greasy.  The last thing one wants is to have a knife slip when hacking on meat!

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Thanks for all of your comments & recommendations. I like the idea of having two different brands of knives for comparison purposes.

The cleaver I have is an L.C. Germain. The knife was recently sharpened professionally, but one of the rivets is loose. The blade seems sturdy, but I’m nervous about the chopping action causing a “malfunction.”

Any recommendations on fixing the rivet (kitchen safe)? Epoxy? Super Glue? Wood Glue?
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I don't know what it takes to repair knife handles.

I have a bit of a fascination with cleavers.  I look at ebay periodically to see what kind of cleavers are available.  Here is what fascinates me:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/ANTIQUE-FOSTER-BROS-BUTCHERS-MEAT-CLEAVER-2-HANDED-10-/320820506266?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4ab2646e9a 

Whenever I see one I think I can afford I show it to my wife (to get permission, believe it or not).  She reminds me of the scene from The Gangs of New York and asks how much Irish or Yankee blood I have... and which blood is boiling and making me want a big heavy cleaver that I'd never use.
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Has anyone tried the Global Heavy Duty Meat Cleaver? The are much thicker than most... actually too thick for many knife sharpeners. They run about $170. Many cleavers are not designed for cutting through bones (if you read the fine print.. or even discuss the issue).
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From a visit to my local 99 Ranch Market (1) There are cleavers that look similar to meat cleavers (least expensive) (2 ) There are “boning” meat cleavers made fron carbon steel ($11-$16 roughly) (3) Then there are the “boning” meat cleavers made fron carbon steel with exotic metals added to improve the quality of the knife. These run about $26+ and have a more ergonomic handle. Made in China. (4) The Global heavy “boning” meat cleaver sells for about $170 and is made in Japan. It also has these exotic metals added, though they may or may not be in the same amounts. (5) Comments welcome.
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So another year passes and another birthday goes by and I got another knife for my birthday.  I have a beautifu Shun 10' and 6' utility knife and I just got an 8' Shun vegetable cleaver.  Because of the fine blade I'm a little nervous of trying to cut through chickens with it.  Since I'm still in love with my chef's knife I don't know why I would want to use it to cut vegetables so I thought I might ask why I would want to or find out what all you like to use yours for.  Do you think I'd be better off with a boning knife instead since it doesn't sound like the cleaver is too useful.  I have scene a few videos where Jacob is using his but it was just for veg prep.  Any thoughts?

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If you need to cut through bones, use a meat cleaver that specifies it can be used to cut through bones. These cleavers are extra thick and heavy and often have “boning” on the package exterior or inside the box. Regular, inexpensive, knives marked for cutting through bones may only be carbon steel or high-carbon steel. Cleavers which include Vanadium and other rare earth metals are more expensive, but they are more durable. I hope this helps.
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Excellent advice Green Bake! I hesistate to whack through bone with an expensive one, Globals overpriced imo, the 4s is fine but for loose handles see a bladesmith.

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... or duct tape. Every kitchen has to have one, right? OK, maybe not :)

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