A cleaver is a large, robust kitchen tool that often resembles a rectangular-bladed hatchet. It’s primarily used for cutting through large pieces of meat, such as thick cuts of beef or pork, and tough vegetables like squash or potatoes. The blade of a cleaver knife is heavy and strong, designed to withstand repeated blows directly into thick meat, dense cartilage, bone, and the cutting board below.

Cleavers are not typically included in most knife sets as they are not the most popular style of knife for the average home cook. However, if you’re looking to improve your butchery skills or cut costs when buying proteins, a cleaver knife could be a great addition to your kitchen tools.