Why Do Meat Cleavers Have a Hole?

Meat cleavers are one of the most traditional cutting instruments in the kitchen. They have been around for generations because they are such amazing tools for use in all kinds of kitchen and cutting purposes.

If you have the best meat cleaver, you might be wondering about its design and why it is made in the way that it is.

Meat cleavers have a hole in the blade so that the butcher or the chef that is using it can hang it. Cleavers can be large and hard to fit into any kind of storage solution in the kitchen.

This is why a storage solution needed to be made for this kind of knife in the past and it still holds true for their use today.

If you have ever wondered why your meat cleaver had this hole in the blade, now that you know the answer, you might wonder how this changes the way that you should use your knife.

Raw fresh marbled meat steak Ribeye with rustic meat cleaver on wooden background

How Does the Shape of the Cleaver Blade Change its Use?

If you have ever used a meat cleaver, you know that this large knife can be used to cut almost any kind of meat that needs to be chopped up in the kitchen.

It can separate meat from bones, break meat joints and make quick work of all kinds of meat processing. Cutting tendons and cartilage is a task that is hard for some kinds of knives, but a cleaver can take care of this process readily.

Cleavers can also cut through bones in some cases, which is why they are such a great tool for this kind of use in the kitchen. But what you might not know, is that the design of the cleaver is why it is so good for this kind of cutting need.

Reduced friction can help pull the knife free when it is stuck and make it easier to use your knife safely in the kitchen. This can be a big help when cutting through thick cuts of meat.

The hole in a cutting blade like a cleaver is also in the blade to prevent the formation of a vacuum that can make items that are being cut stick to the knife. This allows for faster chopping processes for all kinds of cutting.

There are many reasons that your cleaver is made with a hole in the blade, but all of them make the knife blade work better for every function that it is needed.

The other function of the hole in the blade of the meat cleaver is for use when cutting frozen meat. You can use your finger to steady and lift the blade to get it out of a tough joint or a frozen chunk of meat.

This is probably not a common use for the average cook in the kitchen and is more likely to be a function that a butcher will need to use.

In all these cases, the hole in the blade serves a different function for a different problem-solving need.

You will find that the use of a cleaver for meat-cutting makes it a much different tool than a regular kitchen knife. The hole is a very necessary part of the function of the knife.

Are There Different Kinds of Cleavers?

Cleavers have the same basic design in most cases, but some makers offer a different style of cutting blade than the basic large square-style blade with a wooden handle.

Various kinds of handle shapes can affect your overall chopping functions, and you might also find that a longer and thinner cleaver can do different tasks than a more traditionally styled knife.

Chinese cleavers are not really cleavers but they are often used for this purpose. These knives have a thinner cross-section and can be used more like a general-purpose knife as well as a cleaver.

Japanese knives are made with fish and other kinds of chopping tasks in mind but they will also be lighter weight and thinner and longer than a traditional cleaver.

The cleavers that most people think of are heavy and square knives that have a large handle on them. This is the chopping butcher knife that is most commonly associated with cleavers when this kind of knife is mentioned.

This is a heavier knife that is not often used for other kinds of chopping due to its size. This can be a very overwhelming knife for some people and the smaller and thinner knives can be more friendly for those who are not used to using cleavers.

How to Care for a Cleaver?

Caring for a cleaver is not that hard. You will need to be sure that you have a proper storage solution for the knife such as a knife block or a hanging solution for the knife.

This is a large knife as well as a very sharp knife, so you will need to store it properly for safety as well as for the care of the knife.

Clean your cleaver with mild soap and water after each use and let it dry fully before you store it. Due to the kinds of things that cleavers are used for, you might find that it could become unhealthy to use if you do not let it dry completely before you store it.

These kinds of blades can be prone to rust due to the acidity of the meat that they are cutting as well as the amount of cleaning that they need to be exposed to.

You should always be sure that you are cleaning your cleaver properly and drying it thoroughly after each use. Caring for a cleaver is mostly about keeping it clean and taking it to be sharpened about once a year.

A Cleaver is a Great Tool

Cleavers are a really good tool for all kinds of kitchen and cooking needs. You will love having one in your kitchen and be glad that you added it to your arsenal of kitchen tools.

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