I Finally Decided to Get a Cleaver, and It Completely Changed My Outlook on Knives

For just $65, it was a great investment.

We independently evaluate all recommended products and services. If you click on links we provide, we may receive compensation. Learn more.

HENCKELS Classic Razor-Sharp 6-inch Meat Cleaver Tout

Food & Wine / Tyler Roeland

On a recent trip to Singapore, I ate a majority of meals at hawker centers. Hawker stalls are food stalls, where cooks sling dishes like the famous Hainanese chicken rice, soya sauce noodles with chicken, and nasi lemak (a delicious combination of coconut rice, sambal, and fish or chicken, depending on the spot). 

But in every hawker center, there was one thing I couldn’t help but notice. At most stalls I passed by, someone was using a cleaver to chop an ingredient up quickly. The thwack of the cleaver hitting the board reverberated throughout the food hall and etched in my mind. So much so, that when I got home, I decided I needed one for myself.

I’m glad I did. This cleaver has become my most-used knife. In fact, the rest of my knives just sit around these days, and their primary use is opening packages.

HENCKELS Classic Razor-Sharp 6-inch Meat Cleaver


To buy: Henckels 6-Inch Meat Cleaver, $65 (originally $75) at amazon.com

This cleaver is 6 inches long and has a more Western-style shape than the ones I saw in Singapore, but I love it still. It can do anything a flatter cleaver can do, and the smaller size gives me more control. 

I think part of my hesitation was that the silhouette of a cleaver is so linked with butcher shops in my mind. I thought they were for tasks I hardly do myself, like deboning chicken or steak. They certainly excel at this because of their weight, but I find myself using my cleaver for so many different things beyond these two tasks. 

It’s perfect for slicing vegetables. I’d compare this version to a santoku knife. Its long and (almost) flat edge makes crafting perfect slices of onions, carrots, leeks, tomatoes, or any other ingredient simple. And while it’s heavier than a traditional chef’s knife, I actually like this. It makes slicing less laborious — I find the knife does more of the work than I do. 

Its long flat face is another favorite feature. The amount of times I tried to scoop a diced onion from the cutting board to the pan, only to drop it on my dog’s head were too many for her health. Now I can easily balance a whole onion on its face, without spilling a single piece.

All in all, this knife is like that one Tina Turner song: It’s simply the best. For just $65, you can add this do-it-all blade to your kitchen. You’ll be glad you did. 

At the time of publishing, the price was $65.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles