Why Is There a Hole in a Meat Cleaver?

Shogun Series Extra-Long 12" Crixus

Chop. Chop. Chop.

A dinner date. You opted to cook for her instead of eating out.

So you’ve just defrosted your full chicken and it’s time to cut it. Your best ally?

The meat cleaver.

Within no time, your chicken is cut and ready to cook.

Oh! The glorious satisfaction that comes from splitting bones and large pieces of meat into smaller chunks. Fast. Easy. Fun.

Since their invention in the Auchelean period, meat cleavers have prevailed as a requisite and versatile instrument for cutting through animal bone.

As a useful chopper knife-edge tool, the cleaver has found love in a butcher’s heart. This heavy-duty tool has a handle for grip, attached to a huge rectangular stainless steel blade with a hole at the top far end.

Whether slicing or dicing, delivery of the task at hand will depend on your choice of tool to use. What’s on top of your chopping board determines the kind of knife you need in hand.

Here’s what Dennis Roe, had to say about the Dalstrong Meat Cleaver:

“There is no job too big for this knife. A giant Chuck roll, brisket, tri-tips, ribs...it makes short, easy work of everything. Cooked, or raw from the butcher, this is what you need in your hand.”

...But then, every time you have picked the cleaver to use it, you’ve asked yourself why it has a hole. Or your kids have asked you and you got tongue-tied.

So we’ve come to your rescue — we’re dishing the answers.

Shogun Series Extra-Long 12" Crixus

Speculations Around the Purpose of the Hole

We, as humans are prone to speculations, and a meat cleaver hasn’t escaped the claws of knife theories. After all, the hole in a butcher’s cleaver is distinct. Since no maker of knives would drill a hole for fun, buyers have had a stab at the speculation game.

As a result, every enthusiast of this tool has at some point conjured up a reason for the tiny hole chipped on the blade. Some remain confident with their guesses, although most are not quite sure. You likely have an idea too.

The most common speculations are:

  • Hanging after use.
  • Reduce the weight of the blade.
  • Prevent the meat from sticking.
  • Sophisticated design.
  • Part of the original maker’s signature left on their craftsmanship.
  • Run a wooden or metallic dowel through.

You can add your own guess to the above list.

Now let’s get to the intended purpose of the hole and see whether you’re right.

Gladiator Series 12" 'Crixus' Chef & Cleaver Hybrid Knife

Reasons for the Hole

Safe Hanging and Easy Access

Leaving a meat cleaver lying around after use could be dangerous. You don’t want a huge knife falling off your kitchen worktop and landing on your feet.

Also, what can you do with a big blade that doesn’t fit on knife magnets or drawers?

It takes up a considerable amount of space. Thus, you need to keep it at a convenient spot after use. And that’s where the hole comes in. It allows for the safe hanging of your blade on a wall.

The positioning of the hole also ensures easy retrieving when hung from elevated heights. You don’t have to strain — standing on your toes. The same applies to when you are hanging it after use.

Some butchers also use the hole to hang their butchers’ cleavers on their belts when at work.

Pulling Free When Stuck

Ever used a knife to cut through tough meat or bone but then the blade stuck inside? It happens a lot of times when hacking through bone. Knives sometimes get stuck inside a chunk of frozen meat too.

You don’t want a wrestling session with a stuck blade. You need a neat and clean hack without tiny shards of bone littering the meat.

The hole on the heavy-duty blade makes cutting through bone easy. The hole enables you to hold the upper part with your fingers. As you reinforce your grip on the handle, you are able to pull the blade free.

This saves you tons of energy, time, and frustration.

Shogun Series Extra-Long 12" Crixus

Reduce Friction

When cutting through bone, friction may trigger unwanted shards which can cause choking.

Fortunately, the ‘aeration’ in meat cleavers reduces friction. This prevents bone shards while making the use of this high carbon tool easy and enjoyable.

Aesthetic Purposes

When it comes to aesthetics, what you see leaves an imprint on your psyche, either delightful or displeasing. It’s the reason product design is important, as it informs human preferences.

A cleaver is a large heavy-duty knife varying in shape, mostly designed with a rectangular stainless steel blade.

Dalstrong Knives has stayed ahead of the curve by redesigning their products. These products are attractive to the eye. The Dalstrong cleaver has a beautiful hand polished satin finish blade.

Add to it a tapered design for hardness and flexibility.

This same logic applies to the hole in meat cleavers as it gives the knife a suave and stylish look. This ensures that you’ll enjoy using it while showcasing your edgy personality.

James McCallum says, “ Awesome knife. My 12” Crixus just arrived and it is awesome. It’s a beast of a knife. Great construction and craftsmanship. Highly recommend it.”

Uses of a Cleaver

Now that you know the purpose of the tiny hole, let’s look at why you need this stainless steel kitchen tool.

Cleavers are best for hacking through bone. Yet as much as this may be the primary reason, there are other uses for it such as;

Sectioning Chicken

The cleaver features a sharp, long blade that’s perfect for trimming the skin and fat. It’s also great for slicing the fleshy parts into smaller chunks. The thick and heavy-duty spine allows for cutting through poultry bonesBut remember, all knives need proper maintenance to stay consistently sharp.

The knife also makes it easier to cut the difficult parts. You can separate the ribs, chop through the bones, and crack the bones. You can also use the flat side of the blade to tenderize cutlets and flatten the chicken thighs.

Slicing Vegetables and Cutting Fruits

You might think because you’re a vegetarian that you can’t benefit from this outstanding knife. The cleaver is not only used to cut and chop meat but also vegetables. You can use it to slice hard vegetables such as butternuts and squash. Some chefs use them to crack coconuts too. They can also be used to crush garlic, ginger, or lemongrass.

Apart from vegetables, the cleaver can be used to slice fruits such as watermelons and pineapples.

Other benefits include;

  • It puts power and control in your hands to separate ribs and chop pieces with ease.
  • It provides a long-lasting and affordable cutting solution. You only need to buy one and you’ll rarely need to replace it.
  • Increased earnings. Well-cut and dressed chops are more expensive compared to uncut meat. Thus, the butcher cleaver allows a butcher to charge a pretty penny for perfectly cut slices.
  • The fact that it’s serviceable without any need for special skills.
  • You can use the round handle as a pestle for grinding spices.
  • You can use the flat edge to crush and flatten ingredients during food preparation.
Gladiator Series 12" 'Crixus' Chef & Cleaver Hybrid Knife

    “Ridiculously awesome! This thing is way too cool. I needed a big knife to cut beef ribs... now I need bigger ribs. It’s hilarious to use this to julienne veggies when guests are over. I love it! I use it for everything now and it always makes me smile. I can’t wait until Thanksgiving. Buy it... because you can.” — Jair

    Get Your Own Cleaver Knife

    Gladiator Series 'Obliterator' 9" Meat Cleaver with Stand

    Want to have the best time in the kitchen when preparing amazing meals? Buying your very own meat cleaver is a great first step to achieving just that.

    Cleavers come in different sizes and designs, but a great one has all the following qualities:

    • Affordable and easy to service.
    • A firm handle that allows you to have a good grip and adds efficiency in the cutting process.
    • Light to carry despite the size.
    • A blade made of high carbon steel.

    Dalstrong ranks top in providing you with the best quality, stainless steel knives for your kitchen experience. Among our vast array of knives, you’ll find amazing meat cleavers for your culinary pleasure.

    Buy yours today and join the elite club of chefs.