Why Do Meat Cleavers Have a Hole?

Have you ever wondered why meat cleavers have a hole in their blade? It’s not just for looks that hole serves an important purpose!

There are many reasons why meat cleavers have a hole in the blade. The hole is used to help balance the cleaver and make it easier to handle. It also allows the user to grip the cleaver with their fingers for more control.

Additionally, the hole can be used to store the blade when not in use. Some people believe that the hole in the blade is used to help aerate the meat as it is being cut. This allows the juices to flow out of the meat and prevents the meat from being tough. However, there is no scientific evidence to support this claim.

In this article, we will take a look at the history of the meat cleaver and a closer look at the function of a meat cleaver’s hole and how it can benefit chefs and cooks so let’s start.

The History of the Meat Cleaver 

The first meat cleavers were used in the Middle Ages. They were made out of iron and were used by butchers to chop up large pieces of meat. Over time, cleavers became more popular in households as people began to cook more meals at home. Cleavers were also used for other tasks such as chopping vegetables, cutting bread, and even crushing garlic. 

Why do meat cleavers have a hole?

The hole in a meat cleaver’s blade serves two main purposes: balance and safety.

A hole near the center of the blade helps to balance the weight of the cleaver, making it easier to handle. 

The hole provides a place for your thumb or fingers to grip the blade without coming into contact with the sharp edge; this can help to prevent accidental cuts. Also, it makes it easier to sharpen the blade.

So, next time you’re using your meat cleaver, take a closer look at the hole in the blade. You’ll be surprised at how much it can help with balance and safety! 

Other Possible reasons meat cleavers have a hole

1. To hang up

One of the reasons why meat cleavers have a hole is so that they can be hung up when they are not being used. This keeps them out of reach of children and also makes them less likely to slip off of a countertop or chopping board. 

2. Finger guard

 meat cleavers with big hole
You can put your index finger through the hole for cutting

Another reason for the hole is that it can be used as a finger guard. When you are chopping with a meat cleaver, you can put your index finger through the hole which gives you more control over the knife and prevents your fingers from getting in the way of the blade. 

3. To Reduce Friction

Hole in the cleaver to reduce friction
Hole in the cleaver help to reduce friction when you are chopping

The hole can also help to reduce friction when you are chopping. When you chop with a meat cleaver, the blade is moving back and forth very quickly.

If there was no hole in the blade, the air resistance would cause the knife to slow down. The hole helps to reduce this air resistance and keeps the knife moving at a consistent speed. 

4. Aesthetic Purposes

The hole in the meat cleaver is also there for aesthetic purposes. It is a very distinctive feature of this type of knife and it makes them stand out from other kinds of knives.

Some people think that the hole makes the knife look more menacing, which can be helpful if you are trying to intimidate someone.

Others simply think that because of the hole the knife looks more interesting. Regardless of the reason, the hole is definitely a key part of the meat cleaver’s design. There are many types of cleavers available in the market you can choose them any of your choices or you can also get a chef knife for the best cutting.

What is the difference between a meat cleaver and a chef’s knife?

The main difference between them is the size and weight of the blade. A meat cleaver has a larger and heavier blade, which is designed for chopping through tougher meats. Additionally, the blade of a meat cleaver is usually shorter and thicker than a chef’s knife.

A chef’s knife, on the other hand, has a thinner and lighter blade. This makes it better suited for slicing and chopping softer foods, such as fruits and vegetables. Additionally, the blade of a chef’s knife is usually longer than a meat cleaver.


So, there you have it! That is the history of the meat cleaver and some of the reasons why it has a hole near the spine of its blade.

The next time you are in your kitchen chopping up some meats or veggies, take a moment to appreciate this humble yet essential kitchen tool and appreciate its design!

The hole in the blade may seem like a small detail, but it actually serves an important purpose! Hope you learned a lot. Thanks for reading!


Do all cleavers have the same size hole?

No, cleavers have different size holes depending on the manufacturer. Some companies make smaller holes for delicate fish like flounder, while others make larger holes for more robust fish like tuna. It really depends on what kind of fish you plan on using the cleaver for. When in doubt, ask your local fishmonger or purchase a variety of sizes to be safe.

What is the ideal size of meat cleaver’s hole?

The ideal size of meat cleaver’s hole really depends on what you plan on using it for. If you’re only going to be using it for chicken or other small animals, then a smaller hole is probably fine.

However, if you plan on using it for larger animals like pigs or cows, then you’ll need a larger blade with quite big hole. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide what size of blade you need. Just make sure that the hole is big enough for the type of meat you plan on using it for.

Leave a Comment