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How do you sharpen a meat cleaver?
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Thread: How do you sharpen a meat cleaver?

  1. #1
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    How do you sharpen a meat cleaver?

    I was wondering if the more experienced folks would give me some advice on how (what angle and how high a grit) I should use to sharpen my traditional (read massive 1 lb or so) 7" restaurant grade stainless steel meat cleaver (i.e. bought for $20 or so at a local restaurant supply store - brand is called Update if that helps.

    I have an edge pro and it should be able to do whatever you guys suggest, I'm just at a loss as to what angles to use etc to obtain best performance for its intended function. The OOB edge of course is dull as can be but I wouldn't expect a meat cleaver to have a super sharp edge - or should it??

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Senior Member quantumcloud509's Avatar
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    I dont know much about cleavers, but from my personal experience, meat cleavers do not need that lazer sharp edge the knuts are looking for, Im not saying that My cleavers are dull by any means, but seeing that you will probably end up chopping a lot, and probably hitting a bone or ten, you wouldnt want too thin of an edge on that thing as it will fold. Way to start a cleaver collection though they look great hanging on the wall and people just dont mess with you much when you have a gang load of cleavers with you everywhere you look!!! Good luck.

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    sachem allison's Avatar
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    send it to Bernal Cutlery if you are in San Francisco, they'll sharpen it for you. I have a 39" hog splitter with a 14" blade that you can shave with all day long. I wouldn't fine dice an onion with it but, hogs, zombies and various other critters no problems.
    I haven't lived the life I wanted, just the lives I needed too at the time.

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    Oh know having somebody do it for me wouldn't be any fun at all, I want to do all my own sharpening now that I have an edge pro :- )

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    I have a vintage cleaver collection that includes to >35" beef splitters. The one I use the most is a 6" Foster Bros that I reprofiled to 19 degrees per side. Very tough edge and will still clean the hair off my arm. My Edge Pro is the best solution for the cleavers I use.

  6. #6

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    i did ryans lamb splitters for him and thy got crazy sharp with th heavy convexed edge (went to 9 micron and then CROX loaded felt belt to strop )

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    Quote Originally Posted by l r harner View Post
    (went to 9 micron and then CROX loaded felt belt to strop )
    Looks great! Since cleavers aren't meant for fine cutting tasks that require an ultra fine edge, 9 micron (1000 grit) is as far as I go, too. To the OP - I'd recommend sharpening it at an angle you think is acceptable, use it, and see how it performs. If the edge chips, no big deal, sharpen the primary edge back to where the edge chipped and now you're at a perfect equilibrium between edge thickness and edge performance.

  8. #8


    Dave Martell's Avatar
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    Cleavers are no fun at all to sharpen on stones but it's doable with enough persistence and pain applied.

    Once (only once) I did a cleaver like an axe where I clamped the blade in a vise and used a file and stones in hand and this was better than doing it in reverse but it still sucked.

    IMO, the best way is by belt grinder.

  9. #9

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    and the thing is the bevel was not thin like a reg. knife
    i highly done edge at 90degrees can still cut you badly and chop like a champ i didnt check the edge angle but i can bet that you can make a 45 total angle and get the best of both worlds (jsut dont plan on thin sliceds)

  10. #10

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    your a better amn then me dave as i woudl never thing of attempting a hand honed edge on one of those beasts \
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Martell View Post
    Cleavers are no fun at all to sharpen on stones but it's doable with enough persistence and pain applied.

    Once (only once) I did a cleaver like an axe where I clamped the blade in a vise and used a file and stones in hand and this was better than doing it in reverse but it still sucked.

    IMO, the best way is by belt grinder.

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