Damascus Steel Mincers, Cutters and Butcher Knives
A cleaver is a large knife that varies in shape but generally looks like a hatchet with a rectangular blade. It is widely used as a kitchen or butcher knife for cutting bones. The broad side of the knife can also be used to crush foods (such as garlic).
The design of the knife relies on momentum to cut efficiently, to chop in a straight line rather than slicing in a sawing motion. Part of the momentum comes from the force with which the user swings the knife, and part from the weight of the knife.
For this reason, the edge of a meat grinder does not need to be particularly sharp; in fact, a knife edge on a grinder is not desirable. The edge of a meat grinder, at about 25°, is much blunter than that of other kitchen knives.
The Chinese Cleaver
The Chinese chef's knife is often mistakenly called a "cleaver" because of its similar rectangular shape. However, Chinese chef's knives have a much thinner cross-section and are intended for general kitchen use.
They are primarily used for slicing boneless meats, chopping, slicing, dicing or mincing vegetables, and flattening garlic bulbs or ginger; while also serving as a tool for carrying ingredients prepared in a wok.
For butchering tasks and preparing boneless meat, there is a heavier Chinese "chopper" used in a similar manner to that of the West.