A western cleaver is a large, rectangular knife that is used in cutting meat. The blade, which is usually around 6 inches long, is very heavy, enabling the knife to cut through bone and joints with sheer force. The Chinese cleaver has the same shape as the western cleaver, but is lighter and traditionally used to prepare vegetables. They can also be used to cut meat and other foods. Cleavers are an essential part of any restaurant's kitchen supplies.