Helping to clear out an old garden shed in London u.k., we found this
Its pretty ancient probably from about 1910 or so.
Some think it's a woodworking tool or similar, and others think its a
butchers cleaver, although some think not, because butchers cleavers are
usually much bigger and you can see from the photo it's really quite small.
it also has the number 6 stamped on the blade. anyone any idea what its
original purpose was likely to be? thanks.
photo on tinypic website:
Looks like a cleaver to me. It would be very useful for chopping up a
chicken, for instance, or ribs or something - much bigger, and it
would be pretty heavy, no?
I can't think of anything it could do as a woodworking tool that a
better, smaller tool couldn't do better.
Looks like a butcher's tool but do a Google search on
and you will find that they are sometimes synonyms for a woodworking
tool rather like a broad bladed axe. (I could almost imagine a medieval
executioner using one.)
Obviously a butcher's cleaver. Butcher's cleavers are available in
many sizes and configurations... no law says that tool can't be used
for splitting wood stove kindling but so can any cleaver and many
other tools... could just as easily split kindling with a big old
kraut chef's knife.
My mother had exactly the same cleaver. She used it to chop spinach.
It came with a wooden board that was oddly shaped, being higher on
one side than the other, with a ridge only on one side to hold the spinach.
This was in The Netherlands just after WWII. I don't know how long
she had it. Could have been pretty old. She was born in the year 1900.
My vote goes to cleaver. Cleavers can be small, too. I have a very small
knife that looks like a cleaver. It can be used as a knife or cleaver, but
I hesitate to start smacking stuff with it, as it is so sharp. This one I
have is some off beat name, but had one in another marriage that was Joyce
Chen, IIRC. They are fantastically sharp, and useful as heck, almost the
one you'd take if you could only have one knife in the house. I really like
At the risk of mixing adjectives, I'd say it's a
domestic butcher's cleaver, i.e. a domestic
tool used for the same purposes as a butcher's
cleaver, but on a smaller scale.
It's certainly not a woodworking tool
(a field in which I have some knowledge).
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