A cleaver is a large knife that varies in its shape but usually resembles a rectangular-bladed hatchet. It is largely used as a kitchen or butcher knife intended for hacking through bone. The knife's broad side can also be used for crushing in food preparation. In contrast to other kitchen knives, the cleaver has an especially tough edge meant to withstand repeated blows directly into thick meat and dense cartilage and even bone, not to mention the cutting board or other supporting surface below. This resilience is accomplished by using a softer steel and a thicker blade, because a harder steel and a thinner blade will fracture more readily.