Hammers, axes, larger tools tend to have wider handles. Does that make sense for a cleaver also? I was also thinking of it would make it more balanced.
Dear, good morning. I hope you are very well. I've been looking for the Mr. Ed thread that you refer to and couldn't find it. Could you please show me.I have seen a pretty wide range of handle shapes on cleavers. I think a couple things apply universally to handles, though, as you have most wisely compared the cleaver to hammers and axes. The most important feature of those is the taper. I've seen some pretty thin (I mean thin!) handles on Blacksmithing hammers, but they maintain that taper in both height and width to some degree. So I think overall diameter might be a preference thing for a working knife, just as hammers, but some significant taper will allow the user to maintain a secure grip even with heavy swinging with minimal fatigue. I'm not saying a straight taper from one end to the other like a hammer is necessary, but it's the tapers that allow the hand to hang on with little effort.
@EdCaffreyMS commented in a recent thread about diameters of handles and shapes. I very much agree with those dimensions and shaping he mentioned.