This weapon is obtained by upgrading a club or great club at +0, or a hammer weapon at +6, with the Swollen Demon's Soul.
This weapon is ideal against enemies that are weak against strike attacks or have poor shielding against Guard Break and Staggering. The Meat Cleaver steals a partial amount of HP per swing from enemies so it is effective in PvE but lesser so in PvP, where avoiding as many hits as possible as well as killing your opponents is crucial, possibly making the Meat Cleaver ineffective.
While its weaknesses are its slow moveset, the Meat Cleaver benefits from S scaling in both Dexterity and Strength (the only weapon in the game to do so), as well as high scaling from Faith. This makes it one of the most powerful weapons in the game given the right builds, although its slow speed makes it difficult to use safely.
HP aside, the Meat Cleaver does have a high amount of damage, but subsequent playthroughs would require a stronger or faster weapon.