When I first heard about ceramic knives, I couldn’t believe it. I know that ceramic statues that fall shatter into many pieces. Why would a ceramic knife be any different? Boy was I wrong. They are much stronger than I thought.
Ceramic knives are made out of zirconium oxide. They aren’t metallic whatsoever and have a flat, off-white to bright white color. Their composition is much harder than steel. Actually, they’re second only to diamonds, which are the hardest mineral of all. Isn’t that something?
There is another class of ceramic knives that have black blades. These blades start out as white zirconium oxide. With an additional firing process called sintering, they are converted into black zirconium carbide. This process gives the blades the advantage of being even tougher than before. Now they are the strongest knives out there.
There are definite advantages of a ceramic knife over a steel knife.
– Edge Longevity. Because they are harder than steel knives, they can hold a sharp edge much longer. Generally, most ceramic knives can hold their edge for months if used correctly.
– Easy Use. Because they hold their edges longer, they are easier to use than steel knives. Less sharpening is required. They’re also much lighter in weight than steel knives.
– Wear Resistance. Ceramic knives do not stain or rust. They will not become discolored by food acids.
– Chemically non-reactive. You needn’t worry over whether or not your food will taste or smell like metal. Isn’t that great?
– Simple To Clean. Ceramic knives are non-stick. It isn’t ever necessary to use special cleaners or abrasives to get them clean.
Just as there are advantages, there are a few pretty important ceramic mug disadvantages to using ceramic knives.
– Expensive. They are usually more costly than steel knives. This is because zirconium oxide is a fairly advanced material and costs more than steel. In addition, imported ceramic knives, as most of them are, have a high import tax that adds to their price tag.
– Edge Fragility. Quality ceramic knives are not likely to shatter when dropped. They are, however, likely to gain a chipped edge or a broken tip. Even though they are very strong, their edges are quite fragile. Cutting bone or anything of similar hardness, then, is out of the question.
– Breakable Blades. If you use your ceramic knife as a prying tool, you’ve got a very good chance of snapping the blade at the handle. Just don’t do it. While your knife isn’t meant for prying, the fact that the blade could actually snap in two when strong pressure is applied leaves room for concern. Use it only for cutting.
All in all, you are advised not to sharpen ceramic knives. When they’re purchased, customers are advised to bring their knives back to the manufacturer when they need to be sharpened. If that isn’t possible, they’re advised to bring their knives to a machine shop.
Sharpening a ceramic knife is not the same as sharpening a steel knife. It is a whole new animal. You’ve really got to already be a skilled sharpener. However, with good skill and the right tools, you really could sharpen them yourself.
Ceramic knives are truly amazing. They are highly efficient. Usability may be limited, but where you can use it, watch out. They are quite extraordinary.