If you are tired of blunt knives in your kitchen then you may want to consider investing in some ceramic knives. Still quite a new trend in the kitchen world, ceramic knives are extremely sharp, easy to clean and rarely require sharpening.As ceramic knives are fragile and less multi-purpose than steel knives, there is a good chance that you may chip or break it quite quickly, especially if you have never used one before. In this article we provide a range of tips to help you get the most out of a ceramic knife, as well as reviewing a selection of the best ceramic knives currently available.
The Kyocera Revolution Series three piece ceramic knife made from proprietary zirconia is our best pick from the manufacturer that first developed ceramic knives.
The WACOOL three piece ceramic knife set is our budget pick as a multi-purpose and multi-colored ceramic knife set.
Quick Comparison: Top 10 Best Ceramic Knives
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1. Kyocera Revolution Series Three Piece Ceramic Knife Set
Comprising of a 3" paring knife, a 5" serrated knife and a 6" chef’s knife, the Kyocera Revolution Series three piece ceramic knife set is a proprietary zirconia material that is made in Japan. This proprietary zirconia, Z206 has minimal voids to give a denser and stronger blade that can hold its edge longer than other ceramic knives, although some owners may not consider this set to be as durable as other Kyocera ceramic.These knives come with a lifetime limited warranty and the manufacturer also offers a complimentary sharpening service, which allows you to mail to California for a nominal shipping and handling fee, however with the extra costs of insuring the mailing of knives for sharpening, this service may cost more than expected.
2. WACOOL Three Piece Ceramic Knife Set
Made from a proprietary zirconia blend, the WACOOL three piece ceramic knife set (colorful) offers a sharper and harder blade than other ceramic knifes. There is a 4" paring knife, 5" utility knife and 6" chef’s knife in this set that all come with matching colored sheaths.
The colored soft touch plastic handles are BPA-free as are the protective sheaths. The design of these sheaths does mean that the larger holes may be large enough for you to inadvertently nick your fingertip when handling, particularly when replacing it after the knife has been used.There is a satisfaction or money back guarantee on this set and a number of owners have been very satisfied by the quality of customer service received from the manufacturer.
3. Cook N Home Nine Piece Ceramic Knife Set
The Cook N Home nine piece ceramic knife set includes a 3" paring knife, a 4" fruit knife, 5" utility knife and a 6" Santoku knife; all of which come with matching protective sheaths. There is also a ceramic peeler. This plastic handled set is not suitable for cleaning in the dishwasher.As more of a budget set, these knifes may not last as long as expected and may break easier than other ceramic knives. They also have a limited lifespan as they are unable to be sharpened and some owners report they have not been as sharp on arrival as they could be.
4. Kyocera Revolution Series 5" Micro-Serrated Knife
With its black blade and handle, the Kyocera Revolution Series 5" micro-serrated knife is ideal for slicing though tomatoes and other fruits and vegetables with tougher skins. The double edged blade is made of Kyocera’s proprietary zirconia Z206 material that is made in Japan to give a blade that will hold its edge longer than other ceramic knives. This knife does not come with a protective sheath.This knife is dishwasher top rack safe and comes with a lifetime limited warranty, as well as a complimentary sharpening service from the manufacturer.
5. ZenWare Nine Piece Ceramic Knife Set
The ZenWare nine piece ceramic knife set comprises 3" paring knife, 4" utility, a 5" slicer and a 6" chef’s knife as well as matching sheaths and a ceramic peeler. This set is also presented in a gift box. The zirconia blades on these knives are white and the handles are brightly colored. This set may not last as long as other sets, and you may find that one or more knives will need sharpening after a few months of use.As these knives do not have a finger guard or bolster (the part between the handle and the blade), the shape of the handles may push your hand naturally forward, so you will need to take care to keep fingers away from the blade when cutting.
6. Kyocera Revolution Series 5½" Santoku Knife
The all-black Kyocera Revolution Series 5½" Santoku knife (black) is a double-sided blade made from Z206 zirconia for retention of blade edge. This knife is suitable for cleaning on the top rack of the dishwasher and comes with a lifetime limited warranty.Like any ceramic knife, this will not stand up to any twisting of the blade and some owners who have used knives from this manufacturer previously do not consider this knife to be of the same quality as their older knives.
7. Vos Professional Green Ceramic 8" Chef’s Knife
The Vos Professional green ceramic 8" chef’s knife is a lightweight white knife blade with a bright green ergonomic grip handle. This zirconia knife does not come with a protective sheath, although it is boxed, so you may wish to store it in the box for safety. This knife also comes with a recipe book.Some owners have found that this knife may not be as sharp as expected on arrival, but it does come with a 30 day money back guarantee.
8. Vos Seven Piece Ceramic Knife Set
The Vos seven piece ceramic knife set contains a 3" paring knife, a 4" utility knife and a 6" chef’s knife with protective sheaths to match their brightly colored ergonomic plastic handles. There is also a ceramic peeler. This set comes boxed with a recipe e-book and the manufacturer offers a 30 day money back guarantee on this product.Some users may find these knives thicker than other ceramic knives and that the white ceramic blades may not be as sharp as other knives.
9. Heim Concept Ceramic Knife Set
The Heim Concept ceramic knife set is a nine piece set that includes a 6" chef’s knife, a 5" slicer, a 4" utility and a 3" paring knife. It also includes color matched sheaths for all knifes and a ceramic peeler. The blades are made from zirconia and the handles are an ergonomic plastic design with a soft touch rubber coating and grip dots. Some users have commented that the design of the handle means that your fingers are not protected from the blade, so you may want to take extra care when using. The manufacturer offers a 90 day limited warranty on this set.
10. Kyocera Advanced Series Four Piece Knife Set
The Kyocera Advanced Series four piece knife set (red and white) have ergonomic red handles and white double-edged blades which are made from the proprietary Z206 zirconia to hold a sharp edge for longer than other types of ceramic knives.
The set includes a 3" paring knife, 4.5" utility, a 5.5" Santoku knife and a 6" chef’s knife although these knives do not come with protective sheaths. The manufacturer offers a lifetime limited warranty and you can also take advantage of the complimentary sharpening service. These knives can be hand washed or placed on the top rack of the dishwasher for cleaning.
Things to Consider Before Buying the Best Ceramic Knives
First seen in the mid-1980s, ceramic knives are available in bright colors, are stain resistant and do not rust. Lightweight and non-porous, the ceramic does not absorb odor from foods and because not as much bacteria can stick to the blade as compared with traditional metal knives, they are also more hygienic.
Ceramic knives are chemically inert, or non-reactive with foods, particularly acidic foods. The Japanese company Kyocera first manufactured ceramic knives on a commercial scale because they considered that carbon steel knives caused a change of flavor when the metal reacted with the vinegar in sushi dressings.
Because ceramic knives are extremely sharp and light weight, they also cause less damage to the food structure. This makes them ideal for thin slicing fruit, vegetables, boneless meats, fish or even bread, and they are extremely easy to clean afterwards.
Disadvantages of Ceramic Knives
The biggest risk of using ceramic knives is of the blade chipping or the knife shattering if dropped onto a hard surface. You can only straight slice with a ceramic knife as there is no flex in the blade. If you do accidently twist the blade the chances are extremely high that it will break.
Although their lighter weight makes them popular with some users, this can also be a disadvantage. When heavier cutting is necessary, it means your hand and arm will need to work harder to make up for the loss of weight in the knife.
Ceramic knives are also unsuitable for cutting harder foods such as meat bones and frozen foods or fruits and vegetables with hard skin such as pumpkins or melons.
Unfortunately, the bright colors of ceramic knives which brighten up your kitchen also make them especially attractive to young children, so you do need to take extra care to ensure they are always completely out of reach.
How Ceramic Knives are Made
Ceramic knives are not made from the same type of ceramic you tend to have in your kitchen cupboards. Instead, this ceramic is zirconium dioxide or zirconia which is formed from zirconium; a chemical element mainly found in Australia, India, Brazil, Russia, South Africa and the US, as well as in smaller deposits elsewhere. Most zirconium mining occurs in Australia and South Africa and is a by-product of other mining extractions such as that of tin.
To make a ceramic blade, zirconia powder is dry pressed, fired and then the blade is sharpened with a diamond grinding wheel. Through this process the ceramic becomes 50% harder than steel. Steel is listed at 4.5 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, hardened steel is between 7.5 and 8 and zirconia comes in at 8.5. The Mohs scale is topped with diamond at 10.
A ceramic blade is also able to hold a sharp edge for about ten times longer than a steel knife and is non-magnetic, although manufacturers metalize today’s knives for better security detection.
How to Use a Ceramic Knife Correctly
A suitable chopping board such as bamboo, softwood or silicone is essential to reduce the risk of damage to the blade. If you cut on a harder surface such as granite or glass, it will damage the blade.
Because a ceramic blade does not bend as a steel blade can, you cannot twist or flex it when using. You should only use a straight slicing motion, never a chopping movement and avoid using the blade to scrape prepared food from the chopping board into the pan.
A minimal amount of force is needed when cutting – too much and the blade may snap. Likewise, avoid putting any pressure on the side of the blade such as you would when crushing spices or garlic.
It is important to always hold the knife by the handle and to keep your other hand away from the blade as it is so sharp.
If you try to use a ceramic knife to open packaging or pry lids off, there is a good chance you will break at least the tip, if not the complete blade.
Cleaning Ceramic Knives
Although your knife may be dishwasher safe, there are some risks to cleaning ceramic knives in the dishwasher. The first is through the motion of the water in the dishwasher, this can cause the blade to chip or shatter if it encounters other pots in the dishwasher.
Secondly, because the edge of a ceramic blade is composed of thin metal strips, exposure to heat in the dishwasher can cause these strip edges to curl, resulting in the blade losing its sharpness.
If you knife is dishwasher safe and you prefer to wash it this way, then you will need to place it securely in the top rack away from all other items and do take extra care when removing it from the dishwasher.
When you hand wash a ceramic knife avoid knocking it about in the sink to help prevent damage to the blade. You can wash a ceramic knife in cooler water with some detergent then rinse and either wipe dry or leave to dry on a cloth. Avoid the use of any harsh abrasives as these can affect the non-stick capability of the knife.
Although ceramic rarely stains, depending on what you are cutting with your knife, white blades can be more prone to staining. If your blade is stained, a baking soda solution and gentle rub with a cloth is usually enough to remove the stains.
Storing Ceramic Knives
Always replace the knife in its protective sheath or box after use, or if it does not have one, then into a knife block that is suitable for ceramic knife storage.
You should never put a ceramic knife in a drawer with your other knifes because of the risk of damage to the blade (and your fingers) and they always need to be as far away as possible from younger members of the family.
Sharpening a Ceramic Knife
Although ceramic knives should usually not need sharpening as often as a steel blade, they will eventually need sharpening as the blade begins to chip or lose its sharp edge.
Most ceramic knives require either returning to the manufacturer for sharpening or the use of a knife sharpener, usually a powered diamond wheel, that is suitable for ceramic knives. Unfortunately, you cannot sharpen a ceramic knife with a traditional knife sharpener.
If you are familiar with ceramic knives, then we hope that you enjoyed reading our reviews of some of the current bestsellers. If you are new to ceramic knives, we trust that our reviews alongside our handy hints will help you make the most of your first experiences with ceramic knives.Looking for the best ceramic knives for your kitchen is never easy, especially knowing ceramic’s limited capability with harder foods and lack of flex prevents them from taking over all functions of steel knives. However, an extra sharp edge combined with an ability to prepare and thinly slice fruits, vegetables, boneless meats and fish means ceramic knives easily complement, and even brighten up, your existing traditional kitchen knives.