My Ceramic KnivesCeramic vs Metal

Ceramic vs Metal

How does a ceramic knife differ from a metal knife?

The only difference is the material the blade is made out of. If you know anything about knives, you’ll know the blade is the most important part of the knife, thus making ceramic and metal knives very different. What happens when you replace the most important part of a knife? You’ll get a bunch of pros and cons.

PROS – For its price, there better be some pros.

  • SHARPNESS - The materials that make up a ceramic blade is very hard. It’s the second hardest material, right after diamonds. After it has been sharpened, it can keep its razor sharp edge and will not wear out. If you ever do need to sharpen it, most of the manufacturers will sharpen it for free. Manufacturers of metals knives will never offer you that service since they need to be sharpened so often.
  • ODORS - Ceramic material is not very porous at all. This keeps the blade from transferring odors from one food item to another. You can cut something spicy, give it a quick rinse and then cut something else. The spiciness won’t transfer to the next food item.
  • SANITARY - Ceramic blades are very dense, with very little pores. Just like your face, the fewer pores there are, the less dirt and grime can get into the pores. A quick rinse in warm water will get your ceramic knife a lot cleaner than a thorough scrubbing on a metal knife.
  • WEIGHT - Ceramic material is very light weight. The lighter the weight, the less strain on your arms and shoulders. You can rip through all your cutting like a pro.
  • RUST - No metal means no rust.

CONS – It’s not perfect.

  • BRITTLENESS - Hardness doesn’t mean it isn’t breakable. Ceramic knives aren’t meant to cut hard food such as frozen foods, bones, or anything that isn’t easily sliced. The blade is sharpened so thin that anything hard can put a chip on the tip. The knife can be dropped tip down without shattering, but the thin tip and edge can chip away. Chips can be fixed with a sharpening but we still do not recommend it. If you dropped a metal knife tip down, the blade would bend and require a professional alignment as well.
  • PRICE TAG - I really don’t think they are too expensive compared to other high end steel knives. All ceramic knives are very high end. But the lack of low end models makes cost an issue.
  • VERSATILITY - It is not the most versatile knife in the kitchen. It doesn’t make a great all purpose knife, but it does excel at it’s intended purpose, slicing! Save those rough tasks for you butcher’s knife.

Is it worth the price?

To begin, I really don’t think they are that expensive. You can get a top of the line ceramic knife for around $350 (such as the Kyocera Kyotop Knives), and many more super high quality ones for less than $100 (such as the Miyako 7inch Glossy White). Shop around for a high quality metal knife and you’ll be looking to spend over $300 or more! Most people think ceramic knives are expensive because they can’t find a cheapie $10 one from Walmart. Each ceramic knife goes through a long manufacturing process which makes it high end.

Follow our 30 day test. We want to find out the answer too! Do you own one? Share your experience.

15 Comments

  1. dan Reply

    I use those magnetic knife holders because they are awesome. I like all my knives in one spot. I wouldn’t go ceramic for this reason. They are not magnetic.

    1. Sjon Reply

      That’s exactly the reason why they are attractive: ceramic knives do not disturb the electromagnetic field of foods you cut with them. Although an esoteric argument, it’s all about energy in life.

        1. Jorge Reply

          What this person might mean is that since ceramics are non-reactive, you can use them with most acidic foods or reactive foods without any change occuring. Tomatoes and lemons especially can change their flavor the more they react with metal. The same is true of static electricity that builds up in certain meats like fish. Hence, why you never use a metal spoon with caviar. All those things are found on planet Earth, by the way.

  2. Ash Charlton Reply

    Ceramic knives certainly feel that extra bit sharper than steel, and I find that I use them much of the time. The only downsides I’ve found is that, because of their fragility, I’ve never found a knife of more than 7″, and those aren’t generally available in classic French Chef shape (which is the shape I was taught to chop with, and which I believe to be the most efficient and versatile shape). Also the lightness isn’t always an advantage: when chopping cabbages and the like I often revert back to a good heavy steel knife. I would generally have both in my kitchen, as neither is perfect.

  3. Paul Reply

    I have cooked in almost every environment,from short-order breakfast diners and homeless shelters to four star dining. Ceramic knives are pretty and chic but not overly practical. I also do not agree that they keep their edge as i have seen many become dull with use. There are a few foods that ceramic is much better to use, like lettuce and other foods that are reactive to oxidizing, etcetera. We used to use plastic or wooden knives when the need arose to do so and they worked very well. A good set or German or Japanese steel knives will always be my first choice. Steel is always dependable, especially if one knows how to use steel, leather and stone.

  4. Mary Reply

    ok, here’s a disadvantage that no one is talking about. I was making Minestrone and chopping a lot of veggies for it. I didn’t realize that a eighth of the tip broke off, until my husband bit into it in the soup. The piece he found could have broken a tooth, or worse, been swallowed and caused damage to his intestine. We can see that he recovered most, but not all of the tip, so the kettle of soup had to be dumped. I loved my ceramic knives until this happened.

  5. peter Reply

    On the evolutionary scale ceramics are king, having said that in the 21st century there is still little difference between vegetables, meat, and some heads, except a ceramic knife will not cut through bone.. other than that it’s good to go…..

  6. Larry Reply

    Warning… Please be careful! We recently purchased a ceramic knife and vegetable peeler. We used it for a couple weeks. We at first were delighted with the performance until I recently sliced a ripe acorn squash. I did not notice that the blade lost some pieces along it length until my wife pointed it out. We found only a small portion of the shards in the squash. We threw out the squash. This could have been disastrous if ceramic was ingested. After now reading about how fragile they are we will be returning to good old steel knives. It appears to be a new product that missed some serious reality checks. If professionals are using these ceramic knives then how often are they also not noticing fragments lost in a commercially prepared meal. This one scares the hell out of me.

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