Ceramic Knives vs Steel

Ceramic VS Steel Knives

Benefits of Ceramic Knife vs Steel Knife

You might be wondering what are the pros and cons of having a ceramic knife. Are ceramic knives better? Will you still need a steel knife if you have a ceramic one? Is it true that a knife made of ceramic will never need to be sharpened?

Benefits of Ceramic Knives

Disadvantages of a Ceramic Blade

Steel Blade Benefits

Steel knives disadvantages

How are Ceramic Knife Made?

Ceramic knives are made by pressing and firing a fine powder of zirconium dioxide, the manufacturer then grind the blades with a diamond-impregnated wheel.

Ceramic knives are harder than steel and mostly never need sharpening. Even if harder, they can chip or broke with ease. The reason is there absence of flexibility.  I read that black ceramic blades pass through an additional step in the production that makes the black one even harder.

My Opinion On Ceramic Knives

As a long time user of a ceramic cooking knife, I can tell you, I love it. I know it will always be extra sharp when I want to use it. I do not need to spend time every month to sharpen it. Here is the list of reasons why I love my ceramic knives.

Ceramic Knives vs Steel Knives Video


Benefits of Ceramic Knives

Very sharp

You will notice that most ceramic knives come extremely sharp out of the box. Of course there are different quality of blades and some are sharper than other. But in my experience, I always found ceramic knives to be as sharp as a high quality knife.
If you want a proof that ceramic blades can be extremely sharp, take a look at this video of this guy shaving with one. The action starts at 1m30s.

Guy Shaves His Head With a Ceramic Knife

Stay sharp for a long period of time

The blade is made of zirconium dioxide and hard ceramic, which is a very hard material. You can compare it to a diamond. You know, when you rub a diamond against another surface, the diamond will never get scratches or lose its shape. It is because the diamond is the hardest material on the planet, nothing can scratch it. Well a ceramic blade act the same. It is harder than a lot of other materials. Therefore it will not lose its shape and will stay extra sharp for a very long period of time.

Ceramic knife can technically be sharper.

Ceramic is a material that is stronger then steel.
(Zirconium Dioxide, the material used for a ceramic knife is rated as 8 on the Scale of mohs)

 

Need less care

You do no need to spend time each month to sharpen it. I would recommend you to sharpen it maybe every year or at max every 15 month. It is still like 15 times better than with a used steel knife. It is also easier to wash, as it is not made of steel it will not rust, so you do not need to dry it after you washed it.

Learn how to Sharpen a Ceramic Knife here.

Less expensive than an equivalent quality steel knife

A good ceramic knife is not a small expense. You can probably get a very good quality one for around 30$ to 50$. But at this price you often get a very sharp blade that will be equivalent to a 70$ to 100$ for a usual steel knife.

Here is a price comparison of different quality of knives.

Thanks to your ceramic knife, your steel knife will also stay sharp longer

A ceramic knife is wonderful and I love mine, but you must know that it cannot replace a good old steel knife. There are things that simply are too hard to cut for a ceramic knife. But if you use your ceramic blade wisely, it also means that you use your regular knife less frequently. Therefore, even your steel knives will need less sharpening as you will use them a lot less.

Do not rust

Let’s put this simply. It is ceramic, not steel, it is not in the properties of ceramic to rust. Your knife will never rust.

Will not stain

Substances that are known to stain a regular knife, like salt, acids and juices will not affect or stain a ceramic knife.

Do not oxidize food

You might have already noticed that sometimes when you cut an apple or an avocado, as soon as you cut it the inside is a little brown. It is because steel knives can cause food to oxidize. Ceramic blades do not do that. Your apples, avocado, banana… will keep their beautiful natural color (and great taste) longer if you cut them with ceramic.

Lightweight

Ceramic is much lighter than steel. A lighter knife also means more comfort and less fatigue when cutting food. Some ceramic knives are known to be as much as two times lighter than equivalent format steel knives. It does makes a difference.

Disadvantages of a Ceramic Blade

Do not stick on a magnet plate

Personally I do not have a knife magnet, but I know some people do and like it very much. Of course, as ceramic is not a metal, it is not attracted to a magnet. So if you are used to a knife magnet, you will have to place your ceramic knives somewhere else.

You cannot sharpen it with a regular knife sharpener

You cannot use a regular knife sharpener to sharpen a ceramic. Regular knife sharpener are made to sharpen steel knife and ceramic is completely another material so do not try it. It is possible to buy ceramic knife sharpener on Amazon for between 15$ and 35$. You can also go to a knife specialist in your area, just make sure he knows how to sharpen a ceramic knife.

See how to sharpen a ceramic knife here.

Breakable

Ceramic is very hard, but its hardness do not necessarily make it unbreakable. In fact, if you throw it hard enough or drop it on a hard floor it might crack. With a couple of repeated shocks it might also end up breaking. You will have to be careful, in fact you always have to be careful when manipulating a knife because it is dangerous to get cut. But with a ceramic knife you also might end up breaking it. It is suggested to not do cutting that ask you to curve the blades because of the absence of flexibility in the ceramic.

You can learn more about the ceramic used to create your knife here.

Cannot cut hard ingredients

As you know, ceramic blades might break or chip, so you should not try to cut hard ingredients. Frozen meat or a bone are two things that should never be cut with a ceramic knife.
If you are careful with you knife and if you use it like me, to cut like 85% of your food that is soft enough. You will not have a problem with you ceramic knife and will love it for sure.

 

My Opinion on Steel Blades

As you already know by now, I absolutely love my ceramic knives. But as much as I love them and try to use them as often as possible, I still need a good old steel blade for the roughest jobs.

Steel Blade Benefits

Stick on a Knife Magnet

Steel is a metal and metal with be attracted to a knife magnet. If you have one it is nice for all your knives to be at the same place.

Easier to Find a Steel Sharpener

As steel knives exists since a long time, a lot more sharpeners are made for these knives. Does it means that a steel sharpener is less expensive? Absolutely not, a good sharpener is as important as a great knife. To get a great sharpeners, whether it is for ceramic or steel you have to pay the price. If you buy the cheap one you might end up with great knives with badly sharpened. That is totally useless.

Blade is More Solid

A steel blade is more solid than a ceramic one. You might end up breaking it, but it will last longer.

Can cut Almost Everything

With a steel knife you can cut almost everything. Whether it is a bone or frozen meat, you know for sure you can cut it.

Some Japan Knives Are Almost a Piece of Art

Let’s face it, steel knives often have better designs. Especially when you go with a very luxury one. Japanese knives are often beautiful and can add up to the look of your kitchen. But hey watch out their price can be as high as $200 PER KNIFE… That is only if you have like $1500 to spend on cutlery.

Steel knives disadvantages

Needs to sharpen it often

Even if you have the best knife in the world, you will end up having to sharpening it. It depends on how much you use it, but you can be sure that with a steel knife you will have to sharpen it way more often than a ceramic knife. If you like to sharpen your knife it is not a problem, but if you would rather do something else it is. I know myself, I sometime be a little lazy and it happened in the past (when I did not have a ceramic blade at home). I clearly saw that my steel knives needed to be sharpened, because they simply could not cut an onion anymore, but I did not want to do it and ended up botching my cuts.

Handle is Still Breakable

Even is the blade is very solid, a steel knife is still breakable. In my experience, I had to get rid of a couple of steel knives simply because the handle broke up. In the end, yes the blade will last, but not necessarily the handle and a blade without a handle is only good for trash. Therefore, when looking up for a steel knife, look at a one peace one such as the Global Knives.

Needs Great Care

When you wash you steel knife, you have to make sure you dry it after, otherwise it will end up rusting. A steel knife simply needs more care and more time.

Expensive

Some knives are simply way too expensive, in some places you can find knives priced as high as $500. Yes they are beautiful, yes they are probably razor sharp, yes they will last for a lifetime (at this price I hope!!), but honestly I am simply not ready to pay that much money for a knife.

Steel Knives vs Ceramic Knives: The final Words

In conclusion, I would say that both knives have their utility in your kitchen. You will love your ceramic knife because you will find it to be always extra sharp. It will stay sharpened much more longer that an usual steel knife, so you will spend less time sharpening your knife. It requires less care when you wash it, it will not rust so you do not need to wipe it after you washed it. Finally, you ceramic knife will not oxidize your fruits and vegetables.

If you are going to invest in any kind of knife, I would suggest you to use the softest cutting board you can found to avoid your investment to loose their sharpness. You can read more about the best cutting board here.

If you are looking for a Chef’s Ceramic Knife, I strongly suggest you have a look at our knife, it is very well made and we are getting good comments everyday.

You will still need a steel knife to cut harder pieces like bones or frozen meat. It last longer than a ceramic knife, if you are careful enough, the blade can last a lifetime. For my part the handle always end up breaking after 2 or 3 years, but a blade made of steel is almost unbreakable. You can stick your steel knife on a knife magnet, it is nice to have your knife within the reach of the hand.

My final recommendation is to have both types of knives in your kitchen. With your ceramic knife you can cut like 85% of the food you have to cut. Fruits and vegetables, cheese, bread, sandwiches, fish, boneless meat… And with your steel knife you will be able to cut the hardest ingredients, meat with bones, frozen meat and any hard food. What is nice is that when you have both knives, you usually end up using more often the ceramic knife. Therefore, it will take longer for your steel knife to need sharpening.

If you never tried a ceramic knife, I would highly recommend you to do it. For my part it became a must have in my kitchen for all the advantages it has and the time I save with it.

 

You may also like:
What is The Best cutting board for your ceramic Knives?
How to Sharpen Ceramic Knife
Price comparison Between Steel and Ceramic Chef’s Knives
What is the Ceramic used to Make Ceramic Knife?

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