Lightweight and viciously sharp – this is how many people describe ceramic knives. However, since the craze with ceramic cutlery has begun, some still sit and wonder whether it’s worth switching from stainless steel to ceramic or if this is just another passing fad that doesn’t actually stand up to expectations. Although ceramic knives aren’t the most expensive purchases you’ll ever make, it’s still advisable that you weigh all the pros and cons before ending up with a kitchen knife that underperforms drastically and that you end up throwing away after a few months. To help you, we have written this article where you’ll find out useful info about ceramic cutlery, concluding whether it’s a right choice for you to go with or not.
Anatomy of a Ceramic Knife – Materials and Manufacturing
What differentiates ceramic cutlery from the classic stainless steel knives that you own is the material that they’re made from. The tough ceramic that goes into the manufacturing process – usually zirconium dioxide – delivers a never before seen sharpness that has made many simply fall in love with ceramic blades. The production process of the blade consists of dry-pressing zirconium dioxide powder, after which the blade is passed through sintering to obtain a solid state. What follows is a sharpening process performed through grinding blade edges with the help of a grinding wheel that’s dust-coated with diamond.
Sharpening Ceramic Cutlery the Right Way
Now let’s reveal the real reasoning behind ceramic cutlery popularity – superior edge sharpness retention. The inherent hardness of the material used in the manufacturing process of the blade makes it very difficult for it to lose sharpness. Tests performed on quality knives with ceramic blades have even resulted in an apparent 10 times longer sharpness retention that has impressed critics and customers alike.
However, there is a downside to this prolonged sharpness retention benefited from the tough blade material, more precisely the fact that ceramic knives are a bit more pretentious when it comes to resharpening. When the time comes to restore blades to their former cutting performance, you must use specialty sharpening tools that are designed to handle ceramic blades. Fortunately, you shouldn’t have issues with finding the right knife sharpener for the task as this niche is generous and filled with numerous surprisingly well-performing products.</p>
Cutting Performance – Does Sharpness Retention Differ From Metallic Knives
Yes, as aforementioned, ceramic knives have a unique trait that comes from the construction of their blades and that makes them superior in sharpness retention when compared to metallic knives. Substantially harder than stainless steel cutlery, ceramic knives have rapidly become the go-to choice in the kitchen for most cooks as they keep their perfect edge shape for a long time, resisting different when put to intense use. This superior anatomy boasted by them makes the knives ideal for tasks such as slicing boneless meat, a cooking task that metallic cutlery isn’t really great at as it doesn’t have the needed edge sharpness.
Sanitary Considerations that Make Ceramic Worth Your Money
From a sanitary point of view, ceramic is the ideal material as the blade’s high density and few pores do not allow dirt to get into the structure of the knife. After just a swift rinse with warm water, the cutting tool is ready to be used on a different type of food without having to worry that you’re transferring dirt from meat to veggies when cooking, for example.
Another plus of ceramic cutlery when it comes to sanitary considerations is the fact that it doesn’t rust. This is a logical benefit that accompanies the knives as there isn’t any metal used in their manufacturing, thus rust being an impossible occurrence. Additionally, the lack of pores on the blade surface ensures that unpleasant odors aren’t transferred between food ingredients.
General Care Tips that You Must Follow
Fortunately, with ceramic cutlery, there’s not a lot of maintenance work to perform. Just like we said before, the blade preserves sharpness for a long time, about 10 times more than other knives do. Therefore, you won’t be caught doing the annoying resharpening chore too often. Also, when cleaning the knife, all you need to do is pass it through lukewarm water, without using any detergent. When it comes to storage, just put the knife in a wooden block when you’re done using it, or in a drawer. Just make sure that if it’s in the drawer, it won’t make contact with other utensils that might damage the blade.
Disadvantages that You Have to Be Aware Of
Woefully, there are a few downsides to ceramic cutlery, and in the following, we will list and explain the disadvantages that these all so praised knives come with.
Brittleness: It’s the hardness of the blade that makes the ceramic knife all the more fragile. It might sound like this is a contradictory statement, but this is actually quite logical. The knife’s blade is so thin due to the sharpening process that it’s passed through that a simple drop onto a rough surface can cause it to break. This makes the knives incompatible with cutting hard frozen foods and similar food products.
Expensive price tag: Although the price difference isn’t really big, for some it makes a difference. Therefore, if you’re planning on buying ceramic knives, be prepared to spend more than you would on stainless steel models.
Reduced versatility in use: Unfortunately, versatility in use isn’t the strong point of the ceramic knife. The thin profile makes it incapable of performing certain cooking tasks, usually tasks that involve cutting hard food products.