The 5 Best Ceramic Knives of 2021 (Tested and Reviewed)
At a glance:
Ceramic knives are such a hot item in many kitchens at the moment, and for good reason. Not only are they strikingly beautiful and available in a rainbow of colors and hues, the best ceramic knives are substantially harder than steel knives and in addition, due to their resistance to strong acidic and caustic substances, they will not rust or corrode.
If you are getting ready to purchase a set of the best ceramic knives for your home, then you have come to the right place! With so much information and so many brand names available it can be hard to choose the right knife set for your needs.
–> In a rush? Click here for the best ceramic knives of 2021!
In this article we will take a look at the properties of ceramic knives in general and what makes them better (or worse) than other materials that knives are commonly made from so that you can be a lot more knowledgeable before you make your own purchase.
Making The Best Informed Decision
Cuisinart Advantage 12-piece Knife Set
All About Ceramic Knives
To begin, ceramic knives are made from a durable and tough ceramic (as the name implies), often zirconium dioxide (which is also commonly known as zirconia).
According to Wikipedia, ceramic knives are usually produced by dry-pressing zirconia powder and firing them; the resultant blade is then sharpened by grinding the edges with a diamond-dust-coated grinding wheel.
Just to give you an idea of how hard ceramic knives are in comparison to a couple of other well-known objects: Zirconia is listed at 8.5 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, normal steel is listed at only 4.5, hardened steel is between 7.5 and 8, and diamonds top our list at a 10.
Did you know?
Diamonds actually aren’t nature’s hardest material anymore. We’ll let you know if someone starts making knives from lonsdaleite or wurtzite boron nitride.
Lonsdaleite is sometimes formed when meteorites containing graphite hit Earth, while wurtzite boron nitride is only formed during volcanic eruptions.
So Why Should You Use Ceramic Knives?
There are several reasons that ceramic knives have a reputation for being the best.
For starters, ceramic knives are much more durable than metal knives, and as you have seen, they are harder too. Several brands (such as Kyocera) are manufacturing a black, specially designed blade which has undergone an additional hot isostatic pressing step, thereby increasing the durability of the knife.
And they are stain-resistant and rust-proof.
Ceramic knives retain their cutting edge much longer than metal knives and rarely need to be sharpened (more on that below in the section “Sharpening ceramic knives”) in the same way that steel knives do, however the blade will eventually degrade, chip or lose its cutting edge. Unlike steel knives, specialized services are needed to sharpen ceramic blades.
Due to their sharpness, ceramic knives are excellent for thinly slicing meat, vegetables, fruit, and even bread. These knives make for a healthy addition to your kitchen, complementary to your healthy pots and pans.
Ceramic knives are also easy to clean, don’t absorb odors, and they’re lighter than their steel counterparts.
Great! But What’s The Downside of Ceramic Knives
Although you may be getting excited and ready to rush out and purchase a ceramic knife set after reading all of their benefits, as with all great things, ceramic knives do have a downside as well.
For starters, since ceramic knives can chip, ceramic blades may break if dropped on a hard surface (like the floor) or even when chopping on a marble or glass cutting board. Of that also means that ceramic knives should never be used to pry open a container as the tip may chip off.
Also, you should never use ceramic knives to chop hard items such as bones or frozen foods.
Of course, even metal knives haves a downside. Steel knives are more porous so they tend to stain, transfer odors from the food, and since they are chemically reactive, they will also rust. Metal knives are heavier which makes chopping tiresome.
One of the biggest problems with steel knives is that they need to be re-sharpened more often than ceramic blades.
As both ceramic and steel knives have pros and cons, the final decision on which set is better for your needs will ultimately be determined by your own personal preference and the particular item you need to cut at any given time. Just like how chefs choose the cookware they use, like ceramic or stainless steel, you too will have to determine what knife you will use depending on your needs.
Ok Let’s Find Out How To Take Care Of Your Ceramic Knife
We all want life to be easier, right? So it makes sense to simply toss your ceramic knife set in the dishwasher and go about your business. Well, unfortunately, it’s not that simple. Although you could put your ceramic knives in the dishwasher, the experts really don’t think that you should.
There are two main reasons why dishwashers aren’t good for your ceramic knife set. First of all, the hot water of the dishwasher can compromise the knife edge. The edge of the knife is made from thin strips of metal with a fine serrated edge.
Those tiny metal strips stay in place while they are at room temperature (and cooler), which keeps the blade nice and sharp. However, when exposed to heat, the teeth begin to curl, and your knife is left with a dull edge. Therefore, it is advisable to only ever wash your blades in cold water.
The second reason a dishwasher is not good for ceramic knives is because of the violent motion of the moving water during the wash cycle. If a ceramic knife were to hit, or was hit by, a dish or piece of cutlery it could likely chip or snap.
How To Sharpen Your Ceramic Knives And Care For Them Long Term
Ceramic blades require substantially less work than metal knives.
Traditional steel blades need to be honed and re-sharpened regularly in order to keep their sharp blades, but a ceramic knife has actually been proven to stay sharp for up to 10 times longer.
This is good news since the hardness of the ceramic blade actually makes it difficult to re-sharpen yourself at home and the traditional knife-sharpening materials that are designed for steel knives cannot be used on the ceramic blade.
Although a ceramic knife may not need regular sharpening in the same way as a steel blade does, a ceramic blade edge will eventually lose its cutting edge, at which point specialized sharpening services are required. This is an important point to keep in mind while you are shopping; be sure to look out for ceramic knives that can be returned to the manufacturer for professional sharpening.
What is the Difference Between Ceramic and Steel Knives?
Ceramic knives have several advantages over steel knives.
As we have seen, ceramic knives have a hardness rating close to that of diamonds and because of that harness, they hold an edge longer, don’t need to be sharpened as often, and they don’t need to be honed to straighten their edge.
If you do need to sharpen your ceramic knives, you will most likely need to return it to the manufacturer who will do it for you. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you would be responsible for sharpening steel knives (it would be much too costly for the manufacturer to do it as they need re-sharpening so often). You can also take a look at our ceramic knife sharpeners here.
Ceramic knives are not porous which means the blades do not stain nor retain odors from the food you slice. Simply rinse off your ceramic knife after chopping garlic, onions, or spicy peppers and go right on slicing; no smells will be transferred.
Let’s take a closer look at the differences between stainless steel and ceramic. Ceramic knives have:
Although ceramic knives get a lot of good press there are some drawbacks when compared to metal knives. For example, ceramic knives cannot be used 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 may chip your ceramic knife. A ceramic knife may be dropped onto a hard floor without shattering, but the thin tip and edge can chip away.
As with steel knives, ceramic knives come in a varied price range from the inexpensive to the top of the range. The knife you choose will come down to your own needs; ceramic knives are not as versatile as steel and they do not make a good all-purpose knife, however, they are excellent at slicing fruits and vegetables thinly.
Just like choosing stainless steel pots and pans, it comes down to functionality and how you use it.
What is the Difference Between Ceramic and Shun Knives?
Japanese Shun knives (pronounced shoon and rhymes with moon) are known to be some the finest knives in the world. They have incredibly sharp blades, handmade by highly skilled specialists and requiring at least 100 handcrafted steps to complete.
Unlike ceramic blades, Shun knives are made of stainless steel so let’s compare Western-style metal knives to Shun steel knives.
The knives that we are most aware of tend to be heavier, made from softer steel, and a thicker blade stock, which requires more muscle to cut through food. This type of steel knife dulls faster and also requires more maintenance.
Japanese steel knives are generally lighter in weight and are made of thinner, harder steel. Due to their harder steel, the blade is thinner and sharper. This makes Shun knives extremely precise and less tiring to use.
How does Titanium Knives Stack up to the Best Ceramic Knives? Let’s Take A Closer Look
Titanium is not a good material for knives; it is softer than and not as tough as other materials and also does not hold a sharp edge. If you’re looknig for sharpness in an knife (which most people are), you’ll want to consider ceramic over titanium.
However, on the plus side, titanium is lightweight and doesn’t corrode. With recent advances, there are some titanium bladed kitchen knives that are beginning to show some promise in the kitchen. Even compared to the best ceramic knives, titanium will last longer due to the anti-corrosive nature of the material itself.
Who Makes The Best Ceramic Knives?
It’s hard to give an absolute definition as to which ceramic knife set works the best; it is really up to the individual’s needs and budget. A top ceramic knife may be out of the price range of the average household but a less expensive set may still suit their requirements perfectly.
In short, choosing which ceramic knife is the ideal choice for your kitchen will ultimately come down to its durability, longevity, and of course, the price.
We’re going to show you our best ceramic knives review below. But before we do, make sure you determine what your budget is.
Our Top 5 Best Ceramic Knives Reviews
Below we will review the following top five ceramic knives: the Cuisinart Advantage 12-piece knife set, Kyocera Ceramic Knives Revolution 3-piece, the Zenware 9-piece, the Cuisinart 12-piece, and the Chef Made 9-piece set.
We’re starting out with the popular Cuisinart 12-piece knife set; six multicolored knives, each with a corresponding knife cover. This knife set is made from high-quality stainless steel blades; in fact the blades are so precise that you can even cut homemade bread without tearing at the fresh loaf!
Included in the set: an 8″ chef knife, an 8″ slicing knife, an 8″ serrated bread knife, a 7″ Santoku knife (good for slicing, dicing, and mincing), a 6.5″ utility knife, and a 3.5″ paring knife.
The color coding of each knife is designed to reduce the risk of cross-contamination during food preparation (plus we love that you can choose from bright or jewel hues).
Sadly, it is important to note that when the ceramic blade is sharpened, honed, or scratched the fun outer color comes off and the stainless steel inside does show through. However, considering the low price for 12 knives, this knife set does make a great purchase for someone who is setting up their first home.
Honestly, these knives don’t perform like a top-of-the-line knife set but they aren’t as expensive either. These knives do hold up well for the average cook which is why we listed it as one of the best ceramic knives out there.
The Kyocera Ceramic Knives Revolution 3-piece set includes the essential knives needed in any home: a 6” chef’s knife, a 5” micro serrated knife, and a 3”paring knife. Kyocera (pronounced “key-O-Sarah”) is a combination of ‘Kyoto Ceramics’, which is the original name of the company.
Kyocera advanced ceramic blades offer superior edge retention so these razor-sharp blades stay sharper longer.
This set of three Kyocera knives is priced higher than the first set of knives we reviewed (the Cuisinart Advantage 12-piece knife set) for several reasons.
The Kyocera blades are made from an advanced, high-tech ceramic called zirconium oxide (also called zirconia) which is extremely hard, and wear resistant (the handles are made of ABS plastic), and the razor-sharp blade stays sharper longer.
Buying a Kyocera knife is like buying for life, and it is a name that has become synonymous with high quality. We see that same commitment to excellence in this set of knives.
As you know, the chips in ceramic knives cannot be repaired but Kyocera knives come with a Lifetime Warranty, if your knife is damaged, Kyocera will either sharpen it or replace the item (incidentally, Kyocera offers a Lifetime Complementary Sharpening on their Kyocera Advanced Ceramic knives as well).
Kyocera’s ceramic knives are designed and manufactured in Japan.
The ZenWare 9-piece multicolor ceramic cutlery kitchen knives and peeler set includes: a 3″ paring knife, a 4″ utility knife, a 5″ slicer knife, a 6″ chef knife peeler, and a fruitpeeler.
This set is light weight, easy to handle, and easy to clean. Generally, ceramic knives stay extremely sharp and rarely need to be sharpened.
In addition these knives do not absorb odors, nor are the affected by the acidity food in many foods so they remain rust proof, and oxidation-free.
This ZenWare set is offered at affordable price and a safe 30-day money back guarantee. This is a stylish, colorful set with rubber gripped handles.
The Cuisinart 12-piece ceramic coated multicolor knife set contains high-quality stainless steel blades with a ceramic coating for easy non-stick slicing. The set includes; 8″ chef knife (a multipurpose knife for mincing and slicing), a 7″ Santoku knife (for dicing and mincing), and four other all-purpose knives and their corresponding blade guards.
These knives are also colour codes so as to reduce the possibility of contamination as you prepare your food.
Although there is a Lifetime Warranty on these knives we have heard of customers who have struggled to have them replaced or sharpened by the company and so had to have them sharpened themselves (which, we suspect, will nullify that nifty Lifetime Warranty).
The Cuisinart 12-piece ceramic coated multicolor knife set is made in China.
The Chef Made 9-piece set includes: a 3″ paring knife, a 4″ utility knife, a 5″ slicer, a 6″ chef knife, and a peeler (plus covers for each knife).
As is to be expected with ceramic knives, the Chef Made 9-piece set is razor sharp zirconium blades that can go years without sharpening. Ceramic knives are lighter than steel, are almost as hard as diamond.
This set has been made with ergonomic sure grip handles that have a special soft touch rubber coating and gripping dots for a safe and secure grip (although the manufacturer states that the knives can go in the dishwasher, read our section on Taking care of your ceramic knife as most chefs agree that it is not a good way to wash your knives).
These are easy to clean, they are non-porous so that odors don’t transfer (simply give the knife a quick rinse), don’t rust, and don’t leave a metallic taste on your food.
These knives are relatively inexpensive and often you do get what you pay for.
There have been numerous concerns on this particular knife set, including that they are not as sharp as most ceramic knives, and that they have broken unexpectedly. These are one of the best ceramic knives that we have used that last a long time.
That being said, on the other side though, we have heard that the customer service is excellent (we haven’t tried it ourselves) but the company is known to replace broken, damaged or chipped products (we even heard of a replacement where the damage was due to owner negligence but don’t them we told you).
This Chef Made 9-piece knife set is made in China.
The Bottom Line
With so many choices available on the market, we hope that our review of the top 5 best ceramic knives will help you to make a decision that is right for your family and your kitchen. Check out our other kitchen accessory reviews!
Once you have found the perfect set of ceramic knives, pair them up with a set of stainless steel cookware.
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