What are ceramic knives?
Ceramic knives are knives made out of zirconium oxide, also known as zirconia. This is a different ceramic than what mugs or bowls are made out of, in case you were confused as how a knife could be made out of fragile ceramic. This ceramic, zirconia, is very hard, significantly harder than stainless steel and carbon steel. It is, though, more brittle than steel, and could break with improper use or care.
You might have seen ceramic knives in bright colors and designs and mistaken them for plastic. They are also noticeably light-weight, much lighter than steel. Ceramic knives really shine as a knife for chopping and finely mincing vegetables and fruit, as this won’t break the brittle blade, and the acidic juices won’t corrode the blade.
- Rust resistant
- Acidic food doesn’t corrode blade
- Non-porous blade doesn’t stain
- Non-porous blade inhibits bacteria growth
- Stays sharp for a long time (10x longer than steel)
- Breaks Easily
- Hard to Sharpen
- Have limits on uses–not all-purpose
Ceramic Knives: Frequently Asked Questions
How hard are ceramic knives?
Ceramic knives are a 8.5 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, which is greater than steel’s . Diamond is a 10, for reference.
Yes, ceramic knives do get dull, just not as fast as other knives.
Do ceramic knives rust?
No, ceramic knives don’t rust.
What should you not cut with a ceramic knife?
Don’t cut very hard foods such as bones, or frozen food. The ceramic knife is too brittle for very hard foods and it will break. Ceramic knives are not all purpose kitchen knives, and they can’t replace a chef’s knife. They’re really best suited for precision chopping and slicing of vegetables and fruits. They also slice through butter and cheese particularly well.
Are ceramic knives magnetic?
No they’re not magnetic. This means you cannot store them on a magnetic knife wall holder, as they will not stick. You should store them in a wood knife block or drawer.
Are ceramic knives dishwasher safe?
No, ceramic knives, or any knives, should not go in the dishwasher. They dishwashers high-pressure and bustling will dull the knife as it rubs up against the dishwasher basket, or just break the knife. If you put it in the dishwasher, it’s not ruined, just don’t do it again.
Do chefs use ceramic knives?
Professional chefs tend not to use ceramic knives because they are far too fragile to put up with the hustle and bustle of a professional kitchen. Ceramic knives can break if you drop them. Also, although ceramic knives are very sharp, steel can be sharpened to a thinner blade, because it’s less brittle. So, professional chefs would rather just sharpen a steel knife more often than deal with the fragility of ceramic knives. This doesn’t mean that ceramic knives are not recommended for the home chef, though. Sometimes the gear that’s good for professionals is not true for the home chef, since the kitchen environment is so different.
Ceramic Knives: Final Thoughts
A ceramic knife would be a good addition to your culinary arsenal, but you shouldn’t have only ceramic knives, because they have limits. Ceramic knives are particularly suited in a bar settings, as they’re great for cutting acidic citrus and other fruits and vegetables. A ceramic knife is a great choice for your day-to-day vegetable chopping. Keep in mind that they are more fragile, and they are much harder to sharpen when they eventually dull.