Wanting a set of kitchen knives sharp enough for fine slicing? Ceramic knives are sharp and stay sharp longer than steel knives. Here’s what to know about ceramic knives in the kitchen, including what to look for in choosing the best ceramic knives for you in 2021 and the pros and cons of sets on the market right now.
In a hurry? Check out this super slick set with bamboo knife holder at Amazon!
I’ll start with a comparison table and following that, information to help you choose a good kitchen knife set.
Looking for individual knives? >> Skip to Single Best Ceramic Knives.
How are ceramic knives made?
What Are Ceramic Knives Made Of?
The zirconium dioxide in ceramic knives goes through a lengthy firing process. The end result — knives that are rust and corrosion-proof and inert (meaning no impact on food flavor).
The manufacturers of ceramic knives treat zircon sand to form zirconium dioxide (zirconia) for the blades used in ceramic knives.
Rather than being tempered like steel blades, the zirconia of ceramic knives is hardened by firing in a powerful furnace¹.
This 8-min video shows what it takes to make the Kyocera ceramic knives.
Enough metal is added to the mix so that ceramic knives are not a security risk, i.e. they can be detected by airport scanners and the like.
Black Blade vs White Blade
You will notice the blades of ceramic knives will be either white or black. So what’s the difference?
Here’s what the manufacturers say…
Black has had extra treatment for strength. A black blade indicates the knife has gone through isostatic pressing to increase the density and strength of the ceramics. The additional cold or hot isostatic pressing in the process creates a tougher blade as it produces a tighter knit between the ceramic molecules.
Whereas a hot-isostatic press (HIP) involves extra firing at high pressures, a cold-isostatic pressing (CIP) is performed at room temperatures but with higher pressure than for HIP. You can learn more about hot- and cold-isostatic pressing here.
What is the advantage of a ceramic knife
The two main advantages of a ceramic knife are 1) a cutting edge that stays sharp and 2) the ease of precision cutting. These performance advantages are mentioned again and again in ceramic knives reviews.
This means paper-thin tomato slices and perfectly diced onions for you in the kitchen. Be sure to watch the video above (at about 8:12) to see how a ceramic knife finely slices a fillet of fish into wafer-thin slices.
Apart from being better than steel knives for fine slicing jobs at home, ceramic knives stay sharper for longer. This is great, if you prefer not to have the inconvenience of having to sharpen knives too often.
As well, using a ceramic knife means you have a lightweight knife that will never rust and is easy to clean. And, it is made of eco-friendly material.
Are Ceramic Knives Any Good?
Here are eight key reasons why ceramic knives are good to use in the kitchen:
- They are lighter than metal ones
- Never rust
- They are easy to clean. A quick rinse and wipe with a kitchen towel.
- Unlike metal, they won’t oxidize. They are non-corrosive.
- They perform better for longer — the cutting edge stays sharper longer
- They are better at enduring acids and are nonporous
- They resist bacteria and germs
- They are made of eco-friendly material
Are Ceramic Knives Better Than Steel?
Ceramic blades handle the fine slicing and dicing tasks in the kitchen with much more ease than steel knives. They perform better for precision cutting, and stay sharper for longer.
Ceramic vs steel knives
In terms of ceramic vs steel knives, steel knives are best for cutting and chopping boned meatless and solid or frozen foods. While they have strength and sharpness, ceramic blades have no flexibility; they are rigid, meaning they won’t bend or bounce. So you need to take this into account. In terms of boned meats, for example, a good stainless steel knife is better.
Consider ceramic knives as additions to your kitchen knife collection. They will complement a good set of steel knives for a versatile kitchen setup.
- Super sharp
- Retain sharpness longer than steel
- Won’t corrode in harsh environments
- Do not conduct electricity at room temperature
- Resistant to strong acid and caustic substances
- Lighter than steel
What are the cons of ceramic knives?
Ceramic knives are ultra sharp and perfect for precision slicing of tomatoes or similar produce or fine slicing of boneless meats. You can’t go wrong in adding at least one ceramic knife to your kitchen knife set for that reason. But there are some cons…
- Though they are harder and hold their edge longer, they are more brittle than steel knives
- Take care not to drop the knives onto hard surfaces. The latest design processes, however, have reduced the risk of breakage.
- Not for heavy-duty chopping and prying, e.g. with bones or frozen foods, as this can lead to chipping of the blades.
Ceramic knife reviews
Kyocera Japanese Ceramic Kitchen Knife Set
This Kyocera ceramic knife review looks at the 2 piece ceramic knife set of the Innovation Series.
This set is made in Japan by Kyocera (key-O-Sarah), who considers itself the world’s largest and highest quality manufacturer of advanced ceramic knives, which are made in Sendai in southwest Japan.
What’s included: This set contains a ceramic Santoku and a ceramic 4.5 inch utility knife and comes gift boxed.
Consider also that Kyocera is the only manufacturer of advanced ceramic knives to offer a Lifetime Warranty that includes Lifetime Sharpening.
Handles: The black handles feature an Elastomer (rubber-like) soft feel and are ergonomically designed for comfort and control.
Benefits: The knives feel perfectly balanced. This, plus their lightness, will mean you’ll suffer less fatigue from repetitive cutting tasks. The upper angled handle to blade interface of these knives is what helps.
These knives feature the new Z212 ceramic blade, a recent advancement by Kyocera using innovative ceramic material technology, which they say makes the blade stay sharper for 2× longer than the previous model.
Blades: The black zirconium blades crafted using Kyocera’s exclusive technology indicates they have gone through isostatic pressing to increase the density and strength of the ceramic cutting blades.
- Japanese manufacturing
- Won’t have to sharpen for some time
- Free service for sharpening
- Looks stylish. Gift boxed.
- A bit more expensive than the others
Price: The set is more expensive then others but is manufactured by Kyocera, who are one of the best known ceramic knife manufacturers. This knife set is available at Amazon — See details.
Cook N Home Ceramic Knife Set Review – Color Coded
What’s included: a 6″ santoku chef’s knife, a 5″ utility ceramic knife, a 4″ Ceramic fruit knife, a 3″ Ceramic paring knife, with 4 knife sheaths and a vegetable peeler.
The manufacturer is Neway International Housewares.
Handles: The four handle colors of this set mean coding for easy selection of kitchen knives. The knife handles of this set are simple in design with an arch that helps performance in handling.
Benefits: This knife set is perfect for covering small to large cutting tasks that require precision. The color coded knives help with avoiding cross-contamination of foods.
Blades: White ceramic.
- Multicolors for coded use
- Protective covers included
- Low price – a good size variety
- Users have found the peeler quality not as good as others
- Can be more fragile than others with hard foods
Price: If you are looking for a set of low-priced ceramic knives consider the Cook N Home Kitchen Knife Set. It is quite a popular buy at Amazon — See details.
Kyocera Knives Review – 4-Piece
This might be the best ceramic knife block set. It comes with a bamboo knife block, which is recommended for storing and protecting the knives.
What’s included? The package contains four black ceramic knives including a 7 inch chef’s knife, a 5.5 inch santoku knife, a 4.5 inch utility knife, and a 3 inch paring knife, and a four-slotted bamboo knife block.
Kyocera knives are made in Japan and are guaranteed high-quality construction. They are made from Kyocera’s proprietary zirconia material, which involves highly dense sub-micron particles with minimal voids. This translates into a denser blade that maintains an edge longer than other ceramic blades.
Handles: The handles are black resin with an ergonomic design.
Benefits: This knife set comes with all the benefits associated with Kyocera revolution series advanced knives:
- Deeper blades for greater knuckle clearance
- Ergonomic resin handles
- Ultra-sharp ceramic blades
- Will never brown foods or alter taste
Blades: The blades are black, meaning they have undergone extra strengthening (see why below).
- Black blades
- Stay razor sharp up to 10x that of normal kitchen knives.
- Blades do not stain
- Well balanced
- Lightweight (half the weight of similar steel knives)
- Complimentary sharpening service
- Bamboo knife block
- No sheaths with this set (it comes with a knife block which I think is better if you have the room).
- More expensive than others listed (white blades are an option at a cheaper price).
Price: It is more expensive then others. However, the price does include a bamboo knife block. Consider also that these are manufactured by Kyocera, the only manufacturer of advanced ceramic knives to offer a Lifetime Warranty that includes Lifetime Sharpening.
This 4 piece ceramic knife set with bamboo knife block would look great in any kitchen and is available at Amazon — See details.
Single ceramic knives
Looking for that single ceramic knife to add to your collection? Here are some online favorites to check out.
|The best chef knife under 100 dollars…|
Looking for the best chef knife under 100 dollars? Consider a Kyocera Advanced Ceramic Revolution Series 7-inch professional chef’s knife with black blade.
|Here’s a great ceramic bread knife…|
Cuisinart Serrated Bread Knife
If you like to bake your own bread or buy whole loaves, consider adding this ceramic bread knife to your kitchen knife set.
How to choose a ceramic knife
What to look for in a good knife set?…Here are some main design elements to consider:
- Look for Sharpness That Lasts
This quality of sharpness sets ceramic kitchen knives apart. Ceramic knives are super sharp and retain their sharpness for longer than steel blades.
- Choose One That’s Well-Balanced
The way the knife feels in your hand affects your enjoyment and the efficiency of using it. A well-balanced knife is best – one with weight evenly distributed. It’ll mean better cutting and less exertion by you.
- Consider the Type of Handle
Rubber or plastic handles are typically molded for ergonomics. They are hygienic but may be slippery when wet and can break down with time. Handcrafted wooden handles look stylish and offer better grip making them pleasing to hold. However, watch for grime build-up. You’ll need to keep these out of water and oil from time to time. Overall, you’ll want the handle to feel comfortable and secure when doing its job. Knuckle clearance is important as well, especially with chef’s knives.
- Know the Function of the Knives
If you are looking for precision slicing and long-lasting sharpness in a kitchen knife, consider a ceramic bladed knife. Ceramic kitchen knives are designed for lightweight easy fine-slicing of fruits, vegetables, and boneless meats.
- Compare Prices
Looking for the best ceramic knives for the money? Some good quality kitchen knife sets are available on the market. The sets range in price, from low to high, so there are options for everyone’s budget. What’s a good ceramic knife price? You’ll find knife sets under 100 dollars and just over, with affordable ones at around about $20-50. What you choose depends on how much you want to invest and the quality you are prepared to be satisfied with. You might want to invest in black ceramic blades, which are typically a bit more expensive but have had extra treatment to strengthen them (see my section on this).
- Think About the Size and the Type You Need
What do you need for everyday cooking? There are various styles, sizes, and the number of pieces in a set. The types of knives you choose will depend on what you mostly prepare. See our list of knife types and their uses here.
Do ceramic knives stay sharp?
Ceramic knife blades are made from the zirconium silicate mineral, Zircon, which has near diamond hardness. With Zircon attributes, second to that of diamond, these knives stay razor-sharp for precision cutting and fine slicing of food in the home kitchen for longer than steel knives.
Who Makes the Best Ceramic Knives?
Regarding ceramic blades, the best brand of knives is the one that has honed technology for sharpness that lasts and handles that are ergonomically designed and weighted so the knives are well-balanced and satisfying to use in the fine slicing of fruits, vegetables, and boneless meat. Buying a set of really good kitchen knives starts with knowing these differences.
How do you clean ceramic knives?
Because food does not stick to the ceramic blades, ceramic knives are easy to clean. Just wipe with soapy water, rinse, and dry. It’s best not to put them in the dishwasher to avoid unwanted accidental knocks harming them.
What Makes a Good Kitchen Knife Set?
For the best kitchen knives set – a set that’s right for you, like any of the best kitchen knife reviews, I recommend you consider your style of cooking and how much you are prepared to spend for the quality and performance you will be satisfied with.
Ways to Care for Ceramic Knives
Your investment is worth taking care of.
- I recommend you hand wash only. Ceramic knives are super easy to clean, so this is not a hassle.
- Always store in their protective covers and a knife block is also recommended.
- As said above, avoid heavy duty cutting or prying, e.g., use steel knives with frozen food, bones, or hard cheese (Parmesan, cheddar etc.), not your best ceramic knives!
- The best and safest way to store ceramic knives is with a bamboo knife block (see below).
What Cutting Board is Best for Ceramic Knives?
Use only wood, bamboo, silicone or plastic (not stone or glass) cutting boards and never scrape the ceramic blade across the boards. Avoid situations where you are likely to drop or throw the knives around as this could cause them to break.
How best to protect knife blades?
Knife sheaths help to protect the knife blades while storing them. There are also the knife blocks and drawer knife holders are convenient and great savers of ceramic blades. Both of these are available in modern bamboo designs.
Do Ceramic Knives Stay Sharp?
As I said above, ceramic knives can go for years without needing to be sharpened.
Do ceramic knives get dull? Ceramics knives do eventually dull, but they do so differently to steel blades. Over time, minute chips along the ceramic knife blade edge need honing to sharpen the blade. These micro chips are removed using knife sharpeners with a diamond edge.
Can You Sharpen Ceramic Knives?
Many people ask this question. Can ceramic knives be sharpened? The answer is yes!
Sharpening brings out the best in a ceramic knife.
How to Sharpen Ceramic Knives
How do you sharpen a ceramic knife? If you want to sharpen them yourself, you need to use a diamond coated knife sharpener.
I cover examples in my article on how to sharpen ceramic knives.
Most manufacturers recommend sending ceramic knives to professionals for sharpening. Brands like Kyocera offer free lifetime sharpening (though you may need to pay for transport costs).
An electric ceramic knife sharpener has a 2-stage diamond sharpening wheel, designed for ceramic kitchen knives. Electric sharpeners are faster and simpler to use. They can also remove the small blade chips.
Some consider a manual one as the best kitchen knife sharpener, however. A manual sharpening rod or triangle that you use for steel knives is not recommended, as it may chip the blade and ruin the knife.
The long-lasting sharpness of the ceramic blade makes these stand out from the normal steel knives. Ceramic knives are perfect for fine slicing of boneless meats and fresh vegetables and they complement those good steel knives that are best for the heavy-duty cutting.
For a complete kitchen knife set, add quality ceramic knives to a good set of steel knives.
Whether it’s preparing healthy meals for the family or displaying culinary skills to guests, a worthy addition to your kitchen knife set is at least one good ceramic knife that will help you deal confidently with salad and fruit preparation and presentation.
At the end of the day, a good set of ceramic knives is a positive addition to your kitchen equipment. They’ll save you time and show your finesse, but they won’t do everything in the kitchen. That’s why I’ve recommended certain other knives along the way in this guide. You won’t go wrong with a set of ceramic knives complementing your high-carbon stainless steel set.
- 1. Sur La Table, Sarah Jay. 2008. Knives Cooks Love: Selection. Care. Techniques. Recipes.
- Care and Use Instructions for Kyocera Ceramic Knives.
You May Like To…
… check out my review of pure ceramic cookware.