Ceramic knives stay sharper for longer than conventional knives. But what do you do when they eventually dull or chip? Here are options I’ve found for sharpening your ceramic knives at home.
In a hurry? Check out this powered ceramic knife sharpener -> See details at Amazon.
How do you sharpen a ceramic knife? To sharpen ceramic knives, you need a diamond sharpening tool. Yep, you can sharpen a ceramic knife with a sharpening stone, file, or grindstone as long as it has micro diamonds installed.
You might be surprised to know that, while it involves diamonds, a ceramic knife sharpener is quite affordable.
Options for sharpening ceramic knife blades at home
To sharpen ceramic knives without contracting sharpening services, there are various options that you can choose to suit your budget and your needs:
- Handheld sharpener with diamond rod for manual sharpening
- A diamond file, also manual
- Whetstone set, also manual
- Electric powered diamond grinding stone
- Battery operated diamond sharpener
NOTE: This article is not about sharpening “ceramic-coated” knives. This is because ceramic-coated knives are steel blades coated with a nonstick covering and don’t require a diamond rod or stone for sharpening.
A sharp knife has lesser surface area than a blunt one. So, a sharp knife applies a greater pressure when used for cutting. This is why it cuts better.BYJU’S Learning
As far as a blunt knife goes, there’s a simple trick to tell if it really does need sharpening. Get a sheet of paper and slash the edge of it with the knife. If it tears your knife is dull. A clean cut indicates it’s sharp.
Comparison chart of ceramic knife sharpeners
With zirconia second to diamond in hardness, these ceramic blades need a diamond surface for sharpening. This is because ceramic knife blades are made from zirconia, an element with a Moh’s hardness of 8 (diamond is 10). The blades strongly resist abrasion (they will chip or break rather than abrade).
|Best for convenience!|
– battery powered
– mains powered
|Last a lifetime!|
3 grades in hard wood box
|Best for budget!|
– Slot with diamond rod
– includes cut-resistant glove
You might consider a manual one as the best kitchen knife sharpener for you because it fits your budget, a powered knife sharpener because it’s easy peasy, or a knife sharpening stone because it lasts a lifetime.
Manual ceramic knife sharpener
This is a budget item for the job — a manual knife sharpener with slots for sharpening. Use it for all straight-edge, fruit, hunting, pocket, boning, folding and all chef knives — but all need to be at least 4″ in length.
The sharpening technique is similar to that for the powered sharpeners except that you’ll need to use your own strength to power the knife through the sharpening slot.
Steps to sharpening ceramic knife using manual knife sharpener:
- Taking the knife place it in slot 1 and pull the blade back towards you (in the one direction) through the slot 1 sharpening slot. Important: Only use this Stage 1 slot for ceramic knives as it is the only one with diamond rods.
- Repeat Step 1 once or twice until you’re satisfied with result.
This product comes with a cut-resistant glove, which is important to use.
The V-shape design is set at a proper angle to always keep the knife sharp with a good durability.
The sharpening slot for your ceramic knife is marked, no. 1 – the diamond rod (the one closest to the handle). You only use this one for ceramic knife blades and not the others. You take the knife through the diamond rod slot a few times to sharpen it.
The item comes with a cut-resistant glove for added safety. Also includes blade cleaning cloth and instructions on use. The design works for both left and right handed.
The base is non-slip textured rubber.
Where to buy
You can get an item like this at retail companies like
A diamond file
If you feel you could confidently use a file, then read on.
How to sharpen ceramic knife at home using a diamond file…In the following video, the presenter shows how to use a diamond file to sharpen ceramic knives. The kit involves a diamond file and a rest for the knife while working on it. I’ve written the steps directly below.
Steps to sharpening ceramic knife using a diamond file:
- Taking the knife, put it on the rest with the back of the blade sitting against the ledge of the rest. This will help stabilize the knife and put it at the correct angle for sharpening.
- Taking the file, hold it at the heel of the blade and file back and forth and then move along the edge doing this filing to the tip of the blade. Repeat once more. Tip: Keep file level. Use light-medium pressure.
- Flipping the knife, repeat step 2 on the other side of the blade.
It’s recommended that you wear cut-resistant gloves to avoid cutting yourself with these super sharp ceramic knives.
Many people prefer sharpening stones, because they last an awful long time and you can also use them on various tools and utensils — scissors, chisels, and gardening tools — not just knives.
In the following video, the presenter uses a stone from a sharpening stone set (brand DMT), which has micro diamonds set within the stone for sharpening ceramic knives. A summary of the steps follow.
Video: How to sharpen ceramic knives with a sharpening stone
Steps to sharpening ceramic knife using a diamond stone:
- Taking the fine grade (25 micron) diamond stone and placing it on a towel on the bench
- Taking the knife and angling the blade at 18–20º from the stone
- Running the side of the knife blade heel to tip along the stone about 6 times
- Flipping the knife and running the other side heel to tip along the stone about 6 times
This type of sharpener is an investment that will last forever.
Here we have the DMT W6EFC set of three micro diamond integrated stones, which come in a hard timber box for storage. It contains three sharpening grades for all your needs.
- Blue, ‘coarse‘ (325 grit / 45 micron), for quick removal of the dull edge
- Red, ‘fine‘ (600 grit / 25 micron), for honing that razor-sharp edge
- Green, ‘extra-fine‘ (1200 grit / 9 micron), for polishing and refining an edge
The brand, DMT, uses micronized monocrystalline diamonds that are sized for greater uniformity of the diamond surface. “No other diamond sharpeners offers micronized monocrystalline diamond and most offer the lesser grade poly-crystalline diamond”, the manufacturer claims.
See above for how to use as a ceramic knife sharpener. The video gives you a visual and I’ve written the steps of how to use this product to sharpen ceramic knives.
The price is up there, but this is a product that will last.
Where to buy
- You can buy from DMT online
- From Sharpening Supplies
- Compare with the latest price at Amazon –> See details.
Using a powered diamond sharpener
Powered sharpeners are fast and simple to use. In the following video, the presenter shows how easy it is to use a powered diamond sharpener. I’ve written the steps directly below.
Two slots and two settings on the diamond grinding stone in this unit are ‘coarse’ (600 grit) and ‘fine’ (800 grit). The grinding wheel can grind out small chips of up to 1 mm for improving the use of your ceramic knives.
To use: You can use the two slots to sharpen your ceramic knives. First, gently guide your ceramic knife through the slots of the coarse setting then take it through the fine setting to hone and polish it. Repeat the action of taking your knife through the fine setting for a smooth sharp blade in seconds.
The beauty of this unit is that it can process those chips (up to 1 mm) that appear in your ceramic knife edges.
Mid price range for sharpeners.
Where to buy
A powered diamond sharpener has a grindstone that will remove small blade chips and dullness. You don’t need special sharpening know-how as guides help keep the blade in the right position.
Steps to sharpening ceramic knife using an electric diamond sharpener:
- Insert the ceramic knife blade
- Slowly pull the ceramic knife blade towards you
- Repeat a few times
Examples of a powered sharpener for ceramic knives include the Kyocera and Shenzhen models shown further down.
Battery powered diamond sharpener
Kyocera Advanced Diamond Hone Knife Sharpener for Ceramic and Steel Knives
Available at Amazon
The one shown is a Kyocera model. It has an indicator light, guide slots, and rollers that assist with the sharpening for the right control and pressure as you run the knife blade from heel to tip through the sharpener as shown in the following video.
Once again, this is a kitchen ceramic knife sharpener that can be used on steel and ceramic knives. It can be used to sharpen all types of kitchen, household, sporting and pocket knives.
With this item, there is a roller assisted guide to help you to control and aid precision sharpening.
The beauty of this item is that there is no mess, as the grinding dust is contained within the safety cover.
Though some would consider it a convenience (like with outdoor activities), a downside for some is that the unit runs on batteries (4 × AA) — not included in the package, loses power over time. Using high-quality rechargeable types can help with the replacement issue.
Mid price for a knife sharpener.
Where to buy
Buy from the following stores:
Include a set of cut-resistant gloves. It’s best to use these when you are working with sharpening knives (if they don’t already come with the product), especially when using a file, stone, or rod.
You might be able to get your ceramic knife sharpened by the manufacturer free, but it’ll probably involve a fee, at least sending costs will likely apply.
Other than that there are professional knife sharpeners who could do the job for a price.
Manufacturers often recommend sending ceramic knives to professionals for sharpening. Brands like Kyocera have offered free lifetime sharpening (though you may need to pay for transport costs).
Note: the Kyocera free knife sharpening offer appears to be no longer current. Since closing their sharpening service, they now recommend the services of EVERSHARP, which involve fees.
Nevertheless, you can sharpen your ceramic knife at home by purchasing a manual or electric knife sharpener suited to sharpening ceramic knives.
(Always check the warranty to make sure that you are not voiding it by sharpening the knife yourself.)
Final thoughts on sharpening ceramic knives
No one wants a chipped or dull knife. It’s just not useful and it can be dangerous.
Just like metal knives, you can sharpen ceramic knives at home if you have the right tool and technique. Some knife companies offer free sharpening but it may mean you pay for the shipping of the item.
A ceramic knife blade, made of zirconium oxide (zirconia), needs a sharpening tool with a Moh’s hardness of diamond. As do ceramic kitchen scissors, with which you can use the same technique of a diamond stone or rod for sharpening.