Can ceramic knives be sharpened? Ceramic knives stay sharper for longer than conventional knives. But what do you do when they eventually dull or chip? Here’s how to sharpen ceramic knives at home, including the type of sharpener you need, and other options, like services for sharpening ceramic knives.
In a hurry? Check out this powered ceramic knife sharpener -> See details at Amazon.
Why is this important? No one wants a chipped or dull knife because it is not helpful in the kitchen and can be dangerous. As I wrote elsewhere, you’ll get more satisfaction from a knife with a properly looked after blade. This includes storing them correctly and using a cutting board with the right hardness.
Benefits: A sharpener for ceramic knives will suit other types of kitchen knives as well.
- You can use a knife sharpening service
- Or choose to DIY using a manual or a powered knife sharpener designed for sharpening the ceramic knife at home.
- 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.
To avoid confusion: This article is not about sharpening “ceramic-coated” knives but rather about sharpening knives that have full ceramic blades. The ceramic-coated knives are not made of zirconia, but are rather steel based blades coated with a nonstick covering of some description.
Comparison chart of ceramic knife sharpeners
|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
Can ceramic knives be sharpened at home?
Can you sharpen ceramic knives? Yes, you can sharpen ceramic knives, at home DIY style! But you need a special type of sharpener rather than any old one for steel knives that’ll likely chip or ruin your ceramic blade altogether.
Ceramic knife blades are made from zirconia. Zirconia has a Moh’s hardness of 8 (diamond is 10), which means it has a high resistance to scratching or abrasion. And because zirconia is second to diamond in hardness, they require a diamond component for their sharpening.
Don’t worry a diamond sharpener is not that expensive. Check out the prices on those I’ve listed in this article. They’re quite affordable.
Read on for the options and steps on how to sharpen your ceramic knife…
Services for sharpening a ceramic knife
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.)
DIY options: How to sharpen ceramic knives at home
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.
Here are three methods on ‘how to sharpen ceramic knife’ at home with diamond sharpeners. The first uses a stone, the second a powered sharpener, and the third, a diamond file.
1. How to sharpen ceramic knife using diamond sharpening stones
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 in the stones for sharpening a ceramic knife. I’ve written the steps directly below.
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
2. How to sharpen ceramic knives with 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.
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.
3. How to sharpen ceramic knives using 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.
Choosing the best sharpener for ceramic knives
The following looks at the different types of ceramic knife sharpeners to give you an idea of what’s on the market and help you choose the best tool for sharpening ceramic knives that’s right for you.
#1. Ceramic knife stone sharpening set
This sharpener is an investment that will last you 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. For the latest price at Amazon –> See details.
#2. Manual ceramic knife sharpener review
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.
Quite cheap. For the latest price at Amazon –> See details.
#3. Kyocera powered diamond sharpener review
The Kyocera model 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 priced. For the latest price at Amazon –> See details.
#4. Powered Shenzhen ceramic knife sharpener review
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 priced. For the latest price at Amazon — See details.
It’s best to get yourself a set of cut-resistant gloves when you are working with sharpening knives (if they don’t already come with the product), especially with using a file, stone, or rod.
Final thoughts on sharpening ceramic knives
The ceramic material used in a ceramic knife is zirconium oxide (zirconia). For this reason, it needs a sharpening tool that involves a greater Moh’s hardness, one even more resistant to scratching, and in this case, diamond fits the bill.
Just like metal knives, you can sharpen ceramic knives at home if you have the right tool and technique. Some brands offer free sharpening but it may mean you pay for the shipping of the item. It’s recommended you check the warranty to see whether or not sharpening the knife will forfeit the warranty.