How to Sharpen Ceramic Knives At Home: What’s Best?

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Wondering how to sharpen ceramic knives at home? Ceramic knives are the sharpest knives for the kitchen, and they stay sharper for longer than steel knives. But what do you do when they chip, or eventually dull? Here, I explain how you can sharpen them at home (plus a look at some best sharpener types for ceramic knives).

In a hurry?  Check out a popular rated knife sharpener at Amazon – See details.

This is Part 2 of my kitchen knife series (Part 1 reviews ceramic knife sets and Part 3 covers how to make up a good kitchen knife set).

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 enjoyment from a properly cared-for ceramic knife.

Can ceramic knives be sharpened at home?

Yes ceramic knives can be sharpened at home! But you need the correct knife sharpener. Because ceramic knives are made from zirconia, the sharpening requires a diamond rod since zirconia is second to diamond in hardness.

How to sharpen ceramic knives at home

For starters, don’t use that same old sharpening rod or triangle that you use for your steel knives. It is not recommended, as it may chip the blade and ruin the knife.

So, how do you sharpen a ceramic knife?

Different to the ceramic coating used in cookware, such as non stick pans, which is made from silica, ceramic knives are made from zirconium oxide (zirconia). Zirconia has a Moh’s hardness of 8 (diamond is 10), which is a is a rough measure of its resistance to scratching or abrasion.

Manufacturers often recommend sending ceramic knives to professionals for sharpening. Which you can do. Brands like Kyocera even offer free lifetime sharpening (though you may need to pay for transport costs).

However, you can sharpen the knives yourself at home. (Always check the warranty to make sure that you are not voiding it by sharpening the knife yourself.)

You use a similar technique to that practiced on steel knives, but for ceramic knives, it’s essential you use a diamond-coated surface, whether it’s a sharpening stone, file, rod, or another sharpening system.

You’ll find the techniques in more detail further on down.

Comparison chart

This chart shows some best ceramic knife sharpeners that are useful for sharpening both metal and ceramic knives.

Prices and images pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

Best ceramic knife sharpeners reviewed

Here are three different types of ceramic knife sharpeners to give you an idea of types that are on the market for sharpening ceramic knives at home.

#1. DMT W6EFC three 6-Inch diamond whetstone model

This one comes complete with a hard timber box for storage, and has three sharpening grades: Blue, ‘coarse’ (325 grit), for quick removal of the dull edge, Red, ‘fine’ (600 grit), for honing that razor-sharp edge, and a Green, ‘extra-fine’ (1200 grit), for polishing and refining an edge.

Diamond Whetstone — Click image for more details at Amazon

The brand, DMT, is unique in that it uses micronized monocrystalline diamonds that are precisely sized for a greater uniformity of the diamond surface. “…micronized monocrystalline diamonds, precisely sized for a more uniform diamond surface. No other diamond sharpeners offers micronized monocrystalline diamond and most offer the lesser grade poly-crystalline diamond”, according to the manufacturer. 

For your ceramic knife, you would use the Red stone and a low angle of less than 20°. Make sure to run your knife from heel to toe.

For sharpening your ceramic knives (and more) …this diamond whetstone set is a keeper and worth the money.

Price

A product that will last and so worth the price.

#2. 3-Stage kitchen knife sharpener review

This manual knife sharpener is for all straight-edge, fruit, hunting, pocket, boning, folding and all chef knives including a Satoku.

How does this work? You need to repeatedly pull the knife blade back in one direction through the sharpening slot. 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 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.

Price

Quite cheap.

#3. Kyocera Advanced Ceramics knife sharpener review

Battery operated — Click image for details at Amazon

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 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.

#4. Shenzhen knife sharpener review

Electric sharpener — Click image for details at Amazon

Two slots and two setting 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.

How to sharpen ceramic knives

Using a diamond sharpening stone

Many people prefer sharpening stones over other methods. One of the biggest reasons for this is that the stone will last you a lifetime, and is easy to use on all sorts of tools and utensils — scissors, chisels, and gardening tools — not just knives.

How to sharpen ceramic knives the cheats way

You can select either a manual or electric knife sharpener that’s designed with the ceramic knife in mind.

An electric ceramic knife sharpener like the Shenzhen shown above has a 2-stage diamond sharpening wheel, designed for ceramic kitchen knives. Electric sharpeners are fast and simple to use. They can remove the small blade chips.

You might be considering a manual one as the best kitchen knife sharpener for you. These tend to be a bit cheaper and fit most people’s budget, like the Alpulon 3-stage one shown above.

Most of these suit other types of kitchen knives as well.

How to sharpen ceramic knives using a diamond file

If you feel you could confidently use a file, then jump below to check out the video on using a diamond file to sharpen ceramic knives.

Diamond file demo

How to sharpen ceramic knife at home using a diamond file…

Safety tips

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

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.

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