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How to Sharpen Ceramic Knives At Home

Ceramic knives are great in the home kitchen because they are sharp and, with proper use, they stay sharper for longer than conventional knives. But what do you do when they chip or they do eventually dull and need sharpening? Here, I explain how you can sharpen them at home (plus info to help you choose that best sharpener for ceramic knives).

In a hurry?  Check out this popular ceramic knife sharpener -> See details at Amazon.

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.

Why sharpening a ceramic knife Is something else

The ceramic material used in a ceramic knife is zirconium oxide (zirconia). Zirconia has a Moh’s hardness of 8 (diamond is 10), which indicates it has a high resistance to scratching or abrasion. 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.

Note: The ceramic used in a ceramic knife is not the same as the ceramic in the coating of ceramic nonstick cookware, which is made from silica. You should also know that ceramic coated knives are not the same as ceramic knives made of zirconia. What you most likely will find is that the ceramic coated knives are steel based blades coated with a nonstick covering of some description.

Can ceramic knives be sharpened at home?

Can you sharpen ceramic knives? Yes, ceramic knives can be sharpened, and sharpened at home! As ceramic knife blades are made from zirconia, they require a knife sharpener with a diamond component. The reason is that due to its hardness, zirconia is highly resistant to abrasion and requires a material with a greater hardness to hone it. Diamond is that material.

Involving a diamond component, you might think such a sharpener will be expensive, but check out the prices listed below. You’ll find they are quite affordable.

And really, the sharpening rod or triangle that you use for your steel knives is not the answer, as it may chip the blade or completely ruin a ceramic knife.

Services for sharpening a ceramic knife

You could get your ceramic knife sharpened by the manufacturer or a professional knife sharpener. Whether this is free or involves a fee, sending costs will most likely apply.

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 a fee.

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.)

How to sharpen ceramic knives at home

How do you sharpen a ceramic knife? 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, but first, let’s look at some popular choices for comparison.

Comparison chart – Best ceramic knife sharpeners

This chart shows some best ceramic knife sharpeners that are useful for sharpening both metal and ceramic knives and includes price (in US dollars).

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

Best sharpener for ceramic knives reviewed

The following reviews different types of ceramic knife sharpeners to give you an idea of what’s on the market for sharpening ceramic knives at home.

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

This set of three diamond stones comes with a hard timber box for storage. There are three sharpening grades:

  • Blue, ‘coarse’ (325 grit), for quick removal of the dull edge
  • Red, ‘fine’ (600 grit), for honing that razor-sharp edge
  • 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. 

Use the red stone at a low angle of less than 20° and make sure to run your knife from heel to toe. For more, see the video below, which shows you how to use this product to sharpen ceramic knives.

Price

A product that will last – which makes the price seems reasonable. For the latest price at Amazon –> See details.

#2. 3-Stage kitchen Ceramic 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 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.

Price

Quite cheap. For the latest price at Amazon –> See details.

#3. Kyocera Advanced Ceramic 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 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. For the latest price at Amazon –> See details.

#4. Shenzhen Ceramic 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. For the latest price at Amazon — See details.

How to sharpen ceramic knives

There are a few ways. Here are three ‘how to sharpen ceramic knife’ methods:

VIDEO: How to sharpen a ceramic knife using a DMT 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. You might consider a manual one as the best kitchen knife sharpener for you because they tend to be a bit cheaper and fit most people’s budget.

By cheats way, I mean by using an electric sharpener and these aren’t all that expensive either.

An electric ceramic knife sharpener is one like the Kyocera model or the Shenzhen shown above that 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 don’t need special sharpening know-how. The Kyocera one 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.

The following video demonstrates…

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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