I love to cook. Absolutely love everything about cooking. The messes made, aromas clashing around me in that surrounding space. There’s really a lot to love about cooking. So, naturally, I love my cooking tools as well. Especially, those that have been with me and survived the years of toil and sweat. We are now buddies for life. As a cook, chef or just a food enthusiast, having awesome food utensils is of utmost priority. I take my time to invest in new gadgets, tools, bowls and more as often as I can. This helps me move with the times, as well as, helps improve my cooking times and, sometimes, even the taste of the meal being prepared. No wonder famous chefs moan and complain when they are dragged away from their comfort spaces and have to use new kitchens or spaces that they are not used too. I know the feeling!
Growing up especially as a kid with my grandmother, I believed we were told to keep away from knives because they were ‘Sharp and will take your finger off!’, amongst other threats (which are true, too). As a young adult, when my interest in cooking became more career-based, Nana still kept her knives away from me, though. In fact, my first gift was a knife set just so I would leave her own set alone!
Now I understand that a knife to a chef is like a mother and her firstborn child, a photographer and his favourite lens, an artist and his old, weathered paintbrush. Got the idea? Great, I’ll stop now!
I have to say, though, one improvement that has come to us since 2015 and is, still, the rave in 2020 is the ceramic knife. (You know those really cute knives you see at the store or on amazon or in the friendly neighbour’s kitchen, with the classic white blade, the really professional looking black blade or, for the more adventurous ones, super colourful blades and holders to match? Yup! Most of them are ceramic knives).
The move from using steel to Zirconium oxide powder as a blade making ingredient is said to have excellent benefits. Besides being the second strongest cutting item after diamond (some scientists argue), Healthwise, zirconium oxide, also known as Zirconia, is free of nickel and chromium. Ceramic knives made from this are mostly non-porous, non-allergenic and non-magnetic too. High-End Zirconium Oxide knives are said to never rust, won’t turn brown and of course, (my beautiful nature warriors, this should make you super excited), Eco-friendly.
Because of the different appearance ceramic knives have from the regular steel ones, most of them are made having a different or contrasting colour blade to handle so as to make them conspicuous and to ensure safety.
Top 10 Best Ceramic Knives
With the new beneficially helpful trend taking over the cooking world, I have decided to randomly test out a few products not necessarily high end and rate them based on my personal preferences and experience. Back to the Analysis, this is my top 10 list (in no particular order) of Ceramic knives as tested by me:
As we all know, (and for those who don’t), the Japanese hold the title for having the best knives in the cooking world. So it’s no surprise that this is a general favourite. Light, elegant looking in its classic white blade, black handle design. Its design works as a beautiful item to gift to a recently graduated chef.
- Well balanced
- Beauty to behold
- Cuts through meat and vegetables like a dream
- None besides the usual failings of a ceramic knife
Another ceramic set that is a superb gift for new chefs or just anyone that likes to cook. This set, also, comes in the classic black and white design with a 6inch chef’s blade, 5inch utility blade and 4-inch fruit blade. Another easy to handle, light and very affordable. Oh, fun fact. It comes in colours too! ( Had to leave that for last).
- Comes in different colours, beautiful gift for everyone
- Super brittle tip
- Extra care should be taken while using it
Now this knife, I must say, was a surprise. I had never heard about kitchen emperor products before my quest. Safe to say they have a lot of products, both professional and non-professional available and at varying prices, catering to a wide market. The feel of this one was absolutely surprising. A literal translation of ‘looks can be deceiving’. Its Gray blade and black handle make it a fantastic gift for even the most recognized chef. And of course, it’s as sharp as can be. You’re welcome!
- Very affordable
- Cuts a lot of things
- Could be sharper with a more comfortable grip
This was another surprise for me. For this small business based out of Honolulu, Hawaii, This knife set had me awed. Wow! With the curve made for the fingers to sit properly on the handle to the shape of the blade that makes for easy and precise cutting, this set is fantastic. Comprises of a 6.5inch chef’s blade, a 5inch slicing blade and a 4inch paring knife. Well packaged with black handles and silver blades, this is one set of knives to have!
- Worth the price
- Well made and packaged
- Cuts through meat
- Could be sharper though, my sister says
Back to the history of knives and beautiful knife makers, you will recall that I said the Japanese own the world of beautiful carved knives and blades especially in the cooking world. This box of luxury goodness comes, without disappointment from the Japanese company KIKUSUMI. Each knife in the Kikusumi black knife collection is said to have a special relationship with both the company’s design team and one master craftsman from the well-known manufacturing areas in Japan. This set has:
A 7inch Gyuto Chef Knife, a 5inch santoku and a 3inch paring blade. Its handle is shaped for both left and right-handed users with comfortable curves in the right places. I would recommend this to anyone who wants to try out a proper Japanese blade without breaking the bank. It is a worthwhile investment.
- Beautiful knives and packaging
- Fantastic delivery service
- Very comfortable to use yourself and gift out
- Besides, the usual cons of the ceramic knives, nothing!
Okay! Another great looking, highly functional knife set is the Sendaist ceramic three-piece. Also comes in 6,5 and 3inches. This set is also, deceivingly light, with comfortable curves for all fingers. In a classic black and white shade, Sendaist has created a chic, elegant looking set that is anti-skid and keeps food good-tasting and nutritious. I have to say the blade sheaths gave a more appealing look to the set.
- Price worthy
- Sharp, cuts through a lot of things very well even potatoes!
- Not comfortable for both left and right-hand users
This is another fantastic blade set that deserves recognition. With its curved-to-hand handle and all black, elegant look, These blades will definitely be a favourite for both beginner and professional chefs. Well packaged and can be gifted, without having it gift wrapped, on its own.
- Beautifully crafted
- Worth the price
- Great packaging
- Super brittle and chips easily
Yup! Another brilliant Japanese product. This 6inch chef’s knife with its silver blade and bright red handle is a personal favourite. Not because my favourite colour is red, but because it’s a fantastic buy. Money well spent, as far as i am concerned. It comes with a sheath for the blade too.
- Great price
- Easy to use
- Vegetables do not change colour when cut
- Very brittle, extra care is needed when using it
I stumbled across this set while randomly admiring a pair of shoes. You know that column that says “People also viewed…” Yes, that one. Cut like the traditional steel knife but with a little modernity included so as to provide for ease of handling, This graceful black handle, white blade GLIP set comes thus: an 8inch chef’s blade and a 5inch slicing blade.
- Super sharp
- Easy to use
- Very light and airy
- Not for use on meat and very strong things
Now this I left for last because there really is no way to describe this piece. All black, super sharp, curved to fit the hand and more. One look at this particular ceramic knife tells you all you need to know about it, including how it cuts and how enjoyable the experience will be.
- Super light
- Solid knives
- Well worth the price
- Packaging looks cheap and is not in English
How do I Choose or Select the Best Ceramic Knives to Buy?
I get a lot of questions from people and at different times, places and more asking me “How do you know the best ceramic knives to choose? What made you select this particular Knife? ” and truthfully, even the best products have clients that would never use them, but I believe everyone that has a genuine interest in the knives used to create awesome food would have rated knives using one or more of these methods/criteria at one point in time or the other:
Total Weight Of The Knife
Cooking, as with any other activity is a lot of work and having to work with heavy tools makes you even more tired. In fact, most, not all, professional chefs will tell you, “The lighter blades make you more productive’. I, personally, prefer lighter blades that don’t make my hands feel like I have done a lot of work after cooking a meal.
The Quality Of The Manufacturing Product
Apparently, Zirconium oxide #4 is the highest grade in the world right now because its particles are 30% finer than any other grade available. This choice helps in reducing flaws in the knife that can be seen, small spaces/cracks in the blade while forging.
Creating blades is an art and a superb craft. The better the craftsman, the better the blade.
Style And Shape Of The Blade
This is very important. A straight blade would require more work to use because you have to keep repositioning whatever you have to cut. A curved blade slides seamlessly, doing half the work for you.
Style And Shade Of The Handle
This is, also, very important. A handle that provides a comfortable sitting position for the fingers. I like blades that have special curves for my fingers.
Price Of The Knife
Oh yeah! Price is a major factor in comparing Knives. For some people, the more expensive the better, for others, “it’s just a knife, get the cheapest one”! So the price is a pretty important determinant in picking knives.
Now, in this scenario, I am interested in buying a knife for my sister. She isn’t famous, doesn’t like to cook and works a lot. I would buy her a simple, easy to use and clean but pretty looking device that would suit her fruity, always travelling, need to see a neat kitchen ceramic knife. Maybe less than 20dollars. I wouldn’t even need to get her a set. But if she insists, I will.
Buying for a friend who just graduated from cordon bleu is a different matter. Some of these chefs may even have a knife scale to weigh their blades and all that.
What other reasons do you have for buying ceramic knives?
What Is A Ceramic Knife?
A ceramic knife is a knife with a blade made from the Zirconium Oxide powder, the second strongest cutting item after diamond. Zirconium oxide comes in different grades and is used to varying degrees. Knives made from this powder also come with varying degrees of qualities including sharpness, brittleness, cut quality, Life span, non-porosity and more.
What Is A Chef’s Knife?
In cooking, a chef’s knife, typically, is a knife used for food preparation. It was originally called a chef’s knife because it was the main knife used by the cook/chef to cut up and slice large cuts of beef. Today it still serves this function and is the “go-to” knife for every chef/cook, whether professional or amateur.
Do Ceramic Knives Break Easily?
Let’s just say you don’t want to go dropping your Ceramic knife from a height thinking it’s unbreakable. Ceramic knives are, usually, very brittle and thin in nature. This means they can chip easily. While it is a general safety measure to take care while using sharp objects, you should also take extra care using your ceramic knife so that it does not fall and get chipped.
I Think Ceramic Knives Are Too Expensive. Why Is That?
Well, in truth, ceramic knives are much more expensive than the regular stainless steel knives as Zirconia is still a fairly new material and is much more expensive than steel. Most countries, charge unusually high taxes of importation of highly advanced ceramic items/products.
Are There Any Health Benefits From Using A Ceramic Knife Instead Of A Steel Knife?
Yes, there are. Using Stainless steel knives over time has alerted humans to the dangers that come with it. For example, Stainless steel contains nickel. Although the human body needs and uses nickel for iron absorption and more, only a little amount of it is needed in the bloodstream. Using stainless steel opens the body up to more than is necessary for iron absorption. A ceramic knife contains no nickel and cuts just as good, if not better than the steel knife while eliminating the dangers of absorbing too much nickel. Ceramic knives, also, are free from chromium, another carcinogen that has been discovered to cause lung cancer in humans and animals. The use of ceramic Knives eliminates these dangers, making the world a little more eco-friendly while getting the job done.
What Is The Difference Between A Ceramic Knife And A Steel Knife?
While they are both used in making knives for cooking, both are, actually, very different.
Stainless Steel Knives: These are the regular, everyday knives that have been in existence for quite a while. Knives made from steel became popular because the material was discovered to be non-corrosive and very easy to wash, clean and maintain. However, over time and with constant use, they were found to weaken over time and even rust, breaking down into food that they were used to cut and more.
Ceramic Knives: These were made when the dangers of using steel were being noticed, especially the reaction in human bodies. These are made from a non-corrosive, non-rusting, material that is the second strongest to diamond in the world. Knives made from this product, Zirconium Oxide are:
Odourless, Sharp, Do not Rust, do not pass odour to food that they are used to cut. Most especially, they do not spoil the natural taste of food.
Do I Have To Sharpen My Ceramic Knife All The Time?
Not at all, New models of ceramic knives now come about ten times sharper than their counterparts made of steel, according to reports from the manufacturers and testers who ascertain these details. And, surprisingly stay sharper for longer. Some people claim to have never sharpened their ceramic knives in over 2-3 years. A lot of manufacturers say that the hard nature of the knives made from zirconia gives them the ability to hold and maintain a super, sharp edge.
Can You Use Ceramic Knives For Everything?
No, you cannot. For now, most ceramic knife manufacturers advertise their products with a “Not to be used for frozen foods and bones” caveat. The reason for this is that due to the thin and brittle nature of the ceramic blade, that risk should be avoided. Any item that is too hard would cause your knife to chip and break off. If it is a knife you have invested a lot of money in, you may have to go out and get a new one!
Are They Made Of The Same Ceramic As My Favourite Mug?
No, they are not. They are made from zirconium oxide, also known as Zirconia. This advanced ceramic material is rated 8.2 on the world’s Mohs scale of hardness just after diamond which is a 10 on the scale.
Can I Wash My Ceramic Knife In My Dishwasher?
Yes, you can but we would not recommend it. Ceramic knives are sharp but not flexible, they cannot be bent in different directions, unlike the stainless steel knives. This characteristic makes washing them in a dishwasher very risky. They could be scratched or chipped by other items moving around in your dishwasher. It’s much better and preferable to hand wash them instead.
How Do I Store My Ceramic Knives?
In a wooden block, like regular knives. You could also store them in a drawer or just use the original package that comes with the knife/set.
While most people have moved on to using ceramic knives as much as they can, others still prefer regular Stainless steel knives. I say you should use whatever makes you comfortable, however, a review of a new item would not cost you too much. I hope you have enjoyed reading this article as much as I have enjoyed writing it.