Question of the Day

Question Of The Day: Do You Use Ceramic Blades?

Image courtesy Chris Dumm

When it comes to steel, we can have all kinds of discussion about a blade’s ability to take an edge and to hold that edge. With ceramic blades these discussions are pretty much irrelevant: ceramic knives are scary sharp, and they stay scary sharp…until they snap or until you try to slice diamonds with them . . .

I’ve had three of them myself. I’ve been amazed at their sharpness and hardness, but the sad truth is that every time I’ve used a ceramic blade as a working knife (working in the kitchen, in my case) their magical razor edges have had a tragically short life.

A cheap Harbor Freight ceramic blade snapped off its handle after about six months, and a much more expensive Kyocera gave up its zirconium dioxide ghost after my daughter used it to chop up some chicken drumsticks. The $75 knife was a notched and useless mess, and the whole package of chicken was a total loss as well.

I treated myself to an elegant ceramic folder from Frost Cutlery a year ago at the SHOT Show, but after my experience with other ceramic blades I doubt I’ll ever even slip it into my pocket. I do flick it open and admire it once in a while, and sometimes I’ll even use it to whittle some cardboard into improbable shapes that no steel blade could ever create.

What are your experiences with ceramic blades?

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Discussion

10 responses to ‘Question Of The Day: Do You Use Ceramic Blades?

  1. They intrigue me, but I’ve never owned a ceramic knife of any type. Too many anecdotal stories of people ruining their superwhamodyne ceramic knives while simply “using it like I’ve always used my steel knives.”

  2. I have a ceramic kitchen knife that I use quite sparingly. It is light years ahead of others in my knife set for those specialized things I use it for. Onions, tomatoes, leeks, etc bring it out. Nothing with bones or other hard pieces go near that blade. I also don’t let my girlfriend use it. Sure it’s cheap-ass HF junk but it cuts amazingly well and has lasted me six years now.

    • I’m with you Daniel; when I had a ceramic blade it went nowhere near bone or other hard things, but it was absolutely wizard for slicing boneless meats, ‘maters, leeks, celery and onions. The problem *I* had was when I went near anything that required a little cutting force the blade (or my wrist) would roll and I’d snap the blade.

  3. I have a Boker Ceramic knife with Titanium handle.
    http://www.bladehq.com/item–Boker-Ceramic-Folding–2572
    Some years ago, lacking other suitable cutting tools one weekend at a vacation trailer I used it to cut a 50 foot house trailers worth of old, wet, sand laden jute backed carpet into squares small enough for the trash. The knife worked flawlessly and at the end was dulled just enough to not be able to shave arm hair. I sent the knife back to Boker with a $10 bill. They brought back the edge and sent it right back to me.
    I was carefull not to apply bending loads to the blade, but I was very impressed with the performance.

  4. I have looked at a couple of ceramic knives, and just can’t see the utility of them given their, very, delicate nature. Case in point, at a local gun shop the owner was showing a ceramic to a customer and broke it when he dropped it on the glass showcase top. No more than 8-10 inches onto glass and snap. And not a cheapy, it was a $70-$80 folder, can’t remember the brand. He keeps it in his knife case as an example, and still sells quite a few of them.

  5. Wife gave me one as a present (instructions: don’t drop it, don’t cut bones or frozen, etc.). Pretty sure it wasn’t expensive (<$20, I guess). Cuts like a champ!

  6. if i want an “alternative material” bladed knife, ill chip my own out of flint or glass. nothing is as sharp as an obsidian blade, but nothing is as long lived as good old steel.

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