What’s the deal with ceramic knives?

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So, what’s up with ceramic knives? Here’s my take on those nifty knives. *Sharp! Very, very sharp and it stays that way. Various ceramic knife manufacturers say the blade retains its sharpness 10 times longer than stainless steel. The Starfrit 5″ utility knife is becoming my go-to knife for most vegetable prep, so that means it’s found a home in the kitchen and I’ll let it stay.
I'm not a fan of single use items, like garlic presses, or corncob holders. If you want to be a tool in my kitchen you need to be sturdy, versatile, easy to clean and good looking. These are the exact same requirements that you should keep in mind if you are looking for a mate. 

So, what's up with ceramic knives? Here's my take on those nifty knives. 
Slicing strawberries

Downside:  *It is a slicing knife, not a twisting, bending, prying, bone cutting tool.  A metal knife has flex so it can bend, pry and bone cut. A ceramic knife is brittle and can shatter.
               *Sharpening: when you finally need the knife sharpened you have to send it back to the manufacturer. But you are talking about years of use before it needs to be sharpened.

Neutral: * Expensive. Yeah, but all good knives are expensive, so get over that part. In fact, there are some very good, medium priced ceramic knives available.
                *Not dishwasher safe. NO good knife is dishwasher safe. Never, ever put your good knives in the dishwasher. If your partner forgets and you find a knife in the dishwasher, that is grounds for…. severance.

Upside: *Sharp! Very, very sharp and it stays that way. Various ceramic knife manufacturers say the blade retains its sharpness 10 times longer than stainless steel. I say it lasts even longer than that.
               *Excellent for fruits and vegetables because the ceramic is non-reactive and slows down discoloration after cutting. 

Marketing Nonsense: The ceramic knife manufacturers say this knife is 'healthier' because it won't impart metal ions into your food. I say…. they just wanted to work the word healthy into their keywords.

Marketing Nonsense that I fell for: I bought the more expensive black Kyocera knife because the guy at Sur La Table told me it was a harder knife and would last longer than their white knife series. Going on to the Kyocera website, here's what they say: "Multiple line patterns drawn in the garden are called “sand ripples” which symbolize the ocean, waves and the flow of water. KARESANSUI calms the heart of those who experience it and brings new inspiration."
OK!  OK! I confess!  I do start to chant whenever I use the knife, but I thought it was just a coincidence. Never does the website say its harder than anything else…for that you need to spend even more $$$ for the HIP series. Live and learn.

Starfrit Ceramic Knife And the pretty knife in the photos? That's the Starfrit 5" utility knife. The nice folks at Starfrit asked me to give their new ceramic knife a test run, so I tested the knife and I had my young friend Oakley give it a whirl as well, and here's what we think:
    It looks great and feels great in your hand. The knife has a very nice heft, not so heavy it wears you out, but a nice solid feel with a comfortable handle.
    The knife blade cover is a real plus. Ceramic knives can chip and having a blade cover makes protection a lot simpler. However, I have not figured out why there is a clip attached to the knife cover. Should I be clipping it to my apron pocket? I love the idea of whipping out my super slicing knife and threatening a head of lettuce, but then again, maybe I spend too much time alone in the kitchen.
      I  also liked the way it fit my hand and slicing style better than Oakley did, but after a few rounds of slicing different vegetables, he got into it as well.
                       At first I thought the blade wasn't sharp enough, but after using it for awhile, I think the issue may be that its a little thick and that makes it feel as though it isn't sharp enough.   My Kyocera utility knife is much thinner so I can do finer work with it than with the Starfrit knife.  However, the thickness, blade and handle shape make it the perfect artichoke-cleaning knife. Because it's ceramic it retards the discoloration time and because it really is sharp you can whittle that choke down in no time at all.
And since it's artichoke season right now, this knife has been in heavy use.   
Whittled artichoke

    I'm finding that it is becoming my go-to knife for most vegetable prep, so that means it’s found a home in the kitchen and I'll let it stay.

    I also think its a good value for a ceramic knife, Amazon is selling them for $31.99 which seems fair. And no, I'm not getting a cut from anyone!

If you are planning on buying a new knife, or just fantasizing about some new knives, and who doesn't do that?? Then I think it’s worth adding a ceramic to the collection.

   

             

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