Should You Buy a Ceramic Chef Knife?

Global GF-33 Heavyweight Chef's Knife

Ceramic knives can seem a bit odd. I mean, knives that aren’t made out of steel? Seriously? We haven’t done that since the stone age! I’m not sure that that’s factually accurate, but still, we’ve gotten used to metal knives. They have served us well. Now, some people are trying to change how we cut up our food. And the thing is, they have some points. There are definitely a lot of good things about ceramic knives. But, as with all things, they have some down sides as well. If you’ve been wondering whether you should get a ceramic knife, this blog will give you the vital facts to make your decision.

Sharpness

The biggest selling point of a ceramic knife is its sharpness. Not only is your ceramic blade sharper than most factory knives, it will stay sharp for a long time. Some sellers claim that a ceramic knife will never get dull, but this is unrealistic. However, customers report that it is just as sharp 12 months after they bought it. And its sharp edge will glide through your food much more easily than a standard factory steel.

Brittleness

The reason that the blade can hold such a sharp edge for so long is that it is made with zirconium dioxide. This material is much harder than steel and doesn’t dull the same way steel does. Unfortunately, this also makes it more brittle than steel. In the same way that glass’s hardness can make it shatter, a ceramic blade might shatter if you subject it to strong pressure. Now, this isn’t very likely if you just use the ceramic knife for normal food prep. But if you start hacking at a bone or accidentally drop it, it could shatter. It might also be a bad idea to use the knife on a metal or glass cutting board and you definitely don’t want to use the knife to pry at a hunk of meat. The brittleness of a ceramic chef’s knife shouldn’t deter most people. But if you put your knife through a lot of abuse, you might want to consider a different kind of knife.

Flavor and Discoloration

While zirconium dioxide can be annoying because of its brittleness, it does have some other good features. First of all, it is significantly lighter than steel which many people find to be pleasant while chopping. Also, it won’t discolor your food or change its taste. You may not have realized it, but the ions in steel knives discolor certain forms of produce when you cut them. Things like lettuce and apples are particularly affected. If you care a lot about the appearance of your food, or are curious about what flavors you are missing because of your steel knives, you might want to buy a ceramic knife.

Cost

The final consideration is cost. While you can buy a ceramic knife for around $20, a high quality one could cost over a hundred dollars, and a set could cost even more. That being said, a high quality steel chef’s knife could cost you $500 or more. If you’re looking for high quality, a steel knife will cost you 5 times as much as a ceramic one. This is a significant amount. If you are set on a high quality blade, but don’t want to max out your kitchen budget on knives, ceramic is the way to go.

So, what do you think? Are you considering buying a ceramic knife? If so, we recommend this 3 piece, black knife set. If you’ve decided that you don’t want a ceramic knife, check out our article here for a list of 5 good chef knives. And if you aren’t sure about ceramic knives, check out these great reviews of ceramic knives from goodhousekeeping.com and knifeplanet.net to hear other people’s opinions on ceramic knives.

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