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Pros & Cons of Ceramic Knives

by Jesse Kinney 5 years ago in product review
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If you've been using metal cutlery your entire life, you should know there is another way. Learn the pros and cons of ceramic knives and see what fits you best!

Until recently, I knew nothing about ceramic knives. My parents bought steel cutlery before I was born and that's what we used for the first 18 years of my life. At 18, I went to college, and then bam! My world was forever changed. Just kidding, the college I attended used metal utensils as well. It wasn't till I decided to move out and I started shopping for everything a new apartment needs that I learned about ceramic knives.

I was unaware of what they were and so I did what I always do in that situation, I asked my mom. I questioned her about pros and cons of ceramic knives and how they compare to metal knives. She said metal cutlery was superior but couldn't tell me why or give any solid reasons. So I decided to look into it and see if they were better suited to fill my new drawers. I learned there are some interesting benefits and drawbacks to ceramic knives and decided to share a few.

Pro: A ceramic knife weighs less than metal knife.

I found through research, and later confirmed through usage, that ceramic knives weigh less than metal knives. Metal knives are the November-December diet—indulging in turkey, stuffing, eggnog, and every other unhealthy treat we love. Ceramic knives are the March-April diet—it begins to get warm out again and everyone is working religiously to have a passable summer body. The lightweight feature makes them easier to handle and use for beginners who are still learning cooking tips and tidbits of the kitchen. I fall under that category.

Con: Cutting meat is a struggle sometimes.

The pros and cons of ceramic knives often go back and forth in terms of positives and negatives. So, while they are lighter and easier to use for certain things, they struggle with rougher foods. Almost every meat with a bone falls under the "rougher" category of foods, which is a bummer if your diet is 99 percent meat like mine. This applies to frozen foods and any other cuisine that would make you think twice about using a ceramic knife. If you second guess it, probably best to not use the ceramic. If you already are thinking this is not your type of knife because of this issue, I can't fault you, but there are still a few pros below that may sway you back.

You can see the pros and cons of ceramic knives in action with this three-piece set from WACOOL. As it says in the title, this set comes three knives with three distinct purposes. Their sharpness comes from how they're forged. WACOOL uses the cold isostatic pressing process (CIP) and then superheats the blades. Does it sound cool and state of the art? Well, that's because it is.

The low weight is coupled with soft touch handle, ensuring safe and easy use by anyone. I dig the white blade/black handle design, it just works. However, the coolest aspect of these knives is that they retain their razor-sharp edge 15 times longer than steel knives, which brings me to my next point.

Pro: They stay sharper for longer.

Probably the most important of all the pros and cons of ceramic knives, these stay sharp for an incredibly long period of time. They last longer than almost every steel/metal counterpart. Being close to diamonds in terms of hardness, ceramic material will keep its edge no matter how often you use them. All the evidence you need to support the claim is above and below this pro.

I take back what I say about the black handle/white blade design. I'm all on board for the black handle and black blade design, especially with that case that these come in. It is magnetized after all, it doesn't get much cooler than that. In accordance with the pros mentioned before this, this set features ergonomic non-slip handles that are designed to make them light and easy to use. As is always the case with ceramic, the edge will stay sharp for longer thanks to the zirconium material these are made with.

Con: Ceramic material is weaker than a steel blade.

A major feature that falls on the con side of the pros and cons of ceramic knives is that they are somewhat brittle. This means that any drops, twists, or excessive force may break them. If you handle your knives with care (as everyone should), this shouldn't be too big of a deal. I have been using knives my entire life and I can't recall too many instances of dropping my knife. I value my food too highly for that nonsense.

Pro: Ceramic knives do not stain or rust.

Perhaps the biggest plus for ceramic knives is the fact that they're, well, not metal. Ceramic is completely stainless, making it immune to acids and caustic substances. So if you're about to cut citrus fruits or anything similar to them, ceramic would be your best bet. Another example of ceramic > metal is that without metal, there is no rust. It is as simple and glorious as that. So if you're a health-nut and enjoy making healthy energy drinks with freshly grown fruit, ceramic knives are what you should cut them with.

Con: It takes longer to sharpen them.

I know what you're thinking. "But when you began talking about the pros and cons of ceramic knives you said they stay sharper for longer," and you're 100 percent right. The razor sharp edge of ceramic knives stays razor sharp much longer than a steel one.

However, when the day for sharpening comes, it's a real hassle to get it anything close to a razor. Learning how to sharpen ceramic knives is tricky and requires a good amount effort. While steel cutlery needs to be re-sharpened more frequently, it is an easier task to accomplish.

Pro: No odors are retained.

Since ceramic knives are 100 percent stainless, they are not overly porous. So when you're done cutting something on the spicier side, simply douse the knife with water, dry it off, and then cut something else without the consequence of odor following it. No one wants stray, powerful odors to linger or infect other foods you're intending on using. It just isn't pleasant. If you use spices regularly or anything else with a notable odor, like almond vegan cheese, ceramic knives would suit you better.

Con: It is too risky to put them in the dishwasher.

While ceramic knives are technically dishwasher safe, you shouldn't trust them in there. As mentioned earlier, ceramic is weaker and more brittle than metal. This increases the chances of your knives breaking because all the other items in your dishwasher can fracture or crack the ceramic if they collide.

You could set aside a special area for just your ceramic knives to avoid this but it's safer to hand wash them. So while this may fall in both camps of the pros and cons of ceramic knives, because they can be used in dishwasher, it leans definitely leans more so to the con side.

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About the author

Jesse Kinney

Huge sports fan, primarily hockey and football. Also a big TV and movie fan. Recent Marist graduate writing about whatever interests me!

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