Ceramic knives are very fashionable: famous chefs, television programs, etc … you find them everywhere.
But what do you know about them? Here are a few facts about ceramic knives.
What are they made of?
Exactly, as the name implies, they are made of ceramic material. But how does the ceramic become molded and hardened to be used in a knife?
The ceramic material used for knives is very hard. Usually, zirconite powder and additives of other minerals – such as calcium, magnesium or yttrium – are used, which are shaped applying a high pressure. Thus, high degrees of hardness are achieved within the scales, being placed in the second position of hardness, only behind the diamond.
Properties of ceramics
Ceramic knives are harder than those made of steel – or alloys with that material. In addition, they are less sensitive to corrosion. Because of their hardness, they are also resistant to the acid and caustic substances that contain some foods.
Ceremic material is not porous, so the knives would not take food smell and, therefore, there is no danger of transmitting odors / tastes between different kinds of foods. This absence of porosity also makes them cleaner.
Another advantage of these knives is their lightness: the ceramic material is very light, thus facilitating long working hours in the kitchen.
Regarding the cutting edge, due to the process of manufacturing of these knives, they remain sharpened, if not permanently, for much longer than knives made of steel. The blade even does not lose its rigidity over time, as can happen with the metallic knives.
Ceramic knives are perfect for taking thin slices of boneless meat, chopping vegetables, fruit and bread.
Disadvantages of ceramic knives
Knives made with ceramic elements can break if they fall against a hard surface. In case the edge is chipped, a professional can fix the damage – if it is not very large – by sharpening.
They should not be used to chop meat with bone, frozen foods or hard foods, as they can chip, thus losing versatility. In any case, research in manufacturing this type of knives is advancing quickly, increasing hardness and strength of materials.
Another point to consider is the price. Not necessarily a disadvantage, given the quality, but something to keep in mind.
The right use is always the first thing to consider in the care of any tool. As we said before, ceramic knives are not the best choice for hard materials. They must be used for precision cutting of soft foods, and they will remain in perfect condition for longer. Always use knives over plastic or wooden cutting boards.
It is not recommended to store ceramic knives with steel knives, to avoid friction between them. The ideal storage would be a special block for ceramic knives.
To wash ceramic knives, warm water and a mild soap will be enough, since, as they are not porous, they are easily cleaned. We recommend, however, not to use the dishwasher, to avoid possible friction and damage. If you want to know more about cleaning your knives you may be interested in our post Knife care and cleaning tips.
As ceramic knives remain sharp for much longer, they need less care than steel knives. However, although regular sharpening is not necessary, sharpness could be reduced over time, and it would be advisable then to go to a sharpening specialist.