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Ceramic Knives?

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 
I may have been living in a closet for a long time when it comes to knives. I just read about a chef who uses ceramic knives. I did a search on Google and sure enough you can buy ceramic knives everywhere! Are they any good? I know they are very expensive! I only have a couple of good knives. I keep looking at buying some new knives, but without knowledgeable guidance I keep buying garbage. Even when I spend a lot on a single knife. So maybe these ceramic knives will fit my needs. What do you think?
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post #2 of 31
Probably not. If you'd looked just a little further down in this forum you'd have seen http://www.cheftalk.com/forums/cooki...ic-knives.html
post #3 of 31
it feels like your cutting with a sharp plastic knife. its really only good cutting vegetables. anything harder, like bones, may chip the knife.
post #4 of 31
Yeah even cheese or a potato could chip the knife.

When I use my mom's ceramic knife I feel like the Hyacinth's neighbor when she uses her fine tea set on Keeping Up Appearances.
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post #5 of 31
i have a few kyocera ceramic knives in my kitchen, i use at least one of them almost every day. i have tried other brands and these are far better. i have no problems with chipping them (other than the very tiny chips on the blade that are assosiated with normal ceramic wear) but certainly not on things like cheese and potatos, i just stay away from meat fabrication (leave that to high carbon steel blades). kyocera has awesome customer service and their resharpening service is very fast. so if you can stop yourself from tossing them around the kitchen like your steel blades and you can afford it, i recomend them.
post #6 of 31

i'm not a fan if it gets knocked off onto the tile floor it would chip too easily and even though a steel knife could do the same you can take a steel knife to a stone. for your money you are better off buying steel knives and a set of sharpening stones

post #7 of 31

I bought a packaged pair for $29.....

love them for slicing tomatoes, peaches, onions, veg....they are a super addition

 

At one time I splurged and bought a $84 ceramic knife......it disappeared after a wedding on a farm.

cooking with all your senses.....
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post #8 of 31

You can sharpen ceramic knives yourself.

 

You need diamond sharpening stones.

 

dcarch

post #9 of 31

You can sharpen ceramic knives yourself.

 

You need diamond sharpening stones.

 

dcarch

post #10 of 31

Even with good diamond stones, ceramics can be highly problematic.  Some, more than others, have too much of a tendency to chip.

 

At best, they require extremely steady angle holding, very light pressure and a lot of patience. 

 

You don't want to use your coarsest, fastest stones, because it's too hard to polish out the resulting scratches and chips.  And because their own harndess combines with the fineness of the stone to require so many strokes to do so little work, that puts an even higher premium on angle holding.  Which, in turn, is even more of a problem at the higher grits, those where you produce a very fine, polished edge.  Circular, and not a good circle either. 

 

In my limited experience sharpening ceramics, the expensive ones (like Kyocera) are easier to sharpen than the no-name, cheaper, Chinese made knives.

 

Ceramics hold an edge better than any alloy I know of, true.  And while the OOTB sharpness of ceramics is undeniable, they don't break new ground respect.  In my opinion the user is better served by making and maintaining her steel alloys just as sharp -- not only because steel sharpens more easily without ceramics' tendency to damage during sharpening and use; but also because there's a far greater selection of knife lengths, profiles, and of good knives generally.

 

If, for instance, shroomgirl were to ask me which knives she should buy and how she should maintain them, after analyzing her needs I doubt my recommendations would include ceramics.  But -- here's the important part -- she didn't ask. Presumably she's happy.  And if she's happy, I'm happy.  Ceramic knives notwithstanding.

 

Bottom Line:  One should always use the knife which best suits.  To each her own.

 

BDL

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post #11 of 31

i had a ceramic knife but one day while i was in class i dropped my knife and it broke the blade right in half i was so mad i felt like i just flushed 80 dollars down the toilet

post #12 of 31

I'll stick to my damascus steel.

post #13 of 31

I'll stick to my damascus steel.  But if it's any consolation to the ceramic industry, Robert Irvine uses them.  Haha, only kidding.

post #14 of 31

The knives I use 95% of the time are:

1) Global 8" slicer

2) ceramic

3) hienkel boning knife

4) some cheap bird's beak

5) Father Dom gave me a really old serrated on one side bread knife....

 

there's a whole bunch of other good ones around but these are the ones I use.....and most of the time the metal blades are dull, once I was working with Jeff Starr and we couldn't remember whose knife was whose, so Jeff says his is the dull one....and I said nope, my is dull too......good to know I'm not the only one who doesn't sharpen on a regular basis.  The cheaper ceramic pair are fine for the amount I use them....if they chip or break, not a big deal.

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post #15 of 31


Originally Posted by darktaco128 View Post

 

I'll stick to my damascus steel.


OK.  I'll bite.  Which Damascus steel is that?

 

Shroom:  You're the one who uses your knives.  Sharpness is not a matter of moral superiority.  Knives are tools, and not a pathway to heaven.  I find dull knives very frustrating, but I'm not using one.  If you're happy, I'm ecstatic. 

 

BDL


Edited by boar_d_laze - 7/20/10 at 10:28am
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post #16 of 31

Well ceramic knife are really good they stay Sharp and keep there Edge for long time, they are for the good Quality one a little pricey, i have a few of my cook and colage that use them. the only big inconviniente is that if you drop it that most likely the end it will probabely brake and there nothing you can't do to fix it Bye Bye!!!

post #17 of 31

If you quarter chickens with it, or have to cleave random stuff on the fly..... or anything with bones in it, for that matter

 

NO!

 

I have NOTHING against ceramic knives.  But they serve their purpose.

 

8^)

 

-edited-

And I'll touch on what boar_d_laze said.....  if you like your knives, fantastic!

 

We ALL use what we love.  That's what makes chefs different.

 

Can't go wrong with German steel or vanadium from across the other pond.  Or titanium, for that matter.  There's a reason these knife makers have been around forever.

post #18 of 31

I suppose when you talk about "vanadium from across the other pond," you're referring to Japanese alloys.  However, many modern high-quality stainless steels, especially HSSs,  have vanadium in them; including those oh so very German knife steels X50CrMoV15 (Wusthof, F. Dick, Forschner, Lamson, etc.), and X55CrMoV15 (Messermeister, etc.). 

 

Vanadium is added to steels to stabilize carbides and improve "strength" and allow greater hardness.  It's especially useful in stainless steels to counteract the negative effects of chrome .  

 

Also, if there was ever a lousy material for kitchen knife steel it's titanium.  OK as a coating I guess, but even that's more of a sales gimmick.  Some interesting bicycle frames, though.

 

BDL


Edited by boar_d_laze - 7/21/10 at 6:58pm
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post #19 of 31

That's a lot of information.  I did not know that. 

 

I just use henckels anyway

post #20 of 31

When you consider how many great meals are prepped with Henckels, by so many wonderful cooks, in so many prestigious kitchens, etc., it's obvious Henckels are plenty good enough.

 

If you're happy, I'm ecstatic.

 

BDL


Edited by boar_d_laze - 7/22/10 at 2:56pm
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post #21 of 31

That's why they're my favorite.  Tried and true. 

 

I have Global and Shun too.  Still love my Henckels
 

post #22 of 31

I've been reluctant to buy ceramic knives simply because of the high price for an unknown quality and function. But I recently wandered into a Harbor Freight store and saw a 6" blade for $13.00 http://www.harborfreight.com/6-inch-ceramic-chefs-knife-98186.html I bought one and gave it a decent trial. Very nice!  Then, just a few days ago, I wandered into the kitchen department at IKEA and found a twofer set for $40.00. They are very good quality.

post #23 of 31

But I recently wandered into a Harbor Freight store and saw a 6" blade....

 

That's another shortcoming by my lights.  They don't come in productive lengths.  They're so brittle that if they're made too long, torque/shear will snap the blade where it intersects with the handle.

 

BDL

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post #24 of 31

Might try out the ones at Ikea, just for a kick.

 

I've seen my employees bring in ceramic knives, and I've seen them beak them, and I've tried thier knives out, most of them don't pass my "tomato test" where by putting moderate pressure on a ripe but firm tomato I should be able to slice it without moving the knife back and forth. 

 

All of the ceramic knives I've seen had hollow grinds to them, which really makes me scratch my head, shouldn't they (mnfctr) be putting as much material as possible next to the edge in order to support it, seeing as how the material itself is so brittle?  

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post #25 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by RSteve View Post

I've been reluctant to buy ceramic knives simply because of the high price for an unknown quality and function. But I recently wandered into a Harbor Freight store and saw a 6" blade for $13.00 http://www.harborfreight.com/6-inch-ceramic-chefs-knife-98186.html I bought one and gave it a decent trial. Very nice!  Then, just a few days ago, I wandered into the kitchen department at IKEA and found a twofer set for $40.00. They are very good quality.



Have you compared the two?  How do they compare?

 

-d

post #26 of 31

I bought a ceramic knife on sale at the local Grocery store. It was by a Canadian Chef. It had a black blade and looked really slick.  We also picked up a ceramic peeler and paring knife too.

 

I read the instructions carefully. There are MANY restrictions to using a ceramic knife. But, that's ok, I thought.  Well, the first thing I noticed is the knife is quite sharp; however, the blade easily CHIPS.  The fine print for warranty purposes says the knife or blade chipping is NORMAL.  I said, what the?!  And to my surprise, the 6 inch ceramic knife chips super easily. I was just lightly cutting up some garlic on a wood chopping block when I noticed the knife had just chipped. This is nasty stuff. There's nothing like the fine ceramic pieces being swallowed when your cutting your item.

 

Then I tried the peeler. This particular peeler only peels in one direction.  The peeling was not smooth either. It was peeling quite deep as well. My metal peeler peels in all directions and i just put the dang ceramic peeler in storage because I change my peeling method depending on what I peel.

 

Overall, the ceramic knife experience was a waste of time.  It's really just a fad or craze, in my opinion, just like those Ginsu knives are with their lifetime sharpness guarantee.  With the Ginsu knives they get dull rather quickly too and trying to get a warranty replacement is a headache itself and then of course, you have to pay the high shipping costs which make the both types of knives disposable knives.

 

Bottom line is don't buy into the hype of these ceramic knives.  Instead, invest in some good quality knives that will last you forver.

post #27 of 31

This time last year I bought a Kyocera ceramic nakiri on sale. It's a very nice knife, but I have no need or interest in buying any more. It's been dropped numerous times and has never chipped (that I can tell) or broken. Kyocera sharpens it for free with a turn-around time of 10-days-two(2) weeks. You can, by-the-way, now buy electric sharpeners for ceramic knives from $50-$80, depending on where you look. It cuts filet medallions and/or boneless chx like a razor, but is not so good with sushi-sashimi slices because the blade is kinda thick. My biggest gripe is not with the blade but the handle. It's very light and gets really slick. I solved that with steel-wool, buffing it out to a coarse finish. No more problemmo. If you've just gotta have one, I suggest the Yoshi Ceramic Blade as seen on TV. You get two(2) of them and two(2) peelers for $20. That's not at all painful for having some fun. The ceramic peelers that I've used are lasers in themselves. I've never lost an argument with a vegetable peel. Anyway, it is what it is, a cool very usable knife. I won't replace it if something happens, but I'm not at all sorry that I bought it. 

 

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post #28 of 31

I use ceramic knives in my fruit carving because it helps prevent the oxidation of fruit and veggies which is very important to me. This was the original intent of making and marketing these types of knives ( I remember the infomercial cutting lettuce and apples to show they would not brown with the ceramic knife). The ceramic knives that I own have sheaths to protect them from breaking and chipping when stored ... yes, if you drop it will chip the blade or just plain break it. As far as sharpening the blade, everything I ever read about ceramic knives says not to sharpen but if they sell ceramic knife sharpeners ... well, I guess you can but I don't, I don't have to cause I just use it on fruits and vegetables and it does not get dull!

post #29 of 31

I picked up the 2 pack of ceramic knives (Mussla) from Ikea about a year ago and I like them.  The primary use of them is cutting fruits and veggies, my oldest daughter loves kiwis and they work very well.  The knives are phenomenally sharp, but of course the usual caveat about care.  I have mine set aside so I am the only one in my house who uses them.  For average household use I would highly recommend them only $40 for 2, but for a professional use, no way.

post #30 of 31

i have a set of 6 ceramic knives. They are excellent for delicate slicing, but have limitations. You cannot chop, cut bones or anything hard, they can be damaged easily. If you do alot of Garde manger type slicing, i recommend them. Otherwise stick to a good steel knife like a forschner

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