What is a Ceramic Knife?
Ceramic knives have become very popular, especially in the kitchen. They are not only inexpensive, but very hard and tough, making them durable. Because of this, they do not have to be sharpened as often. One reason why ceramic knives are so hard is that zirconia is used to make them. Zirconia measures 8.5 on the Mohls scale, which is a scale used to measure mineral hardness. The scale measures the ability of one mineral to scratch another mineral. Zirconia is a little less hard than a diamond and harder than normal steel.
These knives are good to use in the kitchen because they have a high resistance to caustic substances and strong acids, and can also maintain a sharp cutting edge longer than forged metal knives. Ceramic knives are excellent for slicing fruit, bread, vegetables, and slicing boneless meat. Although the ceramic is durable, it is also brittle because it is so hard, and subject to break if dropped on a hard surface. This is why they should not be used on frozen foods or to chop through bone.
Sharpening Ceramic Knives
Some people would prefer to send a ceramic knife to a professional sharpener, because they are so hard and there is a tendency to create micro-chips along the edge. The best tool to use if you want to do it yourself, is an electric diamond sharpener with a diamond grinding stone or diamond abrasive belt. A finer grit can be used to polish the edge.
Before the sharpening process, remove any food or residue on the knife by rinsing it with water and a mild dish detergent. Use a soft, lint-free cloth to dry off the knife. Make sure the electric unit is on a flat surface. Put the blade into the correct slot covering the heel first. The heel is the part that is close to the handle. Pull the handle back slowly towards you through the slot, from heel to tip. Slightly move the blade up and out, and raise up the handle when you pull it out of the slot. This will ensure that you get the whole tip. Three to four times on one side and then on the other side should result in an evenly sharpened knife. Try it out and if you are not satisfied with the sharpness, repeat the process.
If you use a diamond sharpening stone, sweep the stone across the blade’s edge at an angle several times on each side of the blade. Diamond sharpening stones often leave scratches, so use silicon carbide stones to smooth out those scratches. You can also use 1500 grit silicone carbide sandpaper. The sandpaper can be wet or dry. This method is not as quick as a diamond wheel or electric diamond sharpener, but you can achieve the same sharp edge.
Best Knife Sharpener for Ceramic Knives: Kyocera Electric Diamond Knife Sharpener Review
According to Bestsmallkitchenappliances.com‘s team, the best electric sharpener for ceramic knives is the Kyocera Electric Diamond Knife Sharpener. It comes with a #600 grade diamond grinding stone that can remove ½ mm off of your knife blade. The knife guide slot will help keep your knife at a fixed angle, and the assist roller will prevent over-sharpening, and make sure you maintain even pressure while sharpening. The built in safety cover contains the dust and grinding so that you do not get hurt by flying particles. This sharpener is battery operated and can be used on ceramic or metal knives. Most customers gave Kyocera Electric Diamond Sharpener a good rating, but felt that it took longer than noted in the instructions to get a sharp edge. There was also a suggestion that the sharpener should only be used for ceramic knives because the motor may not be powerful enough for steel knives.