It’s easy to fall for ceramic knives: they’re relatively affordable, incredibly lightweight, and oh so sharp. Ceramic blades are made from zirconium oxide, also called zirconia, which is significantly tougher than stainless steel or carbon steel. I have a bunch of knives in my kitchen, but I find myself picking up my ceramics first for everyday tasks, from slicing apples to chopping veggies to deveining shrimp. I love their featherlight feel and super sharp precision.
Another bonus: ceramic knives don’t rust, and they don’t absorb smells, which is a big plus for me, as I use a lot of garlic. A potential downside is that ceramic’s hardness is accompanied by brittleness, so they’re definitely not for cutting meat on the bone or trying to hack through anything frozen—they’ll chip, snap, or break.
Like any knife, look for "craftsmanship, care, and detail," when seeking one out, says Elan Wenzel, founder and owner of Element Knife Company in Colorado. "If you have the chance, hold in it in your hand, so you can make sure the feel is comfortable," as choosing a knife that feels right can be a personal decision.
To help me figure out the best of the best, I tested various ceramic knives in my home kitchen. I recorded how sharp they were out of the box, whether they could slice through a piece of paper, and then used them again for chopping up an onion. Lastly. I washed them to see if they'd chip or break in the sink or dishwasher. Here are excellent ceramic knives that make chopping, slicing, and dicing easier and more enjoyable.
Kyocera Revolution Ceramic 7-Inch Chef's Knife
What We Love: Ultrasharp, ergonomic handle and great balance, sleek design
What We Don't Love: Relatively expensive for a ceramic knife
"Kyocera makes some of the world’s best ceramics, with a much high quality and great craftsmanship all around," says Wenzel. Its knives are crafted in Japan with a proprietary zirconia material for serious sharpness and edges that stay that way about 10 times longer than steel blades. The ergonomic handle makes sure you have a good, comfortable grip however long you're slicing, plus it's well-balanced with the blade to prevent any hand fatigue.
For slicing through chicken breasts or summer tomatoes, this knife is a stellar choice that makes precise, clean cuts and feels excellent in hand. Rust-proof and resistant to acids, this black knife also looks great. While this is made for everyday use, it shouldn't be used on any hard foods and washed by hand only, as is the case with other ceramic knives.
Price at time of publish: $85
Blade Length: 7 inches | Handle Length: 5 inches
Takiup 6-Piece Ceramic Knife Set
What We Love: Very sharp and lightweight, fun colors, great price
What We Don't Love: Handles are not comfortable
No matter how you slice it, this is a great deal for five knives and a vegetable peeler, especially when they’re perfectly sharp, lightweight, and so cheerfully colored. The full set includes a 3-inch paring knife, a 4-inch utility knife, a 5-inch slicing knife, a 6-inch chef's knife, and a 6-inch serrated bread knife. Each knife has its own plastic sheath to keep it protected when not in use.
In fact, I have this set at home. I use the chef’s knife for slicing avocados and cutting veggies for salads. The serrated blade in the set is my go-to for slicing bread and bagels, and the paring knife is ideal for deveining shrimp and mincing shallots. One caveat is that the plastic handles aren’t the comfiest, though.
Blade Length: 3 inches, 4 inches, 5 inches, 6 inches | Handle Length: 4.4 inches, 4.8 inches, 5.8 inches, 6.2 inches
Best Paring Knife
Kyocera Revolution 3-Inch Ceramic Paring Knife
What We Love: Great for small, precise tasks; sharp edge will stay sharp for a while
What We Don't Love: White blade can stain
Paring knives are a good introduction to ceramic knives if you're a beginner. Like we've said, since the blades are brittle by nature, ceramic knives should only be used on lighter produce and non-bony meats. Paring knives are most useful for slicing small fruit, scoring baked goods, or peeling vegetables. The two are made for each other.
This 3-inch Kyocera paring knife is everything you want from your ceramic paring knife. It's easy to maneuver and sharp, sharp, sharp. Crafted in Japan, it holds its ultrasharp edge for years, and it’s nearly featherweight, which is perfect for clean, precise cuts. I loved how easily it fits in the palm of my hand. If a black resin handle isn't your style, it also comes in fun colors, from cheerful blue to bubblegum pink.
Price at time of publish: $25
Blade Length: 3 inches | Handle Length: 4 inches
Related: The Best Paring Knives
Jeslon Chef 4-Piece Multi-Color Ceramic Knives Set
What We Love: Great sharpness and edge retention, wonderful balance and ergonomic design
What We Don't Love: The set does not include a serrated knife
Like with my budget pick, it's usually easier to just order a full set instead of buying knives piecemeal. I included this set, which consists of a 3-inch paring knife, a 4-inch fruit knife, a 5-inch utility knife, and a 6-inch chef's knife, in my tests to see how it performed. While this set of knives doesn't include any serrated blades, I ended up preferring them over the Cuisinart.
Out of the box, these knives slice beautifully. During testing, I really like the feel of the relatively large handles compared to the blades, which give the knives a solid balance. The handles are plastic, but they have a grippy surface that makes them feel better in hand than some other models. For me, the 6-inch chef’s knife is just right—often longer blades feel a bit unwieldy—and it seamlessly rocks back and forth for smooth slicing and dicing.
There are a few issues with the set though. For one, they didn't come with knife covers, which may cause breakage during storage. Also, the serrated knife omission might be a dealbreaker for you.
Price at time of publish: $23
Blade Length: 3 inches, 4 inches, 5 inches, 6 inches | Handle Length: 3.8 inches, 4.5 inches, 4.7 inches
Related: The Best Knife Sets
Best Set, Runner-Up
Cuisinart Advantage 12-Piece Color-Coded Knife Set
What We Love: Mulitple sizes including two multipurpose knives, blade covers, affordable
What We Don't Love: Chef's knife is a bit bulky, the entire set feels plasticky
Whether you definitely need a serrated knife, want to avoid any cross-contamination, or just like to have options, this set of ceramic knives from Cuisinart could be the answer. This set comes with a 3.5-inch paring knife, a 6.5-inch utility knife, a 7-inch santoku knife, an 8-inch bread knife, an 8-inch slicing knife, and an 8-inch chef's knife. All of the knives have a stainless steel blade at the core that's coated in ceramic, and each comes with a blade cover to protect it from chipping or other damage when stored.
During testing, I found that both the paring knife and chef's knife had good balance, but both felt a little plasticky. The paring knife ended up being sharper than the chef's knife, giving nice clean cuts to both paper and an onion. The colors are really cheerful and definitely picturesque, though I did find the chef's knife to be a bit bulky.
Price at time of publish: $65
Blade Length: 3.5 inches, 6.5 inches, 7 inches, 8 inches | Handle Length: 4.5 inches, 5.5 inches
Related: The Best Bread Knives
An ultrasharp blade and a comfortable balance make the Kyocera Advanced Ceramic Revolution Series 7-inch Chef's Knife (view at Amazon) my top pick for ceramic knives. The very affordable Takiup 6-Piece Ceramic Knife Set (view at Amazon) is lightweight and extremely sharp, plus it comes with a peeler!
What to Look for When Buying Ceramic Knives
The different sizes of knife blades make some better for certain tasks over others. Smaller paring knives are ideal for precise tasks like peeling, dicing, and mincing. Longer knives are great for filleting fish and carving steak. A chef’s knife is the perfect versatile length for pretty much any kitchen task. Personal preference matters here, too. If you’re a small person, more diminutive knives probably feel more comfortable to maneuver.
Comfort and Balance
Cooks know that the feel of a knife in your hand makes a huge difference. A knife’s weight goes a long way into determine a user’s balance and control. I found that ceramic’s lightness can take a little while to get used to, especially if you’re used to steel. Another thing to look for is the construction and feel of the handle. Some of the knives I tested felt disappointingly plasticky.
Forged vs. Stamped
Some ceramic knives are forged, which means they are created by shaping and compressing metal under extremely high heat. When a ceramic knife is stamped, it’s made out of a flattened sheet of metal. This process results in more affordable and lightweight blades, but they don’t retain their sharpness for quite as long.
How are ceramic knives made?
First developed by the Japanese in the late 1990s, most ceramic knives are made of a nano-material called zirconium oxide. Zirconium oxide and alumina powder are heated to super-high temperatures (around 3632 degrees Fahrenheit) and pressed into molds under a whole lot of pressure.
How do you sharpen a ceramic knife?
"Ceramic knives are great for edge retention," says Wenzel, "They stay sharper longer, so you won’t need to sharpen them as frequently." If and when you do opt to sharpen them, Wenzen recommends Kyocera’s authorized service provider, Eversharp, to have your knives professionally sharpened. You can also invest in a sharpener made especially for ceramic knives—be careful of a sharpening stone made for steel knives, as ceramic is more brittle and may chip or break.
Why Trust Simply Recipes?
Hannah Howard has been writing about food and beverages for over a decade, including the memoirs “Feast” and “Plenty.” After a long day, chopping up a lot of veggies for dinner is sort of like therapy for her.
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