One cannot imagine a full working kitchen without a knife.
A knife is the most quintessential part of any household, and thus, deciding on one knife that will serve you well for many years is essential.
Chefs, home cooks, homemakers, occasional cooks all can agree on one thing, and that is the importance of having a knife in the kitchen.
This article will dive deep and discover the hype about ceramic knives and beat the classic and evergreen stainless steel knives.
Ceramic knives: Everything you need to know
People often do not buy these knives because of their name. The ceramic used in these knives is different from the ceramic used in regular china plates and cups.
They are made through a long process where zirconium oxide is used as a base and yttrium oxide is added during the cooling process to create zirconia or popularly known as TTZ( Transformation Toughened Zirconia).
The blades are then sharpened on a grinding wheel coated with diamond dust. This way, the knife stays stronger and gets sharper than a regular stainless steel knife.
On the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, steel is 4.5, hardened steel is anywhere between 7.5 and 8, and Zirconia is at 8.5.
These fun-looking knives are incredibly sharp and stay that way for a long time. We will look at all the pros and cons to better understand these knives.
Advantages of ceramic knives
Power of staying sharper
These knives are incredibly sharp and stay that way for a long time than a steel knife. Their hardness is next to diamond, so it remains sharper for a considerable time.
The weight of these knives is considerably less than stainless steel ones.
They are light on hands and perfect for cutting for an extended period, as the heavyweight of a knife would not discourage you from stopping or taking a break.
A regular ceramic knife looks different than the one made up of steel.
It even comes in fun and festive colors that might add a nice colorful touch to your kitchen.
Great for a person who loves trying out new things or for one who gets the motivation to cook only if the product is exciting or unique.
Stain and rustproof
These knives are 100% stain and rust-proof.
As there is not a single ounce of metal that encourages rusting, this knife will stay longer and serve you well when it comes to the topic of rusting, which makes them suitable for cooking food as you won’t ingest any rust unknowingly.
Bacteria won’t grow on these knives as they are non-porous, making them hygienic and kid-friendly.
Similarly, odors are not retained in these knives. They don’t smell like an onion or garlic after use, which is a blessing for ethenic houses.
No oxidation of food
Ceramic knives will not transform ions from the blade surface as steel knives do, which means your fruits will oxidize even lesser and slower.
There would be lesser browning of apples and avocados for sure.
Disadvantages of ceramic knives
It may come as a surprise, but they are brittle so handling them with care is a big requirement.
It may shatter in some places if the knife gets tossed in a dishwasher. You cannot twist it even a little bit. It is the biggest con of ceramic knives. They chip.
So there are even chances of these tiny chips going into your food. Once chipped, these knives don’t work well, and you might need to replace them with another one.
An issue with sharpening
Although they stay sharp as a new knife for a considerably more extended period, they will get dull after some time, maybe not as quickly as a steel knife but indeed.
In that case, one cannot sharpen it at home because it needs to be sharpened with suitable materials and techniques, so you need to send them to the company for sharpening again, which might be troublesome for few people.
Not an all-purpose knife
These knives are not made to cut frozen food or meat.
They are suitable for vegetables and fruits but won’t work for meats and frozen food.
So constantly changing a knife to cut different food when you are on a tight time budget can be a hassle.
Cannot be handled carelessly
You are used to storing your knives in a drawer where they bang on each other every time you open or close the drawer, but sadly these knives cannot be stored there.
You can either keep them aside or store them in a sleeve.
No magnetic power
The knife would not stick to a metal belt that you might have at your home for storing the knives as it is not metallic.
It might not be the biggest downfall, but it’s something worth thinking about for once.
Stainless steel knives: Everything you need to know
Stainless steel knives are a globally accepted type of knives because of it’s robust nature.
This invention of true stainless steel took place on August 13, 1913, and soon after that, it has been used in making knives till today.
Whenever someone says “knife,” all we can imagine is a stainless steel knife.
People have been using stainless steel knives for years, and they will continue to use them for years to come.
Few people hate that it is very susceptible to rust, which turned them into ceramic knives. We will look further and classify all the knives’ traits as pros and cons.
Advantages of stainless steel knives
Stainless steel knives are incredibly robust when it comes to durability.
They do not require being babied by the owner and will stay with you forever if some light maintenance is considered. It doesn’t chip at all.
The steel blade will stay in one piece for the longest time.
You don’t have to worry about cutting meats or frozen food with any other type of knife.
Stainless steel knives work very smoothly and cut the food without extra strength.
The very best feature is the versatility of this tool. You can use a stainless steel knife to pry open a can or use it to stomp down the garlic cloves.
You can easily maneuver a steel knife for big-little tasks in your kitchen.
Unlike ceramic knives, stainless steel knives do not require any particular casing or separate toolbox.
You can store them anywhere, and they will stay fine. If they are pushed or twisted, they will not snap right off. Steel has a give that makes it durable.
Easy to sharpen
It is relatively easy to resharpen the knife as one can do it without much hassle at their home.
You don’t have to worry about sending the knives to the company for honing and sharpening.
Once you invest in the right sharpening tools, you can sharp on your own, and for some people, it is very zen.
They get peace of mind as they sharpen the blades to make the knives like a newly bought one.
Since it is a metal, it will stick to magnetic surfaces. So a magnetic knife strip is perfect for sticking them.
You can flaunt your expensive knife set, which is easy to access at the same time.
Disadvantages of stainless steel knives
Many people dislike the idea of sharpening it often just so the knife can be used properly.
It is a big deal-breaker for people who don’t have time for sharpening it again and again after a specific use.
The edges can become blunt quickly and rapidly, so sharpening them becomes essential.
Stainless steel knives have a porous surface that will attract bacteria formation on their blades.
If not cleaned thoroughly or adequately, it can cause health issues. There are chances that the food might taste a little metallic because of the metal.
Prone to rusting
These knives are highly prone to rusting that might wear the life of the knife down. If submerged into the sink with water for a long time, the rust might form.
There are even stain spots that appear, which might not look very clean. As compared to ceramic, stainless steel is a little blunt.
They do not have the sharpest edge on the knife.
Knives that are made of metal tend to weigh a little more. Few users enjoy the heavy feeling as it helps them in cutting correctly.
Few people don’t want the weight and the strain it can cause on your hands, significantly if they are cutting for a more extended period.
Ceramic Vs. Stainless steel knives: How to take care of them
Whatever knife you choose, it is essential to know how to take care of them.
Therefore, we have prepared a neat list of things you can do to take care of each knife type.
Tips to take care of ceramic knives
- Don’t put the knives in a dishwasher. Try to clean them with your hands using a warm soapy water mixture. Wash it carefully.
- Use your ceramic knife with a plastic or wood cutting board. Avoid using it on glass or other materials.
- Store the knives in a sleeve or wooden stand.
- Avoid dropping your knives on hard surfaces.
- Don’t use it to pry open anything.
- Do not cut meat or frozen food with your ceramic knives.
Tips to take care of stainless steel knives
- Always try using warm soapy water to clean the knife.
- Never let it air dry it can cause spots. After washing it, ensure that you quickly wipe the knife with a dry cloth to avoid rusting.
- To remove black spots that appear on the blades, use a mixture of lemon water with a ratio of 1:5 and soak the knife for few minutes, wash it, and dry it immediately.
- Try keeping your knives at a dry spot when not in use.
- Keep resharpening the knives, giving you a smooth cutting experience each time.
Ceramic Vs. Stainless steel knives: Which one should you buy?
After this detailed breakdown, we are sure you must have picked the one that best suits your needs.
If you are still confused, we would suggest you look into the type of cooking you do, is it for industry use or home cooking purposes, how often you would be using the knives, the price you are ready to invest, and so on.
After much deliberation, our vote goes to the stainless steel knife because of its versatility and robust nature.
It is perfect for both home or industrial uses. Purchasing a high-quality stainless steel knife would be a sane thing to do.
Similarly, if you are fine with taking care of knives and using them with caution, then, by all means, go with the ceramic ones.
A sweet balance that might work for everyone would be to purchase a good quality stainless steel knife for meats and frozen food or cook heavy meals like a thanksgiving dinner and keep one simple ceramic knife to cut regular vegetables and fruits.
Give the job of light cutting to your ceramic knife and rely on your sturdy stainless steel knife for the big things. It will even reduce the number of times you would have to sharp a knife and hone it.
A sly tip: If you love your evergreen stainless steel knife, then do your research and find a friend who loves sharpening knives for fun and zen purpose.
Make an arrangement that works for the both of you for a win-win situation!