Ceramic knives are deceptively powerful: compared to steel,
the zirconium oxide blade is 50% sharper and holds its edge roughly 10 times as
long. They are also deceptively light, especially in the hands of one used to a
steel blade. This makes the cutting process less tiring and often more
enjoyable, since the blade cuts more cleanly than one’s other knives. This
reduced weight, however, requires a focus on accuracy instead of on speed, since speed is
much more of a given yet the swift blade can nip a finger or ingredient not meant to be further cut.
knives are a relatively new advancement. While steel
has dominated the knife market for thousands of years, ceramic blades
started to appear around 1985. In addition to the technology being new,
design of the knife feels refreshingly current when contrasted with the
classic steel chef’s knife, thanks to the organic form of the black
smooth lines of the white blade.
Unfortunately, ceramic knives are not as all-purpose as
metal tools, meaning one still sometimes needs a different knife if cutting
through bones or tough vegetables (although I’ve successfully used mine to cut
up a butternut squash). They also don’t set off metal detectors, except that manufacturers
often add a small piece of metal to the handle to ensure they do. And cutting
against a ceramic plate or surface is not advised, as it can sometimes damage
the knife. Nonetheless, for its weight and sharpness, my ceramic chef’s knife
is a tool I rarely cook without.