Ceramic Knives vs. Steel Knives

Peter Stec
January 21, 2021

A ceramic knife is made by pressing a tough ceramic powder called zirconium dioxide. The same is then forged or fired via solid state sintering. Next, the cutting surface is honed to a fine edge using a grinding wheel coated with diamond dust. The result is an extremely tough and sharp edge that outperforms steel in terms of sheer cutting ability. A steel knife, on the other hand, utilizes different alloys. The same is fired thru a forge and may or may not be sharpened on a diamond coated wheel. Some are even laser edged for a finer blade. This article will compare Ceramic knives vs. steel. The author will leave the conclusion to the reader. In any case, this is really a question of requirements and preference.

Ceramic Pro: Sharper

As a general rule, ceramics have a sharper edge. This is because the same almost always requires at least a diamond dust coated wheel. Simply put, the better the wheel within which it was sharpened, the finer the edge.

Ceramic Pro: No Sharpening

Ceramic knives rank at least 7.5 in terms of hardness. To put things into perspective, the diamond is ranked 10. Most steel and alloys rank below 7. Therefore ceramic knives require little or no sharpening. At the very least a steel knife will dull first!

Ceramic Pro: No Rust

Ceramics do not rust. As a result, there is lesser risk of food contamination. Worst case scenario, there is no risk of tetanus (rust poisoning) when the wielder gets cut.

Ceramic Pro: Non-Conductive

Ceramics do not conduct electricity. As a result, the same is more suited for high voltage environments or any situation wherein there is a great danger of conduction. Seems far-fetched to you? The common example is an outdoor situation wherein you are holding a knife. You are at the highest point on the horizon. And there is a thunderstorm or inclement weather. You do not want to be holding a knife that conducts electricity!

Ceramic Pro: Acid Resistant

Ceramic blades do not corrode when used regularly on acidic foodstuff, or when exposed to a high ph environment. This has several advantages, especially when cutting or processing acidic fruits and other foodstuffs. Heck, if your sweat is acidic, better use ceramic!

Steel Pro: More Versatile

Steel can be used in any situation. This is especially true when you have to pack things tightly. Remember, ceramic blades break easily when a sideways force is exerted. This renders you helpless, prone to injury, or just plain frustrated. A steel knife might bend a little. But it can be reshaped and used!

Steel Pro: Sharpen Yourself!

Ceramics also need sharpening. Admittedly, as a general rule when it comes to Ceramic knives vs. steel comparisons, the former can be more durable in terms of sharpness. But eventually, you will need to sharpen the same. This is no easy task, considering too much sideways force will cause it to break.

Even if you are an expert at sharpening, you will need a very expensive diamond dust coated stone or comparably the same to do the job properly. As a result, owners of ceramic blades are warned to return the same to the manufacturer for sharpening or to let a professional handle the sharpening. Steel knives can be sharpened by any competent individual exercising due diligence. Click here to check out KnifeUp’s review of the best knife sharpeners. Heck, you can even sharpen it on the back, rough portion of your ceramic plate.

Steel Pro: Generally Cheaper

As a general rule, you can buy steel knives at cheaper prices. Of course, there are expensive steel knives that rival or even trump ceramic knives, but these knives also rival ceramics in terms of sharpness and durability.

Like this article? Check out other KnifeUp articles about machetes, tactical tomahawks, survival knives, and bowie knives.

About The Author
Hey Knife Up gang! I'm Pete, and I'm just another man like you in a small rural town who loves the outdoors as much as the other million internet users that cruise sites like KnifeUp.com every day. The difference is that I like to share what I know and research what I don't totally know so that YOU can have all the info you need to feel confident and prepared for all things outdoors-related! And, for those who care, I have 42 years of wilderness canoeing and bushcraft experience in Northern Ontario and spend most of my Summers covered in mosquitos and fish slime, but hey, it's a lifestyle choice, eh?

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