Can Ceramic Knives be Sharpened at Home?
Ceramic Knives Buyers’ Guide
Ceramic knives have a ceramic blade which is usually made from zirconium dioxide (ZrO2; also called zirconia). The blades of these knives are produced by dry-pressing and firing powdered zirconia. Zirconia is an 8.5 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, whereas normal steel is at 4.5 and hardened steel is at 7.5 to 8. The blade has a hard edge that maintains its sharpness longer than conventional steel knives. The edge is harder than a steel knife, but ceramic knives are less tough and so more brittle. Ceramic knives will also not corrode in harsh environments, do not conduct electricity at room temperature and are not magnetic. They are also resistant to strong acids and caustic chemicals, therefore better suited for slicing vegetables, fruit, boneless meat, and bread.
Ceramic knives are sharper and thinner than steel, but they are also less sturdy. Do not use them to cut frozen foods or foods which contain pits, seeds, or bones. Always hand wash your knife after using it and store it in a tray, a sheath or a knife block. Use your ceramic knife on a plastic or wooden cutting board, any other material may damage the knife. Do not use the ceramic knife to open anything or in any action which requires flexing or twisting of the knife. Steer away from turning the blade on its side to crush foods like garlic, and be careful to not drop it on hard surfaces as it may easily chip or break.
Because of how brittle ceramic knives are, you cannot use regular knife blocks. Instead, you must use diamond stones which can be found in any store. Diamonds are hard, so they will require less work to remove material than on a regular knife block and are the only material strong enough to properly sharpen ceramic. Position your knife over the diamond block using both hands, and apply light force with your fingers constantly. No flex must occur, or the blade may easily snap. You can move your hands up and down, only down or only up when sharpening, whichever you prefer. Always remember to use smooth movements and very little amount of pressure or else the ceramic knife will snap under your fingers.
Kitchen tools price updated on 2020-01-19 / Disclaimer: as an Amazon Associate a Skillet Director team earns from qualifying purchases.