Like a lot of home cooks, I was so attracted to ceramic knives’ promise of never getting dull. But after using it for some time, I came to realize that its sharpness doesn’t last forever. This got me wondering how to sharpen ceramic knives. I was afraid at first because I heard that sharpening ceramic knives is very tricky. Over time, I learned some tips and tricks on how to do this, which I will share with you today.
Keep Reading till the end to find out our personal Tips For Sharpening Your Ceramic Knives
What Are Ceramic Knives?
Before we get into how to sharpen ceramic knives, let’s first take a look at what exactly they are. Ceramic knives have a blade made of ceramic zirconia, a very hard material. This makes them harder and (sometimes) sharper than your traditional steel knives.
The main advantage of ceramic knives is that they keep their sharpness longer. Because they’re so hard, it can take a while for your ceramic knife to lose its edge. Of course, this doesn’t last forever, but you don’t have to sharpen them very often.
Aside from that, ceramic knives are also 100% stainless. This lets you cut through even the most acidic foods without any worries. And cleaning it will be a breeze because bad odours don’t cling to it.
Ceramic knives are also very lightweight. They may be harder, but they weigh less than steel knives do.
Disadvantages of Ceramic Knives
Like everything, ceramic knives also have some downsides. One of the biggest ones is that they are brittle. Because they’re so hard, ceramic knives have little to no flexibility. If you bend your ceramic knife, it will snap in half. Even a simple fall can break your knife, so be careful.
You’ll also want to be careful when using ceramic knives for hard or frozen food. Hitting a bone while cutting through meat is bad for the knife. It might not break, but there is a possibility that it will chip off. Remember, ceramic is a type of glass. Though it’s a hard material, it breaks and shatters the same way glass does.
The Sharpening Problem
But the biggest problem with ceramic knives is how to sharpen them. Because they’re so hard, you’ll have a difficult time with your ordinary knife sharper. And because they’re so brittle, they can easily chip and break. You need to take great care when sharpening your knives. If you apply too much lateral pressure (which is not a lot for ceramic knives), it’ll snap.
You also have to be precise. It’s not easy to tell when a ceramic knife is already sharp. This is because there is no burr, the rough edge you get when sharpening steel knives. So make sure to test your knife every few strokes.
How to Sharpen Ceramic Knives
One way to have your ceramic knives sharpened is by sending them to the professionals. Most manufacturers also have sharpening services where they will be the ones to do this for you. But who wants that? It’s a long, hassle, and expensive thing to do.
Instead, you’ll want to sharpen your knives by yourself at home. There are several ways that you can do this. They all need some care so let’s have a close look at each one of them.
Sharpening with Sharpening Stones
If you have a sharpening stone around, you can use this to sharpen your ceramic knives. But don’t use it the way you use it with your other knives! Instead of holding the stone in one hand and the blade in the other, use both hands on the blade. Set the stone down and carefully rub your knife’s edge on it. Using both hands will prevent the blade from bending, protecting it from snapping.
Traditional stones may work. But because of how hard ceramic is, it will take plenty of time and strokes before your knife gets sharp. If you want safer and faster results, a diamond stone sharpener is a good idea. Diamond stones are so effective because they are a lot harder than ceramic.
Sharpening with Electrical Sharpeners
There are plenty of great electrical sharpeners out in the market today. But if you have ceramic knives, you’ll want to be careful about which one you get. Try not to get one that uses a material softer than ceramic. If you do, it’ll take a lot of time to sharpen your knife. And the risk of breaking will be quite high.
One of your best options is, once again, a diamond stone electric sharpener. With this, all you have to do is pass your knife through 4-5 times and it’ll come out sharp. Just make sure you never push your ceramic knife too hard. They are fragile.
Sharpening with Honing Rods
Have you noticed how Gordon Ramsey always rubs his knives against a rod before cutting something? This rod is a honing rod, one of the best tools for the kitchen. While sharpening your ceramic knives before every cut is unnecessary, having a honing rod around is great.
Like always, choose a honing rod with hard material. This way, all you have to do is rub your knife about 3 times each side and you’re good to go! And don’t do it as quick as Gordon does. You might accidentally break your ceramic knife if you do.
Tips for Sharpening your Ceramic Knives
Regardless of what you choose for sharpening, a few rules-of-thumb will keep your ceramic knives from breaking. Here’s my personal cheat sheet for an easy and safe sharpening:
- Use material that harder than ceramic
- Lightly stroke your knife, even if it takes a while
- Keep your knife as steady as possible (use two hands when you can)
- Use paper to test sharpness (run your knife through paper, if it slices it easily, it’s good to go)
- Use cut-resistant gloves for safety
- Wipe your knife after sharpening (if you don’t, residue may get to your food)
In the end, we can answer the most popular question that came to me, Do you need to sharpen ceramic knives? the answer is Yes. Ceramic knives last a lot longer than steel knives do. But after lots of use, they will ultimately go dull like all other knives. Don’t fret, because sharpening your ceramic knives is a lot easier than it may seem. With these tips and tricks, you can sharpen your knife like a pro.