Traditionally, knives are made from steel and nothing else, but the last decade has brought a new trend of using other materials to make knife blades. One of the most well-embraced materials so far is using ceramics for blades. However, the question on so many minds is whether a ceramic knife blade is as strong and reliable as blades made from steel. So in this article, I’ll bring you a full comparison between ceramic knife blade vs. steel.
Ceramic Knife Blade
You might think everything ceramic has something to do with clay, but ceramic knives are exceptions to that. The ceramic blades on these knives are made from oxidized Zirconia. This agent is dry-pressed and fired into a fine powder that is then forged into a very though ceramic knife. Thus, the toughness of a ceramic knife is way higher than an average steel blade.
Putting the core strength in figures, when fully forged, a ceramic blade has a toughness rate of 8.5, which is very close to the core strength of a diamond having 10. An average steel blade comes with a rate of 4 to six, and it could be more, depending on the steel type. Thus, a ceramic blade is quite strong and tougher than most steel knives.
When you pick up a broken ceramic plate or utensil, you can pierce simple fruit and vegetables with it, talkless of owning a specially designed ceramic knife with an average core strength of 8.5. A ceramic knife blade will easily cut through boneless meat, fruits, vegetables, herbs, spices, and every other regular kitchen ingredient and food. It will deliver such precision cutting that it is not easy to realize you are not using a traditional steel knife.
These ceramic blades come in different types of knives. Thus, you can get them as a paring knife, a cleaver, a Santoku, a chef’s knife, and so many other types of knives. However, like every other form of ceramic, a ceramic blade is brittle and breakable. This means it can break when you drop it, and it can chip when used on harder materials.
A ceramic knife is not ideal for use when deboning meat or cutting through bones. You cannot also use it to cut through frozen food as this can chip the edge and might even crack the knife. While manufacturers can strengthen their ceramic blades further, ceramic will still be ceramic to withstand a certain level of force and pressure.
Steel Knife Blade
As mentioned earlier, steel is the widely popular traditional material used in making knife blades. Although, there are various types of steel with varying core strength and advantages. You will find carbon steel, sharp edge steel, stainless steel, and high-speed steel all under the steel materials for making great steel blades.
Steel isn’t just popular for no reason. Professionals have identified the non-brittle and tough attribute of steel that gives it an extreme level of versatility over the years.
Because of their denseness and strength, steel blades are always resistant to wear and come with excellent edge retention. This is why a steel blade goes with all types of knives, even the regular kitchen knife.
With a steel blade, depending on the type of knife the blade is crafted into, you can cut through bones, frozen food, fruits, vegetables, and all manners of food without the fear of your blade chipping or the knife breaking.
Unlike the ceramic blade, and depending on storage and environment, a steel blade is more susceptible to rust which is one of the trade-offs for this material. On a good note, steel knives are easier to sharpen than ceramic knives that require a sharpener with diamond abrasives to get the edges well-sharpened.
Ceramic Knife Blade vs Steel Features (Face to Face)
|Length||All lengths||All lengths|
|Edge||Flat, straight, or Granton||Flat, straight, and Granton|
|Construction||Hand-forged or dry-pressed||Hand-forged or stamp|
|Blade material||Ceramic (Zirconia)||High-carbon, stainless steel, Damascus steel, etc.|
Standout Features Between Ceramic Knife Blade vs Steel
It takes a deep understanding to know which, between ceramic knife blade vs steel, best suits your everyday kitchen or general food preparation needs. We have drawn out their standout features to help you decide.
It is easy to mistake the toughness of a ceramic knife blade to mean very hard and unbreakable. Ceramic blades are not unbreakable as they can break up when they are hit against equally strong materials because of their brittleness. However, steel blades are pretty indestructible.
Both ceramic blades and steel blades can deliver the same level of sharpness and precision cutting. The source of concern is edge retention and how to sharpen the edges. Sharpening a ceramic knife is quite tricky and needs a special sharpener with diamond abrasives to get the edge in shape. Meanwhile, a regular sharpening stone is good enough to do the trick on steel blades. But overall, a ceramic blade is 10x sharper than steel.
In terms of versatility, a steel knife is more versatile in cutting through most kitchen stuff than a ceramic blade. Ceramic blades are only great with soft stuff, and as such, they do not come in certain types of knives.
Sometimes, traditional design wins, and this is the classic case in ceramic knife blade vs. steel. Both knives are excellent, delivering precision cutting, comes in great designs and knife types.
In terms of price, they are both affordable, and when you are looking at doing just the basic cutting of simple food in your kitchen, both are great options to consider. Away from that, if you’re looking for trusted hardness and strength to help you through even the most demanding cutting tasks in the kitchen, a great steel blade seems to be the best option.