We’ve all seen the standard steel knives. They come in various types, balance, blade geometry, and cost. Ceramic knives, on the other hand, are becoming popular in every home kitchen for their nonreactive and sharp blades.
If you’re stuck in choosing the best blade for you, this article may come in handy as we discuss the reasons why you should select Ceramic Knife or Steel Knife.
Ceramic vs. Steel Knife: Their Pros and Cons
Ceramic and Steel Knives can both do a lot of the same things, like slicing up a roast or a loaf of bread. But they differ in a lot of ways too. Here’s a quick summary of the contrasting benefits of the two knives.
Pros and Cons of Steel Knives
- Are very affordable
- Extremely sharp and highly versatile blades
- Are easy to sharpen
- Hold an edge well
- Blades are prone to rust and corrosion
- Need to be sharpened regularly to keep the edges sharp
Pros and Cons of Ceramic Knives
- Nonreactive with certain foods, especially the acidic ones
- Have excellently lightweight and sharp blades
- Don’t need sharpening
- Are very easy to clean
- Very easy to damage or break
- Aren’t meant to cut hard food
Ceramic Blade vs. Steel Blade: The Face Off
A ceramic knife has an extremely sharp blade compared to a steel knife. It can retain its sharpness for up to 10 times longer than a steel knife with equal quality. It doesn’t even need sharpening and is very easy to clean.
Steel knives often react with certain foods especially the ones having high acidity. For instance, if I cut an apple or a potato using a steel knife, the sliced apple will oxidize and turn brown faster than using a ceramic knife. This is because a steel knife transfers its ions on whatever it cuts, leading to faster oxidation in both the food and the steel blade itself. On the other hand, a ceramic knife usually has no ion composition similar to metals, also making it immune to rusting and corrosion.
The ceramic blade is harder than steel, and the only thing that is harder than the ceramic is diamond. This is also one reason the regular knife sharpeners cannot sharpen ceramics since they’re not as hard as ceramics. Only a diamond sharpener can cut it, which is rare to find. And because a ceramic blade is more rigid, it keeps its edge 10x longer than its steel counterpart.
A ceramic blade is extremely light weight. This is one of the significant benefits of using a ceramic knife. It’s a comfortable knife to hold as it may way half as much as the steel knife.
Care and Maintenance
Steel knives, as you may know, they are pretty much indestructible. You may throw it all you want and drop them, but they’re rarely going to break. Ceramic knives, on the other hand, although their blades are hard, are incredibly fragile and are prone to breaking. You can think of these blades as ceramic mugs. Drop them, and they’re dead. For the same reason, a ceramic knife isn’t the best blade for meat or other hard food.
Where can you use ceramic and steel knives?
Although a ceramic knife is top-rated for its extremely sharp and hard edges, it can only do so much because of its brittle and fragile composition. It’s not designated to cut hard food like meat and bones. However, it could also work best on fruits and vegetables.
On the other side, the steel knife, although it needs regular sharpening to retain its sharp edge, it is also a very versatile blade that could cut anything. What the ceramic knife could and couldn’t cut, the steel knife can.
Ceramic Knife or Steel Knife: What knife is best to use?
The short answer is: it depends on what purpose you want the knife for. Both knives have distinct contrasting benefits. As a rule of thumb, though, you should always consider having a set of steel knives first, as these blades are incredibly versatile for any slicing jobs. But if you’re mainly into slicing thin cuts of meat, vegetables, fruits, and even bread, then you should consider a ceramic knife as an excellent addition to your kitchen arsenal.