Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Let's Talk About Ceramic Knives - Good, Bad...Ugly?

    For MANY years, long before they were easy to find and more commonplace, I found a wonderful folding ceramic bladed knife. I carry it everyday and after MANY years it serves me very well. Believe it or not, it's still quite sharp. My little folding Boker Ceramic (black blade) has been long discontinued, but due to its utility and the flood of inexpensive ceramic knives on the market I decided to take another look at them for use in the RV. While I couldn't find another one like mine, I did stumble across lots of kitchen versions.

Tiny, But Useful!
Knives are useful. That's pretty obvious, I know. But in the RV environment (especially if you only use it in warm weather) steel knives can get rusty and when used a lot they can get dull. Stainless steel makes for a great improvement, but they are more expensive and a bit harder to sharpen. I know lots of techniques for sharpening knives, but when I am on an RV trip it's supposed to be a VACATION, so sharpening knives isn't really on the to speak. How about ceramic kitchen knives? They don't rust, stay sharp a long time and are a less expensive than their steel counterparts. I'm not talking about dollar store steel knives, I'm talking about medium quality chefs knives. The high quality ones are very expensive and usually not needed for traveling!

A Three Piece Set
What's available now? Well, you can buy ceramic knives in many sizes and colors. Some come in sets of three or can be bought individually. They can be had in many colors. So far, I've picked up the two smaller ones: a paring knife and a vegetable knife. They are incredibly sharp and for very little money will outlast most inexpensive kitchen knives easily. This is not to say everything is roses...far from it. The biggest Achilles heel (and strength) of ceramic blades is that they are very hard so they are very brittle. This means that a sharp blow can cause them to simply break or, at worst, shatter. It's also what makes them keep their edges so well and for so long. You SHOULD NOT chop with them, especially on a hard surface. I always use a relatively soft plastic or wood cutting board. NEVER use them on a ceramic plate! It would be bad. You also cannot PRY with them. Not that you should ever pry with any regular knife anyway, but these will break without too much force being applied.

All these downsides aren't really that hard to manage. Treat them nicely and they will last a long time. For the cost of a cheap steel knife, you can try one of these. Online they can be found for as little as $5.99 for a 3" paring knife to around $12.99 for a 6" general purpose one. There are many other sizes and price points. I suggest you buy one and try it out. I've been using mine most of the winter. So far, so good. Did I mention they are dishwasher safe? And they clean up very easily? Since they really are so sharp...fingers beware!

What's not to like?

Be Seeing You...Down The Road,

Rich "The Wanderman"

Editor: If you're interested, here's a link to check them out on Amazon. 


  1. Bought an inexpensive 8" chef knife for under $10. 3-4 swipes on an $8 knife sharpener, will match the sharpness of any knife. Link to knife sharpener:

  2. Simon,
    As long as they don't rust and you don't mind seems just OK.

    Rich "The Wanderman"

  3. Bought the following ceramic knives at an outlet mall in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas - 3 piece paring knife set $5, a 10" knife $10, an 8" knife $8 and a 12" Santoku type knife for $13. Far less expensive than even medium quality steel knives. Have had them for several years and still cutting great.

  4. Busyretirees,
    Yup... a great bargain AND they actually work. Such a deal :)

    Rich "The Wanderman"

  5. Sam's Club had a special right before Christmas, 6 knives, assorted sizes & uses, for $30 and free shipping. AWEsome! Bought 1 set & loved 'em. Bought another set for the coach, then bought a 3rd set for my daughter. Gotta watch 'em though, they are sharp, sharp, sharp! Produce razor cuts, on tomatoes AND fingers. They were marked Kitchen Aid, but the paring knife is absolutely identical to the Cuisinart paring knife I'd received to replace one I'd purchased years ago whose handle disintegrated. Yeah, disintegrated. Was replaced free by Cuisinart after sending them pictures via email.LOVE my ceramic knives! Important to keep them sheathed while in storage though.

  6. kc,
    No kidding. Knives really don't car what they cut. Keep them stored properly and remember how much stuff shifts around during travel!

    Sound advice.


    Rich "The Wanderman"


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