Sharpen Up

5 Tips on Caring for Ceramic Knives

updated May 1, 2019
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(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

Ceramic knives may look like fancy plastic utensils, but your produce and fingers know otherwise — these blades are sharp! And the good news is, they keep that edge for a very long time. The bad news? These tools can’t take the same type of abuse as their stainless steel counterparts. They’re more brittle and more likely to chip or break if you don’t treat them with special care. Here are five tips for taking care of these fierce but fragile blades.

1. Don’t drop them!

You don’t have to be a knife ninja, but you should have cat-like reflexes when it comes to handling your ceramic knives. If you bump the blade or drop it on the floor, it can easily break or chip.

2. Be choosy about what you cut — and where you cut it.

Ceramic knives are thinner and sharper than steel, but they aren’t as sturdy. Avoid using them to cut anything that might damage them, including anything with pits, seeds, or bones.

Your cutting surface is also important. “Don’t cut on countertops that will hurt them,” says Eivin Kilcher, cookbook author and co-star of Discovery’s Alaska: The Last Frontier. “I’d never cut on granite or concrete or marble.” That goes for any knife, but especially for ceramic ones.

3. Diamonds are a ceramic knife’s best friend.

When it comes to sharpening ceramic knives, diamonds are the way to go. That’s because ceramic is so hard that you need something even harder to sharpen it. While you can buy a diamond sharpener, ceramic knives also tend to be fairly difficult to sharpen so, if your blade is getting dull, it’s probably best to take it to a pro.

4. Don’t put them in the dishwasher.

While ceramic is technically dishwasher-safe, it’s a bad idea to put any knife in the dishwasher — ever. Anything that goes into the dishwasher will get bumped around quite a bit. Between that and the high-pressure wash, you have a good chance of chipping the knife. Instead, just use a mild detergent and warm water.

5. Store with care.

Storing your knives is a whole other conversation, but there are some things worth knowing about ceramic knives. First of all, they aren’t magnetized, so you can’t store them on a magnetic strip. Second, since they’re both super-sharp and super-brittle, a protective cover is a good idea — for your fingers and for the knife.

How do you care for your ceramic knife? Share your tips in the comments!