How to sharpen ceramic knives?

HOW TO SHARPEN CERAMIC KNIVES?

” Of course, ceramic knives get dull over time and need to be sharpened”

I have bought a ceramic knife. I‘ve used it on daily basis and was happy until the day when I realised that the blade is already not so sharp as before. When I looked carefulIy on the knife, I saw some little chips on it:

sharpen ceramic knives

I started to think – is there some possibility of sharpening my ceramic knife or should I buy new one?

To  buy new ceramic knife due to loss of sharpness, it’s not the best idea.

To sharpen ceramic knives you can also either use the  professional sharpening servise- but there is time and money factor. Or to send this knife to the manufacturer for sharpening it . Actually – it’s also not for free. At least you need to pay the shipping fees and wait in some cases several weeks until your sharpened knife will return back.

I started to think about the cheapest and fastest way how to sharpen ceramic  knives by myself.

From the experiences with the stainless steel knives I know,  it’s not easy at all to sharpen the knives manually. At least you need sharpening tools to do that. Especially for to sharpen ceramic knives you need diamond sharpening stones or diamond sharpening rod.

sharpen ceramic knives
Manual sharpening  is a quite big challenge also for skilled persons (also for me). First you need decide which from these tools is the best for your knife,  you need to know what pressure to use and under what angle to sharpen the knife.  Also the skill, patience and firm hands are important. With some wrong  strokes you can destroy the knife even more.

I would say manual sharpening  is like a grinding college. Good just for people who have time or need some kind of meditation:)

FEW WORDS ABOUT CERAMIC KNIVES

” Ceramic is the second hardest material, but very fragile….”

The manual sharpening could be problem in regard to the material the ceramic knives are made of. Ceramic knives have blades made of  high-tech ceramic (also known as zirconia), what is the second hardest material , right after diamond. On Mohs scale of minerall hardness – ceramic has hardness of 8.5 (diamond of 10, steel of 8). So these knives can be sharpened just against something that is harder that ceramic is.

So if you make some mistake when sharpening with these diamond tools, much more damage could raise on knife then by manual sharpening the steel knife. Some other additional stroke and you can easily get unwanted  chips on your knife.

EASIEST WAY OF CERAMIC KNIFE SHARPENING

I personally prefer other alternative of how to sharpen ceramic knives – the diamond sharpener. You can choose either between handheld/manual knife sharpener:

sharpen ceramic knives

  • the sharpening is performed with manual pulling the knife towards to you
  • the biggest advantage of this kind of sharpener is – portable, simple design, and affordable price
  • but -with incorrect technique of  sharpening with this sharpener you can cause more harm then good.

Here I made TESTING of one universal kitchen version of manual sharpener

Or  you could choose the electric knife sharpener – the sharpener with battery or electric power. I personally prefer this one. It‘s the easiest way of sharpening your ceramic knife. It’s not just for professionals, but for all people who wants to get perfect sharp edges for their knifes  just in few seconds.

sharpen ceramic knives

On the market, there are many ceramic knife sharpeners. The usability of sharpener determines mainly design of sharpener.

TOP 5 Ceramic knives sharpener REVIEW

HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT SHARPENER?

When starting to think, which concrete ceramic sharpener to choose, there are several factors that you need to take into consideration.

  • Ceramic knives could have various lenghts and shapes .
  • Some sharpeners are suitable just for kitchen knives, some also for other purposes (hunting etc.).
  •  If the blade is short and the knife has protection against finger cut. There is need to think about sharpener where we do not insert the blade into it. We’ll be not able to sharpen the blade in full lenght:        

greenknife

  • If you have serrated ceramic knife (for example for bread), you can’t sharpen it with normal sharpener. Sharpening is possible with just manually with diamond sharpening rod or with special sharpener with function for it.

serratedknife

  •   With the sharpeners, in that is possible to insert the blade, you need to pay attention on the cutting angle. In general, the larger the cutting angle is, the more resistent it’s against dulling.

cutting_angle

When sharpening your ceramic knife, you need carefully read the instructions in the sharpener guide attached with the product.

FINAL CUTTING TEST

When you finished the sharpening work you can make a test. For testing if the blade is sharp enough you can use the paper. Take a paper and try to cut it with the knife. If the cut goes easily and smoothly, the knife is sharpened enough. If the knife tears paper in the cut, you must continue in knife grinding.

papertest1

Ceramic knives – usage, cleaning and storage

Ceramic knife care

The sharpness of ceramic blade lasts really long time. However, needs to be met special [easyazon_link identifier=”B0136WIXO8″ locale=”US” tag=”howtosharpen-20″ cart=”y”]ceramic knife[/easyazon_link] care:

STORAGE of ceramic knives

As ceramic blades are not magnetic, you can’t store ceramic knives on magnetic holder. Also if you put it into drawer withouth pocket, I guarantee the blade will damage after some time.

That’s why I recommend to store ceramic knives in [easyazon_link identifier=”B00IKS2CE6″ locale=”US” tag=”howtosharpen-20″]knife block[/easyazon_link].

[easyazon_link identifier=”B00IKS2CE6″ locale=”US” tag=”howtosharpen-20″]ceramic knife block[/easyazon_link]

CLEANING of ceramic knives

The washdisher is not a good idea. The high pressure water can cause the knife to rattle against other items in the machine, causing it to chip. Ceramic knives can be cleaned just manually. If you cut vegetable or fruit, it’s enough to clean it just in warm water. For proper cleaning after meat you can rinse it with a mild detergent can cause the knife to rattle against other items in the machine, causing it to chip. If you cut vegetable or fruit, it’s enough to clean it just in warm water. For proper cleaning after meat you can rinse it with a mild detergent.

Ceramic knife care - cleaning
Cleaning ceramic knife

MANIPULATION with ceramic knives

When you manipulate with the ceramic knife, you should pay attention. For example, if it falls on the ground, can be damaged easily. So if somebody tells you that nothing can happen to ceramic knife, don’t believe him. Despite of fact that ceramic is the second hardest material right after diamond, it’s also very fragile. For example, in comparison with the steel knife – the steel knife is less ‘destroyable’.

 USAGE of ceramic knives

I recommend to use ceramic knife only to softer materials – for example for slicing boneless meat, vegetables, fruit and bread. If you slice into meat where is a bone, you can easy get small chips that make the edge dull.

 

Cutting vegetable with ceramic knife         Slicing meat with ceramic knife

 

Boning meat with ceramic knife

 

After some time – also despite of good ceramic knife care- could happen that your ceramic knife will get some chips on it’s ceramic blade and will be not sharp enough to cut your favourite food.

Here is described the best way, how you can get your ceramic blade again sharp.

Manual ceramic knife sharpeners – TESTING

When I looked for some ceramic knife sharpeners for testing, I found one in our discounted wholesale store. The manual (handheld) sharpener for steel and ceramic blades- ADLER europe AD6710 (the price was 12 €).

CERAMIC KNIFE SHARPENER ADLER AD6710

ADLER AD6710  has 3 phases. One phase with diamond rollers for ceramic knives. Second with hardmetal segments for steel knives and the third phase with ceramic rollers for final smoothing and polishing.

ceramic knife sharpeners

 

ceramic knife sharpeners

brusic-pohlad-zospodu

 

I took for the experiment such ceramic knife:

ceramic knife

The knife was not completely new.  I used it for conventional cutting in the kitchen for about a year thus resulting in decreased sharpness due to very fine chips on cutting edge ( edge is in detail at 250x magnification):

Blade before sharpening

ceramic blade before sharpening

I decided to make the test, if the sharpener ADLER AD6710 helps me to get my ceramic knife again sharp.

Briefly about ceramic knife sharpeners features -this sharpener has plastic body and robust and good looking design.  Is for right- and also for lefthanded, has ergonomic grip handle and on the bottom has non-slip safety cushion.

In the instructions was written – first put the sharpener on the table. Then grasp the handle and insert the blade into the shift. Pull the  knife several times towards to yourself, until you have the feeling the blade is sharp again.

That was theory and then followed the practical test.

TESTING

I unpacked the sharpener from the box, stood it on table and began sharpening. At first I put the knife into first phase for ceramic knives. After a few strokes I could see white ceramic powder -clear sign of grinding. Then I ended polishing in the last phase. I wondered, again white powder appeared. When I checked the result under microscope (detail 250x) – there are clearly visible traces of sanding and incredibly gritty cutting edge:

Blade after “sharpening”

ceramic blade after sharpening

If before sharpening was the blade just gently chipped, after sharpening it was just pure disaster – on the blade are still the chips, it’s totally dull, so I can go through it with my finger without fear that I would cut myself. Also the checking test with the cut on the paper went not to satisfaction.

RESOLUTION

The result of this test is – I definitely do not recommend such ceramic knife sharpeners for sharpening.

In my opinion – there are 2 factors causing this sharpening disaster:

  • The diamond grain is terribly coarse. So that’s why the knife edge is chipping by multiple pulling the blade between diamond cylindrical elements
  • The possible reason could be change in angle during sharpening. During pulling between the cylindrical elements I probably unconsciously several times changed the angle under that I pulled the knife.

TOP 5 Ceramic knife sharpener

 

In my next test I'm gonna to try the handheld sharpener from Tescoma.