Ceramic vs Stainless Steel Knives – Which is Better for Kitchen Knives?

A knife is a knife is a knife……right? Whatever is in the drawer will do. How can choosing a knife be more involved than just picking up the first knife you can get your hand on when you reach in the drawer? What is the point of choosing one knife over another? What is the big deal? WHY?


A knife is a Ceramic Knife when the blade is made of ceramic material. The most common ceramic material used for Ceramic Knives is Zirconium Dioxide. Zirconium Dioxide or ZrO2 is also called Zirconia. The natural form of Zirconia is Baddeleyite.

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Baddeleyite is a trace mineral that was discovered in 1892 by a British Geologist. Zircon can be processed to make Zirconia by heating it to above 2,600 degrees. This molten form is Zirconia and when cooled and crushed it is also known as Zirconium Dioxide or ZrO2.

Advanced ceramics and biomedical implants use this material because of its advantages physically and aesthetically. The corrosive properties are also favorable. The availability of chemically processing Zirconia was discovered in 1976 and influenced the advancement of ceramics.

Stainless Steel

Stainless Steel is an iron-based metal that has about 11% chromium. The combination of materials makes metal rust and heat resistant.

Stainless Steel can vary in type based on the combination of different elements. Some of these elements include carbon, molybdenum, nickel, copper, and silicon.

Specific numbers are used to identify the varying types of Stainless Steel and can be found stamped somewhere on the piece. Stainless Steel can have increased resistance to corrosion by adding additional Chromium higher than 11%. Nickel and molybdenum in increasing amounts above 8% can help with the metal resisting corrosion.

Because certain elements can be added in higher amounts this creates different Stainless Steel qualities and thus allows for varying prices.

The Survey Says

When I first began to think about this question, Ceramic Knives vs Stainless Steel Knives, I realized that I did not know there was such a thing as Ceramic Knives.

I have a cabinet full of Ceramic mugs for my coffee fetish but beyond that and my daughter’s ceramic painted kitty that sits on the window sill….nothing.

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So what should you do when you need information on a subject that eludes you? Facebook! That is the answer. I asked my many friends on Facebook what they preferred.

I was happy to quickly find out that I was not the only one that didn’t know there was such a thing as a Ceramic Knife. Made me feel a bit better about myself.

I was hoping that I would have a large number of my friends contribute to my public research. I needed their input because I had already gathered information from my knife loving son and my son who is a chef.

Yes, I really do have a son that is a chef. He graduated from Johnson and Whales University in Charlotte, North Carolina. Of my 1,066 Facebook friends, I had 10 to comment and share their opinion. Having only 10 friends responding makes for a low response rate percentage of 1%.

Definitely on the low end of information gathering but what they had to say was very helpful and I think that if I had a more impressive number of comments I would not have read them all.

All ten of my friends stated that they preferred Stainless Steel knives over Ceramic Knives. Three of them stated that they have Ceramic Knives but they did not prefer to use them.

One reason given was that the knife was very light and they felt like they were not able to control the knife well.

The other reason given by the other two as they agreed on Facebook was that they didn’t like the way they cut or the feel of the knife as it cut.

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As I am just learning about Ceramic knives I will just trust that they know. The Stainless Steel knives that were mentioned the most were Cutco knives. Every person that mentioned the brand said that they were their favorite.

They commented on the price and that they felt they were expensive but were worth the price. The other attribute that was mentioned was how they were very sharp and that they had been sharp for a long time.

Everyone in the Facebook strand agreed and stated that the Stainless Steel Knives and the Ceramic Knives did not go in the dishwasher. Both kinds of knives needed to be hand washed.

My best friend said that she always hand washed her Stainless Steel knives and let them air dry before she returned them to the knife block. She was very specific about not putting her knives in the drawer but only placed them in the knife block for storage.

This particular friend, let’s say her name is Rachel to keep things anonymous, shared some interesting information/knife facts. Rachel said that her husband is a knife “Guru” and he told her that it was very bad luck to give someone a knife.

If you “gift” someone with a knife then you should always include a coin with the knife so that the recipient can pay for the knife. He also shared with her that if someone hands you a pocket knife with the blade open that you should hand them back the knife with the blade open.

And the opposite is also true, if you are handed a pocket knife with the blade closed then you should return the knife with the blade closed.

In my limited knowledge of knives, I would just assume that no matter how you were handed the knife it would be good manners to return the knife with the blade closed.

It seems a much safer way to pass a knife back and forth. Aside from the pocket knife trivia, I feel like the vast majority, all ten of my responding friends, felt that a Stainless Steel Knife was the better of the two and that for the high cost of a quality knife that you should invest in the Stainless Steel.

Ceramic vs Stainless Steel – It’s All About Me and What I Like

So the great question is which is Ceramic vs Stainless Steel and which would I choose and why. When I read the essay prompt my first thought was that I did not know that there was such a thing as a Ceramic Knife.

I had to do some research and find out what a Ceramic Knife was all about. I found what I felt were positive things about Ceramic Knives. They are created from Zirconia which is a very strong material. The process by which Zirconia is made includes heat higher than 2,000 degrees.

This makes the blade harder than Stainless Steel or Carbon Steel. The blade of the Ceramic Knife is extremely sharp and gives a very smooth cut. With a Ceramic Knife, you can cut super thin slices that can be seen through.

That is due to the extremely sharp blade. Because the material is so strong the sharpness of the blade will stay sharp for a long amount of time. Another characteristic of the Ceramic Knife is its lightweight. It weighs about half the weight of a steel blade.

Because the Ceramic Knife is light it makes it easy to manipulate and use. It also puts less stress and pressure on your arms, shoulder, and neck.

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Another benefit of the Ceramic Knife is that because of its dense material odors and food contamination are reduced if not eliminated. With all of these positive characteristics, a Ceramic Knife seems to be a great choice for a knife.

But what about the Stainless Steel Knives. What are they about? Stainless Steel Knives are the only knives that I have ever used. Before now I did not know another kind existed. Stainless Steel is a metal of varying strengths based upon the additional elements added into the metal.

This makes for varying qualities of the knife. The higher-quality Stainless Steel chef Knife will be higher in price. An attribute of Stainless Steel Knives that I have always known about is the resistance to rust.

I have a kitchen knife set that I received 21 years ago at my wedding that is Stainless Steel and is a great knife. Stainless Steel knives keep their sharp edge for a long time even when used on a regular basis.

In the event that the Stainless Steel knife needs to be sharpened, it can be done easily with a basic knife sharpener, nothing special is required.

Choosing between a Ceramic Knife and a Stainless Steel knife before today was not even a choice. But now that I have a little bit of knowledge about the two kinds of knives I think that stainless steel is the better choice.

It has resistance to corrosion and the blade stays sharp for a very long time. The Ceramic Knife is supposed to be very strong but it can chip and break easily. With Stainless Steel being the only knife that I have in my home it seems like that has been my choice all along. Stainless Steel is the kind of knife that I feel fits our family best.

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