When comparing these two types of knives, you need to know a thing or two about the materials they are made of and what they can be used for so that you will see for yourself which type is the best. While steel knives have the advantage of versatility, ceramic knives try to outcome them with innovation. Needless to say, the choice depends mostly on personal preferences but the utility of each model is also important when it comes to picking a new knife.
The materials used in manufacturing them
Steel is known to be very durable, which is why many heavy-duty objects are made of it. Knives made of steel are usually composed of one or two metals like iron, titanium or carbon that can last for decades. These are quite expensive but you can also find more affordable stainless steel knives made of vanadium, cobalt, or manganese. It’s not like this is particularly important but it’s good to know that there are different metal combinations that influence the durability of a knife.
The ceramic used in manufacturing knives is not the regular one you know but a more resistant one composed of zirconium and oxide that is the second strongest after diamond. This is why only a diamond-dust-coated grinding stone can sharpen them. This increased hardness is what makes ceramic knives so durable and sharp.
The blade’s sharpness and sharpening methods
Generally, ceramic blades are sharper and they stay this way for many years. The best ceramic knife will never require sharpening throughout its lifespan while others only become dull after ten years or more. This is because the ceramic doesn’t fret when chopping or slicing so the blade doesn’t get smaller and duller. If, however, you shall need to sharpen it, you can use a qualitative electric sharpener that takes good care of the blade. Never use honing rods or stones because these will damage the ceramic. It’s best to take it to a professional to have it sharpened, which is not very convenient because it’s time and money-consuming.
Steel, on the other hand, is more prone to becoming blunt with every use so it only takes a couple of months after the first use before it will require sharpening. However, the blade is not so demanding so you can use almost any type of tool to put a sharp edge back to it. If you want to keep the blade sharp, you can use a whetstone daily to avoid it getting too dull but you must be very careful not to hit the blade directly.
The resistance of each blade
This is where stainless steel scores more points and outcomes the fancy design of ceramic that is more breakable. It’s true that you can expect ceramic to last a lifetime but if you accidentally drop it or hit it against a hard object, the blade is likely to chip. Also, you can’t cut any food item with it, only the softer ones, excluding bones, frozen foods, or ones with a rough peel.
Steel knives, on the other hand, are so durable that you can cut anything with them, from melons to hard cheese to frozen foods and you can even remove the bones from the meat. There is no risk of chipping the blade not even if you throw it or drop it blade down.
Conclusion – Steel or Ceramic?
Ceramic, as well as steel knives, come with their own strong points and downsides, as you have already understood after reading the previous sections of the article. Each of these two types of knives is the better choice for certain tasks that you must perform when cooking, so what you need to do is to own at least one of each. This way, regardless of the food that you’ll have to cut or the action that you are going to perform, you won’t be caught off-guard in the kitchen.