You probably already know a thing or two about good steel, but if you want to stay on the *cutting edge* of cutlery, it’s time to step up your game and snag some ceramic kitchen knives. Thanks to advances in materials engineering, it’s becoming increasingly common for blademakers to make knives out of zirconium dioxide – a type of ceramic that also happens to be one of the hardest materials on earth. It’s the same stuff they make cheap engagement rings out of, but instead of giving it a princess cut and setting it in pewter, they cast this stuff in the shape of a blade, sharpen it with diamond grinders, and make some of the most solid knives you’ve ever seen.
The main benefit of ceramic blades is their hardness. Zirconium dioxide scores an 8.5 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness. To put that in perspective, even the hardest steel you can buy ranks around 7 or 7.5, whereas diamond tops the list with a hardness rating of 10. What this means is that you’ll rarely need to sharpen these knives; they’ll keep a good edge for far longer than a steel blade – so long as you don’t routinely use them on a hard surface like marble or stone. Stick to plastic or wooden cutting boards and you won’t have to pick up a sharpener for years to come.
And hardness isn’t the only benefit either. Ceramic knives are also ridiculously lightweight and easy to to handle. They also won’t rust, discolor, or react with the food you’re cutting in any way. There are a few jobs that steel will handle better, but adding a couple super-sharp ceramic blades to your collection probably isn’t a bad idea.
This set from Edge of Belgravia is a good place to start – it’s definitely one of the best-looking ceramic cutlery sets we’ve come across yet. The onyx finish on the knives gives them a clean, professional, and unassuming look that would fit nicely in both modern and classic kitchens alike.