Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Holy cutting edge, Batman!


I've wanted to try a ceramic knife for some time.  I've heard they're 50% lighter than conventional steel blades of the same size, stay sharp much longer, and are very easy to clean.  Against this, they're apparently quite brittle, unable to take much lateral tension (i.e. being bent sideways, or used to pry at food) without snapping.  That's not necessarily a handicap, of course - one can simply use another tool for such jobs.

The higher price asked for ceramic blades has put me off until recently, but I found this one on sale at Amazon for only $6.99.




At that price, it's easy to justify testing it, so I added one to a recent order.  It arrived yesterday.  I unpacked it eagerly and tried it out.  Holy cutting edge, Batman!  This thing is sharp!  For example, it cut hard, dry mango slices in half with almost contemptuous ease - slices I'd been able to cut with a very sharp steel knife only with some effort.  What's more, it cleaned up under cold water with only a quick wipe from a sponge, followed by a drying cloth.  The residue from cut items seems to slide right off it without clinging.

I'm impressed enough with its performance, particularly at this very low price point, that I'm thinking of buying several more to add to my stored emergency supplies.  One never knows when one might need a kitchen knife, but not have one;  so it's a simple matter to add one to each 5-gallon bucket containing a week's food for one person, along with a can-opener and other essential tools.  Since it'll stay sharp much longer than conventional blades, it'll also remove the need for sharpening when one may not have the time or facilities for that.  Furthermore, one might run into someone who needs a kitchen knife, and can swap other things for it that one might need.  At $6.99, it becomes affordable to keep a few in reserve for such purposes;  and the blade sheath supplied with each one helps protect the unwary from cuts.

Thumbs up from me.  (No, I'm not being compensated in any way for this product review, and I paid for the knife myself.  I just like to tell my readers about good deals I've found.)

Peter

14 comments:

selkiemaine said...

I don't know if it's relevant to you, in an arid area, but one appeal to me for such a knife in a survival situation is that it won't rust.

In my experience, they are very delicate. I lent my ceramic pocket knife to my partner to slaughter and dress a chicken, and it came back without the last 1/16" of the blade ... we have no idea when it went. She didn't feel it was all that sharp (it DID get the job done, though).

Anonymous said...

Which, despite the potential fragility of a ceramic blade, points out the need for obtaining and storing a wide range of miscellaneous items a number of preppers may not think of.

I have several very high end ceramic kitchen knives and while they're outstanding for food prep - more than sharp enough that you'll never feel the cut when you slip - I'd never consider ceramic anything for field use. Pro tip: When they do need sharpening - and they will, at some point - find an outfit that both manufactures ceramics and provides sharpening services. They'll come back even sharper than they were brand new.

Miguel GFZ said...

Just ordered two even though I am under restrictions from SWMBO. This is a great time of the year for edged stuff on sale.

Roy said...

I am an MRI maintenance technician and in my work I have been using a ceramic blade for over a decade because they are non ferrous, i.e. non-magnetic. I don't know if there is any advantage to that property in normal field work, but a ceramic blade will also go through most metal detectors undetected.

Ceramic blades are very sharp when brand new, but they lose that edge fairly quickly because they are also very fragile. In kitchen prep, they are probably okay, but used as a tool, they quickly acquire chips and notches on the edge, and broken tips.

I don't bother sharpening. They're cheap enough so I just replace mine about once a year.

David Lang said...

I picked some up a couple years ago (also cheap on amazon) and they are my go-to knives in the kitchen

one other advantage they have in survival kits is that they won't rust while sitting around.

the plastic shields protect the edges from being dinged up in the drawer, which is also very handy when storing them in survival buckets.

You can sharpen them with a diamond sharpener, and even with some ceramic sharpeners, but you can use them for quite a while before they deteriorate below the quality of a 'normal' knife (as opposed to a carefully maintained steel blade)

Andrew B said...

Don't use them on bones or frozen foods, and don't cut against a hard surface like dishware, marble or glass. Also, it should be obvious but hand wash only. They can maintain their edge for years.

Barney said...

Well, they start out pretty good, but will not last through the hiding of an elk. I've tried it a couple of times now. Perhaps it's the dirt that dulls them so fast. It's still best to just tote in 6 good steel knives as sharp as you can get them and don't forget the stone. I guess you could by 14 of these for the price of one good steel knife....

Will said...

That's about the price for them on sale in Horror Fright. My advice? Don't attempt to sharpen them with any diamond tools. I ruined several expensive tools before I discovered it eats diamonds.

BTW, if buying in the store, carefully test the entire edge for sharpness first. There can be quite a broad range of sharpness. Some only simulate a knife, they are so dull.

bruce said...

Just bought the one you recommended- the moka knife you recommended works great. But it sounds like time to reinvent the macuiahuital. This time, steel blade, ceramic wire edge.

Tim Newman said...

one can simply use another tool for such jobs.

A tyre lever? :D

urbane legend said...

Or, even better in this situation, a tire iron, as we might say in the South.
:-)

Tim Newman said...

Yes, I meant to say tyre iron. But definitely not tire iron. :P

urbane legend said...

You could have said Nineveh iron.

ÆtherCzar said...

Got two on your recommendation. Thanks!