Top Ceramic Knives & Sets

Published on July 3, 2024 | Updated on July 18, 2024 | by Nathan Crane

Summary
We grab fifty of the most popular ceramic knives and knife sets on the market and put them to the test. We found the best overall ceramic knives, and looked at how they compare to steel knives. Kyocera is the best ceramic knife in the stand-alone category. Shenzen built the best sets of ceramic knives. Click to jump down to the winners.
It is worth noting that not all the brands we started with are still available. Tis is still very much an evolving market. Most technologies start out getting pooh-poohed by people in the field. There’s usually a good reason., and honestly it is still hard to tell if they will stick around. Are the knives getting better , or are people just entranced by the latest thing at a low price? Ceramic knives are here, they work, and we need to learn more.

Before jumping into the best knives in our testing, here’s a quick summary of what we learned when comparing ceramic knives to traditional steel knives.

Pros & Cons

The big win for ceramic knives is their hardness—these babies stay sharp a lot longer than their steel counterparts. You could cut through veggies like butter without worrying about dulling the blade anytime soon.

While ceramic knives are hard, they’re not exactly tough. Drop one or get a bit too aggressive with a frozen steak, and you might find yourself in shattered knife city. Resharpening is also a pain—you’re either shelling out for special tools or sending it to a pro. Plus, they’re too light to give that satisfying cut-through-tough-meat experience. . The 6-8❞ ceramic chef’s knives and santokus weigh around 80-100 grams, while my steel knives of the same size and shape are around 200 grams.

Ceramic Knives We Tested

PRODUCTRATINGPRICE
SINGLE KNIVES
1. Kyocera Advanced★★★★★$$$$$
2. Sendaist★★★★$
3. Farberware★★$$
KNIVES SETS
1. Shenzhen★★★★★$$$
2. Wolf War★★★$$$
3. Imori★★$$$
4. Coiwin★☆$$$
5. Wacool$$$

 

TESTING

The Lineup

A look over the world of ceramic knives showed us two main groups of products out there. On the low end, we’ve got inexpensive knife sets suitable for an AirBNB or summer rental. If you had to cook with these every day, you’d rapidly want a better knife, but the price is good enough that you wouldn’t care too much if someone breaks or loses one. We’re comparing these to comparable steel sets from Amazon Basics and Cuisinart.

ceramic knives verses steel

We’ve seen steel knives like these around in a lot of places, and they tend to get nicked and dull real quick. The goal of this test is to see if an inexpensive ceramic set can do better.

On the high end, we have knives that purport to be your number one knife. These tend to be sold individually, and cost as much as a cheap set. We’re comparing these to a Victorinox santoku knife on the higher end and some checkout line special Everyday Living knives on the low end. Here, we want to see if these knives could have a place in your kitchen and see regular use.

Carrots

cutting carrots with faberware knife
After measuring the size and weight of each knife, we started on some carrots to get a feel for how they preformed. We cut coins and diced in both the thin and thick part of the carrot.

Acorn Squash

slicing acorn squash with ceramic chef knife
Hard winter squash is the toughest thing I cut in my kitchen. This is really where the weight and strength of the steel blade was missed.

Dulling the Knives

dulling down the knives for the tomato slice test
It’s easy for an out-of-the-box knife to dazzle, but what happens after a year of use? To simulate this we scraped the knives , blade down, on a ceramic tile 50 times. I can say with complete certainty that if you like your knives, you should not do this. Once we scrapped down the ceramic and steel chef knives we put them to the test by cutting tomatoes and pineapples.

Drop Test

drop test outside on patio
Do ceramic knives break? Yes. Yes they do. However, we wanted to see if the knife would break or shatter if we dropped it. So we did. We a few of the chef’s knives out back and, over the concrete floor, we dropped the knife point down from shoulder height onto the floor. In each case, the knife suffered no unreasonable damage — one had the point bust off, but seems reasonable.

Watch the Testing

 BEST CERAMIC KNIVES

Best Ceramic Knives and Sets title image

1. Kyocera Advanced — ★★★★★

Kyocera Advanced Knife

SHAPEBLADE LENGTHWEIGHT (g)PRICE
Chef786.58$$$$$
Product Ratings

See @ Amazon.com

The Kyocera Advanced is a 7-inch chef’s ceramic knife that wants to be your primary kitchen knife. Our testing shows that it makes a really good case for the job. At $61, it’s also the most expensive thing in this test, so the bar is pretty high.

The Kyocera went through the carrots as if they were butter. It is incredibly sharp out of the box. The balance is perfect, and the grip is comfortable. Unlike some of our lesser knives, the ceramic blade is large enough that there’s room under the grip for the knuckles to clear the cutting board. There’s also a little unsharpened section right at the heel of the knife so your fingers don’t get nicked. My only complaint is that the curve of the blade is a little too gentle to get a nice rocking action when chopping. The Kyocera had no trouble with the acorn squash. It took some work, but it went through pretty easily with good control. It slid right through the pineapple without any problems from the dulling session. The tomato sliced neatly and easily, even after another round of dulling.

Overall, the Kyocera is clearly the best ceramic knife out there. It held up to all of our abuse without any trouble, so it could work well for years and years in an ordinary kitchen environment. Should it be your number one kitchen knife? I’m too used to the weight and feel of my steel knife, but it absolutely could be someone’s first choice.

2. Sendaist — ★★★★

Sendaist Knife

SHAPEBLADE LENGTHWEIGHT (g)PRICE
Chef683.44$
Product Ratings

See @ Amazon.com

$13 doesn’t buy you anything incredible in the knife section, but the Sendaist is as good as you’re going to get. This is a super-basic 6-inch chef’s knife with a blade cover and storage case. The handle feels cheap, but it also doesn’t try to do anything outlandish. I like the grip and balance on this ceramic knife except for one thing – the blade’s edge goes all the way back to the heel, including a sharp corner. Keep your closest finger tight, or else you’re going to get cut.

The Sendaist did a pretty average job on the carrots. The ceramic blade is acceptably sharp, but not amazing. Control is reasonably good, with a pretty aggressive curve that affords a pronounced rocking motion. I didn’t feel great about the cut on the squash, but it got through with some difficulty. The blade performed well on the pineapple. I especially liked how well I was able to keep good control with an easy pinch grip. It took a couple of passes to get a slice going on the tomato, but it ultimately sliced clean. After dulling, I was impressed to see it cutting exactly the same as before.

All in all, the Sendaist is a pretty average knife, but an absolute steal at $13. I’m putting this one in the camping box: it’s sharp, long-lasting, versatile, and it’s cheap enough that I don’t care if it gets wrecked.

3. Farberware — ★★

SHAPEBLADE LENGTHWEIGHT (g)PRICE
Santoku580.22$$
Product Ratings

See @ Amazon.com

We tried the Farberware 5-inch santoku knife ($19) plus the 3-inch paring knife ($7) that is sometimes sold together with it. Each one comes with a plastic cover for travel.

My first impression was not too good. The blade is small, and the handle is huge. The balance is good, but I can’t find a comfortable grip anywhere, and I’ve got medium-to-big hands. The middle section of the handle is just too big for my fingers, no matter what grip I try. Worse, with the blade fully on the cutting board, there is just ⅜” between the fattest part of the handle and the cutting board, leaving no room for your fingers. I don’t know how they expect you to use this thing. The paring knife’s handle is also overly large, but I find that less concerning.

Moving to the carrots, this was a real disappointment after trying some of the better knives. It wasn’t bad, but it didn’t have the conspicuous sharpness of our winners. The grip was as awkward in practice as I feared, and I never found a good way to use it. The short blade had real trouble with the squash, but the cut was reasonably good, even if it couldn’t get through the whole squash in one cut. The pineapple showed a middle-of-the-pack knife. I could control it around the curve relatively well, but it wasn’t all that sharp. The first slices from the tomato were reasonably good, but the second round of dulling on the tile took it down a solid notch. After dulling, I couldn’t get a cut going without starting it with the tip of the knife to get purchase.

Overall, the Farberware features average performance and poor design. You could do a lot worse for $19, but this is not a pleasant knife to use.

Ceramic Knife Sets

1. Shenzhen — ★★★★★

Shenzhen Knife Set

See @ Amazon.com

  • 6-inch Chef’s knife
  • 5-inch Santoku
  • 4-inch Paring knife

The low point of any knife set is usually the utility knife. Stranded in between the chef’s knife and the paring knife, these are usually just filler that you only grab when the better knives are dirty. Shenzhen’s set ($30) takes the brilliant step of replacing it with an actual useful santoku knife. These are three knives that are all worth using — I think I might faint.

The handles on these knives are genuinely good, featuring a taper into the blade for a really good pinch grip. I feel as much in control with these knives than I do anything else in the test. If only the blade had a little ricasso instead of the sharp heel, they’d start with a perfect score. Starting in on the carrots, I was even more impressed. The blade is nice and sharp, and the curve of the blade lent itself to a fluid rocking motion. The blade sank right into the acorn squash, but it was tough to complete the cut just because there wasn’t enough knife to work with. Dulling had little effect the first time, and the cut on the pineapple was clean and in control. The Shenzhen had trouble with the tomato and needed a little help from the point to get going. The second round of dulling made it worse, but I could still get a slice (barely).

Overall, this is a really good set of knives. They have a good design that makes them really usable for pretty much anything. They won’t last forever, but what does?

2. Wolf War — ★★★

Wolf War Knife Set

See @ Amazon.com

  • 6-inch Chef’s knife with cover
  • 5-inch Utility knife with cover
  • 4-Inch Paring knife with cover
  • 3-Inch Paring knife with cover
  • Peeler
  • Storage Case

Wolf War Knives are definitely the finest ceramic knife set that sounds like an early nineties arcade game. Compared to the larger population, they’re pretty average. This is another knife set that suffers from having all the knives be the same profile in different sizes. Even the handles are almost the same size from top to bottom. The price, $24, is pretty average too.

The handle on the chef’s knife is simple enough, and affords a good grip. There’s a little tiny clip taken off the heel to protect your lead finger, which is a nice feature. The balance is odd. The balance point is well-placed, but the ends are heavy compared to the middle, so a small change in grip really changes how the knife handles.

The Wolf War started out alright on the carrots. The blade is reasonably sharp, and while the tricky balance was a factor, control was adequate. The curve of the blade is a little too aggressive, but I still got a good chop going. The squash was a bit too tough for this knife, but I ultimately got through it after a fight. It did not want to go through the pineapple and took a lot of force to complete the cut, but I did feel in control of the process. The tomato sliced adequately well with a little sawing, both before and after dulling the knife.

These aren’t bad knives, but there’s nothing to particularly recommend about them. Wolf War finds itself in the middle of the pack.

3. Imori — ★★

Imori Knife Set

See @ Amazon.com

  • 6-inch Chef’s knife with cover
  • 5-inch Utility knife with cover
  • 4-inch Paring knife with cover
  • Storage case

The Imori ceramic knife set looks great in a well-designed storage case at $35, but doesn’t really deliver the value. The balance of the chef’s knife is off with a too-heavy handle. I like the shape of the handle, and while it affords a nice pinch grip, the balance forces me into a handle grip way back away from the blade. No matter how I grab it, I don’t like the control.

Starting in on the carrots, I wasn’t impressed. The blade is of average sharpness, and the awkward grip hampers my movements. The shape of the blade is good, though, and allows a nice rocking motion. Cutting the acorn squash was almost a disaster. It took everything I had to get the blade in without it slipping and cutting me. I got through, but this ceramic knife is completely inadequate for the job. The pineapple was a huge step up, though. The Imori glided through it with ease and control. It also produced a great tomato slice before dulling, then an adequate slice after getting walloped on the tile.

In the end, the Imori chef’s knife is average in quality but unpleasant to work with. I like how the edges hold up over time, but the handle is a real problem.

4. Coiwin — ★☆

Coiwin Knife Set

See @ Amazon.com

  • 6-inch Chef’s knife with cover
  • 5-inch Utility knife with cover
  • 4-Inch Paring knife with cover
  • 3-Inch Paring knife with cover
  • Peeler

The whole point of a knife set is that you get a variety of knives that do different jobs in different ways. I’m not convinced anyone at Coiwin has heard this one. This is the same knife four times in different sizes. Can anyone explain why you’d want a 3-inch and 4-inch paring knife with the exact same profile? I’m already down on this $26 set. The handles are OK, with helpful grip-nubs. The blades have the problematic heel I’ve seen on some of the other knives where there’s a sharp point right at the base of the knife where a finger rests.

The Coiwin did a good enough job on the carrots once I learned how it wanted to cut. The chef’s knife is oddly shaped — all of the curve is in the last inch or so. It’s hard to get a good rocking motion going with it, so it cuts a little more like a short santoku knife. The acorn squash was a scary proposition. I had to really saw at it to get through. It wasn’t pretty, or especially safe. The badness continued on the pineapple where I needed a lot of sawing to get through. The grip was good, so I was able to keep control. The tomato was even worse. I couldn’t get a good cut before dulling the blade, then just a mushy mess after a session on the tile.

Overall, the Coiwin set is not good. This piece ceramic knife set is poorly thought out, poorly designed, and doesn’t last. The best thing in it is the peeler.

5. Wacool —

Wacool Knife Set

See @ Amazon.com

  • 6-inch Chef’s knife with cover
  • 5-inch Utility knife with cover
  • 4-inch Paring knife with cover

Wacool? Not cool. $20 buys you pretty much all the flaws of every knife in this roundup and more. All the blades have the same profile, and it’s not a good one. The handles are huge and the blades are small, with no room for the knuckles anywhere. There’s all of a quarter inch of clearance under the fattest part of the handle. The grip is OK, past the clearance problem. There is a little notch taken out of the heel, but the bottom of that notch is still sharp. Why did they bother?

The carrot test reveals all the grip problems previously noted, plus a new problem unique to the Wacool: the blade wants to roll a little to the right on every cut. The Wacool performed the worst of all the knives against the acorn squash. We had to wedge the top open to finish the cut. The pineapple wasn’t easy to cut either, and needed a lot of sawing, plus extra work to control against the blade-roll problem. The first cut on the tomato needed a lot of sawing to make the cut, but after dulling it needed help from the tip to make the cut work.

The Wacool has no redeeming qualities.

Conclusion

Conclusion of Ceramic Knives review

We set out today to answer a few different questions. Are ceramic knives any good? Do you want to add ceramic knives to your collection, or even push them to the top of the heap? Do they really shatter into a million little sharp shards like people say? Do ceramic knives stay sharp?

Those big questions are broad ones, and really end up at only one: are ceramic knives worthwhile? After a long day of cutting, I’d say that they’re a reasonable alternative to stainless steel knives. At the high end, the Kyocera Advanced is a very good knife, but the inability to use it on bone-in meat or to crush garlic make me shy away. It’s great on vegetables, but is $61 worth it for a part-time knife? I lean towards no. I’m also used to the weight and length of a forged steel 8-inch knife, and I don’t really want to be switching back and forth. Those are me-problems, though. It’s a great ceramic knife, and you might love it, especially if you’re a vegetarian or don’t like a heavy knife. You can check out some of our favorite affordable chef’s’ knives here.

The real place where ceramics shine is on the low end of the market. The Sendaist is an amazing value pick at $13. You’re not going to match this with a steel knife at twice the price, and it’s going to hold up much better. I’m also a big fan of the Shenzhen set. It comes with three good knives that you’ll actually use for $30. They’re good and sharp, and they’ll stay that way for a long time. They blow comparably-priced steel sets out of the water. I’m hanging onto my good steel knives for everyday use, but I’m never even looking at cheap stainless steel knives again.

You can check out some of our favorite affordable chef’s’ knives here.

ABOUT CERAMIC KNIVES

What Are Ceramic Knives?

Ceramics are an ancient form of technology where earthen materials like clay and sand are formed into useful shapes, then heated to harden them into useful and beautiful things. Ceramics have been used for food storage and cooking for all of human history. High-strength ceramics, though, are a relatively new thing.

Ceramic knives are made from Zirconium Dioxide, also known as Zirconia or Zirconium Oxide. The carefully purified raw material is ground into a powder and placed in a knife-shaped mold, then solidified under massive pressure and high heat. The knife-shaped blank that comes out of this process is sharpened on a diamond wheel and fitted with a handle. The end product is lightweight, strong knife which is entirely ceramic (except the handles). They are harder than any steel, in some ways. One disadvantage is that they are still brittle. As a result, you should not cut meat with bones or frozen foods because you risk of the knife shattering.

weighing knife on machine

Ceramic knives are wicked sharp. They are the sharpest right out of the package. They have mixed results at holding an edge though, and home sharpening is still problematic. Having to take them to a professional sharpener is a disadvantage.

Throughout our testing we compared the Kyocera’s ceramic chef’s knife performance to the steel Victorinox santoku style knife. Ceramic knives offer a nonstick advantage over stainless steel knives.

our smoked acorn squash

About the Author Nathan Crane

I love to eat and I love to cook. I’ve been getting roped into Jacob’s business ideas for decades now, and Cookware Junkies is the best of the lot. Here at the site, I help with the test kitchens and videos, and do most of the write-ups. [Read More]

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