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What to do to sharpen ceramic knives

With knife sharpeners being commonplace in many kitchens, most people know that a stainless steel knife can be easily sharpened. What a lot of people don’t realize, however, is that you can also sharpen ceramic knives. 

Ceramic knives are often marketed as super knives that will never get dull. However, if you use one for long enough, they will gradually wear down and become less sharp. There are a few different ways to keep your ceramic knives sharp and working optimally for you in the kitchen.

What are ceramic knives?

Ceramic knives are extremely tough, durable, and reliable alternatives to stainless steel knives. The chemical composition of ceramic zirconia and zirconium dioxide creates an extremely tough edge that keeps the blade sharp for years without needing to be resharpened. 

What’s more, ceramic knives are less susceptible to rust, acid damage and are food odor resistant. The lightweight nature of the knife also makes it easier to handle for both amateur and professional cooks. However, ceramic knives don’t stay sharp forever and can be tricky to sharpen. 

Process for sharpening ceramic knives

The three core options you have when looking to sharpen your ceramic knives set are: 

  • Sharpening rods 
  • Ceramic blade filer
  • Electric knife sharpener 

While all options work, some may work better than others depending on personal preference. 

Step 1: Safety first

The first thing you need is a pair of Kevlar gloves. Other cut-resistant gloves can work too, but Kevlar rarely fails. The reason you need cut-proof gloves is safety. 

When sharpening any knife type, the first thing you need to do is remove any bad outcomes. This means reducing the risk of the blade hitting your arm or wrist and limiting the ability of shards that may spring off during the sharpening process coming off and hitting you in the eye. 

Before kicking off with any sharpening tool, protect your hands with gloves and your eyes with goggles.

Step 2: Test the current sharpness 

First, you need to get all the knives that you plan to sharpen out. Next, you need to get some cardboard. Once you have some cardboard, you’re going to cut along the edge to see how far the knife can go with normal resistance. 

Normal resistance is about the same level of pressure that you would use to cut a carrot. If the knife breezes through the cardboard, it’s safe to say it’s sharp enough. If not, it’s going to need to be sharpened to a level that will help it breeze effortlessly through.

3 ways to sharpen ceramic knives

Sharpening rods

First, using the left hand, put the tip of the sharpener on a countertop so that the rod is running vertically. Next, using the right hand, run the blade from the bottom to the top of the rod, keeping a motion that covers the whole range of the sharp end of the knife. 

Finally, repeat this process on both sides of the blade between one and two times and retest the edge on cardboard. Repeat this step with more pressure until you’re satisfied.

Ceramic blade filer

Place the knife onto a wooden table or nonslip surface. Once you have the knife secured, it’s time to sharpen. Take the file in the left hand and file the side of the blade in an up and down motion while moving toward your hand. 

Next, flip the knife over to the other side and repeat. The trick here is to rub the file along the blade’s edge, making sure that both sides are sharpened in an even fashion. 

Electric knife sharpener

Making sure that your hands are protected, turn the electric sharpener on. Next, file the knife from the base to the tip in an up-down motion. It’s important at this stage that you don’t apply too much pressure or put your hands in the way of the file or knife. Light up and down motion is what’s required here. Once the process is complete and the knives are sharp, recheck to ensure there are no nicks or abrasions to the blade.

What you need to buy to sharpen ceramic knives

Sharpal Ceramic Knife Sharpener

Sharpal Ceramic Knife Sharpener

This ceramic knife sharpening rod is ideal for beginners who need the ideal ergonomic fit. The rod works by rolling the blade back to its original position while keeping the knife at an optimal angle to guarantee sharpness.

Sold by Amazon and Bed Bath & Beyond

Swarmer Diamond File

Swarmer Diamond File

This diamond file is super easy to use and is also an extremely cost-effective option for users on a budget. The simplicity and effectiveness of this tool make it the number one file for dull ceramic blades. 

Sold by Amazon

Kyocera Advanced Diamond Hone Knife Sharpener

Kyocera Advanced Diamond Hone Knife Sharpener

This sharpener is great for both ceramic and stainless steel knives. For users who want a quick and effective option, the sharpener requires little skill to use and is extremely effective. 

Sold by Amazon and Bed Bath & Beyond


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Lauren Farrell writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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