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01-25-2010, 04:03 PM #1
OT: Can a Ceramic Knife Be Sharpened?
Just a quick question, can a Ceramic knife be sharpened? If so, How?
I picked one up for Cooking, the blade is sharp sort of. It seems to be a thick blade with a rather blunt bevel to the edge.
01-25-2010, 04:11 PM #2
I don't see why it can't be sharpened on a diamond stone. I've examined so called sharp ceramic knives where there was a flat spot for an edge near the tip,no sharper than a butter knife.
01-25-2010, 04:14 PM #3
Yep std diamond wet stone, hand or powered but try not to let it get hot, if it does just let it air cool, dont quench. I read some were theres a optimum grit for kitchen knives, needs some tooth to cut fiburous things, too smooth - sharp isnt as effective.
01-25-2010, 04:46 PM #4
I carry a small Boker ceramic. Boker will sharpen mine for a small fee. Mostly shipping to Colorado and back I seem to recall.
Boker does not want the owner to attempt to sharpen these knives. I would not buy another as the edge is very brittle. I got several nicks in it dressing a young turkey.
I have carried it maybe 4 or 5 years and a good sharping would really be in order. Do not carry it in the same pocket as change either. One of these days I will retire it and carry a good steel blade again.
Hope the kitchen knives are better. I would stay away from bones with one.
01-25-2010, 04:54 PM #5
01-26-2010, 06:37 AM #6
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01-26-2010, 08:12 AM #7
I'm sure your average guy would not have the means to sharpen them. Most of us machinists would. I can't see why a diamond bench stone wouldn't work. If too much time is involved,I'd use a carbide grinder with diamond wheels.
01-26-2010, 08:40 AM #8
The ceramics used in these knives are typically much slicker than metal. They cut easily with a blunter edge because there is less drag through the material being cut.
You need an aggressive diamond shape so that it can grab the material during sharpening.
You want to leave a blunter edge as the material is often susceptible to spalling or flaking as referenced above.
The knife material has very low thermal conductivity. If you get the outside hot it will grow. Because the thermal conductivity is so poor the outside (hot) layer will grow faster than the heat can spread through the material to compensate. The can cause crazing and / or flaking on the surface.
01-26-2010, 01:10 PM #9
Thanks for posting this, I've had the same question in mind for a while.
IMHO, I'd get some $12 Horrible Freight diamond sharpeners, I'd hate to hurt my nice DMT bench stones.
I did a google search for "sharpen ceramic knives", and there is mention of using a stacked paper buffing wheel to put a final hone on the edge with silicon carbide abrasive. Kind of like stropping a steel knife, I assume.
01-26-2010, 03:17 PM #10
Diamonds are diamonds even from horrible! Personaly most of the advice i have seen suggests ceramics for cutting softer things, fish, veg and fruit. Not as a carving knive or cleaver!
01-27-2010, 08:17 AM #11
Sure diamonds are diamonds but they come in different sizes with different fracture properties. Some wear down to round and some fracture to leave a sharp edge. They can be coated which changes the properties. How they are bonded together makes a big difference as well.
Pretty fascinating stuff and much of it recently developed.
02-19-2010, 01:18 PM #12
Well, that didn't turn out so well.
I used my older "retired to the shop" DMT bench stones which started out as 300 grit and 600 grit. That's usually enough to put an acceptable edge on steel-based tools.
The ceramic knife is now dull as dish water. I'm pretty skilled at getting and maintaining an edge on a metal knife, and I used the same technique and angles. Maybe I'm not using the right shape.
One of my 'back burner' projects is to make stands for my steel and carbide grinders so they are usable. Once that's done, I'll report back if a green wheel for carbide will result in a sharp ceramic knife.
02-19-2010, 02:58 PM #13
Get a piece of antler and chip it like an arrow head.
02-19-2010, 03:11 PM #14
I also have a small Boker that has been back to the factory.
The knife has an open back and coins that enter will chip
Bottom line I am not inpressed.
Does someone else have better luck?
02-22-2010, 09:02 AM #15
Ceramic knives are tricky to sharpen, I have done a couple. Forgive my asking Al, but you say you are fairly good at sharpening steel knives...how sharp are you getting the knives? Can you shave with a steel knife you've sharpened? If not, you're probably not getting the knives sharpened properly. It's not as easy as it might seem. Most of the time when someone uses one of my knives, their eyes tend to open widely in surprise at the ease of cutting, as they tend to slip right thru whatever is being cut. One quick test is to stick a knife into a piece of paper from a page of phone book or similar. When you are holding the handle at the end farthest from the blade in one hand and the paper at the top of the page in the other, a small pocket knife with maybe a 3" long blade should be able to cut down through the paper with its own weight.
P.S. what angles were you shooting for and what technique were you using?
02-22-2010, 12:34 PM #16
how about diamond paste, like the blue one is 5 micron, and the grey is 1.5, could work?
02-22-2010, 02:28 PM #17
I used to sharpen my Boker carbide knife on a diamond wheel. I have a new Kyocera ceramic blade that I expect to be able to sharpen on diamond as well, but it's going to be a while before it needs it. I bought it in a set with e ceramic vegetable peeler - just wanted the peeler, really, but the knife came with it.
Racer Al - if you want you can send your ceramic here and I'll take a stab at sharpening it. I've got rotary diamond stuff for grinding carbide tooling, I ought to be able to do something with a zirconium oxide blade. But I understand that Kyocera will do it for $10, might be a better deal with a known result.
10-02-2016, 05:35 PM #18
Yeah, resurrecting an old thread. I ran across it while searching this subject. I just want to pimp something I am making for a customer and is relevant to the thread. I now make "polishing stones" for Edge Pro. They are to replace the polishing tapes for steel knives but also work really well at sharpening ceramic knives. They currently sell 2300 and 4000 mesh "stones" and will soon have 800, 1600, and 6000 prototype "stones" to play with. The current offering is good if you're knives are fairly sharp, if they are chipped you need to start with an 800 mesh or so.
I first tried them out on my new Kyocera white ceramic paring knife about a year ago now. The edge on the knife is FAR sharper now than when new. For getting a razor sharp edge I don't think any steel compares to ceramic, they can get scary sharp.
I sharpened my knife with a pretty fine edge and haven't had any problems with it but I am the only one that uses it and I am careful not to cut on a hard surface. The edge is glossy and it just glides through tomatoes so I don't think there is such a thing as too sharp.
Any way just wanted to add to the search results for "how to sharpen ceramic knives" as I think an Edge Pro with these polishing stones is one of the best options available, IMO.
Last edited by DavidScott; 10-02-2016 at 09:19 PM.
10-03-2016, 09:55 AM #19
I would not want to use a ceramic knife on food prep,because I do not want to eat sharp chips....rather sharpen a (non-brittle) metal knife more often.
10-03-2016, 02:34 PM #20
Those steel knives with ceramic coatings are HORRIBLY DANGEROUS,because the micro thin ceramic coating flakes off of the steel and goes into your food. It will never degenerate,and i extremely thin and very sharp.
I have seen such knives at friend's house,with 1/4" of the ceramic coating flaked off. I had bought such a knife myself months earlier,but as soon as I saw the edge beginning to flake off,I stopped using it at once,and warned my wife.
Hardly any average woman is going to realize the danger of having the ceramic coatings flakikg off in the food they feed their families. The damned things should be taken off the market!