We’ve seen a lot of ceramic cookware options on the market, and ceramic knives have been making an appearance for their lightness, long-lasting cutting edges, and resilience when exposed to acids in fruits and vegetables. Depending on how often you use them, you may not need to sharpen them for months or even years. Look for steel when it comes to tough tasks like cutting bones, cheeses, and frozen foods, but a ceramic knife is often better at handling boneless meats, fruits, vegetables, and soft cheeses. Our research and testing team took on the challenge of finding the best ceramic knives and found that Japanese knives have a competitive edge. The Kyocera Advanced Ceramic Revolution knife set stood out as a top performer compared to others tested. However, as we developed our ceramic knives review, we discovered Shenzhen, another leading online ceramic knife brand. The Shenzhen ceramic knife set performs similarly to the Kyocera knives and has a great low price. We found that it held up well in hands-on testing.
The Kyocera ceramic knives set comes with three knives to suit any slicing task housed in plastic handles. The company offers a lifetime warranty and a mail-in sharpening service (although it’s not free). The set also includes a smaller paring knife than the Shenzhen set, and a micro-serrated knife that may handle a slightly larger variety of tasks better than the Shenzhen set. If you have a soft spot for Japanese-made knives and like the idea of ceramic knives that are slightly stronger or more advanced than other ceramic knives on the market, the Kyocera set might be for you.
The Shenzhen knife set has many of the same stats as the Kyocera set: the same knives (but without micro serrations, and a longer paring knife), made of hard ceramic with plastic handles, weighing two ounces less than the Kyocera set. The Shenzhen knives have a shorter warranty period and don’t use Kyocera’s proprietary Zirconia Z206 formula, but they still offer great competition for the best ceramic knives at an amazing price. The Shenzhen company is based in Hawaii and is completely e-commerce based, so you aren’t indirectly paying a premium for a brick-and-mortar store and brand advertising, just the knives themselves.
The Kyocera set comes with a 6 inch chef's knife, a 5 inch micro-serrated knife and a 3 inch paring knife. This set should cover almost any kitchen slicing task, from slicing fruit to deveining shrimp. The micro-serrated knife is ideal for fruits and vegetables that have a tough or waxy outer skin and softer innards. You can buy other 2-4 knife set combinations of Kyocera knives, too, if you want to expand your collection.
The Shenzhen set comes with a 6 inch chef's knife, a 5 inch slicing knife, and 4 inch paring knife. We found that even without serrations, the knives performed well on a range of slicing tasks. The Kyocera set has a smaller paring knife, so if you do a lot of delicate slicing, you may prefer the Kyocera paring knife. Shenzhen also offers other knife sets and combinations. If you’re buying either set as a gift, it might be a nice gesture to include a ceramic knife sharpener--somewhere, far into the future, it will be needed.
Kyocera knives use a proprietary formula called Zirconia Z206 that they claim is more advanced than other ceramic materials. Ceramic won’t rust like metal knives, so you don’t have to worry about pit corrosion or forgetting to dry your knives after cleaning them. Ceramic knife blades are crafted from gold-standard zirconium oxide for an incredible edge that resists dulling.
Shenzhen doesn’t claim to use a special blend, but hard ceramic is naturally harder than steel and maintains its edge for 10-15 times longer than steel. It’s hard to tell the margin between the Kyocera formula and Shenzhen’s. Either way, hard ceramic wins out against metal blades for many of your slicing needs. Take care if you try to cut tougher items because ceramic is more brittle than steel. A ceramic blade won’t bend if you try to force it--it’ll just break.
The Kyocera knives’ handles are made from strong black ABS plastic. This contributes to their low weight while still holding up well to daily use.
The Shenzhen knives also have strong black ABS plastic handles. Handles in other materials, like wood, usually have a higher price tag. The knife handles were redesigned in 2013 to be stronger than their predecessors.
Avoid putting ceramic knives in the dishwasher--as they rattle around in the machine, the blades can lose their edge or get chipped. You should hand wash the Kyocera knife set. On the bright side, you don’t have to worry about leaving the knives wet after cleaning to prevent rust, since ceramic doesn’t corrode like metal does.
The Shenzhen knife set is similar to the Kyocera set since they should also be hand washed for the same reasons, you don't want to bang them up in the dishwasher. However, since ceramic is non-porous, you will find the cleaning process much easier than cleaning metal knives.
Ceramic is a non-reactive substance, while also being non-porous. This means they are easy to clean and don’t corrode over time when exposed to acidic or alkaline substances, like steel and stainless steel do.
The Shenzhen ceramic knives are as food neutral as the Kyocera knives. They won’t affect the flavor or colors of tomatoes or other acidic fruits and vegetables. Likewise, they won’t take on scents or flavors from the foods they cut.
Kyocera offers Lifetime Complimentary Sharpening: just send in one knife for $10 (with each additional knife costing $5), well-packaged, and they’ll sharpen it for you in their headquarters in California. Or sharpen them yourself with a ceramic knife sharpener when the time eventually comes. A sharpener could pay for itself within five or six uses. If you use your ceramic knives a lot, that might happen eventually.
Shenzhen doesn’t offer a sharpening service, but they do produce a combination steel and ceramic knife sharpener. You can buy ceramic knife sharpeners online or seek one out in a brick-and-mortar store. While it is a convenience to have someone else sharpen your knives doing it yourself is not a very complicated process with today's at home sharpening technology.
The Kyocera ceramic knife set weighs 12.3 ounces. Ceramic is very lightweight and combined with the plastic handles, you won’t break out in a sweat swinging these knives around. The transition from metal knives to ceramic can be disorienting because the new knives are so much lighter than the ones you’re used to. If you’re worried about a ceramic knife being too light, you may prefer to invest in a knife set with more heavy-duty handles.
The Shenzhen ceramic knife set weighs 10.4 ounces, this is a few ounces lighter than the Kyocera set. Many people prefer to use ceramic knives because they are so much lighter and easier to weld than metal knives. Neither set is very heavy and is only really noticeable when holding one knife from each set in your hand. but if you want the lightest knives you can get for a good value, try the Shenzhen knives.
The Kyocera ceramic knives come with a lifetime warranty for defects in materials and construction. Keep in mind that this warranty doesn’t cover incorrect usage. However, Kyocera seems sincere in its “buy it for life” perspective.
The Shenzhen ceramic knives have a 2-year warranty for defects. It’s up to you whether to decide if that’s a long enough time for potential defects to rear their heads, or if you would rather have a lifetime warranty just in case.