Ceramic knives may not have the longstanding reputation of stainless steel knives, but they’re gaining traction among professional and home chefs alike. While neither type is better than the other, ceramic offers its advantages.
For starters, ceramic knives are made from zirconium oxide or zirconia. This makes them significantly harder than their metal counterparts, so they retain their sharpness for longer and don’t need to be sharpened as often. And unlike steel knives, ceramic ones don’t stain, rust, or absorb odors. Plus, they’re super lightweight, making dicing or slicing certain foods—such as fruits and veggies, bread, cheeses, and even cooked meats—more precise and effortless.
It’s worth noting the downside to ceramic knives, which is their brittleness—meaning they’re not suited to tasks like boning, prying, or cutting frozen foods, and they’re prone to chipping or breaking when bent or dropped. That said, they’ll likely make a great addition to your existing knife set because of how much easier they can make food prep and other light cooking tasks. Plus, they’re a boon for those who don’t have the time or inclination to constantly sharpen their knives and want a more low-maintenance option.
To help you pick the best ceramic knives for your kitchen needs, we consulted with experts and researched the top options available. Whether you're looking for the convenience of a set or a well-balanced multitasking blade, we've listed the top ceramic knives on the market.
Kyocera Advanced Ceramic Revolution Series 5.5-Inch Santoku Knife
Retains edge for a long time
Sharpening service available
Blade is brittle
Doesn't come with a sheath
If you’re new to ceramic knives, this Revolution 5.5-inch Santoku from renowned Japanese ceramic knife producer Kyocera is great for beginners. The blade is made with the company’s proprietary zirconia ceramic material. Santoku knives are versatile and equally great at slicing, mincing, and dicing fruits or vegetables and cooked or boneless meats. This one is also extremely sharp and lightweight, which, combined with its curved handle, makes it easy to use without a lot of pressure.
Many users like that they can work quickly and make precise cuts with this knife. The blade also retains its edge for a long time (with some saying it has stayed sharp for up to a year, even with regular use) and is rust- and acid-resistant—making the knife a great low-maintenance option.
This Santoku is available in various colors, and you can choose from a white or black blade. While the company says it is dishwasher-safe, most experts agree it's best to wash ceramic knives by hand. Although its blade is sharp, it could chip or break if great force is applied or when it's used for tasks that require cutting through hard material like bone.
Price at time of publish: $45
Blade Length: 5.5 inches | Handle Material: Ceramic | Sheath Included: No | Weight: 3.07 ounces
“For the home chef, ceramic knives are generally more lightweight, easier to handle, and more affordable than ultra-expensive chef's knives. This ceramic knife from Kyocera cuts quite precisely, is easy on the wrists, and is resistant to stains, rust, and dulling.” — Marisel Salazar, Trained Cook and Recipe Developer
Cuisinart Ceramic Color-Coded Knife Set, 12 Piece
Individual blade guards
Handle may come loose over time
If you're looking for a great value set of quality ceramic knives for everyday use, this 12-piece set from Cuisinart is a great choice. The blades are incredibly sharp, and a nonstick ceramic coating makes slicing through food a breeze. Each set includes an 8-inch chef's knife, an 8-inch slicing knife, an 8-inch serrated bread knife, a 7-inch Santorum knife, a 6.5-inch utility knife, and a 3.5-inch paring knife, so you're prepared for almost anything in the kitchen.
The Cuisinart knives are also color-coded to prevent cross-contamination, and each knife comes with its own matching blade guard (which several users noted makes them great for families). Paired with the lightweight material that's easy to wash by hand, you really can't go wrong with these budget-conscious knives.
Price at time of publish: $20
Blade Length: 8-inch chef's knife, 8-inch slicing knife, 8-inch serrated bread knife, 7-inch Santorum knife, 6.5-inch utility knife, 3.5-inch paring knife | Handle Material: Plastic | Sheath Included: Yes | Weight: 2.17 pounds
Kyocera Revolution 2-Piece Ceramic Knife Set
Lightweight but balanced
Doesn't come with covers
This two-piece ceramic knife set by Kyocera makes a great gift for the cooking enthusiast in your life, or you can add it to your existing set of knives. The dynamic duo includes not only the versatile 5.5-inch Santoku we recommend above but also an equally efficient 3-inch paring knife. Crafted from the Japanese company’s proprietary zirconia ceramic, both knives are razor-sharp and nonreactive, meaning they won’t react to the acid in fruit and won’t discolor or affect the flavor of food.
The Santoku’s length makes it the perfect all-purpose tool for cutting soft produce and boneless or cooked meats. The paring knife is practical for more precise or detail-oriented knife tasks. Both knives have a contoured resin handle that makes them comfortable to hold.
Price at time of publish: $56
Blade Length: 5.5-inch Santoku knife and 3-inch paring knife | Handle Material: Ceramic | Sheath Included: No | Weight: 6.9-ounce Santoku knife, 2.5-ounce paring knife
Best Chef's Knife
Farberware Ceramic Chef Knife with Custom-Fit Blade Cover
Comes with blade cover
Top rack dishwasher safe
Blade may be less sharp than other
This Farberware ceramic chef's knife comes with its own custom-fit blade cover at a price that's lower than most. It features a soft ergonomic handle designed for a comfortable grip, so you can chop, dice, and slice without hand fatigue. We also love how the handle is made of non-slip material for added safety.
Reviewers appreciate this lightweight, 6-inch knife not only for its budget-conscious price but also for its balance and ease of use. The shape of the handles helps position your hand in the correct placement, so holding the knife is effortless (even for longer periods of time), making prep work go by that much faster. While it is technically top-rack dishwasher safe, the manufacturers recommend washing by hand to prolong the life of your knife.
Price at time of publish: $13
Blade Length: 6 inches | Handle Material: Plastic | Sheath Included: Yes | Weight: 5.6 ounces
Best Bread Knife
Cestari Advanced Ceramic Revolution Serrated Knife
Well-balanced with a good grip
Easy to clean
Sheath is not durable
It’s no fun slicing into a beautiful loaf of bread only to leave behind several crumbs and crushed or uneven slices. That’s where this lightweight 6-inch ceramic bread knife by Cestari comes in. Not only does this knife’s ultra-sharp serrated edge cut through crust with ease, but you can also use it as a bread-scoring knife when you’re baking. Plus, its handle is ergonomically contoured and has a non-skid, satin finish, making it comfortable to hold for long periods of time.
This is no mere bread slicer—its blade makes it ideal for effortlessly and thinly cutting through the notoriously tricky-to-slice skins of tomatoes and similar produce without crushing their insides. The versatile tool also makes a great cheese knife and sandwich cutter. One user even raves that it is sharp and precise enough to slice through the delicate flesh of fish. An added bonus: This knife comes with a custom safety sheath and a case with a magnetic closure. For those who prefer a longer blade to their bread knife, it also comes in an 8-inch option.
Price at time of publish: $40
Blade Length: 6 inches | Handle Material: Polypropylene | Sheath Included: Yes | Weight: 3.84 ounces
“Ceramic knives are great for cutting your fruits and vegetables because the blades tend to retain their sharpness better than other knives—but you shouldn't use them for everything. They don't perform well with tough food, so stay away from frozen items or food with a firm exterior, like a pumpkin. The ceramic blade can chip if you flex it too much trying to cut into something too hard.” — Andy Wang, chef and co-founder of Knives Sensei
Best Utility Knife
Kyocera Advanced Ceramic Revolution Series Micro-Serrated Knife
Cuts through tomatoes easily
Lightweight and well-balanced
May be too light for some
For handling produce that is notoriously difficult to cut, like tomatoes, you’re not going to find a better knife than Kyocera’s lightweight 5-inch tomato knife. From grape to heirloom, its sharp, micro-serrated teeth make it easy to cleanly and precisely slice through tomatoes and other produce with tough skins and soft insides without needing to apply a lot of pressure—and keeping the juices and seeds intact.
It even makes easy work of bread. One user says that using this knife not only produces even slices but also fewer crumbs than a standard serrated bread knife. It also has an ergonomic handle that ensures your knuckles won’t graze the cutting board, and it’s shaped so that your hand doesn’t get fatigued quickly when performing repetitive kitchen tasks.
Price at time of publish: $45
Blade Length: 5 inches | Handle Material: Ceramic | Sheath Included: No | Weight: 1.85 ounces
Best Paring Knife
Vos 4 Inch Ceramic Paring Knife
Feels good in hand
Comes with a sheath
Blade stains easily
Sharp edge near the handle
The size, weight, and sharpness of this 4-inch paring knife make it the perfect tool for slicing, paring, peeling fruits and veggies, and even trimming the fat off steaks. Several users highlight how well it handled peeling apples and potatoes in particular. The handle’s shape, softness, and grip also fit nicely in your hand and make it a breeze to use.
This knife comes with a sheath that is easy for the blade to slide into and stay secure. Plus, Vos offers a lifetime guarantee. Just note that there is a sharp exposed edge near the knife’s handle and that the blade may stain when working with fruit, according to some users.
Price at time of publish: $12
Blade Length: 4 inches | Handle Material: Ceramic | Sheath Included: Yes | Weight: 5 ounces
The versatile Kyocera Revolution 5.5-Inch Ceramic Santoku Knife is our top overall pick because its sharpness, balance, and edge retention make it unbeatable when it comes to ease of use and precision. For a more budget-conscious pick, you can’t beat the value of the Cuisinart Ceramic Color-Coded Knife Set. At a fraction of the price of similar sets, you’ll get 12 razor-sharp knives that are great for everyday kitchen use.
What to Look for When Buying Ceramic Knives
Type of Knife
Like steel knives, there are several types of ceramic knives to choose from, depending on how you plan to use them. Common types include the chef’s knife, which has a blade with a slightly curved tip that glides on a cutting board; the santoku knife, which, unlike a chef’s knife, is used in an up-and-down motion; the paring knife, whose small blade is best for precise tasks; and the utility knife, which has a narrower blade than a chef’s knife. You may also find other types such as a bread knife, long knife, steak knife, and more.
Comfort and Ease of Use
The weight and balance of a ceramic knife, how comfortable it is to hold, and how sharp its blade is all determine how easy it is to use. While ceramic knives are generally lighter than steel ones, finding the one with just the right weight and balance will depend on how easy it is for you to lift and control the blade—and your personal preference.
Slicing a tomato, also known as the "Tomato Test," is one of the best indicators of how well your ceramic knife’s blade cuts. Rest the blade on top of the tomato lightly, and instead of pressing down, pull the knife towards you. Ideally, it should easily pierce the tomato’s skin and not just barely dent it or crush the fruit.
How do you sharpen ceramic knives?
Some brands, like Kyocera, offer professional sharpening services for ceramic blades (though not micro-serrated edges). If you’re looking to sharpen a ceramic knife yourself, your best bet is a diamond sharpening stone because the material is harder than ceramic, meaning less pressure is needed for the task.
Some people also have success with traditional waterstones. Note that ceramic knives are incredibly brittle and can’t handle excessive force on the side of the blade. Traditional knife sharpeners aren’t advised, as you risk snapping the blade.
How long do ceramic knives stay sharp?
Ceramic knives retain their sharpness up to ten times longer than steel ones, meaning they don’t need to be honed or sharpened as often. Because ceramic knives are made from zirconia ceramic, a material much harder than steel, they’re able to retain their edge much longer—especially if you take proper care of them.
Can you wash ceramic knives in the dishwasher?
While many ceramic knives are advertised as being dishwasher-safe, it's best to gently hand-wash them with mild soap and water, then dry with a kitchen towel. Because ceramic blades are notoriously brittle, the high water pressure and the likely jostling a ceramic knife will undergo in the dishwasher is likely to chip or break it. If you must use the dishwasher, make sure to place it where it is unlikely to come into contact with other items.
How We Researched
To compile this list, our team of editors and contributors spent hours researching the best products on the market in this category, evaluating their key features—like ease of use, material, or price—in addition to reviews from customers and other trusted sources. We then used this research to assign a star rating from one to five (five being the best; one being the worst) to certain products on the list.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
Fran Sales is an associate commerce editor for The Spruce Eats, where she helps research, create, and edit stories on all things food and kitchen. She spent hours researching ceramic knives for this piece.
In updating this round-up, Carrie Honaker interviewed trained cook and recipe developer Marisel Salazar and Andy Wang, chef and co-founder of Knives Sensei, for their expertise.