Why don't ceramic knives break easily

On average they all cut

Japanese chefs often form lifelong relationships with their knives. The daily time-consuming care ritual would do well with any relic worship. So it is not surprising that Japanese novice chefs allegedly spend the entire first year of their training exclusively on sharpening knives correctly. Try to integrate that into our curricula! But you don't have to go that far. You can work for several thousand euros with a hand-forged damask knife (if you still have a little kitchen equipment budget and don't know where to put it: near Hanover, the Nesmuk company produces a 640-layer knife at a unit price of 80,000 euros ...) , just like you can drive from A to B in a Bentley. In both cases, however, there are cheaper alternatives with which you can reach your goal just as reliably. And you don't need a separate knife for every vegetable and every type of meat, even if some knife manufacturers - similar to the producers of wine glasses - probably see it differently.

You can get by with five to six different knives

"Five to six good knives are enough in everyday life," says Werner Sedlacek, director of the Viennese hospitality school on Judenplatz. »It is important that the knives are robust, forged from a well-known manufacturer. For around 100 euros you can get very good goods. Our students receive a set as basic equipment, consisting of an all-purpose chef's knife, bread knife, paring knife, confectioner's knife and a meat fork. "If you then have a paring knife or a carving knife, you are actually equipped for all eventualities. Good forging knives are almost indestructible and will last for years or even decades, even in professional use.

Ceramic knives, on the other hand, are rarely used in professional kitchens because the blade is too hard, not flexible enough and can therefore easily break in everyday use. In addition, ceramic knives, strictly speaking, do not have a completely smooth, but a very slightly serrated cut, which is an advantage for some uses, but a disadvantage for others. And the extremely expensive hand-forged damask knives? They are rather something for the eye or a gimmick for the ego. Sedlacek: “I also have something like that at home, but these knives require more maintenance, and that doesn't mean they are really sharper. I see these pieces more as a hobby. In everyday use they do not bring any real advantages - especially not in relation to the price. Because on average they all cut. "

Sanding once a year is sufficient

It goes without saying that, in addition to the right technique, you need sharp knives for good cutting results. Sedlacek: »Even if we initially need the pavement by the meter, especially in the first grades, a sharp knife is simply safer to cut because it requires less force and is less likely to slip off and injure yourself. Apart from that, the cutting result is simply better with a sharp knife. «A good knife does not have to be completely re-sharpened more than once a year, in between regular sharpening of the blade on a sharpening steel or stone is sufficient.

And when it comes to cleaning, the school director Sedlacek still recommends manual labor. Even if some knives are dishwasher safe today, the high temperatures and long contact with aggressive cleaning agents are a problem for the blade. And it goes without saying that the cutting edge is not particularly good if it hits other hard objects during the dishwashing process. It goes without saying that knives with wooden handles have no place in the dishwasher.

Really sharp - this is how you will find the right cutting profile

  • Crowned cut: Stable cutting edge, easy to re-sharpen, long service life, little stock removal when grinding. When cutting, the material to be cut is diverted from the blade.
  • Hollow ground: High initial sharpness, insufficient stability, sensitive cutting edge.
  • Wedge cut: High initial sharpness, food sticks to the blade.
  • One-sided grinding: Depending on the type of cut, only suitable for right-handed or left-handed people, due to the one-sided cut, the material to be cut has only short contact with the blade, which reduces friction. Ideal for a long, pulling cut for fine filleting or carving.

In addition, one can still distinguish between

  • Smooth edge: This results in a smooth, clean cut without fraying. Knives with a smooth edge are used to cut hard and soft material to be cut.
  • Serrated edge: With this cut, the material to be cut is the first to come into contact with the protruding shaft tips. The serrated edge makes it easier to cut and divide hard and firm food, such as bread crust.
  • Fluted bevel: The hollows create air cushions that prevent thin and soft slices from sticking to the blade, especially when it comes to fatty foods. (The holes in cheese knives have the same effect.)

Source: F. Dick

F. Dick

The new herb and parmesan knife from F. Dick wants to combine all the properties that are important when cutting herbs professionally. The round shape and the curved edge of the knife make it easier to cut and allow herbs to be cut evenly. The wide blade is indispensable for the claw grip with which the herbs are held in place when cutting. This knife, with a blade length of 12 cm, was recently awarded the “Kitchen Innovation of the Year®” award. an expert jury led by star chef Heinz Winkler is also involved.

Photo: F. Dick


The Japanese-inspired Santoku knives, which are equally suitable for cutting, dicing or chopping, have also been very popular with us for several years. Like this version of the Swiss knife professional Victorinox. The wide blade ensures easy handling and a clean cut. The Japanese multi-purpose knife is available in various designs: With a normal blade surface or with a fluted edge, which reduces the adhesion of the cut material to the blade surface. The handles are available in wood or with the non-slip Fibrox handle developed by Victorinox.

Photo: VICtorinox


Knives with a design based on legendary Japanese knives are also becoming increasingly popular in Europe. With the Chutoh 7000D from Miyabi, the company Zwilling also offers a universally applicable kitchen knife. Translated it means "medium-sized knife" and combines Far Eastern cutlery and traditional design. The blade of this knife consists of 65 layers of steel with different degrees of hardness. The combination of hard and tough material forms the basis for the special sharpness and long edge retention of the knife. In addition, the damask design is an extremely aesthetic sight.

Photo: twin


"The eye also cuts a part" - or something like that, people think at Global and produce knives here that would also be good for a design award at any time. For example the Sai series, which is manufactured by highly qualified Japanese cutlery according to traditional production methods. The blades are made of a special three-layer stainless steel. A particularly hard core is encased in two softer layers. The hammer-blow design available in some versions means that the knife penetrates the material to be cut more easily and sticks to it less, so that a wafer-thin cut is always possible.

Photo: Global


In the recently introduced series "Chef’s Edition", all knives are equipped with the so-called Performance Cut Technologie®. Performance Cut® is the combination of the traditional forging process (drop forging) with the most modern precision technology. This creates knives with an optimal cutting angle that stay sharp for a particularly long time. Tests have shown that, thanks to the new technology, these knives double the standard for cutting performance. The shape of the knives is also ideal for holding the handle, as practiced by professional chefs.

Photo: WMF

desert yard

The bolster, the connection between the blade and the handle, plays a central role in knives. It provides the necessary balance, but also the weight of a forged knife. For those who want it a little lighter in the future, Wüsthof has recently started offering new half-bolster knives that are 30 percent lighter than the traditional full bolster knives of the Classic series. The lower weight of the knife results from the reduced bolster shape and the thinner edge of the blades. You can choose from a paring knife, a santoku, three chef's knives and a pastry knife with a serrated edge.

Photo: wüsthof

The original text from the magazine may have been shortened or adapted for the online version.

More articles from the Technology & Equipment category